Flooding and thawing problems
in houses and homes


Independent Building Surveyors

Our Independent Building Surveyors are happy to provide help and advice in relation to any property matters that you may have. We can carry out specific defects reports, independent valuations, building surveys, structural surveys engineers reports, home buyers reports or any other property matters. During the survey we like to meet you at the property and we are more than happy to talk to you about the reports.

Please free phone 0800 298 5424 for a friendly chat.


Flood wall protecting houses from
the burst river

Flood Alert

Each year we seem to get more and more floods and more and more flood alerts. In many cases this is often around well-known areas where rivers run that have been filled with thawing snow or heavy rainfall. However it now also seems to be happening in new areas where new housing development or road works have taken place. This has changed the pattern of how rainwater travels.

For example, this is where the road water, also known as surface water, discharges and gathers in new areas or in the building of houses, homes and roads. The ground no longer absorbs the rainwater but travels along it discharging into new areas.


Flood measure

Should we be building houses and homes on flood plains?

There are lots of interesting arguments for and against where we build. We are building houses and home in areas we would not at one time have considered appropriate for this. However as we now have the technology we can build houses in these places, for example, we can use deep foundations or deep piles until we get to firm ground but these areas will still suffer from flooding.


River has burst its banks


Overflowing river that has partly
covered the trees


Ducks enjoying the flooded river

Does living in an area that is likely to flood affect the value of my house?

In a word, yes! We feel that most Surveyors and Valuers who look at houses in known flood areas will adjust the value of the property. More to the point is makes it very difficult to sell the house. It is true to say in the information age it is getting easier and easier to find out where floods are likely to be. We know that most solicitors use Envirosearch produced by Landmark Information Company to give indications of all sorts of environmental factors of which flooding is one.


Flood warning sign

It's obviously not just the devaluing of your house and home it is also the inconvenience of the flood itself and the question of whether you can get insurance for your property.


Overflow has been opened from the river


River police

Drying a house out after a flood

We have had experience with dealing with floods and insurance claims in general relating to burst water pipes and leaks. It can take a long time for a house to dry out fully particularly after a major flood or water leak. In our experience insurance companies want you to be over the flood as quickly as possible but often it simply takes time to dry out the property.


Footpath closed sign but the
road was also closed


Road closed due to flood


Tidal mark on the footpath where
the water has come over the
edge and then gone back down

Flooding caused after the snow

Flooding is often caused by snow thawing out as the ground and rivers try to cope with the extra water.


Snow covered ground can cause flooding when it thaws


Flooded fields


Trees taken in by the flooded river

Other things to look out for as the ground warms up and things defrost

Leaking pipes

Care should be taken, if you are going away during a cold period, to drain down the property. We have been involved in a case where people have left the house unoccupied for a while and come back to find the pipes within the roof have frozen during that time which has then damaged the pipes and caused leaks which in turn brought down the ceiling causing water damage to the walls , floors and the carpets.


Pipes in the roof can burst during
cold spells of weather

Lots of rain

The other type of flooding is from when it rains, rains and rains. We get into a situation where the ground has soaked up all it can and the water travels through the ground to find areas where it can be absorbed. This can lead to dampness in buildings particularly buildings on a sloping site where the water sits against it for a prolonged period of time.


Sloping site

Are you insured against flooding?

Whilst the vast majority of us have insurance, and indeed have to have insurance as part of a mortgage requirement or buildings and contents, you only know how good your insurance company is when you make a claim.


A flooded park with park bench
half underwater

How good is your insurance company?

Over the years we have heard all sorts of things said about insurance companies, some good and some bad. We only tend to be involved in the really bad situations where the insurance companies, for whatever reason, have not dealt with the problem correctly and in a professional manner.

Whilst this can sometimes be put down to human error, at other times, we would say, it can be put down to complacency with the companies that work for the insurance company as they have almost guaranteed work.


Flood wall, waiting for the water to rise

We would also say it is down to the insurance company viewing the problem very much from their point of view rather than the customer's point of view. We particularly come across this with some loss adjuster companies that are appointed by the insurance company to act on their behalf. It is important that you remember that a loss adjuster is acting on the insurance company's behalf, who will ultimately pay them, and so they are not independent.


Swans enjoying the river that has
burst its banks

What do the circles and ovals mean?

The circles and ovals are a system that we use within our structural surveys and building surveys to highlight problem areas so that you are not left wondering what the problem is.


Frozen blocked gutters

Our Sketches

In addition to this if the photographs do not explain the problem together with our survey report we also add in one of our own sketches such as the example that is shown here below.


Leaking gutter discharging
onto wall

Independent Surveyors

If you truly do want an independent expert opinion from a building surveyor, and many of us are also chartered builders, we are happy to carry out specific defects reports with regard to flooding and dampness , valuations, building surveys, structural surveys, structural reports, engineer's reports, home buyers reports or any other property matters. Please contact Free phone 800 298 5424 to have a friendly chat.

Why should you have a survey?

Caveat emptor means buyer beware and is why you need to have a building survey to find out if there are any problems within the property; the estate agent certainly will not advise you of any problems.

Our unique Good, Bad & Ugly surveys!

We feel our surveys are quite unique, as they are written by our surveyors to your level of knowledge. The surveys include photos and sketches and definitions. The survey will also include an action required section and an estimate of costs in the Executive Summary. Our surveyors are more than happy to meet you at the property whilst carrying out the survey to discuss any specific issues you may have or have a general chat about what we have found at the end of the survey.

Examples of our building surveys

We are more than happy to provide you with examples of our Specific Defect Reports. The reports contain photos, sketches and definitions that help to explain the specific problems and their solutions that we find within the property.

We hope you found the article of use and if you have any experiences that you feel should be added to this article that would benefit others, or you feel that some of the information that we have put is wrong then we would be pleased to hear from you.

The contents of the website are for general information only and is not intended to be relied upon for specific or general decisions. Appropriate independent professional advice should be paid for before making such a decision.

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