With the risk of flooding being very real for many at the moment, it is important as a landlord that you have done all you can to protect your investment as well as your tenants. This is why PropertyQuoteDirect has put together a guide on the best ways of ensuring you are as well prepared for the floods as possible.
Obviously, the main point of flood proofing is to keep water out or at least as much as you can. If your properties are flooded then once the risk of further damage has decreased remove all flood proofing equipment to let your property dry out.
One of the most practical ways of flood proofing your rental home is to provide your tenants with sandbags. You can get hold of these from local builders or merchants. There have even been some designed especially to reduce for flooding.
Windows and Doors
If and when you are giving your property an update consider having flood proof windows and doors, especially if you are in a high risk area. You can also purchase flood boards that have been purpose built and only need to be used when your property is at risk. Another good idea is if you can, have the door thresholds a little higher, this will mean that if the flooding only brings shallow water, the property should be safe.
Another area of the property to check is the exterior walls. Here you should be checking the pointing and you can also apply a waterproof sealant.
It is important that all waste water stays outside the property, although if your rental property is flooded this isn’t always something that you can be sure of. One way you can ensure that water doesn’t flow the wrong way through sewage pipes and back into toilets and sinks on the ground floor is to fit non-return valves to drains and water in-let and out-let pipes.
If you know the owners of the properties around your rental property you could also discuss the arrangement of free standing flood barriers that would be temporary. This will help to make the cost of protecting your property cheaper, although it is important to remember that water may still get in through drainage systems. If you do want to consider barriers, it is likely you will need permission from the Environment Agency.
If it is inevitable that your property is going to flood, a pump is a good investment. In such times, sandbags won’t work as the water will just rise up in through the ground. It is possible that depending on how much water there is, you may have to use the pump for weeks. The best way for it to work is to place the pump at a low point where the water can drain.
You can get a variety of pumps that either operate with petrol or diesel, or they can be electric. The most convenient is likely to be the electric pumps, but obviously you will need to be careful when operating it near flood water. If this is the method you choose, you may also want to consider a backup generator in case the power is cut off. For the best advice on this contact your local electrician. If you are going to use a petrol or diesel pump, make sure they are used outside as the fumes given off are carbon monoxide.
The only time you should be using a pump is when the water levels outside your property are lower than those inside as you could cause structural damage. If you are pumping from a basement, it is best to get advice from a structural engineer. Before pumping it is best to consult your local Environment Agency office to get advice on where to pump as you can’t pump into public drains.
As a landlord it is important to be prepared if any of your properties are likely to be affected by flooding. If you are prepared and the property is flooded then it should hopefully make the drying out and cleaning up process much faster. You should also check your landlord insurance policy to check you are covered for flood damage, and advise your tenants to move any valuables to the upstairs of the property or into storage elsewhere. If you have purchased a property in a high risk zone, you should also consider laying tiles and placing rugs over the top rather than paying out for a fitted carpet.
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