Flash Floods in Suffolk: Advice for Homeowners
Parts of Suffolk recently succumbed to flooding as torrential rain swept across the county. Numerous homeowners in Felixstowe saw their gardens submerged with water and sewage as a result of flash floods caused by heavy rainfall, leaving them stranded in their homes. The rain also left standing water on major roads including the A12 and A14, with motorists warned not to travel unless essential.
With climate change likely to bring more extreme weather to the UK, homeowners in Suffolk should be prepared for further flooding both in the short and long-term. Of course, there is plenty you can do to protect your home from flooding; however, not all protective measures will completely safeguard your property. With that in mind, here is a guide on what to do if your home is flooded.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Before arranging repairs or discarding any damaged items, make sure to get in touch with your insurer. If your buildings and contents insurance cover flood damage, you shouldn’t need to pay for any repair work or replacement items. However, your insurance company will probably require photos or videos of the damage, along with an inventory of your property and contents. If you don’t have insurance, the National Flood Forum might be able to help.
Seek Out Local Support
In the event of serious flooding, your local council may designate a building as a ‘flood hub’, giving them a central place from which to organise recovery efforts. Take a look at your local council’s website, and also check whether there is a nearby flood warden or flood action group who will be able to provide additional support. Again, the National Flood Forum is a good place to start when it comes to finding help locally.
Check It’s Safe to Return Home
If the flooding was so severe that you had to temporarily leave your home, contact the emergency services before you move back in to make sure it’s safe to do so. Your utility providers may also need to carry out a safety inspection before you switch the gas, water and electricity back on. If any of these utilities stopped working for two hours or longer during the flooding, with no prior notice, you could be entitled to compensation. More information on power cuts and water shortages is available on the Citizens Advice website.
Cleaning your home after a flood can be an arduous process, and it’s worth getting advice from a professional if there’s a risk of chemicals being released into the property. However, as a general rule of thumb, you should always wear a facemask, gloves and sturdy footwear during the process, making sure to thoroughly wash your hands if you come into contact with any flood water. Public Health England offers further guidance on how to clean and dry a house after flooding.
Consider Protective Measures
Depending on the scale of the damage, you may need a professional to carry out any post-flooding repair work. This could also be a good time to install some additional defensive measures to lessen the chances of flooding the next time bad weather strikes. Consider moving your power sockets further up the wall, laying tiles instead of carpet, or installing flood-resistant doors and windows. Take a look at our blog for more tips.
From gutter cleaning to septic tank maintenance, Drain Doctor are the experts when it comes to protecting Suffolk homes from flooding. If your home has been flooded, or is at risk of flooding, we will be able to advise on any essential repairs or preventative installations. Get in touch today to find out how we can protect your home.