Getting back to normal after a flood

Getting back to normal after a flood

After a flood: making your home more resistant to flooding

Customers tell us that one of the worst things about floods is that they’re out of their homes for months, causing disruption to their family life, work, school and leisure activities. But there are things you can do to help minimise the damage that floods can cause. These are known as resistant and resilient measures. 

Flood resistant measures – helping to prevent water from entering the property

  • Non-return valves – if you’re carrying out any plumbing repairs, non-return valves in drainage pipes and on waste water systems will prevent sewage backing up into your premises.

  • Fit airbricks with removable covers –put them on during the flood, but remember to remove them afterwards to help drying.

  • Seal gaps in external walls around electrical and phone entry points or piping with water resistant materials such as silicone.

  • Install flood gates on external doors or windows.

It’s important to remember that flood resistant measures can only do so much. If floodwater is deep or prolonged, it may be safer to allow water to enter the property to prevent further structural damage from water pressure build-up.

Flood resilient measures – helping to limit the damage caused by flood water

  • Use waterproof sealant on external walls and water resistant paint on internal walls.

  • Replace timber floors with solid floors and cover with tiles. Tiled floors with rugs that can be moved will suffer less damage in a flood than carpet.

  • Raise kitchen units on legs or replace chipboard kitchen and bathroom units with plastic, steel or solid wood.

  • Fit water-resistant door and window frames and replace usual plaster with a water-resistant version such as lime plaster or cement render.

  • If possible, move expensive electrical equipment to a higher level. Boilers, for example, can be wall mounted or moved to higher floors to reduce the possibility that they may be damaged in a flood.

  • Raise electrical points above likely flood levels and use denser concrete screeds on concrete floors.

  • Protect wall joists by installing a chemical damp-proof course below the joist level to limit water seeping upwards and damaging the rest of the house.

  • Mount TVs on walls and move other valuable items onto higher shelves.

  • Consider installing separate heating and electrical circuits for upper floors.

  • Keep sentimental items and important documents upstairs.

  • Place white goods on raised plinths.

  • Install a sump pump to remove water.

You should seek specialist advice about resilient measures, so speak to your insurer. For more information, contact the National Flood Forum

If you live in a high risk area or you’re worried about flooding, check with your local authority about what flood protection measures are in place in your area.





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