If you are unfortunate enough that your property is in an area that could flood, prepare your property well in advance to reduce the risk of flood water getting inside.
Sandbags: contact local builders’ merchants for stocks of bags and sand.
Doors and windows: buy automatic flood-proof doors and windows, or purpose-built flood boards that can be fitted when flooding is expected. Raise door thresholds to help keep shallow water out.
Exterior walls: check the pointing, and apply water-proofing sealant to exterior walls.
Floors: raise damp-proof brick courses. Seal floors or replace wooden flood boards with concrete with a damp-proof membrane. Be aware that water can enter where the floor and walls join.
Air bricks: buy automatic flood-proof air bricks or specially designed covers that are easy to fit over air bricks when flooding is expected.
Drains and pipes: fit non-return valves to drains and water inlet and outlet pipes. This will prevent wastewater from flowing back into the property through sewerage pipes for ground floor toilets and sinks.
Barriers: you could arrange free-standing temporary flood barriers, but remember that water could still get in through the drainage system
Before a flood:
- Find out if you can receive flood warnings
- Prepare and keep a list of all your important contacts
- Think about which items you can move now and which items you would want to move to safety during a flood such as pets, cars, furniture and electrical equipment
- Know how to turn off gas, electricity and water supplies.
During a flood:
- Switch off water, gas and electricity at mains when water is about to enter your home. Do not touch sources of electricity when standing in water
- Fit flood protection products if you have them
- Put plugs in sinks and baths. Weigh them down with a pillowcase or plastic bag filled with soil
- If you do not have non-return valves fitted, plug water inlet pipes with towels or cloths
- Disconnect equipment that uses water, like washing machines and dishwashers.
By being prepared and having a flood plan in place, should help to protect your home this winter.