How to Protect Your Home From Flooding
Flooding can be a devastating situation, causing not only severe structural damage but also the destruction of many personal belongings. In some severe cases, floods can be fatal or cause unwanted relocation.
Currently, in the UK, there are five locations deemed to be at high risk of flooding at the time of writing, deeming it ‘possible’ and warning citizens to be prepared. The places included are Bridlington, Somerset, Leicestershire, Northumberland and North York.
The Met Office has anticipated that Britain may receive up to 70mm of rainfall in just one week – that is half our average monthly amount of rainfall. This is even more concerning seeing as 1 in 6 UK homes are likely to flood. This equates to a total of 5.5 million properties thought to be at major risk of flooding.
If Flooding is a Recurring Problem
If you live in a city or town that is known to be at high-risk of flooding, it may be worthwhile considering the more permanent solutions to lessen the damage of your home in the long term.
These methods of defence are likely to be costly and might seem somewhat radical, however, if flooding is expected whenever there is heavy rainfall in your area, no form of protection can be deemed too radical.
We recommend looking into the following solutions should you live in a flood-prone area:
- Installing piers and columns below your home so that the ground floor is above flood level. This is one of the more drastic and expensive measures – the price for such an instalment would be thousands of pounds, however, elevation is the most guaranteed chance of successfully avoiding a flood.
- Fitting foundation vents which will allow for water to flow straight through your home, rather than gradually rising and causing more irretrievable damage. A minimum of two vents per room on different walls is advised.
- Raise the height of all electrical sockets to be at least 1.5m higher than the ground floor level.
- Modify water inlet pipes and drains with a non-return valve, which will only allow water to flow in one direction.
- Changing wooden floorboards for concrete slabs, and fitting ceramic tiles in place of carpets.
In the Event of a Flood
If you do not live in a location receiving flood alerts, you may have no protective measures in place whatsoever.
Should disaster strike and you find your home filling up with water, we strongly advise you to do the following:
- Turn off gas and electrics at the breaker panel (as long as it is safe to do so).
- Move all irreplaceable, expensive and electrical belongings to a safe location upstairs.
- Clear out the build-up of any waste in gutters and drains.
Government Actions to Prevent Floods
December 2015 was one of the wettest winters Britain has seen for almost a century. Storm Desmond was to blame for the flooding of 5,200 homes in Lancashire and Cumbria alone – in total, 20,000 UK homes were left without a power supply.
Following the severe damage caused by multiple storms and all in the space of just one month, Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom decided something significant needed to be done.
After it was acknowledged that dismal weather in the UK is inevitable, Leadsom opted to shift the focus onto making homes more resilient to flood damage rather than encourage means of defence and created the National Flood Resilience Review.
One of the first changes to be implemented is the spending of £12.5 million to install new temporary defences, such as flood barriers and high-volume pumps distributed in several strategic locations across the UK.
By 2021, Leadsom plans to have invested a total of £2.5bn towards strengthening Britain’s flood resistance system.
When announcing the review, Leadsom commented “Last winter (December 2015) we saw just how devastating flooding can be. This review sets out clear actions so we are better prepared to respond quickly in the event of future flooding and can strengthen the nation’s flood defences”.
It was also revealed that more than £9 million was being donated to 1,000 individual farmers across Northern England, as part of the Farming Recovery Fund.
The Farming Recovery Fund was arranged in order to help farmers amend any destruction their farm will have faced as a result of severe weather.
Home and Contents Insurance
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Our home and contents insurance policies will provide you with the ultimate level of reassurance, so should disaster ever strike, you are safe in the knowledge you are covered. We can provide coverage against fire, flooding and theft.
Do not hesitate to contact our team of dedicated insurance brokers today for a free, no-obligation quote.