This year’s hurricane season has resulted in some of the most dramatic flooding of homes and businesses stateside in living memory. Harvey, Irma and Maria have each contributed to the devastation and flood damage caused to homes in America and the Caribbean.
We may be more than 4,000 miles away, but we’re seeing an increase in flooding and other uncharacteristically extreme weather closer to home too.
Last year, the UK saw some of the most severe floods in over 100 years. This summer in the UK, we saw rainfall, with levels averaging 50% higher than usual, devastate homes with flood damage caused by flash flooding.
And as we face an autumn with up to 7 named storms expected, some with winds of up to 90mph, set to batter our island, we’re likely to find ourselves on flood alert once more.
What’s causing an increase in flooded homes and commercial property
Increased emissions and human activities have led to an increase in the UK’s mean temperature over recent years, and warmer air holds more water and therefore can lead to higher rainfall. But this isn’t the sole reason for the increase in flood damage caused to homes and offices in the UK.
According to a report published by the European Environment Agency last year, an increase in building on flood plains and installing flood defences to constrain rivers within their banks, can cause more chaos further downstream as rivers fail to cope with high water volumes, bursting their banks and causing flood damage in homes, offices and streets.
How to reduce the chance of flood damage in your home
The real nightmare of flooding isn’t just seeing copious amounts of water pour through your home, but cleaning up the dirt and debris, sewage and pathogens left behind by the water once it has receded.
So, it’s a good idea to keep drains in and around your property free and clear and ensure all private gullies remain free flowing to enable them to channel water away from your property, giving you the best chance of avoiding the nightmare of dealing with flood damage.
Prepare so you can minimise flood damage to your property
- Keep up to date with news on flooding in your area. You can check for flood warnings about your area on the gov.uk website.
- Keep a list of useful numbers to hand. These should include your local council, emergency services and insurance company contact details.
- Check your insurance policy covers flood damage.
- Agree an action plan with those you live with, including where to meet up if you are separated during a flood. Care and consideration should be given to the elderly, frail, or infirm.
- Move valuables to safe areas, if in your property then somewhere high up.
- Know where to turn off your electricity, mains water and gas supply.
- Prepare sandbags, plastic covers or old floorboards to block gaps under doors and reduce the speed at which water can seep into your home.
- Consider moving your car to a safer point until the risk of flooding has passed.
- Consider pets and how they would be affected by such an incident and make suitable contingency plans.
Should you be affected by flooding and need expert help or advice, Rainbow’s flood damage remediation specialists can use the latest equipment and techniques to help you extract standing water and thoroughly dry out your property, repairing and restoring furniture and upholstery that isn’t beyond economical repair.
With 70 branches across the UK, we’re bound to have a branch near you – on average there is a Rainbow International branch just 23 miles from any postcode in the UK.
Call out 24/7 national helpline on 01623 422488 or visit our web site https://www.rainbow-int.co.uk/flood-damage/ to find a branch near you.