Protect your property against flooding

Published: 03/12/2012

As heavy rain remains a very real threat for thousands of homeowners throughout England and Wales, it is essential those at risk do everything they can to minimise the potential damage.

It is estimated that 1.7m homes in England are at risk from river or coastal flooding, while many more are susceptible to flash floods.

While no one wants to think about flooding, if you are one of those at risk properties it is important that you take the necessary steps and protect your property as much as possible.

The Environmental Agency’s tips on preparing for a flood and what to do in the event of one:

  • Opt for ceramic tiles instead of fitted carpets on your ground floors
  • Position electrical sockets at least 1.5m above ground level
  • Use lime plaster instead of gypsum on walls
  • When considering a kitchen, stainless steel or plastic ones are more flood-proof than chipboard
  • Position the main parts of your heating and ventilation systems upstairs or, at least, in a high cupboard
  • Fit non-return valves to all drains and water inlet pipes
  • Replace any wooden windows and door frames with synthetic ones.

Properties in flood-risk areas

As we currently witness the devastating effects of flooding, many homeowners are not only facing this threat but also great uncertainty surrounding home insurance.

Up to 200,000 properties could be left uninsured when a “gentleman’s agreement” between the insurance industry and the Government ends in June 2013. The Prime Minister is, however, confident a deal will be done and is personally involved in the negotiation.

Buying a flood-risk property

Unlike many solicitors, Goldsmith Williams automatically run an environmental search. If the results reveal the property is within the vicinity of a floodplain, we then order a flood risk report, a copy of which is sent to the client.

We advise them to provide a copy to their insurer to ensure that the correct cover is given and the property is adequately insured.

What's more, if the flood report reveals a moderate to high risk of surface or ground water flooding, a copy is also sent to the lender requesting confirmation that they are happy to proceed. That way all bases are covered.

Content correct at time of publication

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