5 ways to protect your home from flooding

Last year we had one of the wettest Decembers on record, with areas of Cumbria, Greater Manchester and York hit with floods. Many people have had to pay out huge amounts to repair property damage and replace contents, which ruined their Christmas and had huge repercussions for their financial situation.

There’s only so much that we can do in the face of a natural disaster, but these five tips could help you to lessen the damage to your property.

1. Sign Up to the Environment Agency’s ‘Flood Warning System’

The flood warning system is the quickest and easiest way to find out if there is a risk of flood in your area and whether or not your home is at risk. The Environment Agency monitor the sea, estuaries, reservoirs and main rivers to determine if there is a risk of flood. They then use this information to update their ‘flood warnings summary’ page; which contains flood forecasts, river and sea levels and live updates which are refreshed every 15 minutes at peak times.

2. Identify the Weak Points in Your Home

Go through your home, thoroughly inspecting it for possible weak spots, such as gaps in doors, cracks in the walls etc. You can then prioritise any maintenance work that is required. Look for any leaks or cracks that need fixing, check and clean your gutters, eavestroughs and downspouts. Check your windows and doors, and have your roof inspected to find any weak spots or leaks.

If you know you live in a flood risk area, or if you’re looking to buy property in the area, make sure you buy insurance that covers flood damage and find out how much the premiums cost. Why not visit our website to get a free household insurance quote, so that you get the best possible deal!

3. Research the best types of resistance products for your home

Typically, when preparations for a potential flood are shown on the news, we see people attempting to protect their homes with sandbags and plastic sheeting. However, when compared to modern day preventative methods, experts agree that these methods are ineffective. Whilst there are many new flood resistant products on the market, here are the top three to consider.

Water-resistant barriers

These include wall sealants, waterproof skirting boards, damp-proof membranes for ceramic tiles and more. All of these will help to provide some protection for your home when water levels rise. They might require some renovation work to install, but they’re worth it.

Self-sealing airbricks or airbrick covers

Airbricks provide underfloor ventilation and allow air to flow through wall insulation so that there isn’t a build-up of moisture. An airbrick cover is a water proof vent which must be manually sealed to prevent flood water freely flowing under your home. Self-sealing airbricks contain floats which rise on the flood water and seals the vents.

Flood resistant doors and windows

These resilient barriers are designed to withstand impact by water and debris whilst simultaneously creating a water-resistant seal on the exterior of your home when shut.

4. Elevate electrical devices and plug sockets

This includes TVs, game consoles, and any other low level electrical devices. By elevating them 1.5 metres off the floor (or upstairs if possible), you can avoid damage and save yourself thousands in replacing electrical content. It is also possible to have your electrical sockets raised by 1.5 metres. This is costly, but well worth it if you live in a high risk area.

5. Make a flood plan with your family

If you live in an area at risk of flood, it’s a good idea to have an emergency plan that includes which areas of the house needs flood resistance, such as the airbrick vent, what action to take if the water gets into the house and what to do in the event of evacuation.

If your house does become flooded, you should contact your insurance company immediately and let them know. Avoid clearing up until the damage can be assessed and take pictures of any damage caused to your property and contents. This will help to back up your claim to the insurers.

Whilst some of these changes may seem costly or disruptive to install, they’ll lower the costs of any damage caused by a flood, plus they’ll add value to your home, should you choose to sell.

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