Reducing floodwater ingress rates in buildings

Project Funder: N/A

Lead Organisation: UWE Bristol

Project Lead: Dr Colin A Booth

Other UWE Bristol Researchers: Mr David W Beddoes


Property-level flood protection products are promoted and installed as the essential requisite to holdback floodwaters from entering buildings.

Sadly, most masonry walls of buildings fail to offer the same level of defence as Kitemark tested products and, despite properties fitting door aperture guards and air-brick covers, amongst other measures, floodwaters can seep through the fissures and pores of ‘leaky’ brickwork and enter the inside of buildings.

This study provides experimental insights of replicated and repeated field tests that compare floodwater ingress rates through masonry walls of domestic buildings, before and after preparation with different water repellent impregnating fluid treatments, as a means of reducing floodwater ingress rates to manageable levels that minimise the damage to the internal fabric of buildings.

Key outputs

Beddoes, D W and Booth, C A (2015) Reducing floodwater ingress rates through an exterior masonry wall of a domestic building: a pilot investigation. Structural Survey, 33, 196–209.

Key findings

Published experimental findings show that untreated and treated floodwater ingress rates were 4.99 litres/hour (234.99 litres/hour/m2) and 1.74 litres/hour (81.90 litres/hour/m2), respectively, and display high intra-variability before treatment.

These preliminary results indicate water penetration through masonry is linked to the initial rate of absorption of brick units and perceivably the workmanship of the bricklayer.

Further findings are due to be published in the near future.

Please email Dr Colin Booth at for more information on this project.

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