Over the past couple of decades, flooding has become a depressingly familiar fact of life for communities across the UK.

With an average of one large-scale flooding event happening every two years over that period, tens of thousands of homeowners have had to face up to the devastation of water getting into their homes. The UK spends billions on flood defences and management schemes, yet an average of £1.3bn more is spent every year on clean up operations.

Anyone who has gone through the misery of a post-flood clean-up will tell you it is an experience they would do anything to avoid again - although communities in the most at-risk areas frequently do get hit by repeated disaster. But if you have had some near misses in the past or think your home could be at risk in the future, what practical steps can you take to stop you home from being flooded?

The list of things all homeowners can do to protect their homes broadly fall into two camps - measures to stop flood water getting into your home in the first place, and then steps to minimise the damage if it does.

Flood prevention

If you live in an at-risk area close to a body of water that is liable to burst its banks following particularly heavy rainfall, making your home 100% secure against flood waters is next to impossible. However, there are still several steps you can take to make it as difficult as you can for water to get into your home.

These include improving the drainage around your property, for example by installing permeable surfaces on driveways and pathways. This will ensure as much surface water as possible drains away before it builds up enough to threaten your home. Installing flood barriers and covers on doors and windows and replacing air vents with types that can be shut off will also reduce the paths water can take to get into your home.

You can also prepare in advance for when a flood strikes by storing sandbags and other barriers ready at hand. If your property is particularly vulnerable, you might want to consider a subsurface pump and sump system for clearing rising water.

Damage limitation

Aside from measures to prevent flooding, you can also take steps to minimise the damage caused if water does get into your home. This might include installing valuable white goods appliances on raised plinths in your kitchen, or opting for freestanding rather than fitted units so items can be moved if necessary.

Raising electrical sockets higher up the wall - at least 1.5m is recommended - will avoid extensive damage being done to your electrical system, which is expensive and disruptive to put right. Tiling ground floor walls up to a similar height avoids water damage to plastering and is much easier to clean up. By a similar token, stone floors and rugs will make the clean up easier than fitted carpets and wooden floors.

*The information in this blog is designed to provide helpful information on the subjects discussed. Please seek a professional for expert advice as we can not be held responsible for any damages or negative consequences upon following this information.

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