With all the heavy rain recently, it’s worth making sure you’ve got house insurance that gives you adequate cover just in case your home becomes a victim of the wet weather. With millions of properties across the UK at risk of flooding from rivers, surface water or the sea, the chances of you, or someone you know, being at risk is high. Water damage can be devastating, not only to your possessions, but also to the structure of your property.
If you live in an area that’s prone to flooding, you may not be able to get cover from all providers. Have a look at house insurance quotes online to see if you can get covered.
While you can never completely protect your home from flooding, there are plenty of things you can do to prepare – and reduce the damage floods can cause. Here are 10 tips for guarding your home against flood damage:
Tip 1: Be prepared
As a homeowner, it's important to know whether your property is at risk of flooding. When severe weather is forecast, it's wise to check with the Environment Agency's Floodline on 0845 988 1188. They issue warnings and updates on areas likely to flood so you can take action if needed.
Tip 2: Keep sand handy
If flooding is a possibility, keep a stock of sandbags in the garage or shed to help prevent rising waters coming into your house through the doors.
Tip 3: Clear the basement
Homes with cellars or basements are particularly vulnerable to internal damage from floodwater. If there’s a flood risk, keep any rooms that are below ground level free of valuables and soft furnishings.
Tip 4: Move upstairs
As soon as you know a flood’s on its way, move all valuable items, including electrical equipment, to an upper floor.
Tip 5: Pull the plug
Before the water hits, (never touch electrical appliances near water) unplug any large appliances that can't be moved upstairs, such as washing machines or cookers. If you have to evacuate your home before it’s flooded turn off the electricity at the mains to reduce the risk of shock or fire. You may also want to contact your gas supplier to discuss whether it needs to be turned off.
Tip 6: Plan for your pets
Move outdoor pets, such as rabbits and guinea pigs, into your home, and keep dogs and cats safely inside. If possible, it's a good idea to ask friends or relatives who are not affected to look after your animals.
Tip 7: Up on the roof
Flooding isn’t the only damage caused by wet weather. High winds can bring rain into your home through poorly maintained roofs. Loose tiles should be fixed firmly in place and any that are broken should be replaced.
Tip 8: Clear thinking
Storms can also overload gutters and downpipes, creating additional water damage. Make sure rain can't get in, by keeping gutters clear and making sure doors and windows fit securely.
Tip 9: Get in touch
If you have been affected by a flood, phone your insurer as soon as possible as they can offer you helpful and practical advice – even if you don’t want to make a claim.
Tip 10: Put safety first
Even when flooding subsides, it might not be safe to enter your home because of the effect water has had on the wiring. It’s worth swatting up on information from the Electrical Safety Council – it details what you may need to do after a flood has damaged your property.
Even if you follow these tips, it’s still vital to make sure your house insurance is fully up to date and that you’ve got appropriate contents and buildings insurance cover.
Note: Information in this article was kindly provided by Halifax