Supporting flood risk communities. 01698 839021

Flood defences for your home

If your property is in a flood risk area or has been flooded, when undertaking renovations or improvements, or repairing flood damage, please bear in mind the advice listed on this page.

If floodwater is more than 1m deep, you may cause more harm than good by keeping the water out. The force of the water may cause structural damage to you home or business.

To prevent water entering the property

  • Do regular maintenance checks outside – ensure mortar between bricks is in good condition.
  • Don’t just build it back: build it better. See Planning Advice Note 69 .
  • Always seek help before making structural changes. Get advice from a specialist flood surveyor or from RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors).
  • Flood protection products may give you more time to move your possessions off the ground floor to safety: often water is cleaner because mud and silt stay outside.
  • Consider the impact of any outdoor works on your neighbours – e.g. hard landscaping will increase levels of water runoff.
  • Look for kite marked products – tested and found fit for the job.
  • For independent advice on self help products call us on 01698 839021
  • Grants towards the cost of flood protection measures may be available from your local council.

To assist with future flood risk:

  • Fit plug sockets, boilers, service meters higher up on walls.
  • Choose water resistant door and window frames (and use silicone sealant).
  • Get a chemical damp proof course below joist level if your house does not have a DPC; and install air bricks with removable covers or automatic air bricks.
  • Replace mineral insulation within walls with closed cell insulation.
  • Consider non-return valves in sewage pipes to prevent sewage backing up into the house.
  • Check access points for pipes (e.g. washing machines) for gaps and fill.
  • Use waterproof sealant on external walls; waterproof paint on internal walls.

And if there’s a choice, you can:

  • Go for solid flooring (concrete covered with treated timber or sealed tiles) – more resistant than floor boards or chipboard.
  • Have wood or plastic kitchen/bathroom units rather than MDF/chipboard.
  • Pick lime or cement render – more water resistant than normal plaster.
  • Replace ovens with raised, built under types.
  • Choose rugs rather than fitted carpets.