A comprehensive guide on flooding and the UK property market has been published by AVRillo Conveyancing, which includes tips on how to identify flood damage and protect your home.

A Guest Blog for TDS Charitable Foundation

Floods are a growing concern across the world, especially in coastal regions and countries where people live at low elevations. Flooding occurs when a large amount of water accumulates and is unable to drain away naturally due to the ground and drainage systems becoming fully waterlogged.

This can have severe consequences for your home, causing issues from structural challenges to health hazards as sewage pipes overflow and plumbing systems become contaminated. In the UK, one in six buildings are at risk of flooding, and with climate change forcing sea levels to continue to rise, protecting our homes from water damage is becoming increasingly important.

Whether you have recently experienced a flood or are unsure of the history of your home, how can you know the extent of potential damage to your property? Let’s take a look.

Check for common signs

If your home has flooded recently, it can take a long time for the walls and floors to dry out. Some common signs of older water damage are stains or discolouration on the walls, ceilings and floors and mould growth. Even if the area feels dry, it could still be retaining moisture deep within the structure. Stagnant water harbours bacteria and weakens the composition of the materials of your home.

Musty odours can indicate hidden water damage where no visible signs can be seen. It’s also good to remember that different flooring materials react to water damage in varying ways. Wooden floors may warp or swell, whilst laminate may bubble and rise at the seams, and carpets are renowned for retaining moisture and becoming havens for mould growth – which is a health hazard as it can cause respiratory issues.

If you have experienced a flood, be sure to document and photograph all signs of damage to your home and make detailed notes of every area affected. This is crucial for any insurance claims you’ll need to process to help you restore your property.

Inspect structural integrity

Water damage needs to be dealt with immediately, or it can cause irreversible damage to your property. As we’ve touched on, water damages the strength and integrity of building structures. If your property is in a flood risk area or you know it has survived a flood, thoroughly inspect the foundations, walls and supporting structures for any cracks, warping or weakening caused by prolonged exposure to water. Be thorough in examining both interior and exterior elements and consult a structural engineer to be sure your property is safe.

Make sure you also call out an electrician to check your electrical systems, as water can compromise electric circuits and pose serious health and safety risks – even if they look fine on the outside. Look for any signs of water damage around outlets, switches and the main electrical panel. Do not use any electrical outlet that appears water-damaged, and always consult a professional electrician after any level of flooding in your home.

Protect your home

To avoid water damage in the first place, be sure to regularly check the flood risk of your property. If you live in a high-risk area, it’s well worth investing in flood-resistant landscaping and a sump pump for your home to help minimise the amount of damage your home will suffer in the event of a flood. By taking proactive measures to safeguard your property, you can save thousands in restoration costs if a flood should occur.

Identifying flood damage early on is essential for minimising long-term consequences. By knowing the signs to look out for and investing in preventative measures before a flood, you can keep your home, belongings and family safe. 

Read more in the comprehensive guide available here.

Audrey Howard

As an environmentalist and climate change expert, Audrey looks to share tips and advice for adjusting to the ever-changing conditions of the planet. She also enjoys long walks in the park with her dog, Boris.

Other news stories