LETTING & ESTATE AGENT

Flood protection for homes: Prevention ideas for your property

Flood protection for homes: Prevention ideas for your property

UK winters are something of a mixed bag these days. Heavy rainfall and potential snow can cause major flooding issues for your home.

But there are steps homeowners and landlords can take to protect their properties from flooding. Here are some things you can do...


FLOOD WARNING SYSTEM

Other than the obvious technique of watching from your window as heavy rain or snow falls for days on end, signing up to the Environment Agency's (EA) flood warning system can help you prepare in advance for extreme weather.

The EA manages flooding risk from the sea, estuaries and main rivers, including the River Blackwater near Camberley.


FIX YOUR PROPERTY'S WEAKNESSES

The best prevention is cure. Tackling your home's potential weak points before they are tested is the best way to protect your property from flooding.

Seek out cracks or leaks and clean out guttering clearly. This is especially important at this time of year following the autumn fall.

It can also be worth bringing in a roofing expect to check for leaks or cracked tiles.


USE MODERN FLOOD PROTECTION PRODUCTS

While sandbags and plastic sheeting are great in a flooding emergency, long term prevention is best when using modern techniques and products to protect your home from flooding.

Some of these products include:

  *  Sealants and other water resident barriers

  *  Self-sealing airbricks

  *  Flood protection doors and windows

As well as these techniques, those living in areas at a high risk of flooding should consider fitting stainless steal kitchen units rather than wood and limiting the amount of carpet on the ground floor.


PROTECT YOUR ELECTRICAL DEVICES

The devastation of water in your home is not just restricted to the property itself.

Your belongings are also at risk. When it comes to expensive electrical equipment such as televisions and home cinema systems, try to fix these in an elevated position at least 1.5 metres off the floor.

Sockets can also be moved higher, although this comes at a cost. Whether it's your own items of sentimental value or those of your tenants in the case of landlords, ensure they are stored safely away from the ground floor.

It goes without saying, also, to ensure your contents are insured against flood damage should the worst happen.


PLAN FOR FLOODING

If you are a landlord, ensure your tenants know what to do in the event of a flooding scenario.

They should have instructions on how to create temporary water resistance with sandbags, how to evacuate the property and who to contact in the event of a flooding emergency.

They should also avoid attempting to clear up once the water has subsided. Photographic evidence of water damage is often needed for any insurance claims.


CHECK YOUR INSURANCE

As well as making sure you have both contents and buildings insurance in place (tenants are responsible for contents insurance in rental properties), make sure you know what your policy protects you against when it comes to flooding.

Those living in high risk areas will often see higher premiums, but that additional spend is nothing compared with owning an uninsured property hit by flood water.