Know Your Risk If you’re new to the location where you live, you should investigate your property’s risk of flooding. Knowing the challenges you face is a large part of the battle and will help identify the extent of the preventative measures you will need to take to protect your property. The easiest way to do this is to access the history of flooding in the area, which should be available through the Office of Public Works (OPW): http://floodmaps.ie/. Check Weather Forecast Daily If you live in an area prone to flooding, there might be a local flood warning service you can sign up to, which will email, text or tweet you. Look for your local council on www.twitter.com. It is also important to watch or listen to the weather forecast on a daily basis to give you time to take those preventative measures that can only be implemented in the short term. Seal & Fill Check for leaks around windows, doors, exterior walls, foundations and plumbing. Cracks or leaks become major liabilities during harsh weather, and should be repaired early with sealants or fillers. Roof Maintenance Repair or replace any broken or loose tiles or slates on your roof. Also check for leaks around chimneys, vents and plumbing. Gutter Maintenance Gutters direct rainwater off the roof and prevent damage to the property. They will need to perform at their best in heavy rainfall. It is important to ensure they are clean and completely functional. Check to see if they are still fitted properly and if there are any cracks or gaps that need repair. Non-Return Valves Fitting non-return valves to outdoor plumbing will help prevent water flowing back into the property. Sand Bags or Flood Bags When severe weather is imminent, piling up sand bags or flood bags at any vulnerable spots around the property such as entrances and drains, will help block the water from entry. Move Items Up Electrical, valuable and irreplaceable items should be moved to higher points in your home in times of expected flooding. This can mean higher shelves, upstairs or even the attic. Landscaping If you are in the fortunate position of designing your home and garden with flood prevention in mind, you can landscape the land with plenty of drainage and topography designed to divert water away from the building.