How to protect your property in a flood risk area

The UK is well-known for its rain and colder temperatures but as climate change starts to bring more extreme weather there could also an increased risk of flooding, especially if you live in a flood risk area

What are the risks of flooding in the UK?

Flooding has increased over the past few years, affecting a variety of areas within the UK. Around 5.2 million properties are at risk of being flooded by rivers or seas and a further 2.8 million properties are susceptible to surface water flooding alone. 1

Areas most likely to flood in the UK1

  • Peterborough
  • Holbeach
  • Knottingley
  • Somerset
  • Burnham-on-Crouch
  • Woodhall Spa
  • Boston
  • Scunthorpe
  • Sandtoft
  • Buckinghamshire
  • Wiltshire
  • Lincoln
  • Gainsborough
  • Cleethorpes

You may have property insurance in place to help with the financial costs of a flooded home for unknown or known flood risks

However, there are lots of things you can do and may be expected to do as part of the conditions of your insurance to mitigate against the risk of flooding especially if you live in an area that is prone to it. If you think you are living in a flood risk area, here’s what you could do to help.

Find out if you are at risk

Using the government’s flood risk tool can be the easiest way to find out if your home is at risk of flooding.

It will help you decide how seriously you need to consider about any flood defences for your property. But take into account that the tool is only based on historical evidence.

Protecting your property

  • Keep your house in good order, especially before the winter period: Keep gutters clear, drains well-aligned, and your roof in good repair. Repair any dripping taps.
  • Prevent burst pipes: In winter make sure to keep your heating on a constant low level so the water in the pipes remain at a constant low temperature, so it shouldn’t get cold enough to freeze and burst. To avoid the pipes bursting in the roof space, you could leave the loft hatch open so the warm air can circulate through the house with ease.
  • Move your valuable items or important paperwork (which you should keep in waterproof folders) upstairs or in a higher position from the floor.
  • Switch off your gas, electricity or water supplies if the flood is imminent to help prevent a risk of fire.

Research the best flood resistance products for your property

There are a variety of additions you can make to your house to improve your flood defences.

  • Flood-proof doors: As long as the doors stay closed, water should not enter your property.
  • Self-sealing air bricks: External flood water can often enter properties through air bricks. These bricks have vents that prevent moisture build-up and damp issues. However, by installing self-sealing air bricks, the moisture can escape but water cannot enter.
  • Raising electrical sockets: Moving plug sockets up the wall and away from the ground can keep your property’s electrics safe and help reduce the cost if your home does flood.

Check your insurance

It’s important to check your property insurance – especially if you live in a high flood risk area. If you have buildings and contents insurance, check that flood damage is included in the cover.

If you require a policy which covers floods please call Intasure on 0345 111 0680 and we’ll be happy to help.

*The opinions and views expressed in the above articles are those of the author only and are for guidance purposes only. The authors disclaim any liability for reliance upon those opinions and would encourage readers to rely upon more than one source before making a decision based on the information.

Ref: FP531-2021