Did you know 5.2 million homes in the UK are at risk of flooding? Given the average cost of repairs for flood damage can be up to £50,000, it’s vital you take steps to prevent your home from flooding.
Knowing ahead what to do before and during a flood can help reduce damage and risk. Both the EA and the National Flood Forum also offer good guidance.
How to improve the flood resilience of your home
Check if you are at risk of flooding and if you are eligible for a PFR grant to protect your home from flooding.
If you are at high risk of flooding, don't ignore it! Take the following steps to improve the flood resilience of your home and minimise potential damage - and expenses - should you face flooding in the future
Sign up for free Flood Warnings on the go from the
- Met Office - this service will alert you whenever the Met office emit a weather warning for your area, and the
- Environment Agency - this service is applicable to anyone who lives near a main river and may be at risk of river flooding. You’ll be alerted by phone, email or text whenever significant rainfall may be on the way.
Purchase covers for air bricks
Air bricks contain holes which allow fresh air to circulate within cavity walls, however they're usually positioned low to the ground and allow flood water to enter homes very easily. Air brick covers screw or snap onto the front of air bricks when a flood is imminent to prevent water from entering.
Install flood board fixtures on doorways
Flood boards are temporary barriers fitted to doorways to block the flow of water. Often, fixtures for flood boards are fitted permanently to the walls around a doorway so that the boards themselves can quickly and easily be fixed or slotted into place when a flood is imminent. A flood board may only keep water out of a property for a limited amount of time, but can buy you time to move electricals and valuables somewhere safe before water enters the property.
4. Raise electrical circuits
By raising the height of your home's electrical circuits above potential flood level, you can prevent your home's electrical system from being damaged in the event of a flood. Plus, you'll minimise the risk of electric shock during or after a flood by protecting electrical circuits against exposure to water. Keep in mind that you should always disconnect your property's electrical supply if flooding is forecasted, regardless of whether your electrical circuits have been raised.
5. Use traditional building materials
Traditional materials tend to be more resilient to flood damage than modern materials. Chipboard, laminate and other composite wood materials swell, warp and degrade more easily than solid wood. Lime plaster is permeable and allows walls to dry out far more easily than modern gypsum plaster which tends to retain moisture and degrade quickly when exposed to water. Tiled floors recover very easily compared to vinyl, laminate or carpeted floors which usually require complete replacement after flooding.
6. Invest in temporary flood barriers
Temporary flood barriers are portable systems that can be set up around the perimeter of the home when the risk of flooding is high. They can then be folded up or dismantled when not in use. These are useful for homeowners who are susceptible to flooding on a regular basis. Keep in mind that they do require a reasonable amount of storage space, so you'll need a garage or shed.
If you live in a CDA, or have been flooded before you may be eligible for Property Flood Resilience (PFR) grant which will cover some of the flood prevention strategies mentioned above.