Flooding of your property - 'Flood Resilience':
Whilst 'flood resistance' means taking measures to prevent water entering your home in the first instance, 'flood resilience' means taking measures designed to limit any further damage to your property, once your home has been flooded. Clearly, the main objective is for the home-owners and their family is to return back to normal as soon as possible. Resilience methods are a challenge and can cause disturbance in the home. It is worthwhile implementing flood resilience measures whilst any repairs are being carried out.
We list below a number of 'Flood Resilience' measures:
- Ensure that you fit electrical entertainment devices (speakers, televisions, etc.) to the wall at least 1.5m above the level of the floor.
- It is better to replace fitted carpets and wooden/timber floors with concrete flooring that has a 'damp proof' membrane' (or, alternatively, laminate flooring).
- It is a good idea to install water-resistant materials (i.e. plastic or stainless steel) in bathrooms and kitchens, rather than chipboard.
- A wise measure is to put up specialist flood doors or barriers across any raised floor levels or large openings (for example doors and windows).
- Another measure to help flood resilience is to apply cement-based tanking products to exterior walls or basements.
- Landscaping areas such as driveways and gardens, as this will redirect water away from your home.
Immediate Action in the event of a Flood:
- Execute your Contingency Plan - it may be an idea to make a plan and organise a venue where you and your family (and pets) can stay until it is safe to return to your home. If you need to evacuate your home, turn off your water, gas and electricity supply. Also have emergency provisions accessible and ready to take with you, easily.
- Transfer possessions upstairs - smaller valuables and sentimental items (e.g. family photographs which can be easily damaged by water) should be placed in elevated areas or moved upstairs
- Cover household items/furniture which are not easily moved upstairs; it may be an idea to cover these with waterproof plastic covers or to raise them to a slightly higher level, by placing items such as bricks under them, to try and prevent water from reaching them
It is important to inform your insurer (at the time cover is taken out) of any previous floods and whether your home is at risk of flooding. If your home is near a large open water source, it may be worthwhile contacting your local council to see what preventative measures you can take to protect your home and if there are any flood defences in place.
If you have to vacate your property, here are some important measures to take:
- Note down useful contact information e.g. your neighbours' contact details or the contact details for your local authority, as you may require help whilst you are away .
- Inform your neighbours, and other relevant people, of important information, such as the address of your temporary residence, as well as your contact details.
- Prepare for the worst case scenario, i.e. being away from your property for a significant period of time, as it could take up to a year for your home to become habitable again, if the flooding is severe.
- If you have to leave your home, but cannot arrange alternative accommodation, contact your local authorities as soon as possible as they will be able to guide you through the process and offer support.
- Consult expert advice as to when it will be safe to return to your property.
Your Household Insurance:
If your home has been affected by a flood, you must contact your Insurer, as soon as possible. It is useful to make a list of all the damaged items, as well as the general damage within your home, taking photographs and/or videos so that you have an accurate record of the damage to your home caused by flood. It is important to include as much information as possible for your Insurer to review. If you are a tenant, rather than the home-owner (i.e. you are renting the property), you must contact your Landlord as soon as possible, after the flood, and also contact the Insurer of your home's contents. Once the claim has been reported, your Insurer will send a Loss Adjuster to your property to examine the damage caused by the flood. This information will then be processed in terms of evaluating your claim, including the cost of the repairs to your property which are deemed necessary.
Those who live in a high flood risk area may have difficulty finding insurance cover that is affordable, or even insurers that will be able to offer cover. Flood RE is a re-insurance scheme that enables properties that fall in flood risk areas to have affordable insurance. The scheme offers reassurance that even those with a flood claim, insurance with sufficient cover is attainable.
For more information on what you are covered for in the event of a flood, please contact us on 0208 332 6535.