What to do when your home floods
Find out more about Flood Re, get tips and take a look at how it affects your home insurance premium.
We know how stressful it can be if your home floods, but help is out there. Here are our practical tips on what you can do...
Firstly, try to remain calm. We know how stressful it can be if your home floods, but help is out there – and of course, the most important thing is that you are safe.
It may not seem quite as simple as this at the time, but your belongings can be replaced or restored. And although it may take a while before life gets back to normal, the important thing is that it will eventually become less traumatic.
Take practical steps
As soon as you can, contact your insurer and let them know what’s happened. If you need temporary accommodation, be clear about where you are and what you actually need.
Make a list and take pictures of anything that’s damaged – it will help your insurer to process any claim you make. They will handle any cleaning, drying and repairs to your property as soon as practically possible.
Move any furniture on to blocks to keep it out of the water if possible, and open windows while someone’s at home to let the moisture out as well as the water.
- Don’t be tempted to leave your home ‘open’ if nobody’s there. Making sure it’s secure is just as important as making sure things start to dry out.
How to make a claim with us
For Aviva home insurance: Go to our home claim page to find out how to claim online. Alternatively, call us on 0345 030 6945 (lines open 24 hours).
The cost of calls to 03 prefixed numbers are charged at national call rates (charges may vary dependent on your network provider) and are usually included in inclusive minute plans from landlines and mobiles.
For our joint protection, telephone calls may be recorded and/or monitored
After a flood…
The Environment Agency have some advice for cleaning up your home following flooding:
- Stay safe. If your electricity isn’t already switched off at the mains, get a qualified person to do that. Never touch sources of electricity whilst standing in flood water.
- Keep it hygienic. Flood water can contain sewage, chemicals and animal waste. Always wear waterproof outerwear including wellington boots, rubber gloves and a face mask.
- What lies beneath? There may be dangers lurking in the water such as sharp objects and raised manhole covers so be careful.
- Get pumping. You can drain water using a pump and generator. Position the generator outside in the open air as generators produce carbon monoxide fumes which can kill.
- Check water levels. Only pump water out once the flood levels outside start to be lower than inside your property. This reduces the risk of structural damage.
- Choose your equipment wisely. A garden hose is useful for washing down but avoid high pressure hoses as they can blast contaminated matter into the air.
- Ask your council for help. Local councils can usually provide skips and extra rubbish collections for items that your insurance company has agreed you can throw away.
If you don’t have insurance…
There is help out there. Contact your local authority for information on grants or charities that may help you. There are contractors who specialise in the recovery and restoration of property following a flood but be aware there are also some unscrupulous workmen who may offer you a cheap and immediate solution at a time when you are feeling vulnerable.
- Always check contractors’ experience and reputation. They should be professional technicians experienced in water damage recovery and restoration.
- Get a specialist opinion and cost estimate from contractors. It may be cheaper for you to get some items restored rather than replaced.
- Ensure flood resilient measures are considered in any repairs (e.g. moving electrical sockets up or fitting water preventative air brick covers).
Where else can I go for help?
Here are some of the professional bodies that can give you further flooding advice and put you in touch with experts such as property surveyors.
The Environment Agency
0345 988 1188
British Damage Management Association (BDMA)
07000 843 236
The National Flood Forum
The Flood Protection Association
The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors