Protecting Your Home From Heavy Rain and Flooding

The UK has been subject to more extreme weather conditions in recent years, with summers becoming hotter and rainfall getting heavier. While the warm summers might be welcome, the increased rainfall can be devastating, leading to more frequent and intense flooding that destroys lives, livelihoods and property. Given the increased risks, it’s essential that homeowners and plumbers are aware of the different things they can do to minimise the impact of heavy rain, and reduce the likelihood of flooding in your home.

How to prevent home flooding

Consider: Is my area prone to flooding?

You can use the Environment Agency’s website to check:

  • Whether there are any current flood warnings in your area;
  • Whether your property is at risk of flooding in the next five days;
  • Whether you live in an area that’s likely to flood in the future.

You should also sign up to receive free flood warnings by phone, email or text message. Checking whether your area is particularly prone to flooding will let you know the extent to which you need to prepare. However, even if your area is not prone to flooding, it’s still important to protect your home from heavy rainfall, as it can cause serious damage.

Check your insurance policy

This is particularly important for first-time buyers who are new to home insurance. Most buildings insurance includes flood damage as a standard part of the policy, that will typically cover you for damage up to the rebuild value of your home.

It’s also worth putting a contents insurance policy in place that provides protection against water damage. The amount you’ll receive depends on the type of contents policy you have – ‘New for old’ policies pay out to replace all damaged items with new items, while ‘indemnity cover’ only pays out the value of your possessions before the damage occurred.

Put flood defences in place

A key part of preparing your home for flooding is to put a few suitable defences in place. Placing sandbags or flood bags against external doorways and fitting flood door panels are quick and simple measures you can take. Air brick covers can also prevent water invading through your walls, while toilet seat pans can prevent unwanted water or sewage ingress through a downstairs toilet. We’d also advise you to move all valuables and electrical appliances upstairs if possible, or at least to higher ground.

Create an emergency kit

If extreme weather conditions are forecast, pack a bag that contains all your essential items so you’re able to get out quickly if you need to. Your emergency kit should contain:

  • Any essential medication
  • A first aid kit
  • Drinking water and non-perishable food
  • Wellington boots
  • Essentials for young children and pets
  • Your mobile phone and a charger
  • A torch with extra batteries
  • Details of your insurance policies
  • Blankets
  • Phone numbers for the local council, local emergency services and your insurance company

Regularly check your gutters

One key step you can take to prevent home flooding is to make sure your gutters are clear of leaves and other debris that may have accumulated throughout the year. In heavy rain, this debris prevents the flow of water and can cause your gutters and drains to overflow, which can potentially do serious damage to your home.

Look for early signs of leaky or backed-up plumbing

It’s not just heavy rain that can do damage – sometimes it’s the water that you can’t see that can cause the biggest issues. Clogged gutters, downspouts and drain pipes, full or faulty septic tanks and backed up sewer lines all increase the risk of flooding in your home. Tell-tale signs that you may have a problem include leaky appliances, malfunctioning sinks and showers and water spots on the walls.

Expert assistance to prevent home flooding

At Anglia Drain Doctor, we are experts in drainage and plumbing installation, maintenance and repair across the South East. For more information on how we can help you prepare for heavy rainfall, why not give our team a call – we’d be happy to talk you through the options.