While certain areas of the UK are more prone to flooding than others, burst pipes, sewage problems, extreme weather, and other external causes mean that most UK homes have the potential to be flooded at some point or other.
Regardless of their cause, floods generally hit suddenly and unexpectedly. That said, there are certain measures UK homeowners could take to help prevent flood damage to their home.
Find out if your home is at risk
The Land Registry’s Flood Risk Indicator service can provide you with a report on the risks of flooding from rivers and seas for specific properties in England and Wales.
If you find out that you are indeed in a flood prone area, here are several things that you’ll want to look out for:
- make sure that your home’s furnace, boiler (and other equipment that is very expensive to replace) are all in elevated areas in your home to avoid them getting damaged.
- The same can be done with refrigerators or freezers, which can be placed on plinths if you think they’d potentially be at risk.
- Store irreplaceable items such as photographs, hard drives etc. in high places, just in case (rather than in your basement).
- Furthermore, if your home is definitely in a risk zone, it can do no harm to be prepared and have some sand bags at the ready in your shed or basement, should worst come to the worst.
- If you hear that a flood is due or the area that you live in is experiencing heavy rainfall , move your car to higher ground if possible.
The Environment Agency have also suggested that it’s wise to fit “non-return” valves to outdoor plumbing so as to counter any waste water flowing back into your property through sewage pipes, causing all sorts of damage and possible health hazards.
If you’re about to build a home in an area which is at risk of flooding, here is an extremely comprehensive guide to advise you on how you can build your home and what materials to use in order to minimise damage in the event of flooding.
Investigate potential hazards
To safeguard yourself against mechanical failures such as burst pipes, as well as the effects of extreme rainfall, make sure that your home is inspected annually by plumbing and roofing specialists.
Regularly cleaning is a cheap and easy method of preventing flood damage. For instance, make sure that your gutters are always clear of leaves or general debris. If your gutters cannot effectively channel water to the ground, the water will build-up, potentially causing flooding and expensive structural damage.
Get flood protection
The National Flood Forum have a Property Protection Advisor. This can help you to calculate how much it might cost to permanently protect your home from the risks of flooding, with the use of French drains or other preventative measures.
It is advisable to take a lot of detailed photographs of your property – in the unfortunate event that you need to make a claim, these will be a tremendous help to you (particularly for electronics etc.). Make sure that you keep receipts for expensive items (such as e-receipts or even photos of receipts that you have emailed to yourself to avoid losing them).
Unfortunately, no matter how prepared you are, sometimes the unexpected can happen. Though prevention is always better than a cure, Harris Balcombe are experts when it comes to helping those affected by flood damage in the UK.
We will organise all emergency works, before arranging like-for-like accommodation for you and your family for the duration of any required restoration and cleaning. We will also co-ordinate your insurer and their loss adjusters to secure you the settlement you deserve.
If your home has suffered from flood damage, use our national 24/7 helpline for a free consultation on how we can help your claim. Call us on 0844 544 1699.