• Walk around your property, try and understand where water might flow or build up. Watch what happens when it rains to help you understand this.

  • Do those areas have any drainage to help water get away?

  • Are there solid structures preventing water flowing away, could these structures be altered to incorporate drainage, e.g. knock a brick from a wall holding water around a patio, reshaping lawns or areas around a house to deflect water away from sensitive areas.

  • Design garden structures, patios, paved areas to divert water away from thresholds.

  • Are drains and drainage grids clear of obstructions, fallen leaves, vegetation and litter?
    Set up a simple regime of maintenance to avoid these problems.

  • Can a drainage system be installed to control water flows on your land?
    It is important that you do not divert flows so as to flood other properties.
    Take advice if you intend to install drainage systems.
    Improper actions may have legal consequences.

  • If you are new to an area, seek advice from someone who is familiar with the area as to what can happen during heavy rainfall.

  • If you have a stream or watercourse on your property, you may have obligations to ensure flow is maintained and not impeded by litter, fallen trees and overgrowth.
    You must not take any action to fill, pipe, dam or in any way hinder the flow in the watercourse or stream without a consent from the local authority and/or the Environment Agency.
    To do so may be an offence.

  • Listen to local weather forecasts.

  • Visit the Environment Agency’s web site to learn more about flash flooding and on how to protect your property.

What can I do if flooding seems likely?

  • Use sandbags against doors, air bricks and other access points to prevent water entering the building

  • As a suitable alternative for sand bags, plastic bags filled with soil or grow bags are very effective.

  • Plywood lined with polythene can also provide a suitable barrier. This is best if it is fixed to timber door frames, screwed or nailed, but will leave holes in the frame. These can easily be filled and painted afterwards, but may not be so easy to deal with in wood stained frames.

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