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Protecting your home from floods: Resistance

Protecting your home from floods: Resistance

Unfortunately, an increase in severe weather over the last few years has seen flooding become more common. Whilst you may appear to be solely at the mercy of rising water levels, there are a few things you can do to reduce the impact on your home, and state of mind

Flood protection comes in two major flavours– flood protection and flood resilience. Resistance helps stop water getting into your home, whilst resilience aims to reduce the damage water does if it gets in. In this article, we will focus on resistance (click here for more information on flood resilience).

Knowledge is key

Firstly, to be forewarned is to be forearmed. Most flood resistance measures depend on you being home to take action, so consider signing up to the Environment Agency’s Floodline Warnings Direct service or install water sensors installed which detect rising water and would allow an early warning for you to get to your property and deploy your defences.

Include resistance measures when remodelling

Some flood resistance measures result in quite a lot of upheaval, so it makes sense to install these while other work is being done. These include:

  • Removable barriers for doors and windows
  • Temporary seals for doors and air bricks
  • One-way valves on toilets and drainage pipes to decrease the risk of sewage backing up into a building during a flood
  • Pump and sump systems which drain water from below floor level faster than it rises.

Plan ahead

Some routine maintenance and planning can reduce the impact of flooding on your family:

  • Make a flood plan, so you know where you, your family & pets can stay until the danger passes. You may want to consider packing blankets, clothes, food & water, as well as emergency phone numbers or keeping duplicate copies of documents with family or friends who are not at risk of flooding.
    Make sure you know where to turn off your electricity, gas and water supplies.
  • Check your drains and guttering
    Debris and leaves that block drains and guttering around your house are the most likely causes of flash flooding. A few minutes making sure your drains are clear and flowing freely could make a big difference. Call in a professional to mend leaky or broken gutters if you don’t feel comfortable mending them yourself.
  • If you notice that public drains in your street are not clearing and appear to be blocked, notify the water board as soon as possible
  • Know where to get sandbags – Most councils will provide sandbags free of charge. Check the local council website for details, or pick some up from your nearest hardware or DIY store.

If flooding looks imminent:

  • Move belongings upstairs – place items that are likely to be easily damaged higher up in a room, or upstairs.
  • Protect furniture – bulky furniture that can’t be taken upstairs can be raised on bricks/ pallets Special waterproof bags can also be used to protect possessions should water gain entry; these can be large enough to puts sofas in! Wrapping chair and table legs in waterproof plastic bags and elastic bands to cover chair and table legs will help resist low level flooding.

For more information on flood resilience or what do if you’re flooded, please check out the other articles in this series.


Published 6 March 2017