protect house form flooding - family and dog graphic

A simples guide

How to protect your home from flooding

Living in Britain has its highs and lows. We have historic castles, beautiful beaches and our beloved pubs. But we also have our unique weather.


So when the rain starts and flood warnings appear on weather reports, that’s where being prepared can help. So what can you do to prevent it happening and what should you do if it does?

house being rained on graphic

Be insured

First things first, make sure you have buildings and contents insurance. Buildings insurance will cover your house and the structure from damage. Contents insurance will cover your belongings around the house.

Cheap flood insurance for your home (building insurance) is known to be hard to find. But, good news. By April 2016 the government plans to fully introduce Flood Re, a scheme designed to make sure cover is kept affordable.

Home insurance provides cover for flooding but it can vary by insurer, take care to understand the cover levels before you buy, if you believe you have an increased risk of flooding.

house under umbrella graphics

Be prepared

You don’t have to create a 50 page ring-binder or a laminated action plan, but it’s a good idea to have thought about your options. For example, where might you be able to stay, should your house be uninhabitable, does your policy provide cover for alternative accommodation? If you have children or pets, who would look after them for you while you are repairing your home.

family flooding action plan

Around the home

If your home is in a risk area, there are practical things you can do, look into getting your power sockets and wiring raised to around 1.5m above floor level. Keep valuables upstairs, use rugs instead of fitted carpets, and install stainless steel or plastic kitchens rather than chipboard to try to reduce the damage caused by a flood.

protect from flooding - sockets 1.5m above ground


You can also protect external doorways from flooding. It’s a good idea to investigate doorway protectors which will seal doors up to a certain height and door seals which expand and seal doorways once wet. 

protect doorways from flooding

Stay safe

Flood water can be dirty and you won't want to come into contact with it. So make sure you have plenty of rubber gloves available and waterproof boots or wellies to hand. You can also purchase anti-backflow devices for your toilets, which could help to reduce the risk of sewage entering the home.

Water and electricity are known to be a bad mix, so if you do have water in the house, don’t try to turn the electricity off yourself. Make sure you know have a qualified electrician’s number to call should you need to make it safe.

protect from flooding - waterproof clothes

Evidence your belongings

Make sure you have records of your belongings, should they get damaged by a flood. Take a few photos and store any receipts you may have – insurers may ask for proof before paying out. We know you'll want to replace any damaged items and get back to normal quickly, but again take photos of anything that does get damaged and try not to clear anything up until you have had a chat with your insurer.

document belongings in case of flood damage

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What to do if you’re house does get flooded


Contact your insurers

Contacting your insurer sooner rather than later could mean getting back to normal quicker. They could even find you a nice place to stay whilst your home is being repaired. It may also be a good idea to talk to your local council as they could give you information on how they can help, such as hardship funding.

Contact your insurers

For renters: Call your landlord or letting agency

If you’re renting, call your landlord or letting agency to let them know about the damage and what they will need to repair. You may need to find somewhere else to stay, although in most cases your landlord won’t be responsible for this.

For renters: Call your landlord or letting agency

Restoring your home

Your insurer could get a cleaning company round for you but you could help the process along by drying it naturally where possible. With your home insurance you could also be covered for architect or legal fees, but double check your policy and agree these in advance, as you may not be able to claim these back.

Restoring your home