There are many issues and factors that contribute to flooding and almost all of them out of the hands of home and businesses owners, but that doesn’t mean you can’t mitigate the damage to your property.
Being flooded is traumatic for anybody and often costly especially for businesses. Most insurance policies state that the policyholder must take all reasonable steps to mitigate any loss, but what does that mean and what can you do?
We hope this article can give you some useful advice to help if you experience flooding.
Keeping up to date with local flood alerts for your area gives you time to prepare – sign up for alerts from The Met Office here
Often local councils will provide sand bags to help stop flood water entering your home, but these can be in short supply and aren’t always available. If you live in a high risk flood area you could keep your own supply of sand bags or Floodsax. There are further more permanent options available such as flood barriers that attach to your driveway gate posts or building doors.
When you have taken steps to prevent the flood water from entering your property, you can start to look inside your property. If you are able, move contents to higher levels of the property, keep any sentimental and important documents safe – but to hand in case you need to evacuate your property. Unplug electrical items and if possible move these to higher ground. Think about moving rugs and other floor coverings too.
It’s good to have a plan in place before a flood threat happens, this way you and your family will know what to do and get straight into action. We work with many businesses to help them develop a contingency plan for floods so all of the staff know exactly what to do if needed.
Remember the safety of you, your family / your staff is always more important than any contents. Only take steps to protect contents if you have the time. Always listen to the local advice given at the time of a flood and follow any given warnings/ instructions to ensure you keep safe.
If after all that, your property suffers flood damage, acting quickly can significantly reduce the impact and level of damage. Saturated carpets and underlay act like a sponge and will hold any flood water, removing these quickly is important. When the floor coverings have been removed sweep out or extract any standing water. Every day a property stays wet; water seeps further into to the structure and lengthens the drying process. Be sure to check your insurance policy before removing any damaged items as this could jeopardise your claim. Once any wet contents have been removed – cleaning, sanitising and drying can begin. The BDMA state that “After flood or water damage a competent restorer will aim to leave buildings and contents clean, dry, odour free and sanitised.” That is exactly what we aim to do on every flooded property we assist with.
We have helped many businesses reopen after flooding in under two weeks – having an excellent plan in place in case of flooding and acting quickly is crucial – we offer a 2 hour urgent call out for emergency claims.