Flooding: all you need to know


Thanks to the recent spate of angry storms, we’ve once again seen flooding affect many areas of the UK. These natural catastrophes can cause untold damage – not only to homes but potentially to finances and emotional wellbeing.


Thankfully, s1homes is here to help with top advice on measures we can take to avoid calamity.


Warning Signs

The first step before considering buying or renting a property is to check the flood risk in the immediate vicinity and wider local area. Visit the website of SEPA, Scotland’s national flood forecasting, warning and strategic risk management authority. Here you can view the online flood maps system and input a postcode for more detailed information.

It will help put your mind at rest, too, if you quiz those with personal knowledge of any problems. So be sure to query the estate agent and seller (who has a duty to disclose all such details) or the letting agent and landlord, as well as neighbours.


Your Next Move

If your searches highlight any risk of flooding, you may not wish to make the move at all, instead looking for alternative options on s1homes. However, if the potential danger is deemed to be low, you can commission a full flood risk report.

This will furnish you with the details of any and all potential hazards and whether these can be managed to your satisfaction – and, just as importantly, to the satisfaction of your mortgage lender and home insurer.


Protect Yourself

In areas classified as at risk, all is not lost; there are ways to help protect your home.

For example, many newbuild developments have SUDS – Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems. These can help tackle floods or mitigate their worst effects by employing a series of eco-aware and wildlife-friendly drainage pipes, swales and basins.

You can also make changes to your property that will help reduce damage and get you back to normal more quickly. These include opting for floor tiles rather than carpets, placing power sockets higher up on walls and installing non-return valves to stop flood water getting in via drains.


Insure Yourself

Arranging appropriate insurance is very important and the good news is this is still possible even if you live in a flood risk area. Check out the industry-funded Flood Re scheme. Launched in April 2016, it helps higher risk homeowners to access policies.

If you’re buying a property rather than renting, your mortgage provider will require you to have buildings insurance. This covers structural components such as the walls and windows, as well as fixtures like fitted kitchens.

Home contents insurance for owned properties or rentals, meanwhile, will cover the cost of replacing furniture and belongings. Make sure you have a policy that replaces items ‘as new’. And always highlight items of unique or sentimental value – time-stamped photos of your personal treasures will help support any claims.

Finally, choose a policy that provides accommodation until remedial work on your home is completed.


Prepare yourself

The best way to protect yourself from the threat of floods is to have an action plan in place. This means being able to quickly move your family and pets to safety (always have a bag prepared that includes medicines, spare clothes and insurance documents) and knowing how to switch off your home’s electricity, gas and water supplies.

If there’s a severe flood warning and you believe you’re in immediate danger, call 999 and follow the advice given by the emergency services.


Go to the experts

For extra advice head again to SEPA. You can access lots of useful information on its website, including any alerts currently in place, as well as the flood maps highlighting areas likely to be flooded from rivers, the sea or surface water.

Finally, for worry-free properties to buy or rent that will leave you high and dry in the best possible way, visit s1homes.

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