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How can I protect against floods?

How does wrapping work?

Wrapping is an advanced method of reducing the effects of floodwater by enclosing the bottom 600 – 900 mm (2-3 feet) of a property in plastic sheeting.

The process involves digging a trench in front of the wall you wish to protect. The plastic sheeting is attached to the wall above the expected height of the floodwater. It is run down the wall and placed over a drainpipe at the base, before being run through the trench and secured on the other side with weights or sandbags. Wrapping a building takes some DIY ability and needs to be started well before any floodwater arrives as it does take some time. Alternatively there are commercially available products that can be bought and fitted to your property.

In cases of severe flooding (where floodwater rises above 1 metre) keeping water out of your property can be more harmful than letting it in. The stress on the building caused by that amount of water can damage the structure and foundations of the building. Therefore you should never block doors, windows or air-vents over 1 metre in height.

Check what kind of soil your house is built on. If it is porous (e.g. chalk) than the floodwater could easily come up through the ground. In this case it is better to spend time removing valuables or putting them upstairs rather than wrapping your home or fitting floodboards.