How to Protect Your Business from Floods: Our tips
Over the past decade, floods have become more and more common in our towns and cities. As soon as the weather turns, we’ve begun to anticipate oncoming floods – and there’s nothing quite like the stress of a sudden rush of water to get us all in a panic.
Floods can affect businesses anywhere and flash floods have occurred more regularly over the years, particularly during extreme weather conditions. Is it any wonder we’re more concerned than ever about floods affecting our businesses, then?
Businesses in flood-prone areas deal with the effects of flooding almost every year and are prepared to handle the worst of the weather. But by looking at the way they prepare, especially in countries where flooding is more likely, we can help solve the issue – and the resulting stress it causes.
Taking a practical approach to the likelihood of flooding will help you avoid the panic setting in, as well as give you the tools you need to protect your business should the worst of the weather affect your livelihood.
Let’s look at the most common reasons for flooding. These include:
- Extreme weather
- Blocked drains
- Burst pipes
- Faulty drainage
- Faulty equipment, such as dishwashers/washing machines.
Here at London Drainage Services, we offer a range of emergency packages to quickly and efficiently reduce the causes of flooding to help you get back to business. We do always say, however, that prevention is better than the cure, so before you start worrying about dealing with rising water, it’s time to plan some preventative measures.
There is plenty you can do to reduce the likelihood of floods affecting your business. In the worst cases, it also helps to have an emergency plan in place, too, so you can make sure your staff are safe if the water level begins to rise.
Here are some of our best tips to help you hold back the tide, information on the services we offer to keep your business safe and dry, and what you can do if the water comes your way anyway.
Sandbags: An oldie but a goodie
Sandbags are your number one emergency defence against rising floodwaters, especially if your business is in a tidal or fluvial (riverside) area. In areas like these, floods can happen quickly and without warning, with heavy tides associated with it – and the results can be devastating.
So, what can you do? Start by placing the bags around the areas water could get in – such as doors and windows – and you’ll temporarily stop the floods from entering. It isn’t a long-term solution, but it’s a really good idea to make sure you’ve got sandbags to hand if your business is in a flood-prone area.
Once the floods subside, it can be tempting to get back to normal as quickly as possible. When the water has dried out, this is the perfect time to start modifying your business property with flood preventing accessories to keep future floods at bay.
Some ideas to get you started:
- Raise your doorstep
- Install flood-resistant windows and doors
- Paint exterior walls with waterproof sealant
- Add valves to your drains and pipes.
This last point is a very important one, which brings us onto our next point…
Valves in your pipework
If your drains, gutters and pipes are standard issue, water can drain out of them, but it can also flow into them, too.
Having a man-made hole in your business property where flood water can seep right in is just asking for trouble! Our expert London Drainage Services team can survey your property to help you see where potential problems could arise, though. Then, we can install valves in your drains, pipes and guttering so that water can escape but never come in the other way.
It doesn’t take long to install valves – and the results will mean your business is much less likely to be affected by flash floods and heavy rain.
There’s another type of flooding that we haven’t mentioned yet – pluvial, or groundwater flooding. How does this happen, then? It’s the result of flood water, which seeps into your business through the ground, usually after a long period of heavy rain or flash flooding. This tends to happen in lower level areas, and on premises which are built on former flood plains.
Unlike tidal or fluvial flooding, pluvial flooding is difficult to predict and even harder to prevent. It’s not all bad news, though. There are some measures you can take to reduce the effects of this type of flooding, which in turn will make cleaning up and getting back to work easier.
What you can do to protect against pluvial flood damage:
- Raise your powerpoints from ground level
- Add valves to drains to stop water coming through
- Adding drainage to take water from your property to a safe distance away
- Replacing carpets with stone or tiling
- Decorating with durable, waterproof materials.
Get a water pump
We wish this option was at the bottom of our list because it’s for emergencies only, but given the increasing frequency of floods in the UK, it’s better to plan for a water pump – and sooner rather than later.
What sort of pump should you get? There are electric pumps and diesel or petrol pumps. We’d advise the latter, as they’re much safer to use in and around water. Plus, if there are power cuts in your area due to the flooding and adverse weather, the electric pump won’t be much use.
Once you’ve got your pump, make sure you maintain it so it’s useful when you need it most, and install it at a low level. If you have a cellar or basement, that’s perfect.
When you’re installing it, be absolutely sure that where you’d be pumping your flood water to won’t be making the situation worse – either for you or for somebody else. Public drains and sewers could soon be overcome with flood water in the worst of the weather and may not be any use for your water pump.
We can help you choose the right sump pump for your business property – and we can even install it for you, as well as train you on how to use it properly to avoid structural damage too. That gives you one less thing to worry about, doesn’t it?
If you’d like to talk to us about flooding prevention techniques and packages that we can provide for your business, please get in touch with our friendly team. We’d be happy to help you ensure that your business is protected against flooding and ready for the worst of the weather.