This Christmas certainly won’t be forgotten in a hurry by the thousands of homeowners, businesses and landlords throughout Britain who suffered the effects of Storm Desmond and Eva. During the wettest December of the century, floods caused chaos across the UK.
In the wake of the events, the extent and costs of flood damage are only just coming to light. Let’s take a look at the impact of flooding in the UK, and how those affected can go about restoring their properties.
The cost of UK flooding
With record rainfalls that soon defeated flood defences, Storm Desmond and Eva led to evacuations, deaths and extensive damage to homes and premises. Insurance claims alone are predicted to reach nearly £1.3bn, with the private cost of ruined carpets and furnishings, damaged electrics and waterlogged buildings set to be much higher.
Beyond the initial consequences of flooding, properties that have been affected can suffer from ongoing problems with damp, mould and rot, especially older buildings that take longer to dry out. And of course, homes and businesses which were hit this time round may be vulnerable to flooding again in the future.
Recovering from flood damage
If your property was affected by the flooding in December, you’re probably well underway with the clear up operation. However, to get the best possible support from your insurance, it’s crucial to write a list of all damaged goods, and keep valuable damaged items for evidence. You should also take extensive photos of the flood damage to your property before the clean up begins.
Flood water can be dangerous; as well as harbouring contaminants, it can also create a hazard with electrical fittings and appliances. For this reason, you should consider bringing in a team of professionals to help you with the cleaning and repair work. Facility managers will have the tools and expertise to remove flood water safely and effectively, to minimise long-term damage and speed up the recovery process.
Protecting your property from floods
Getting your home or business back to normal as quickly as possible is an obvious priority for flood victims. However, to prevent further upheaval, it’s essential to put measures in place to protect your property before you begin restoration in earnest.
Damp-proofing your walls, installing flood-resistant doors, water-resistant skirting boards and air bricks, and moving appliances and sockets higher up the wall can all safeguard your property from damage during heavy rainfall, to ensure that next time you are better prepared to weather the storm.
The past few months have proven that homeowners and businesses can’t rely on UK flood defences to protect their properties from heavy rainfall. This makes implementing measures to safeguard buildings from the effects of flooding all the more essential as Britain recovers from the impact of Storm Desmond and Eva.
By claiming on your insurance and enlisting professional support to restore your property, you can minimise the risk of future flood damage to your home or premises.
Photo Credit: Mike Dobson