It’s fair to say we’re used to lots of rain in the UK, but would your home be prepared if that rain turned into flooding?
We’ve all seen the impact of flooding on homes in the news, and while this type of extreme weather can be hard to defend against, that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to be prepared. And with the wettest months of the year usually falling in autumn and winter, now is a good time to check whether you could be doing anything more to protect your home from flooding.
If you’d like to make sure your home is protected against flooding, here are some top tips to consider.
Check if your home is in a high flood risk area
Do you know whether your home is built on land that has flooded in the past? You can check the long term flood risk by entering your postcode on the government website here.
Sign up for flood warnings
Getting ahead of the game can make all the difference to the impact of flooding, so it’s well worth signing up for flood warnings. The Environment Agency offers this service, you can sign up here.
Where are your home’s weak spots?
Water has a nasty habit of finding a way into the smallest crack or hole, so it’s a good idea to take a look at your home with this in mind. Inspect the roof and ground floor closely, looking out for cracks, damaged mortar or bricks, blocked gutters and missing roof tiles. Pay close attention to the seals around door frames too. Tackling a few minor maintenance jobs now could save you a lot of money and hassle later.
It’s also vital that you know where your mains water stop tap is, so that you can turn off the supply quickly if flooding takes place from an appliance or pipe.
High flood risk? Consider water-resistant barrier products
If your home is at a high risk of flooding, it could be worth protecting ground floor walls with water-resistant barrier products like brick wall sealer from Sovereign Chemicals. These are painted or sprayed onto walls, and prevent penetrating damp while still allowing the walls to breathe. If you’re replacing floor tiles, consider also using a damp-proof membrane underneath.
Protect electrical equipment
This sounds obvious, but it’s still worth checking! Make sure all electrical items are raised up – ideally 1.5m above floor level – away from any potential flooding. If the worst does happen, this will minimise damage to expensive possessions. If you can also raise electrical sockets and fuse boxes, so much the better.
Be prepared with a flood plan
Dealing with flooding can be very stressful, but having a plan in place before it happens can help you cope. Make a list of urgent action to take, including things like where to place sandbags, how to take care of pets, and what possessions to try and rescue. It’s also a good idea to have a plan for where you will go if you need to evacuate your home. The National Flood Forum is a good source of advice and resources.
Finally, make sure your home insurance details are easily accessible, and take pictures of any damage if you can do so safely, this will help to make the claim process as smooth as possible.
How do you protect your home against flooding? If you’ve had to deal with flooding do you have any tips to help minimise the impact?