Norfolk Flood Warnings: How to Protect Your Home

Adverse weather conditions have recently led to some parts of the Norfolk coast being evacuated. On Tuesday 1 October, the Environment Agency issued evacuation notices for Hunstanton, Snettisham, and Heacham, with high winds expected to bring a tidal surge and severe flooding to the county’s coastal communities.

Fortunately, a change in wind direction meant the areas escaped unharmed, but with the UK likely to see more extreme weather in years to come, it’s never been more important to protect your home from flooding. With that in mind, here are Drain Doctor’s essential tips for flood-proofing your property.

Make a flood plan

Creating a flood plan for your home is an essential first step when it comes to protecting it from flooding. Without a plan in place, your home will be ill-prepared in the event of extreme weather, putting it at high risk of severe flood damage. Download a personal flood plan template from the government’s website and make sure everyone in your house knows where to find it should flood warnings be issued for your area.

Sign up for flood warnings

The Environment Agency website will tell you whether your home is at risk of flooding imminently or within the next five days, and whether it’s located in an area that is likely to flood in the future. This will help you assess your short-term and long-term risk of flooding. You can also sign up for flood warnings via phone, email or text message and check the flooding history of a property, which is useful when moving into a new house.

Check your insurance policy

Sometimes even the best flood defences can’t protect a home from flooding – which is why it pays to have a watertight insurance policy. Flood damage is covered by most buildings insurance and will usually cover you for damage up to the rebuild value of your home. It’s also worth taking up a contents insurance policy that offers protection against water damage, ensuring all valuable items in your home are covered in the event of flooding.

Consider installing a water pump

If your home is flooded, you’ll want to remove the water from the property as quickly as possible to minimise any damage. Many commercial and industrial properties have water pumps installed in their basements, which automatically detect flood or wastewater and pump it out of the premises into the sewer system. If your home happens to have a basement, a water pump could be a worthwhile and cost-effective addition.

Put other flood defences in place

A flood plan will usually cover the protective measures that need to be taken in the likely event of flooding. While it’s always a good idea to stock up on sandbags and plastic sheeting, they only tend to work as a short-term fix. There are plenty of long-term solutions available nowadays, from flood-resistant doors and windows to self-sealing air bricks and covers, all of which provide long-lasting protection against flooding.

Keep an eye on your gutters

A sudden spell of extreme weather isn’t the only cause of flooding in a home. If you don’t regularly check your gutters, they will gather leaves and other debris throughout the year. Any rainwater will then settle in the gutter and eventually overflow, putting your home in danger of flooding. Unless you’re confident scaling a high ladder, you should consider asking a professional to clean your gutters at least twice a year.

Look after your drains

Cleaning the drains may not be part of your regular household routine, but prevention is always better than cure, especially if there’s a risk of flooding. A biological cleaning product or combination of vinegar and baking soda should be enough to clear the chemicals and bacteria that build up on the inside of pipes, as well as any other minor blockages. If you have a septic tank, make sure you empty it regularly to stop wastewater flooding your home.

With autumn in full swing, homeowners in Norfolk should already be taking the necessary measures to protect their property against the elements. If you need a hand safeguarding your home from flooding, get in touch with Drain Doctor today. Our technicians will be able to advise on the best solutions for your home, and will happily conduct a cost-effective CCTV drain survey to identify any issues that could lead to further problems down the line.