Flood damage can be extensive and expensive.  It is not always covered by home insurance policies so it is advisable for homes and businesses to take some simple but effective precautions to minimise the risk to their premises and keep costs to a minimum. 

Businesses must also have an effective plan to remain operational if disaster strikes, otherwise outgoing costs will sky rocket and incoming payments will cease.  In an average year, DEFRA and the Environment Agency (EA) calculate that the cost incurred per flooded English business ranges from £75,000 to £112,000.

April 2016 sees the launch of Flood Re a flood re-insurance scheme that is helping those in flood risk areas find affordable home insurance. You can visit the Flood Re website to find out who's eligible, read all the FAQs and find an insurer.

Take a look at our tips to help ensure minimal distress in case of flooding in your property.

Minimising Flood Risk

1. Know your situation - If you don’t know whether or not you are at risk of flooding, find out. People always say, “I never thought this type of thing would happen to me”. Investigate the risk, if there is a chance it could happen to you, be prepared for it. The Environment Agency monitors the UK for flood risk and issues warnings to areas in danger of flooding. Register with the EA Floodlineto receive warnings of flood.

2. Plan - If you don’t have physical flood protection, you may need to evacuate and this will need to be safely monitored and organised. Businesses could modify an existing fire exit strategy. Ensure you have a flood emergency response plan and an emergency response team. Appoint a Flood Warden to show staff where the plan is kept along with a list of key contact numbers. Consider preparing a flood kit that can be stored where staff members can easily get to it if the property is flooded.

3. It is a wise idea for businesses to have a continuity plan to facilitate continued operational effectiveness. Modern technology makes it easy to have a portable company. You can relocate to another property (perhaps a room in the business owner’s home), or at least have a scaled-down operation functioning for the duration of the flood. Homeowners can modify these guidelines to make sure they are able to effectively look after their families if they find themselves caught in floods.

4. Have a plan of action in case of flooding: have sandbags or a Floodgate to help keep the water out, know who is in charge of doors, windows, drains and air vents, who will be responsible for tracking the status of the flood, have an exit strategy, and a list of contacts where you could stay in a worst-case scenario, as well as your local support telephone numbers. Also keep a family flood kit, which contains a few essentials, particularly for any children, and make sure you grab your laptop and mobile phone since these could prove essential for learning more about the extreme weather conditions and staying in touch with people who could help. For both businesses and homes, it is vital to ensure that someone is appointed to turn off all the gas and electricity.

5. Are you protected? - Check insurance policies to see if you are covered for flood damage. Only a small percentage of people in high flood risk areas know if their insurance covers water damage. If you can keep the water out, this is better than fixing the damage. Look at simple preventative steps you can take such as portable flood barriers.

Dealing with Flood Damage

1. Switch Off and Relocate - Relocate high-value items, critical records and electronic equipment to upper floors. If it is safe to do so, move essential vehicles to higher ground. Disconnect all electrical appliances and shut off the gas supply to reduce the risk of fire.

2. Hold Back Hazardous Water - Floodwaters are often contaminated with biohazards (sewage, medical waste, animal waste and carcasses) or other hazardous materials (fuels, asbestos, farm chemicals, etc.). Flood-damaged buildings may also have damp areas where moulds, mildews, and other organisms thrive. Close hand-operated valves on drain piping to prevent backflow through floor drains or plumbing fixtures. Check roof, floor or yard drains are clear.

3. Document Any Damage - Take pictures of the damage, both to the property and its contents for insurance claims. Notify insurers of the damage and schedule restorative works.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is the Floodgate easy to install?

Watch the video of installing a Floodgate:

Q. Will Floodgate work in my doorway?
A. Floodgates can be successfully used on most entrances with inward opening doors. As each gate is only 25mm thick, you only require this amount of reveal or door frame to correctly install.

Q. My door opens outwards, can I use a Floodgate to protect it?
A. Yes. In this instance, a modified unit will be required, which will allow the installer to fit it from the outside.

Q. Can I use a Floodgate to protect a door from the inside?
A. Yes, this is possible (if sufficient room is available). Many of our commercial clients use Floodgate in this way to help protect fire exits.

Q. The recess in front of my door is uneven, will this affect the seal?
A. It will depend on the degree of unevenness. The thickness of the neoprene jacket affords some tolerance but, the smoother, the even the surface the better the seal. If, for example, there are large protrusions, then rendering the area will quickly and cheaply rectify the situation. We recommend installing the barrier during dry conditions and testing the seals using a hosepipe or similar, to determine what, if any, remedial work might be required.

Q. Is the product guaranteed?
A. The stringent physical tests ensure the effectiveness of the product which also carries a 12 month manufacturers warranty.

Q. Are there any hidden costs?
A. No. Our prices are competitive because there are no permanent fittings to the property and, whilst we are delighted to offer advice, a site survey is unnecessary in the vast majority of instances.

Q. How quickly will I receive the unit if I were to place an order?
A. As our normal range of units are available off the shelf, we aim to despatch within 7 working days (subject to seasonal demand).

Q. How can I pay?
A. We accept payment by cheque or most major credit cards.

Q. How do I go about ordering?
A. Please contact us direct, where one of our helpful, trained team will be able to assist you with your requirements. Alternatively, if you know which product you require, visit our online store to order now, or to find your nearest supplier.