Features

Floating ideas (part 4)

River-Roding-1©Geoff Wilkinson

Rising at Molehill Green in Essex, the River Roding passes through the Wanstead and Woodford area en route to the Thames, bringing with it a very real flood risk to local homes. In the fourth of a series of articles charting the River Roding Project – which aims to reduce that risk – Andy Naish from the Environment Agency offers advice on protecting your property. River photo by Geoff Wilkinson.

The River Roding Project recently held a community drop-in event at Kelvedon Hatch Village Hall, near to the proposed flood storage area in Essex. This was a chance for local residents, community groups and landowners to find out more about the project, how we plan to minimise disruption and how it will reduce flooding impacts in the Wanstead and Woodford area.

Once we know which existing defences need refurbishing, we will hold a similar community drop-in event in Woodford so you can find out more. We will also be looking for opportunities to include environmental enhancements along the River Roding in the local area. Stay tuned for further details on our website.

Protecting your property
If your home or business is flooded, it can be costly, not just in terms of money and time but also inconvenience and heartache. While it’s impossible to completely floodproof a property, there are lots of things you can do to reduce the damage potential. The most important thing is to act now so you’re prepared if there is a flood in your area.

Whether you rent or own your home or business premises, there are many things you can do. Some are simple and temporary, while others involve permanent structural work. You can also make improvements so that even if the worse happens and floodwater enters your property, it causes less damage, so drying-out and cleaning up is faster and easier. This means you could move back home or open for business far more quickly.

Options to limit floodwater entering property:

  • Installing flood doors
  • Flood boards, which can be installed when flooding is imminent
  • Air brick covers: specially designed covers for ventilation bricks
  • Non-return valves: to fit on drains and water pipes to prevent water backing up

Options to reduce the floodwater damage:

  • Put irreplaceable or valuable items on high-mounted shelves
  • Fix your TV and hi-fi to the wall 1.5m above floor level
  • Fit a pump to extract floodwater (needs to be Gas Safe)
  • Lay tiles rather than carpets
  • Use water-resistant materials such as stainless steel, plastic or solid wood rather than chipboard in the kitchen and bathrooms
  • Raise electrical sockets and fuse boxes 1.5m above floor level

Professional advice
We strongly recommend seeking professional advice before investing in any flood protection. It is important to get an impartial flood risk mitigation assessment completed by a qualified flood risk specialist who is completely independent from any product or measure. You could contact the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (rics.org) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (architecture.com).

How much will it cost?
The average cost of reducing the flood risk to your property is between £6,000 and £8,000, including a survey, products and installation.

Buying products
Before you buy any product, check it’s been tested and is up to the job – it should display the BSI Kitemark or equivalent national quality standard PAS 1188.

A comprehensive list of flood resistance products and information can be found in The Blue Pages directory on the National Flood Forum’s website (bluepages.org.uk).

To find out if your property is a flood risk, visit wnstd.com/checkflood

For more information on the River Roding Project, visit wnstd.com/rrp or call 0370 850 6506

Author profile
Andy Naish
Environment Agency