At the end of last year the UK was quite literally awash with water, very sadly destroying many homes in tome of the worst flooding Britain has seen in years.
But just as we thought it was time to put the wellies away and start getting excited about the prospect of spring, new flood concerns have emerged as yet more rain falls. With Storm Jonas threatening to bring a new bout of heavy rainfall to the UK imminently, Matt Philips, DIY expert at Handy (handy.com), has come up with some expert tips to limit the damage to your home flooding could cause and keep the water outside – where it should be!
Keep your gutters clear
You may not think your gutters actually do much in the way of protecting your home from torrential rain, but gutters help your house cope with heavy rain flow, directing it away from your home and to a drainage point.
Gutters, however, need to be cleaned regularly as things like leaves and twigs are bound to accumulate throughout the year, obstructing the flow of water, which can lead to it overflowing. If it's safe to do so, put up a ladder before the rain falls and clear it out. If that's not safe or you're wobbly on your legs, ask a neighbours or reputable tradesman to come take a look.
Keep it sealed
Over time, the wooden frames around your doors and windows can take a beating as the heat of the sun and regular rain fall causes the wood to expand and contract, meaning small gaps and holes can begin to appear.
The best way to stop rain seeping in through these gaps is to repair them with sealant. You can pick up window and door sealant in most DIY stores and then follow the instrutions on the back to apply it yourself. Do this regularly to reduce the impact of sealant erosion.
Keep water away from the electricity
The biggest risk of rain entering the home is to your electricity as water and electrics are a dangerous combination. Minimise the risk of a power cut or something scarier by storing most of your electrical appliances upstairs, where water is unlikely to reach, and use concrete blocks to elevate major appliances like your fridge freezer and washing machine – get someone to help you do this if they're heavy.
And if your home has already started to flood, turn off and cover all plug sockets.
Cover up your air vents
As you can imagine, water can often find its way into your home through air vents.
The best way to tackle this, if you know that you are at risk of flooding, is to cover them with some thick plastic sheeting, using heavy duty duct tape, on both the inside and outside.
You can use this same method to seal up other nooks and crannies that may be threatening to let water into your house.
Keep sandbags to hand
One of the simplest ways to deal with excess water is find ways to soak it up, but a mop, or paper towels, won’t quite do the trick.
In the event of flood risk, it’s always good to stock up on sandbags to block the doorways. Whilst these won’t keep out heavy flooding, they will keep light flooding at bay by soaking up the water that is seeping through the gap at the bottom of your door, preventing it from spreading through your front room.
- Matt Philips is a DIY Expert at Handy, the UK’s fastest-growing provider of on-demand cleaning and DIY experts
- There's more consumer advice in every issue of Yours magazine, out every fortnight on a Tuesday.