Though most properties within the UK are usually not prone to flooding, tens of millions are, even in areas that aren’t instantly waterside.
When components of the nation are devastated by floods and the information is dominated by footage of unlucky householders mopping up their basements, the pure human response is to assume, ‘That would have been me.’
It will be important for householders and house-hunters alike to know the fundamentals about flooding and the related dangers. This straightforward step-by-step information is designed to assist these shopping for a home in a flood threat space.
What are the primary causes of flooding?
The commonest reason for flooding is rivers bursting their banks after intervals of heavy rain. In coastal areas, unusually excessive tides additionally current an apparent threat. However even in areas that aren’t close to the ocean or a river, there’s a threat of so-called ‘floor water flooding’, usually brought on by the form of flash floods that observe thunderstorms. One other, rarer, phenomenon is groundwater flooding, when the water desk rises, and water begins to seep into basements and cellars.
How prevalent is the issue?
Extra prevalent than you may assume. The Setting Company has calculated that round one in six properties within the UK is at some threat of flooding. Some low-lying areas have lengthy been recognized as flood plains, experiencing flooding at common intervals, and though new constructing on flood plains is discouraged, it nonetheless takes place in some areas.
How do I verify if a property is in a flood threat space?
The best solution to discover out if a home is in a flood threat space is to go to the government website and enter the postcode of the world wherein you have an interest. Areas are graded for flood threat, from ‘excessive’ to ‘very low’, normally relying on their proximity to rivers and the earlier historical past of flooding within the space. However be conscious that flood maps can change infrequently so it’s good to get info from different sources, e.g. native property brokers or, if you’re shopping for, the proprietor of the property. Your conveyancing solicitor may even must be on the ball.
What are the implications for my residence insurance coverage?
Appreciable, significantly if a property has been flooded up to now or is in an space of excessive threat. When purchasing round for insurance coverage, you have to be armed with as a lot info as doable, to be able to get an affordable deal. Some insurers will ask for an Insurance coverage Associated Request Letter, requiring you to get a proper letter from the Setting Company, confirming the flood threat stage related to the property. This may even stand you in good stead together with your mortgage-lender, who will wish to fulfill themselves that the property is insurable.
You must also take a look at Flood Re, a particular scheme just lately established by the Affiliation of British Insurers, aimed to profit householders at vital flood threat by capping premiums. The scheme affords a useful backstop within the case of properties which have had a couple of episode of flooding and may beforehand have change into uninsurable.
What additional prices ought to I anticipate to incur?
The obvious one is the upper insurance coverage premiums which you’ll anticipate to pay in an space of excessive flood threat. They are often irksome however should you keep in mind that you’ll most likely pay considerably much less for the property due to its at-risk standing, you’ll not essentially be worse off in the long term.
You must also think about investing in measures (see beneath) to comprise the harm brought on by flooding if the worst involves the worst. In areas which flood commonly, it’s a good suggestion to buy a provide of sandbags and different flood guards to forestall a last-minute scramble.
What preventative measures can householders take?
Given the havoc wreaked on carpets by flooding it’s common sense to not carpet any clearly at-risk rooms resembling basements, utilizing tiles or wood floors as an alternative. One other trick which may prevent some huge cash within the occasion of flooding is ensuring that energy factors situated in at-risk rooms are situated excessive up on the partitions, slightly than at flooring stage. Becoming non-return valves in drains could be a helpful defence towards flash floods. Final however not least, flood-proof your valuables: should you personal a priceless Picasso, hold it within the attic, not the cellar.
If I’m promoting a home in a flood threat space, what authorized obligations am I underneath?
The principle one is to be upfront with consumers about any earlier historical past of flooding within the property. If the house is in an space in danger, they’re entitled to ask about flooding episodes up to now and it is advisable to be able to provide them with related particulars, resembling previous flood harm, the price of repairing it and any knock-on impression on insurance coverage premiums. Maintain written flood-related data, as you’ll hold outdated gasoline and electrical energy payments, and so forth.
Hundreds of thousands of Britons stay in areas which are at some threat of flooding. They might have just a few extra sleepless nights than individuals who stay on excessive floor but when they assessed the dangers and took applicable steps to handle these dangers, there is no such thing as a cause for them to really feel on the mercy of the weather. Shopping for a home in a flood threat space ought to actually not be thought to be an entire no-no.