How to flood-proof your home using DIY techniques

DIY can be a lot of fun, but it also can be entirely necessary and vital for the health and security of a home.

Flooding management is one of those things.

If you live in an area prone to flooding, incorporating design measures that help prevent or minimise water damage should be an important part of a renovation project.

Julie Foley, director of flood risk strategy at the Environment Agency, shares her top ways to make your home more flood resilient using a DIY approach.

Solid flooring

Thinking about giving the floors a bit of a refresh?

Julie says: ‘Solid floors like tiles and concrete are ideal, as it won’t be permeated by flood water.

‘If you want soft furnishings, a rug can be a good option, as it can be easily lifted and stored in the event of a flood warning.

‘Unfortunately, even skirting boards can be damaged by flood water.

‘Plastic/UPVC skirting can better withstand floodwater, and can come in a range of colours, designs and sizes.’

Protect electrics

Obviously, water and electrics shouldn’t mix.

Julie suggests: ‘When thinking about where your plugs or sockets are going to go consider raising them higher off the ground.

‘Leaving a 1m gap between floor and plug sockets can save hundreds of pounds of damage by protecting the wiring around your home.

‘For those who are rewiring as part of a renovation, rewiring from the ceiling can provide additional safety.’

Specialist flood kitchen

It’s not as simple as thinking about just the aesthetics of your kitchen.

‘Certified flood kitchens can offer protection to belongings, without sacrificing on style,’ she says.

Pick materials that can be hosed down if there is a flood and they get dirty.

She adds: ‘Consider raising appliances – having the oven or freezer at eyelevel can keep the water and dirt out, while also protecting the device from any damage.’

Air bricks

Julie explains: ‘A lot of properties will have air bricks – a special type of brick that has holes to allow for circulation of air around the home.

‘While great for keeping the air in the home fresh, in the event of a flood these bricks can let in a huge amount of water.

‘To combat this, you can get self-closing bricks that will close in the event of a flood – or even buy covers to slot over the brick when needed.’

Get a sealant out to close any other small holes.

Waterproof walls

Pick waterproof paints and mortar when designing the exterior of your home.

‘It will offer great protection and keep your home looking better in the event of flooding,’ Julie says.

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