Protecting your home against flooding

Flooding can absolutely devastate a home and with more than 5.5 million homes in the UK deemed at risk it’s more important than ever to know some basic ways to protect your home.  

York has itself in the past fallen victim to some terrible floods throughout history.  Most recently in 2015 when the Ouse peaked at 5.2 metres above it’s normal level which resulted in 250 people being evacuated from their homes. So, what are some of the ways that we can reduce the damage done to our homes should flooding occur?

Some home owners do go to extraordinary lengths to protect their property, such as Randy Wagner from Texas, USA, who purchased a 400ft plastic dam for $8300 to protect his property from flash flooding. However in general flood protection doesn’t need to be quite as drastic as that and there are number of ongoing small changes that you can make to adapt your home.  

The Environment Agency recommends a number of ways to make your home more “resilient” to flooding and allow you to return to your property quickly after flooding. They include:

  • Raising sockets, fuse  boxes and other electrical wiring at least 1.5m above the floor level of your home
  • Make sure your electrical appliances are also raised off the ground on stilts or stands
  • Opt for flooring which won’t be damaged by water such as tiles
  • Choose furnishings which offer some resistant to water like stainless steel or plastic and avoid permeable materials like chipboard & MDF
  • Use non-return valves on drains and water inlets
  • Use specially made covers on your ventilation bricks
  • Buy purpose-built flood doors and boards, fit water resistant skirting boards  and raise door thresholds
  • Have synthetic or waxed windows installed and varnish them for extra protection
  • Move important and valuable items on to high mounted shelves or to a second floor where possible
  • Dry line walls and use lime-based plaster
  • If you have a basement then fit a pump which can extract flood water

Sadly, no matter how hard you try and how much money you spend flood water can still find its way into your home. However, there are certainly steps that you can take to limit the damage that it causes. Flood warnings provide home owners with vital time to make emergency preparations for a flood, ensuring that all valuables have been stored away high and safe but it’s important that if you live in area that is at a high risk that you take steps to prepare. Click here to read a full guide from the Environment Agency on how to prepare your property for flooding.

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