The clocks have gone back which means winter is officially here! As the cold weather arrives, the danger of flooding re-appears for many in the UK. Last winter, we saw a mass of destruction due to heavy rainfall and rising water levels, causing extreme damage for many home owners. To ensure that effective flood protection measures are put in place before the UK winter weather hits, the team at www.anchorpumps.com are highlighting the essential steps that you need to take to safeguard your home against floods this winter:
1) New Home Checks
If you are moving house, it is important to find out if the property is situated on a floodplain. Speak to neighbours and find out if the property is at risk or experiences regular flooding – meaning that as residents you would have to pay out frequently for repairs. Before buying a house, remember to take into account whether paying for flood damage, flood insurance and remedial work is financially possible.
2) Flood Damage Insurance
If your property is at risk of flooding, it is highly advisable to set up flood damage insurance. The cost of repairing damage after a flood can be costly, and while some insurance companies may not cover all damages caused by flooding, insurance can give you extra peace of mind in the unfortunate event of a flood.
3) Prevention Methods
Strengthening vulnerable areas of the home that may be susceptible to flood water such as windows and doors are essential in flood defence. Sandbags and flood boards are a go-to protective solution when it comes to flooding for many. Simply pile the sandbags both externally and internally by doors and any ventilation pipes where water may be able to enter your home. Do remember sandbags are only a temporary form of flood protection – if your property suffers from regular flooding then it is highly recommend implementing stronger, long term defences.
To reduce the risk of flooding to a property further, it is also advisable that you alter the layout of your property – this can be through raising electric sockets, fuse sockets and wiring to at least 1.5m above floor level.
4) Freezing Pipes
Flooding cannot just be blamed on the British wet weather, during the winter another common cause for flooding is freezing pipes, bursting and flooding your home with water from the mains. There are a number of steps you can take to mitigate the risk of both freezing pipes and flooding:
Good insulation is the first step towards preventing freezing / burst pipes. It can also be worth opening up cabinets that conceal pipes, as well as your loft hatch, to allow warm air to reach your plumbing. Make sure you also follow basic maintenance such as putting a new washer on a dripping tap. If you are going on holiday or otherwise leaving your home unattended for a while during the colder months, put your central heating on a timer. It should come on for a little while each day and heat to a temperature of at least 15 degrees centigrade, which will help prevent freezing.
– Damage Limitation
If a pipe does burst, then there are a number of things you can do to minimise the damage that flooding will cause. Make sure you know in advance where the stopcock is located within your home; this will enable you to turn off the water supply as soon as possible should a pipe burst. If you are concerned about the risk of flood damage, you may wish to invest in a sump pump. This will allow you to quickly and efficiently pump away flood water and remove it from your property as soon as possible, even preventing it from rising as high as it would otherwise. The risk of damage will therefore be significantly reduced.
5) Invest in a Flood Protection Kit
In the unfortunate event of a flood, it is important to quickly remove the water to limit the amount of damage to your property. Flood-water pumps, or submersible pumps as they are known, can help quickly remove any unwanted flood-water from your home and reduce long term damage to your property and help keep water levels under control.
6) Important Contacts to hand
In the unfortunate event of a flood, be sure to have all the important contact and policy numbers that you may need to hand including your insurance details and also the national Flood line number (0845 988 1188).
You can find the full list of emergency flood contacts on the Anchor Pumps blog.