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.
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.
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.