Top 5 Causes Of Floods In The UK

Thursday 9th December 2021

Alice Redshaw

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Burst pipes, heavy downpours, or dishwasher leaks – there are many ways in which your home can become flooded.

While major floods that threaten life and limb are fortunately rare, just small amounts of water can cause serious damage to your belongings, furnishings, and even the fabric of your building.

To help protect your property, we’ve put together a quick guide to the top five causes of flooding. And if your home does suffer water damage, our specialist flood damage cleaning services can help make it habitable once again.

How big is the problem?

According to the Environment Agency, 5.2 million properties in England – or one in six – are at risk of flooding from rivers, the sea, or surface water.

But external sources of flooding aren’t the only risk: leaks and blockages within your property can also lead to water damage. The Association of British Insurers states that providers pay out £1.8 million per day for ‘escape of water’ claims.

No matter how the water gets in, the damage can be devastating. You need to dry out your building fast to prevent damage such as rotting, warping, and mould.

Our teams based nationwide can be with you within 60 minutes, ready to get started on flood restoration at your property.

We’ve got expertise in dealing with all types of flooding, so let’s take a look at some of the most common causes.

Weather

In the rainy UK, there’s always a chance of bad weather! And experts say that climate change will make this worse in the years to come.

Usually, our buildings are up to the challenge – but depending on where you live, you might be at risk of flooding.

Rivers can burst their banks after heavy rain, threatening properties on the flood plain. Coastal properties can be deluged by large waves after stormy weather, while those in mountainous areas are most at risk of flooding caused by melting ice and snow.

If you don’t live in those areas, you might think you’re safe. But do you know about surface water flooding? This is caused by heavy downpours that can’t drain away – so built-up, concreted areas are at risk, particularly if street drains become blocked.

Find out if there’s a high risk of flooding in your area for the next five days by typing in your postcode at the government’s Check for Flooding service. You can also learn about your property’s long-term flood risk.

You might think there’s not much you can do about the weather. But in fact, there are several preventative measures you can put in place, so take a moment to read through this guide to preparing for flooding.

Burst or broken pipes

Burst pipes usually occur in winter, when the water inside freezes and expands. You can reduce this risk by lagging external pipes, setting the central heating on a timer while you’re out, and draining your system if you’re going away for a long time.

Pipes can also crack and develop a leak if they’re old or damaged, so check them regularly. Common signs that you’ve got a leak somewhere in your system include loss of water pressure or boiler pressure, or damp patches appearing on your walls or ceilings.

Take action fast to prevent the problem from getting worse. Make sure you know where your stopcock is so you can turn off the water, then call an emergency plumber straight away. 

Guttering and drainage issues

Flooding can also be caused when pipes or gutters get blocked and waste water backs up into your home.

The most unpleasant is your toilet or sewage system. If this gets blocked, it can overflow, presenting a health hazard as well as a flood risk. You might notice the smell before you spot the damp.

Outside your home, your drains and gutter could get clogged up by fallen leaves or other debris. Combine this with heavy rain or snowfall, and you’ve quickly got a drainage disaster!

So clear out your guttering, downpipes and drains out on a regular basis to keep excess water flowing smoothly away from your property.

Cracked foundations

You probably don’t give a huge amount of thought to what’s underneath your feet. But your building’s foundations are essential for protecting against the ingress of water.

Houses in Britain are designed and built for soggy ground, so can withstand a good deal of poor weather. But if those foundations become cracked, they’ll start to let in water from rainfall or melted snow and ice.

Keep an eye out for signs such as cracks in your walls, and doors or windows that won’t close properly. Call in a structural engineer if you’re concerned.

Faulty appliances

In a modern home, we’d hate to be without our dishwashers and washing machines. And the thought of living through a UK winter without a boiler sends literal shivers down our spines.

But if such fixtures and appliances are badly connected or spring a leak, it’s bad news for homeowners.

Check your appliances regularly, and look out for tell-tale pools of water. Repairing or replacing them can be a costly inconvenience, but if you ignore the problem, it’s only going to get worse.

Damp patches can quickly spread, and mould will start to grow. Mould is a significant health hazard, and hard to get rid of without specialist mould and flood damage cleaning.

Our flood restoration services

If your property is affected by a flood or escape of water, you should act as quickly as possible to dry out and restore your building.

At ICE Cleaning, we’ve got expert teams based nationwide ready to take your call. They’ve got the specialist training, products and equipment needed to identify leaks, extract water, and prevent mould from growing.

We’ve even got a solution to protect your building from mould: our ICE SHIELD® solution, which uses fogging technology to form a protective barrier across all touchpoints and surfaces. It is scientifically proven to kill 99.9% of bacteria and viruses.

For more information on our flood cleaning services, call us on 0208 066 0360 or enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk now.

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