With the colder and wetter weather setting in and heavy rain starting to fall, the UK is bracing itself for the possibility of another winter of flooding.
Thousands of households faced misery last year when floods and storms battered the country, with some areas shut down for weeks at a time.
With multiple flood warnings likely to be issued over the next few months, thousands of homes may once again be at risk.
In preparation for these adverse conditions, it’s well worth taking steps now to protect your property from the risk of floods.
While you may not be able to make it 100% flood-proof, you can definitely make it more resilient.
Top tips to protect your home from flooding:
Buy flood-resistant UPVC doors
Flood-resistant UPVC doors can reduce the chances of water entering your property. Also fit flood-proof door and window frames, or consider using water-resistant sealant on external walls, doors and windows.
Lay ceramic floors to reduce risk of flood damage
Opt for ceramic or tiled floors, as these are far easier to clean than carpets if water comes in. Fit water-resistant skirting boards.
Raise electrical sockets higher than potential flood water line
Move your downstairs sockets above the likely water line – raising sockets to at least 1.5 metres above ground level should help to limit the damage caused if your home does get flooded.
Also think about installing a wall-mounted TV and placing other appliances on pedestals.
Stock up on sandbags to combat flood damage
If your home is at risk, stock up on sandbags before the weather takes a turn for the worse, as this will help to slow a deep flood’s entry into your home. Sandbags may be available from your council.
Use water-resistant plaster to reduce flood damage risk
If your home needs re-plastering, consider using a waterproof wall coating, such as lime plaster.
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Cover flood-proof air-bricks
Always go for air bricks that are flood-proof - or buy covers to seal them up.
Purchase water pumps to minimise flood damage
Buy water pumps and look into fitting non-returnable valves to drains and pipes to stop waste water from flooding your home.
Invest in a set of flood-gates
Look in to buying flood-gates, as these can help to hold off water threatening to come through the front door or garage.
Make sure your insurance covers flood damage
Take a few moments to read your home insurance policy and check it covers you for flood damage.
Six things to do if you get flooded:
1. Turn off your gas, electricity and water at the mains. Do not enter standing water if the electricity supply is on.
2. Contact your insurer at the earliest opportunity and seek advice from them.
3. Take photos of the damage for your insurer.
4. Bear in mind that flooding can often happen hours or even days after the initial heavy rainfall, so keep an eye on warnings from the Environment Agency.
5. If you are at risk, move as many of your belongings as possible upstairs, along with a survival kit including food, drinks, spare clothes, mobile phones, torch and batteries.
6. Also collect key documentation, including insurance paperwork and helpline numbers in a safe place upstairs.
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