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10 Jan 2024 < Back

Flood protection - Guidance, tips and sources of help


In the wake of Storm Henk, homeowners, businesses and communities have been left grappling with the devestating after effects of nationwide flooding, however this is not an isolated incident. As we have seen throughout December and January, unsettled weather patterns and the impact of numerious storms (Gerrit, Elin, Fergus and Ciaran) have caused devastating flooding for many property owners.

But what exactly can homeowners and businesses do to protect themselves? In this blog post, we explore what you can do if you live in a flood risk area to maintain existing flood defenses, along with other tips you can take to help protect your property. Hopefully, some of the suggestions will help to alleviate the costs and distress for those who may be potentially affected by future floods.

Tips and suggestions for you...

Inspect your brickwork: 
Take a tour around your buildings and make sure your brickwork and mortar are in good condition…especially at lower levels. Look for cracks, damage and likely points of water entry. If you discover damage, get the issues repaired.

Seal all gaps around pipes or wires: 
When inspecting your brickwork, look around the pipework and wires coming into your property.  Make sure they are sealed and that they won't allow water to enter through the drilled holes.

Flood protection doors/barriers: 
If you have them already, ensure that they are in working order and that they still fit correctly and are not damaged.  If you live in a flood risk area and don’t have flood protection doors, then they may be something worth considering.  Alternatively, make sure you have sandbags and sand at the ready.

Check your low level airbricks:  
If you have self-closing airbricks, make sure they work ok and are clutter/debris free. For those without them, consider replacing standard airbricks with ‘self-closing’ alternatives.

Check neighbouring ditches and water courses: 
Look out for blockages, particularly after heavy rainfall and alert the owner if there is a problem.

Invest in ‘non-return valves: 
No one wants sewage in their home. Fitting a ‘non-return valve’ to prevent sewage from going back into your property. For those who have them, make sure they can close ok.  For those that don’t, this is a worthwhile investment.

If you have a pump - check it: 
Pumps are great for evacuating water coming both from beneath and around your property.  Your pump will probably not have been used in a while. Check it works okay. Also, ensure you don't need to rely on electricity to work them. If you don’t have a pump, consider one or a ‘puddle sucker’ Alternatively, research where you can hire one at short notice.

Check external ground levels around your home: 
Make sure they are as low as practicable and slope away from the building.

Be flood aware -  protect yourself & your home

The ‘problem’ with floods is that they come and go from the headlines rather like the extreme rainfall that causes them. Once the water subsides the vast majority of people will forget about them. 

For those affected by floods, it is important to be aware of your flood risk – especially if you live in an area with a history of flood events. Take the time to register with the Environment Agency for live flood alerts.  Also, get to know your flood risk.  You can click on the buttons below to learn about the flood risks in your area.

Sign up for flood alerts >

Know your flood risk >

Other things you may want to consider if you are at risk of flooding

Along with the maintenance and suggested tips above, there are other suggestions we would encourage you to consider, especially if you have been flooded in the past.

  • Be prepared: As mentioned above, take proper precautions such as pre-planning what to do in the event of a flood
  • Property flood reliance: If you have been affected by flooding before, have you considered making your property more flood resilient?  These are solutions you can use to make your home stand up better to flood events. This might sound bizarre, but sometimes it is better to let the water in. Examples of reliance measures include replacing standard wall plaster boards with alternatives that do not absorb/retain water, raising your electrical sockets and considering the use of marine ply or steel to replace the kitchen. To find out more, click on the button below.

More about flood resilience >

Concerned? People who can help you

There are experienced professionals who can undertake a property-level survey, which will involve a physical survey to assess areas such as the level of thresholds and floors, likely points of water entry and the most appropriate methods for managing the level of flood risk in the building.

If you are concerned and it sounds like something you would like to do, you can find qualified local flood prevention and protection specialists local to you. Simply click on the button below and run a search.

Find local flood specialists >



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