Take note of your property's flood risk warning

24 February 2014

Robin King, Director of Move with Us, the residential property experts, advises homeowners on the importance of flood risk surveys and the best ways to protect their home against water damage:
“The number of floods witnessed in Britain has increased dramatically over the last ten years and subsequently it’s becoming more important than ever for home owners to look at the flood risks that properties might be prone to. Flash floods happen across the UK when drainage systems can’t cope with any more water, so it’s not just homes located near rivers and seas which could be at risk.
Many current home owners ignored the flood warnings that their solicitor found when carrying out searches on their property. Even fewer prospective buyers do their own research to expose whether the house they are considering buying is in a flood zone, despite this only taking a few clicks on the Environment Agency website. 
In Britain’s increasingly unpredictable weather conditions, these warnings need to be taken much more seriously. As we have seen in the last couple of weeks, flood damage to homes can cost thousands of pounds in repairs and can take up to a year to complete. Not to mention the stress of having to deal with the aftermath of the floods and the cleaning up process.
When considering buying a property which is located in a flood zone, buyers should contact insurance companies to find out if their premiums will be significantly higher due to potential flooding or if their home will be covered at all. They should also factor in the cost of making alterations to the home in order to safeguard it from flooding. 
Home owners already living in potential flood zones should seriously consider making improvements to increase the chances of the property being able to deal with flooding as this likely to be a lot cheaper than the cost of cleaning up.”
Here are Robin’s top 10 tips on how to best protect your home against flood damage:
1. Purchase flood-resistant UPVC doors as these can reduce the chances of water entering your property. 
2. Lay ceramic tiles on the ground floor which are easier to clean than carpets. 
3. Use rugs instead of fitted carpets.  Rugs can be removed without much effort in case of flooding and they are also cheaper to replace than fitted carpets if they get ruined. 
4. Raise the height of electrical sockets to at least 1.5 metres above ground floor level as this can limit the damage caused by water ingress.
5. Fit stainless steel, plastic or solid wood kitchens instead of chipboard ones which are not as durable.
6. Put the main parts of a heating or ventilation system, like a boiler, upstairs or raised well above the ground floor.
7. Fit non-return valves to all drains and water inlet pipes, which only allow water to flow one way.
8. Replace wooden window frames and doors with man-made ones like UPVC which are easier to clean.
9. Install flood resistant air bricks in place of existing vents.
10. Purchase sandbags and store them in your garage so you can access them quickly.

Robin King, Director of Move with Us, the residential property experts, advises homeowners on the importance of flood risk surveys and the best ways to protect their home against water damage:

“The number of floods witnessed in Britain has increased dramatically over the last ten years and subsequently it’s becoming more important than ever for home owners to look at the flood risks that properties might be prone to. Flash floods happen across the UK when drainage systems can’t cope with any more water, so it’s not just homes located near rivers and seas which could be at risk.

Many current home owners ignored the flood warnings that their solicitor found when carrying out searches on their property. Even fewer prospective buyers do their own research to expose whether the house they are considering buying is in a flood zone, despite this only taking a few clicks on the Environment Agency website.

In Britain’s increasingly unpredictable weather conditions, these warnings need to be taken much more seriously. As we have seen in the last couple of weeks, flood damage to homes can cost thousands of pounds in repairs and can take up to a year to complete. Not to mention the stress of having to deal with the aftermath of the floods and the cleaning up process.

When considering buying a property which is located in a flood zone, buyers should contact insurance companies to find out if their premiums will be significantly higher due to potential flooding or if their home will be covered at all. They should also factor in the cost of making alterations to the home in order to safeguard it from flooding.

Home owners already living in potential flood zones should seriously consider making improvements to increase the chances of the property being able to deal with flooding as this likely to be a lot cheaper than the cost of cleaning up.”

Here are Robin’s top 10 tips on how to best protect your home against flood damage:

1. Purchase flood-resistant UPVC doors as these can reduce the chances of water entering your property. 

2. Lay ceramic tiles on the ground floor which are easier to clean than carpets. 

3. Use rugs instead of fitted carpets.  Rugs can be removed without much effort in case of flooding and they are also cheaper to replace than fitted carpets if they get ruined. 

4. Raise the height of electrical sockets to at least 1.5 metres above ground floor level as this can limit the damage caused by water ingress.

5. Fit stainless steel, plastic or solid wood kitchens instead of chipboard ones which are not as durable.

6. Put the main parts of a heating or ventilation system, like a boiler, upstairs or raised well above the ground floor.

7. Fit non-return valves to all drains and water inlet pipes, which only allow water to flow one way.

8. Replace wooden window frames and doors with man-made ones like UPVC which are easier to clean.

9. Install flood resistant air bricks in place of existing vents.

10. Purchase sandbags and store them in your garage so you can access them quickly.

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