Flooding in your home or at your business premises can cost you a lot financially, but also inconvenience and heartache. It’s impossible to completely flood-proof your property but there are things you can do to reduce the damage a flood may cause.

Flood Awareness – find out if you’re at risk

  • Ascertain the flood risk to your property – the Environment Agency (EA – England and Wales) and Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) offer an online postcode search to see if your local area is at risk.
  • Find out what flood prevention schemes are available or are planned in your area.
  • Familiarise yourself with the flood warning schemes available from EA and SEPA. Sign up to Flood Warnings Direct from EA to receive warnings by phone, text or email, SEPA offer a similar warning system by phone.
  • Visit the National Flood Forum website which contains a vast amount of useful information and a directory of flood related products.
  • Get specialist advice.

Flood Resistance measures – steps you can take to form a barrier against flood water getting into your property

  • Use of flood barriers/defences e.g. over doors and other openings where water can get in.
  • For basic and emergency protection sandbags or similar alternative products can be used.
  • Air brick covers can be fitted to prevent water entering the property and can be removed when flood waters have receded.
  • Non return valves to drainage systems prevent water backing up into the property.
  • Pump and sump systems can be used to mitigate damage.

Flood Resilience –can reduce the impact of water entering your property and aid the recovery process

  • Raise electrical sockets, fuse boxes, controls and wiring to above likely flood levels. If rewiring, bring cables down the wall to the raised socket so cabling isn’t affected.
  • Consider more flood resistant flooring such as concrete with tiles instead of carpet.
  • Use more water resistant plaster on walls or on part of the wall.
  • Use of flood proof materials e.g. plastic skirtings, stainless steel, solid wood or plastic fixtures/fittings or even removable fixtures/fittings at vulnerable levels.
  • Where possible, relocate more vulnerable items to upper floors, otherwise raise as much as possible above likely flood levels.

If you’re going to make permanent changes to protect your property against flooding, we strongly recommend that you seek professional advice from a building surveyor, architect or other professional.