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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

U.K. homes at risk as flooding continues

By Sally Marsh

As news broke that 2012 is expected to be the ninth warmest year on record and scientists evaluate the effects this may have on global warming and related issues, the UK was being faced with severe flooding across the country. At one point in November, The Environment Agency had some 196 flood warnings in place and in excess of 230 flood alerts. The north-east was the most affected by the flooding whilst the River Severn reached the highest peak since the mass flooding of 2007. 

The question this brings about is how to best protect one's property from flood damage. Advanced measures are usually the best. The purchase and installation of flood products may reduce and even safeguard the property and its contents from flood damage. There are various measures which can be put in place in advance to prevent flood damage.

Raising door thresholds can stop shallow water entering the building. The installation of purpose-built boards against doors and low windows can further reduce the chances of water entering the building. Raising damp-proof courses and sealing floors can prevent water rising from the ground. Fitting non-return valves to drains and water inlets and outlet pipes is another useful precaution, while pumps fitted within under-floor voids and basements can extract water when it is present.

Reducing the risk of damage within the property is equally important. High mounted shelving for valuables and wall mounted audio and television equipment can reduce the damage that occurs in the event of flooding. Moreover, replacing doors, windows, kitchen and bathroom furniture with water resistant equivalents and raising any electrical appliances and sockets can be a wise thing to do if you feel that your property might one day be at risk of flooding.

This list is not extensive, but care should be taken to make the property as resilient as possible to flooding in order to avoid and reduce damage to the building and content as well as the associated costs. When purchasing products, ensure that they are constructed in accordance with national quality standards. Furthermore, it is important to be up-to-date with the latest flood alerts to allow sufficient time to put the relevant temporary measures in place.

When the nation is subjected to a prolonged bout of heavy rain, there is always the risk that rivers will overflow, flooding residential areas. There is little we can do to prevent this, but we can prepare so that the impact is minimised.

About the author: This article was written by Sally Marsh, a landlord with a keen interest in landlord insurance.