What are flood resilient measures for your home?

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If your home is at risk of flooding, have you considered flood resilient measures? What are flood resilient measures for your home? They’re designed to minimise the damage caused by flood water. Find out more

Flood resistant or flood resilient?

It’s worth understanding exactly what flood resilient measures are and how they differ from flood resistance. So, apologies for the jargon:

  • Flood resistance: Measures such as flood boards (which fit in front of your external doors), air vent covers, water pumps and one-way pipe valves are all designed to keep the water out or to buy extra time by keeping the water at bay for longer.
  • Flood resilience: This includes measures such as fitting electrical sockets higher up the wall and using ceramic tiled floors instead of wooden floors. These mean there’s less damage if your property does get flooded and the property dries out quicker.

What are flood resilient measures for your home?

There’s a range of steps you can take to increase your property’s flood resilience. The idea is that you replace materials such as wood, which can be ruined by flood water or which take a long time to dry out, with those that aren’t damaged or where damage is reduced. Examples of flood resilient measures include:

  1. Moving electrical sockets higher up the wall. Traditionally, electrical sockets are often placed just above the skirting board, which means they’re likely to be damaged by a relatively small amount of flood water.
  2. Using water resistant plaster. Traditional plaster can take a long time to dry out if it’s flood damaged. Water resistant plaster is designed not to absorb water in the same way.
  3. Replacing wooden floors with ceramic tiles. Wooden floors are attractive but they can warp after flooding and take time to dry out.
  4. Raising household appliances. Household appliances can be raised on plinths to help keep the mechanics out of reach of flood water.
  5. Quick release internal doors. Doors that can be lifted off their hinges in a matter of seconds (and taken upstairs or out of the way) can also reduce flood damage.
  6. Replacing chipboard kitchen units. Units made of plastic, solid wood or steel are less likely to be damaged by flooding.
  7. Varnishing wooden skirting boards or fit water resistant ones. You can install plastic skirting boards or ensure that wooden ones are varnished.
  8. Using rugs rather than fitted carpets. Rugs can be taken off floors quickly and moved.

How much will this cost?

The cost of installing these measures means it’s probably something best done if you’re going to have building or redecorating work done. Alternatively, if your home has been damaged by flooding and you’re making a claim on your insurance, ask your insurer if they will arrange for you to have flood resilient repairs as part of your claim.

SAVVY TIP: Aviva is one insurer that’s been doing this for several years. This isn’t a plug for Aviva — I happen to think it’s a good idea if insurers offer basic flood resilient measures to their customers. You don’t have to have them installed but it could reduce the damage to your home next time it’s flooded. T

Further information:

The Association of British Insurers has a downloadable guide to resistant and resilient repairs after a flood.

The organisation Know Your Flood Risk has a useful (if long — at 56 pages) downloadable homeowner’s guide to flood resilience.

The charity the National Flood Forum has a directory called Blue Pages which includes suppliers of flood resistant and flood resilient measures.

Related articles:

5 myths and facts about getting flood insurance

How to keep flood water out of your home

A flood insurance deal will cap insurance costs for flood risk homes

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