After Flooding

Information and guidance on what to do after a flood

 

Make sure it's safe to return to your property:

  • Take care as there may be hidden dangers in floodwater, such as sharp objects, raised manhole covers and pollution

  • Flood water might have caused structural damage to your property

 

If your electricity supply has not been switched off at the mains, get a qualified person to do this. DO NOT touch sources of electricity when standing in flood water.

 

Making an Insurance Claim

In almost all cases, the insurance company will send a loss adjuster to look at your property. They will confirm what repairs and replacements are needed and which elements are covered by your policy.

 

Ask the insurance company:

  • How long it will be before the loss adjuster visits

  • If you are to clean your property or if they will get a company to do it for you

  • If they will help pay for repairs that will reduce potential flood damage and therefore reduce costs if it happens again

  • If they will provide you with temporary accommodation - this can be a nearby B&B, static caravan or rented house. You don't have to accept the first place you are offered.

 

Always make your own record of flood damage:

  • Use a permanent in pen to mark on the wall the height the flood water got to. Do this in every room affected by flooding.

  • Photograph or video your damaged property and list the damage to your property and belongings.

  • If your insurance company covers you for loss of perishable good, make a list of all the foods you throw away. Include any food touched by flood water and anything in your fridge or freezer ruined by loss of power.

 

Top tips:

  • Confirm the insurance company will pay for any services or equipment you need

  • Make a note of all telephone calls. Record the date, name and what was agreed

  • Keep copies of letters, emails and faxes you send and receive

  • Keep receipts

  • don't throw anything away until told (except ruined food)

 

If you rent your property, contact your landlord and your contents insurance company as soon as possible.

 

If you do not have insurance, your local council should be able to provide information on hardship grants or charities that may be able to help you.

 

If you need more help and support contact:

 

 

Financial Support

 

Your Local Authority can advise you on:

  • Community Flood Recovery Grants

  • Emergency/alternative accommodation

  • Council Tax exemptions

 

 

Cleaning Your Property

  • Pump water out of your property using a generator: Keep the generator outside as they produce carbon monoxide fumes which can kill. Only pump out water when flood levels outside your property start to be lower than inside - this reduces the risk of structural damage.

  • Shovel mud evenly from both sides of a wall to stop pressure building up on one side.

  • Clean and disinfect your property.

  • A garden hose is useful but don't use high-pressure hoses because they blast contaminated matter into the air.

  • Keep doors and windows open to dry out your property or use a dehumidifier with the windows and doors closed.

  • Make sure your gas and central heating has been checked by an engineer before turning it on.

 

Local councils usually provide extra rubbish collections or allow additional visits to your local recycling centre for items you need to throw away due to flooding.

Beware of Scams

It is important to be aware of rogue traders. If you require specific advice your local authority’s trading standards department and local police force will be able to help you.

 

You can also contact Citizens Advice. Their Consumer Helpline number is 0808 223 1133 and their Welsh Speaking service is 0808 223 1144.

 

Here are some general pieces of advice:

  • Speak to your insurance company first

  • Always check identification - legitimate callers will be happy to wait outside your property while you call their organisation to verify their identification

  • Use sites like Trustmark to find registered tradespeople

  • Get several quotes for any work

  • Check trade body approval or certification

  • Don't not feel pressured to commit on the day

 

If you believe you have been scammed, you can report it to Action Fraud. Report online to Action Fraud or call on 0300 123 2040.