It’s no secret that flooding is becoming a more common occurrence in the UK. With months’ worth of rain falling in just a matter of hours, we’ve even seen popular London districts tackle the effects of heavier, more frequent rainfall throughout the year.
Flooding can wreak havoc on homes, causing structural damage, destroying possessions, and creating health hazards.
Water infiltration can compromise the integrity of a building's foundation, weaken walls, and damage electrical and plumbing systems.
Where possible, homeowners should raise electrical outlets, switches, and circuit breakers above expected flood levels to prevent water damage to the home's electrical system.
Physical barriers such as sandbags or flood panels can be deployed around the property to redirect or block floodwaters. Permanent flood barriers can also be installed for ongoing protection.
Ensure that you regularly inspect and seal any cracks in the foundation to prevent water seepage. Waterproofing paints and coatings can also be applied to basement walls.
Additionally, by having proper grading around the home this will direct water away from the foundation. You can do this by adjusting the slope of the land or installing up to date drainage systems.
Don’t forget to raise appliances above potential flood levels. This helps protect essential systems from water damage; and if you have wireless security systems in place, you should consider installing flood sensors to alert you when there is a potential risk.
What to do during a flood
In the event of a flood, the safety of yourself and those you live with should be your main priority.
If you are still inside your house when flooding occurs, move upstairs until it passes or until it is safe to go back down.
Emergency services will be on hand to help people evacuate their homes in severe cases. They will relocate you and your household to a safer place until it is safe to return to the property.
Short term solutions
Many people make the mistake of thinking that flooding won’t happen to them, so it’s easy to get caught of guard.
If you know you live in a flooding-prone area or if you want to ensure you are protected for a worst-case scenario, homeowners can use thick plastic sheets to cover any gaps or entry points in the home.
These thick plastic sheets can create a great short term barrier stopping flood water from infiltrating the property. There are even specialist ones available online.
If you’re worried about any belongings, consider moving valuables upstairs (or just off the ground to a higher level).
Make sure that all utilities and electricals are switched off to prevent any further damage to your home. Moving electrical sockets up the wall and fitting outlets with non-return valves are a good way to stop water from getting into your home’s electrical circuit.
If you left your home due to the flooding, check with your local emergency services that it is safe to return to the property. Your house may need a safety inspection before you are able to turn on the electricity, gas, and water.
Document any damages once you are back safely. This is so that you can make your insurance company aware of your situation. Get in touch with them and follow their advice.
To avoid any mould growth, be sure to clean and disinfect all affected areas. Mould can be found in homes where there is damp, or moisture build up.
Furthermore, engaging a building surveyor can provide valuable insights into your property's flood risk and offer guidance on protective measures.
By combining individual efforts with professional expertise, homeowners can better safeguard their homes against the growing threat of flooding.
How can we help?
Our chartered building surveyors do what they do because they want to help people in a time of financial and climate uncertainty, and we know how challenging the threat and affects of flooding can be on the home.
We can conduct comprehensive flood risk assessments on your behalf, providing recommendations for structural improvements and advise on flood-resistant building materials and construction methods.
A Reinstatement Cost Assessment is always recommended to ensure that your home is accurately insured, so that you’re not overpaying or underpaying in the event of a loss. Let us handle the hassle.
Additionally, we will always assist you in obtaining necessary permits for flood mitigation measures and highly suggest a Level 2 or Level 3 building survey for your home so that you can have peace of mind when it comes to things that are out of your control. We want you and your property to be in the best position to tackle the elements.
If you’re looking to buy a new home or if you’re a first time buyer, we’ve also got you covered with our valuation services and pre-acquisition surveys, let us know today and we’ll get right on it.
Who are we?
Sillence Hurn’s Chartered Building Surveyors are RICS qualified with extensive experience of building surveying across London and the South of England.
From advice around feasibility, cost planning, undertaking the work in the current market, specifying works, overseeing and managing the implementation of changes, our chartered building surveyors will be able to identify any upgrades and advise you on the best measures going forward.
Read more about our solutions here:
Email us at email@example.com or call our Southampton team on 02380 014786 / London at 020 3143 2128