Home and dry

In the spring, we often expect a downpour. But it’s best to help prevent your home being damaged by water.

Before April showers set in, check drains around your property and remove any debris that could cause water to flow away more slowly, or block the drain entirely. This can help prevent small-scale surface flooding. But, of course, sometimes the risk is greater than this.

If you do live in a flood risk area, keep a supply of sandbags and listen out for severe weather warnings. If flooding is imminent, a good tip is to open doors and windows and smear the frame with silicone sealant, then shut and lock them to provide a watertight joint. If you can, also cover windows, doors and airbricks with plywood, sandbags or metal sheeting.

Turn off water, electricity and gas at the mains and move furniture along with furnishings such as rugs and curtains upstairs or to a loft if you can. Also put any valuable documents, such as your home insurance policy, in watertight bags and put those upstairs too — or take them with you if you’re going somewhere safer. Put plugs in baths and sinks, and the lids down on your toilets. Then weigh them down with something heavy like a sandbag, to stop water coming up.

Importantly, if floodwater does affect your house, remember not to touch any electrics. For more comprehensive advice on flood risk, take a look at the Environment Agency website

www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/ or ask your local council.