If your property is in a flood risk area or has been flooded, it is likely that flood resistant and/or resilient products have been installed in your home. Some products/measures are more expensive to purchase and/or install, others are more affordable. Regardless of cost, what you don’t want to happen is a failure of that product at a crucial time. Regular maintenance checks are necessary to ensure that the measures you have installed in your home will perform when required.
This may take the form of:
- A visual inspection where you look out for any obvious signs or defects e.g. missing pointing where water could enter the property or gullies covered with autumn leaves.
- Practice installing your flood products e.g. flood barriers or air brick covers. This will highlight any missing parts and enable a speedier install in a more urgent situation.
- Testing products that are not used very often e.g. sump pumps. Water poured into a sump will trigger the pump to function. Products such as these should be maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. It may be that the contractor who installed the product offers a regular servicing package.
See the below list as a guide to how often you should be checking your flood measures.
|Measure||6 monthly check||12 monthly check||After flooding||Manufacturer's warranty|
|Air brick covers|
|Self-closing air bricks||Y|
|Sealed openings or service entry points|
|Sump and pumps||Y|
|Cavity drainage membranes||Y|
If any neighbours have already installed similar technology, talk to them about how they maintain it. Also, see if there are others in your community who you can help, especially those less able to maintain or operate certain products. During times when the property is unoccupied, it is worth making alternative arrangements for someone else to fit the products or, if they are automatic, to check whether they have been activated if a flood warning is issued.
Property owners are responsible for ensuring that the installed products are maintained in accordance with the product manufacturer’s recommendations. This information should be included with the purchasing of the product. Generally, maintenance should be carried out annually, biannually or whenever there is a flood warning issued.
If you are thinking of employing contractors to maintain or install flood measures to your property, read our guidance notes: Choosing the right tradespeople.