When the weather turns nasty and flooding threatens your home it’s vital to take action quickly. This means carrying out a range of preparations and renovations to prevent flood damage. From building a barrier to diverting water away from your property to fitting flood defences for houses you can help reduce the amount of work needed in the aftermath of flooding.

The first step is to understand your property’s risk. You can do this by checking the Government’s flood risk checker* or if you already know your property’s history by looking at the Environment Agency’s flood history maps*. Those living in high-risk areas (zones shaded blue with names starting with A or V) are more likely to experience significant flooding than those living in lower risk zones and should carry out a full survey to ensure the best flood defences for houses are in place.

There are a number of ways to minimise flood damage, including making a comprehensive plan with your family and neighbours to communicate in an emergency, creating a list of supplies, a list of local authority and insurance contacts, evacuation routes and more. You can also try to reduce the chances of flood damage by keeping gutters and drains clear of debris, ensuring that downspouts are pointing away from buildings, installing check valves which let water flow in one direction only and keep floodwaters from rising up from sewage sources and internally housed drainage outlets and by stockpiling emergency materials like sandbags and plastic sheeting to cover crevices. It’s also worth considering wet flood proofing, which can be done by raising the lowest floor of a property up to at least 1 foot above its estimated flood level, installing foundation vents and fitting water-resistant air brick covers.

In some instances it may be possible to get your insurer to pay for certain works to reduce the impact of flooding. If you’re in a high-risk zone, for example, it’s worth contacting your insurer to see what work they would be happy to pay for under a ‘like-for-like’ amendments clause in your policy.

When it comes to protecting your property from flooding, flood defences for houses are a worthwhile investment. They’re discreet and hidden, providing a permanent and effective barrier against flood water. These defences are made of a heavy duty cloth – customised to your property’s specifications – which is neatly stowed in a container, buried around the perimeter of your home. When flood waters are detected, the system automatically activates and the heavy cloth stops water from entering your home. This is a cost-effective and effective way to protect your house.