Flooding is on the increase in many parts of the UK. It's not just water, but the overflow from drains that damage your property in the event of a flood. If your property is at risk, you want to do all you can to protect it. So we've listed some flood prevention measures that should help minimise the structural and non-structural damage to your home.
A surveyor should be able to tell you the precise level of flood risk to your home, plus the areas that are particularly at risk. If you feel you need to make major changes following a survey, Which? Trusted Traders can help you find an accredited builder in your local area.
Protection measures for homes at risk of flooding
Non-return valves: install non-return, one-way drainpipe valves. Using a hinged door, these valves allow water to go out but block any water coming in.
Air bricks: upgrading your air bricks to automatic air bricks will help to ensure that flood water can’t get into your house through external vents. These bricks work in a similar way to non-return valves – preventing any water from getting into the house, whilst still allowing air to come in.
Electrical sockets: when flood-proofing your home, you should re-wire your electrical sockets to ensure that they are at least 1.5m above ground level.
Electrical appliances: as well as raising your electrical sockets, you should also raise your electrical appliances off the floor –this can be done by using plinths or by mounting them to the wall.
Important documents: always ensure that any important documents such as your insurance policies, passport, bank details, and sentimental photographs are locked up in a secure, waterproof place.
Sandbags: if your property is at risk of flooding, ensure that you have a good supply of sandbags to hand. Your local council should have a stockpile of them, but you can also source them yourself from builder’s merchants.
Shelving: install high shelves to store valuable items so that, in the event of flooding, they are away from the water.
Wooden floors and carpets: replace wooden floors and carpets with damp-proof membranes and ceramic tiles. Be particularly careful to seal around the points where the walls join the floor. You can also add rugs, as these will be quick and easy to move away in the event of a flood warning.
Internal doors: quick release internal doors are designed to let you easily lift them off their hinges and move them out of the way in the event of a flood. This protects them from water damage and you can put them back into place afterwards. Alternatively, you can fit synthetic or waxed doors to resist the floodwater.