Flooding risk and information

Signs a property floods

When a house is near a stream or river you might instantly be suspicious about whether it floods. If you’re serious about buying it then check out the Environment Agency website for flooding risk. If you’re not sure if it has flooded then you can ask the owners. They should tell you the truth, but asking via your solicitor in writing means they’re less likely to try and lie about it.

Why worry about a property having been flooded? If it’s going to happen again then it’s a really horrid experience to have to go through, and your insurance would already be high if it’s flooded once.

You can probably get an insurance quote and find out how much the insurance will be – you would have to say you weren’t sure if a property had flooded – but they should have access to records and a high premium might indicate more risk.

Flooding might only have happened in exceptional circumstances and never happen again especially if flood defences have been improved.

Properties that regularly flood will be by smaller streams less likely to have funding spent on them to prevent reoccurrences of flooding. You might notice that sleeping quarters are downstairs and upstairs is the kitchen and lounge. Fully tiled downstairs would also send a little alarm bell ringing. Plugs placed well above the floor might also indicate work done to prevent damage from flooding.

Look around the area too. Is there a lot of mud on the road? Sometimes flooding just washed mud up onto the roads and doesn’t come up really high. Whilst this might not affect the house it’s still a nuisance for you and something to bear in mind that you might come home to find the road ankle deep in water or worse.

If you want to find out more about flooding in an area then internet search engines are your friend. Type in the name of the area and the word flooding, put them in speed marks such as “Boscastle Flooding” and you’ll get lots of results shown to you that you can read and see photos of. Sometimes you can do street names too and that shows up information about the flooding.

Useful sites for flooding information:
Northern Ireland – Strategic Flood Map (NI) – Rivers & Sea

Environment Agency Flooding site

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