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Would You Know How to Protect Your Home from Flooding?

With the increased weather warnings and sudden downpours, we’ve seen an increase in flooding and unpredictable weather conditions in the past few years; but do you know if your home is at risk from flooding, and would you know what steps to take to protect it? By knowing if you are in a high-risk area, what to do in order to prepare for a flood, and what to do if your home does flood, you could take precautions that could save you a lot of time, money and distress.

In 2009 around 570,000 houses were thought to be at risk of flooding in England and Wales, and the Environment Agency estimated that this number could rise to a staggering 900,000 in 2035. While it may not be something you have had to worry about before, it could become a concern later on in life, but despite this, many people still do not take the necessary precautions against them.

If your home flooded, the average loss is around £28,000, whereas the average fire damage cost is just over £7,000 and theft costs over £1,000. So what do you need to know about flooding?

Firstly, could your home be at risk from flooding? This is something that is important to find out if you are moving, but can be something you carry out even if you aren’t. Any conveyancing carried out on the property when you move houses should include an Environmental Search, indicating whether there is any potential flood risk. You can also look on the Environment Agency’s website to see areas that could be affected by flooding.

Please note: these maps and vulnerability areas will be based on flooding that occurs from the sea or rivers, and will not include the unpredictable occurrence when drains meet their full capacity.

Preparing for a Flood

If you do feel as though your home is at risk of flooding or you want to take necessary steps to making sure you are prepared for the worst case scenario, then there a few steps you can take to make sure you’re prepared for flooding.


One of the most important factors is finding out your insurance policies for flooding; this is vital if your home is at risk.

Keep Informed

Make regular checks to see if flooding is expected; you can do this by signing up to receive warnings from the Environment Agency’s Flood Warnings Direct service where you will receive a call, text or e-mail to warn you of any potential risks. However, if you aren’t in an area that is classed as being at high-risk you can call the Floodline on 0845 988 1188 or listen to TV and radio news.

Have a Plan

Make sure you have a carefully considered plan in place for the worst case scenario. Think about where you are going to go if it floods, what you are going to do with any pets you have in your home and where you will move your cars to. You should also have a box of important things that you might need, ready to take with you should the worst happen; this can include things such as prescription medication, important numbers (insurance company, Floodline), a torch and blankets.

Disconnecting the Mains

It is also recommended that you disconnect the mains supply of your electricity, gas and water.

Listening to the Warnings

There are numerous warnings that can be put in place if you are at risk of flooding. Therefore, you need to know exactly what these mean so you can start taking the necessary actions.

Flood Watch

Some roads and lower lying areas may be subject to some flooding; this may affect travel plans.

Flood Warning

Local businesses and homes are expected to be affected by flooding. If this is the case you should take the necessary steps to moving pets, cars and other valuables to safety and start protecting your home. For example, move anything valuable or of sentimental value upstairs; e.g. photographs and antique furniture; or if you live in a bungalow, place these on top of tables and other higher items of furniture.

Severe Flood Warning

You will need to prepare your family and yourself for the fact that serious flooding is expected in your area and you will need to start co-operating with the emergency services. When a severe flood warning is put in place this deems that there is a danger to properties and lives, so you will need to evacuate to safety immediately.

Protecting Your Home

While there is no way you can prevent flooding you can take some steps to ensure that there is less damage and severity to the flooding.


If you have a low-lying house or one with a basement, you may find that you are at risk of the sewage system backing up into your home. Installation of non-return valves can help prevent this problem as the valves are closed when backflow occurs; but if you do find your systems backing up, please remember that everything will be contaminated and you will need to seek help from your water board.

Air Bricks

While they are a must in your home, they can also add to the problem if flooding occurs, but you can buy covers that will block the holes if flooding is expected.


You can purchase flood barriers which can be fitted to any size of door without the use of any tools and in less than two minutes, and this prevents water from entering your property. You can also purchase sand bags or Flood Bags, which are sand free but absorb water (up to 20litres) and inflate on contact.


When holes are drilled into the walls to let cables through, these will also let water through, so make sure these are filled in with silicone.

By having these steps in place you could help save your home from thousands of pounds worth of damage.

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