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Leaking and Flooding: Before and after tips

Flood road signThe notorious British weather can be a frustrating beast, and this summer is no different.

Despite the heat wave earlier on in the year bringing false hope of a glorious season to come, the last few months have brought record rainfall – the wettest April, June and April-to-June period since records began – which unfortunately for many in the UK means flooding.

Sand bagsOf course in the case of severe flooding there is little that can be done; the best option is to take advantage of any advance warnings, follow the advice of local authorities and if necessary, evacuate.

But in some cases there are steps you can take, before and after flooding or leaking, to try and soften the blow of torrential weather.

Before flooding/after a warning

  • Move important documents/photos/keepsakes, valuable electrical goods, soft furnishings and pets upstairs or at least off the floor. This will move them out of the direct damage zone of the rising water, and with relatively little effort.
  • For houses that flood more often, sandbags should be stored away in case of emergency. Use them to block doorways and walls where water is likely to seep through.
  • Have a folder with all insurance documents and emergency phone numbers contained in it, so that it can be grabbed easily in case of evacuation. Also, it might be worth adding these numbers to your mobile phones address book. This folder, along with a flood kit containing vital medication, identification and overnight supplies should be all you need take away when evacuating in an emergency flood warning – the safety of you and your family is the most important thing.
  • In terms of DIY in the home, try and opt for concrete floors over wooden floorboards, fit one-way valves on drainage pipes to prevent sewage travelling back up the pipes into the home, build with water-resistant materials wherever possible (walls, doors etc.) and install higher-up plug-sockets .
  • If safe to do so, turn off electricity and gas at the mains. Do this as early a possible to avoid electrocution.

After flooding

  • After all flood water has run away, it’s time to start the clean-up. Some homes could be condemned after such an event due mainly to the health effects of sewage water getting in to the home – again, advice from local authorities should be taken in this situation, as your health is the most important thing at risk. 
  • Hiring out things like de-humidifiers and carpet/floor dryers will reduce the cost of the clean-up, and help get the job done quicker. 
  • Try not to move everything back down stairs until you know that the work on repairing the home is completely done, and there is absolutely no risk of flooding happening again in the near future.
  • Take note of anywhere where the flood defences were weak, and where something from the ‘before’ list hadn’t been done, and try and fix it before any more flooding is likely to occur – i.e. as soon as possible.

Daniel N is a UK-based blogger who writes on a wide-range of subjects including DIY and business. He is currently working on behalf of Hire Station , a tool hire company.