UK faces wettest summer on record

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Us Brits know not to expect great things from the weather but as June draws to a close, this year’s summer has been particularly unpleasant – even by the UK’s standards.

It will come as no consolation to hear that there’s going to be no respite as weather experts are tipping summer 2019 to be the wettest on record.

The Met Office continues to issue yellow weather warnings and heavy rain is expected to hit large parts of the country which could lead to potential flooding. A spokesperson from the Met Office, Nicola Maxey commented:

“We cannot be as specific in terms of the month, but generally, looking at trends, it would seem that the unsettled weather pattern will continue over the next 30 days with temperatures looking cooler than average.”

She continued:

“Although this doesn’t mean that the sunshine won’t appear, it seems likely that June will be cooler generally than is usual for the month with anticipated temperatures expected to be around 17C.”

As heavy rainfall continues in some areas, problems are occurring as drains can’t take the water away quickly enough. As well as suffering leaking roofs, flooding can cause a number of other inconveniences including:

  • Delays or even cancellations on public transport. Many trains in the south and south-west were cancelled earlier this month after heavy rain left tracks underwater
  • Difficult driving conditions and road closures. Just a few weeks ago, flash flooding left stretches of the M20 submerged overnight while the M25 was closed following the discovery of sinkholes
  • Some communities may be cut off thanks to flooded roads. Roads in Nottingham have been affected by standing water and floods and many properties in Newark have been flooded. Nottingham’s Fire and Rescue Service have even advised residents in the village of Lambley to stay inside due to floodwater

Sadly, we may not be able to control the weather, but you can put measures in place to protect your home or business from becoming damaged. Below we share some top tips.

How to prevent flooding

Flooding costs the UK a whopping £2.2 billion each year and it would appear as though nobody is immune from the terrible British weather. Even MPs were sent home early back in April after the roof started leaking at the House of Commons.

The all-important question is; how can you prevent your property from flooding?

Identify vulnerable parts of your property

Floodwater can enter a property in a number of ways. As well as coming in through doors and patios, it can find its way through air bricks on exposed walls or through gaps in the floor. Drains and pipes are another culprit as the pressure created by flooding can reverse the flow. This can cause water to back-up and enter through sinks, toilets and washing machines.

Have a thorough look to see if you can identify any vulnerable parts of your home and make the necessary repairs. This may be an unwanted cost, but it can prevent more extensive and expensive damages in the long-run.

Flood-proof your home

If you know a storm is heading your way, it’s a good idea to put measures in place to flood-proof your home. Ways you can do this include:

  • These help keep water out when used in conjunction with plastic sheeting. They can also prevent contaminated mud and silt from entering a property
  • Flood guards can stop water from seeping in through gaps in external doors such as front and patio doors
  • Covers can be fitted over ventilation bricks
  • Make sure any cracks in your floorboards have been sealed up

Protect your roof

One of the most effective ways to protect yourself against flooding is to have an effective and reliable roof drainage system. If water sits on your roof for too long without anywhere to go, it won’t be long before it weakens and water starts to make its way into your property.

Some great flood prevention techniques for your roof include:

  • Cast iron gutters are great for heritage or listed properties and will ensure that any rain is directed away from your roof and onto the ground
  • Look out for wet spots on the ceiling and any pooling water in your basement if you have one. Repair leaks immediately because the damage will only become more extensive the longer you leave it
  • Keep your gutters clean. If they’re full of leaves or other debris, water won’t be able to drain down
  • Maintain your roof. How often you should have your roof inspected varies greatly depending on how old your property is, what your roof is made from and what the immediate environment surrounding the structure is. As a general rule, flat roofs should be looked at every two years, composition and tile roofs every three years and cedar and metal roofs every four to five years. If you have a lot of trees surrounding your house, you should increase the frequency of checks because you’re at a greater risk of harmful moss and debris accumulation. If your roof is also exposed to a lot of direct sunlight or high winds, you should have it looked at more regularly

Flood resilience

It’s impossible to completely guarantee that flood water won’t enter your home but The Environment Agency has listed a number of ways to make your home more flood resilient.

  • Raise electrical sockets to at least 1.5 metres (five feet) above floor level
  • Use water-resistant materials such as stainless steel, plastic or solid wood in kitchens and bathrooms
  • Use tiled flooring with rugs rather than fitted carpets
  • Fix televisions and other electrical entertainment devices to the wall at least 1.5 metres off the floor

From installing cast iron gutters and having regular roof maintenance to installing flood defence measures, there are plenty of ways to protect your home from flooding. For some more great tips, head over to the HomeOwners Alliance website.

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