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Flooding: What do we need to be aware of?

Flooding is a serious risk to property and, as urban areas get more built up and extreme weather becomes more common, the likelihood of flooding is increasing.

Flooding: What do we need to be aware of?

Flooding is a serious risk to property and, as urban areas get more built up and extreme weather becomes more common, the likelihood of flooding is increasing.

Why does it matter?

Apart from the damage, the cost of remediation, and the cost of insurance, flooding can affect property values and we will take account of this in our survey and valuation advice.

Even a flat in a tower block will have serious problems if the ground floor is flooded and lifts are out of commission.

Insurance for properties in areas at risk of flooding may be subsidised by the government’s FloodRe scheme but this does not apply to properties built after 2009 and is due to be withdrawn in 2039.

What can cause flooding?

  1. River or canal flooding
  2. Coastal flooding
  3. Surface water flooding
  4. Groundwater flooding
  5. Reservoir or dam failure
  6. Burst water mains
  7. Plumbing leaks in property

What signs do our surveyors look for in and around the property?

1. Flood barriers

We may see fixings in place at door reveals and around airbricks for removable flood barriers.

2. Sandbags

We may see sandbags stored in sheds, garages, or outbuildings

3. Electric sockets to ground floor rooms at waist height

After flood remediation works, it is common to set sockets for the ground floor ring main at waist height. This is not always a sign as it is sometimes done by elderly occupiers who don’t want to bend down to reach plugs.

4. Topography of surrounding area

We will check whether the property in a low lying area where surface water is likely to collect.

5. Built on piers

Not a common sight but houses built on stilts are usually built that way for good reason. Similarly, modern houses with steps up to the front door are another possible sign of being designed with floods in mind.

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6. Flood risk maps

Your long term flood risk assessment - GOV.UK (check-long-term-flood-risk.service.gov.uk)

This government website allows us to check the risk of flooding for individual addresses. It is recommended best practice to check this for every instruction. An example of a flood map is shown below.

Author: Richard Ballam, Regional Director