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Flood and Water

It is estimated that up to 1 in 6 homes in the UK are at risk from both inland and coastal flooding. Floods can occur when severe weather conditions and excessive rainfall causes rivers and oceans to swell and surge, resulting in water-overflow engulfing surrounding areas and properties, resulting in devastating damage to homes and possessions

The destructive floods in the year 2000, occurred when exceptionally high levels of rain fell in the UK, the highest levels recorded since records began. Despite the government's Environment Agency spending many millions of pounds each year on flood defences, many environmental scientists predict increasing rainfall and adverse weather conditions due to the impact of climate change.

Floods and subsequent water damage are almost impossible to prevent but property owners can take a few simple steps to help reduce damage to homes and possessions if a flood does occur.

The Environment Agency issues flood warnings and has a dedicated flood helpline for current updates and advice. It is advisable to keep a battery powered radio and have the telephone number stored for current flood warnings and information.

Prevention is better than cure

Drains, pipes and gutters should be properly maintained, as any blockages could result in water damage to a property if rainfall is excessive. Roof tiles should be in good condition and secure, as loose or missing tiles are prone to significant rainfall leaking into a property. Cold weather and frost damage (link to frost damage) can also cause pipes to crack and leak, resulting in household floods.

If a property is in an flood risk area, it is advisable to refit electrical sockets above ground level.

Sandbags and protective covers for airbricks and vents, are available from specialist suppliers and even local councils. It is advisable to have these in storage, if a property is in a high risk area.

What to do if there is a Flood

If a flood does occur, electricity, gas and water supplies should be turned off, however electrical supplies should never be touched if you are standing in flood water, due to extreme risk of electrocution.

Sinks and baths can be plugged and then weighed down, to help prevent the surge of water rising up through pipes and drains.

People and pets should be moved upstairs, or to a higher level. If there is time, valuables and important documents could also be taken above stairs.

It is important to safely evacuate all people from the property if necessary.

Floods and water damage can cause devastating damage to homes and possessions. Returning to a property that has been affected by flooding must be done safely and with care. Structural damage may have occurred and there is a high risk of electrocution and pollution, as high water levels can cause sewerage pipes to overflow.

The process of drying out a property before carrying out repairs can be a lengthy and specialist operation. If a building is not fully dry, further damp complications are likely to arise in the future, causing further property damage and disruption.

 

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