Sydney flooding - try retrofitting some flood resilient house design features prior to next big rains

What is Flood Resilient House Design? Can it be retrofitted into a Sydney home?

Sydney flooding - try retrofitting some flood resilient house design features prior to next big rains

Australia has seen its fair share of floods in 2021 and 2022. It’s predicted that summer 2023 will have higher than average rainfall and storms. These events can lead to flash flooding. Winter is the perfect time to investigate flood resilient house design features which can protect your home from the threat of floods this coming summer.  

What is Flood Resilient House Design?

Flood resilient house design is a term used to describe a house that has been built to better withstand the impact of floods. The house design will be adapted to lift floors higher from the ground, invest in materials which are resistant to water damage, and install plumbing systems which can draw water away from the home.  

For pre-built homes, this can be disheartening as it can require considerable cost to “lift a house.” However, there are some installations which can be retrofitted to a Sydney home to protect it from flood waters.  

How can your plumber help your Sydney home be flood resilient?

The external stormwater drainage to your home is the best line of defence to resilience against flooding.  

Your roof is the largest catchment space for rain water. Ensure it’s directed to gutters free from rust and blockages. Ensure for every 10 metres of gutter, there is a downpipe and that every downpipe discharges away from the home to a stormwater pit.  

It’s amazing how many Sydney homes have downpipes directed to the footings of their home.  This can not only cause structural damage to your home over time, it can also allow water to pool around your home, instead of away from it.  

Elevate plumbing systems

Once the yard drainage is adequate, it’s important to consider the flood resilient strategy of elevating fixtures so they aren’t damaged by flood waters.  

Here are some appliances to consider installing at an elevated height above the flood line in your area.  

  • Hot water unit  
  • Air conditioner condensers 
  • Rain water tanks 
  • Water tank pumps 
  • Pool pumps 

Many appliances like hot water units and pumps are installed at a ground level, but in flood resilient design, these need to be installed above the flood level to protect them from being washed away or inundated with black water which can cause them to rust and no longer work.  

Non-return valves

The installation of non-return valves on stormwater and sewerage can be insurance to your home to prevent black flows to your property.  

Non-return valves allow waste to flow in only one direction from the house to the sewer in normal operation. When a flood occurs, the flow can’t go backwards as the valve automatically shuts the flow. This can be a considerable cost to a home owner and does require regular maintenance as obstructions can keep the valve in an open position making it ineffective when needed in a flood situation. Reach out to your plumber to discuss options for installation at your property if you’d like to investigate further.  

Flood resilient design may be easier to install on new build homes, but your plumber can assist in ensuring the plumbing to your home is ready to catch heavy falls.  

Just call Joe to discuss flood resilient house design options available to retrofit to your Sydney home before the summer rains hit. 


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