If you live in the UK, your house is statistically more likely to get flooded than burgled.
1 in 6 homes are at risk of flooding, with around 5 million people’s homes and businesses in immediate risk areas throughout England and Wales – 40% of businesses never able to recover from the damage.
According to Law & Your Environment, the main causes of flooding in the UK include heavy or prolonged rainfall, faulty sewer networks and poorly designed flood defence schemes.
Although sometimes flood damage is inevitable, there are some things you can do to prevent catastrophic losses to flooding this winter.
What’s the best way to control flooding?
Most flood control methods have been practiced for centuries, but new systems are being developed all the time.
In truth, there’s no ‘best’ way to control flood water and sometimes damage is inevitable – but these are some of the methods that will help prevent expensive or even irreversible damage:
- Planting more vegetation to retain extra water
- Installing more flood barriers
- Building soakaway crate systems
- Installing underground drainage systems that directs water away from properties and amenities
Planting more vegetation
Transforming your driveway into a ‘rain garden’ by introducing rain tolerant plants can help protect your home or business from flood damage.
They are designed to temporarily hold and soak up excess rain water, cleverly catching the water and infiltrating it back into the soil, slowing down heavy rainfall.
Rain gardens are incredibly low maintenance; they don’t need watering and can absorb up to 30% more water than just grass.
Not only are they practical, they’re aesthetically pleasing and wildlife friendly – the best time to build your own is in the summer, when the weather stays relatively dry.
Installing flood barriers
Flood barriers reduce the risk of water entering your property or land, minimising the disruption caused to your home or business and the amount of clean up needed once the water dissipates.
The Environment Agency uses a range of temporary lightweight metal barriers to provide protection areas that are prone to flooding.
They can be placed in various positions and added to permanent flood defences (like raised embankments) for extra protection; taken down when waters recede – using the weight of the flood water itself to hold them in place.
Building soakaway crate systems
Working in a similar way to natural soakaway systems, stormwater or soakaway crates are plastic modular water cells that are perfect for groundwater infiltration.
Soakaway crates are installed below ground and used to control the flow of surface water when there’s extreme downpours.
By holding onto water during storms, they release a bit at a time back into the ground rather than more than the ground can withstand and all at once – which will lead to flooding.
They are a simple, cost-effective way to prevent your home or business from flooding and are found in almost all types of construction projects.
Installing underground drainage systems
Sustainable drainage systems are often used in towns and cities that experience heavy rain and are prone to flooding, and with meteorologists predicting extreme storms to become more common, they have never been more important.
They prevent flooding by holding onto water during peak downpours and allowing it to flow back into watercourses gradually.
There are lots of benefits of using underground drainage systems other than flood prevention – including better water quality management, and enabling extra urban growth.
Winter is fast approaching and it’s important to make sure you’re prepared for what’s to come.
If you’re unsure what to do and how to protect your home or business, it’s best to get in touch with an industry professional who can point you in the right direction.