Preparing your Property for Storms and Floods

This summer has been a wash out in many places around the UK. Add to that the unpredictable weather the country has been facing in recent years, with rising storms and flooding, and a lot of people are worried about how to prepare their property for these extreme conditions.

Every year, countless homeowners in the UK face the devastating consequences of heavy rains, storms and floods. The problem is now so widespread, the UK Government has produced a guide to preparing your property for flooding. Further information is also available at The Flood Hub.

Here are some ideas for things to consider when getting prepared for storms and floods:

1. Sign up for flood warnings

You can sign up for UK flood warnings via YouGov. It’s important to make sure your details are up to date, especially if your contact numbers or email address has changed recently. You can also check information relating to longer-term flood risk areas here.

2. Assess your drains

Check your drains and gutters are free from debris, leaves or blockages. Blocked or inadequate drainage systems, poor grading, and improper runoff management can exacerbate storm and flood problems. Identifying any issues early on and getting professional help is a good start to being prepared.

3. Implementing smart drainage solutions:

Next, consider upgrading to smart drainage solutions, such as French drains, rainwater harvesting, permeable pavements, and dry wells, which can efficiently manage rainwater runoff and reduce the risk of flooding.

Storms can cause considerable damage to your property’s roof and siding. Prioritise regular maintenance to ensure the roof is free from leaks and secure loose shingles promptly. Consider installing storm-resistant siding that can withstand high winds and heavy rainfall.

4. Protecting against flood damage

According to the UK Homeowner’s Alliance, it’s impossible to completely flood-proof your property, but there are a number of things you can do to prepare for, and minimise, flood damage:

  • Stock up on sandbags. 
  • Fit air brick covers. 
  • Fit non-return valves on drains and pipes.
  • Mount high shelves for storing valuable items.
  • Raise your household appliances.
  • Protect valuables with sealable bags.
  • Fit quick release internal doors.
  • Fit water-resistant skirting boards.
  • Seal exterior walls.
  • Landscaping your outside areas in order to divert water away from the building.
  • Fit flood-resistant doors and windows.

6. Managing water with Sustainable Drainage Systems

Sustainable Drainage Systems, or SuDs, can alleviate the pressure on traditional drainage systems during heavy rainfall, preventing flooding and safeguarding properties and infrastructure. For example, rain gardens offer functional benefits by managing stormwater runoff whilst also adding beauty to the landscape. These eco-friendly gardens can absorb excess rainwater, prevent waterlogging and reduce the strain on drainage systems.

7. Emergency preparedness plan:

Having an emergency preparedness plan is crucial for any property owner. Create a detailed plan that includes evacuation routes, emergency contacts and a list of essential supplies to have ready. The UK Government has prepared two documents to help the public plan what to do in the event of flooding.

8. Check your insurance

Most standard home insurance policies will cover storm damage, however some insurers may be unwilling to cover you if you live in a location susceptible to flooding. Others will cover you but may decide to set higher premiums on your home insurance payments. Check with your insurance provider to be sure of your circumstances.

You can also check the recently launched Flood Re scheme, into which all UK home insurers must pay so that there’s enough funds to cover those affected by floods. To be eligible for this scheme, your home must have been built before 2009 and be in council bands A to H.

If your home content or buildings insurance is up for renewal or you’re moving into a new home, the best thing to do is speak to your insurance provider or a broker who can help you find the right cover for you.

Ask the experts

Preparing your property for storms and floods by using efficient drainage solutions is an important step towards minimising water damage to your property. By addressing drainage problems before any bad weather hits, and investing in reinforcements for vulnerable areas, you can create a more resilient property.

Premier Drainage Solutions has over 40 years’ experience in drainage solutions. If you’d like to know more about drainage systems, or if you have any questions about managing surface water, implementing SuDs, or setting up runoff systems, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

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