Is your property at risk from flooding?

Residential road in England flooded with sand bags stacked up outside

Climate change means many properties are at an increased risk of flooding - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Rebecca Janman from Iceni Surveyors highlights some of the things you can do to prevent your property from flooding.

Did you know that you may well have an increased risk of flooding and it could all be due to climate change? Areas and locations which were not at risk previously could well be now - or could be soon - knee deep in water.

We are set for a hard winter, and this will undoubtedly see an increase in surface water and flooding due to hard ground conditions, which will have had a knock on effect from the summer months, in which we saw extended dry periods.

Rebecca Janman, property surveyor at Iceni Surveyors, looking ahead and smiling at the camera

Rebecca Janman, of Iceni Surveyors - Credit: Iceni Surveyors

This means that sudden heavy downpours will run off and over the surface rather than getting absorbed back into the ground. Other factors including a lack of ditch clearances, increase in hard paved areas, landscaping and driveways and new development will all add to the risk of flooding.

Consider patios as an example. We have all spent significantly more time at home of late, and alfresco dining spaces perhaps even a garden office or workshop will have had a considerable impact on the immediate environment around our homes. We wonder, how many of you would have added the all-important drainage system or chosen porous materials when extending the slabs? And how many of you have noted already this year that the water is just not going anywhere?

May we suggest that if you are yet to embark on such a project, that you also build yours with porous materials rather than concrete and compacted stone bases - we can all do a little to help allow the water access safely back into the ground. In fact, new or extended areas of hard landscaping over 5m2 will need planning permission if they are not constructed in porous material or allow for the runoff to be drains to a suitably porous area.

Hard landscaping, new luxury stone patio and garden of an English home, UK

Building a patio with porous materials rather than concrete and compacted stone will help water get safely back into the ground - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The incumbent influence of water swelling ground with a clay content, and the impact this can have on the stability of a house, with the possibility of serious foundation movement, ground floor slabs bulging and even pushing walls out at low level, and cracking are all down to water. Not forgetting that water is the only substance that expands when it freezes, so it can be very damaging to our homes.

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And this is where we can step in. Iceni Surveyors are the experts in spotting the signs you have missed as a layperson and will conduct exhaustive surveys and tests and research to ensure that your home remains literally ‘as safe as houses’.

Our reports will run parallel to those of the environment agency, again affording you complete peace of mind, be it before or after purchase or an addition or extension which may have impacted on your flood risk, or if you are ready to make the next property move and do not want any unexpected delays or surprises.

If any of these issues are a concern, or if you just wish to err on the side of caution, please do get in touch on 0800 772 0900 or visit

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