How to protect your home from flooding
There are a number of changes you can make to your home to lower flood damage. This will help reduce the time and cost of doing home repairs after flooding happens.
Types of improvements
The changes you could make include:
- providing permeable paving surfaces on driveways and pathways
- replacing the bottom two steps on your staircase with concrete
- creating an easy access store for flood barriers and blocks
- fitting stainless steel, plastic or solid wood kitchens or installing free-standing kitchen units that can be moved
- installing a sump/ pump to remove water and fitting non-return valves to all drains and water inlet pipes, which only let water flow one way
- placing your fridge and other white goods on raised plinths
- installing lightweight doors with rising butt hinges
- using ceramic tiles on the ground floor with waterproof adhesive and using rugs instead of fitted carpets
- placing valuable and sentimental items on high shelves and keep documents upstairs with wall mounted tvs
- raising the height of electrical sockets to at least 1.5m above ground floor level
- installing service vents covers/seals and automatic airbricks in place of existing vents
- moving vehicles to high ground as soon as possible
- moving the boiler to an upper floor (or wall mounted on ground floor)
- separating electrical circuit for upper and lower floors
- installing closed-cell type insulation in cavity and use lime plaster instead of gypsum plaster on walls.
- installing a flood resistant front door and replace wooden window frames and doors with man-made ones like UPVC - they are easier to clean
- Reduce or prevent flood damage
Homeowner Flood Protection Grant
If your home has been flooded before or is in a flooding area, you might be eligible for a Homeowner Flood Protection Grant which can help homeowners make changes to their properties to make them more resistant to external flooding.
The grant can give owners some financial help to install physical barriers and equipment - like door barriers, air brick covers, non-return drainage outlets and waterproofing walls - to reduce the impact of flooding on their homes.
Cost towards improvements
The Homeowner Flood Protection Grant pays 90 per cent of the survey and estimated installation costs up to a maximum of £9,000. The homeowner pays ten per cent (plus any additional cost above £10,000).
Depending on the size and type of your property, a homeowner might pay between £350 and £750 of the overall costs.
How does scheme work
You need to make an up-front payment of £50 to the Rivers Agency who will appoint a building surveyor to conduct a water entry survey for those qualifying homes. Rivers Agency will recommend protection measures for your property.
An experienced contractor will install the recommended changes.
How do I apply
If you think you are eligible for the grant scheme, more detailed information and the application pack can be found at Homeowner Flood Protection Grant Scheme
DO NOT start carrying out work before talking to your insurer about work that can be paid for under your home insurance policy.
Your insurer will usually pay for 'like-for-like' amendments - restoring your home to a similar state before the flood however you are likely to have to pay for any work beyond like-for-like amendments yourself.
Get professional advice before making changes
Before you make any changes to your home, get professional advice.
- Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
- Royal Society of Ulster Architects
- Institution of Civil Engineers