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Cost to prevent flood damage

Britain is notorious for its wet and windy weather. Flood damage costs the UK around £2.2 billion every year to manage and prevent flooding, with £800 million spent on flood and coastal defences. This figure rises when floods are particularly bad, with the 2015 and 2016 floods costing the UK around £1.6 billion to manage alone.

With this in mind, protecting your property from flood damage is something you as a homeowner should consider – especially if you live in a high flood area. That said, it can be hard to know which preventative measure to prioritise and what the overall costs entail, which is why we’ve put together this flood damage cost guide.

Read on as we take a deep dive (pardon the pun) into the average costs for preventing various types of flood damage.

Common types of flood damage

Preventative measureUnitAverage cost
Sandbags and floor barriersPer item£100
Toilet pan sealsPer item£45
Airbrick coversPer item£30
Raising door thresholds and plug socketsLabour per hour£80
Basement waterproofingPer m2£120
uPVC door replacementPer door£450
uPVC window replacementPer window£400
Water resistant skirting boardPer m2£80
Gutter cleaningPer metre£4
Soakaway installationPer unit£850
Damp proof coursePer house£850
Damp proofingPer metre£60

There are 6 common types of flooding in the UK, which include:

  • River
  • Coastal
  • Surface or pluvial water
  • Groundwater
  • Sewer
  • Reservoir

For homeowners, groundwater flooding is the most common type of storm damage to hit their houses, which is caused by an increase in rainwater.

When this happens, homes are susceptible to flood damage such as:

  • Basement flooding
  • Garden flooding
  • Sewage overflows
  • Shed contamination
  • Flood-damaged cars

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Average flood prevention costs

There are several preventative measures you can employ to help limit the amount of damage caused by UK flooding. Read on for the best solutions and their average costs.

Sandbags or flood-barriers

flood damage preventionSandbags and flood barriers are a simple but effective way to prevent or reduce floodwater entering your home. Although they’re not a 100% guarantee, they’re useful for redirecting water away so it doesn’t overwhelm your property. For simple defences placed outside your front door, costs are as low as £24. However, for more robust options, which are especially useful for those who live by the sea, costs can rise to £180.

Average cost: £100

Toilet pan seals

Toilet pan seals are a great anti-flooding device that you secure around your toilet pan rim to prevent backflow from contaminated wastewater. They’re worth keeping in your floor-defence arsenal in the event of sewage overflows. Costs start at around £34 and rise to £60 depending on the make and model.

Average cost: £45

Airbrick covers

Only use airbrick covers in an emergency situation to prevent floodwater seeping under your floorboards. As soon as the flood subsides, remove them to allow air circulation that helps dry out damp conditions. Due to these covers being a relatively simple option, costs start at £12 and increase to £50 for more hardcore options.

Average cost: £30

Raising door thresholds and plug sockets

Front door raising to prevent flood damageThere are various flood barrier threshold kits on the market, which can be used in advance of a flood or installed preventatively as defence doors. Either way, raising your door thresholds where possible is good practice. And the same goes for plug sockets on your lower ground floors, resulting in a lower chance of electrical hazards.

The average costs for these measures vary, so it’s worth seeking a professional quote from a handyman, electrician or carpenter. Their average hourly rates cost around £80.

Check out our handyman prices, carpenter prices, and electrician prices for more comprehensive rates.

Average hourly rate: £80

Basement waterproofing

When it comes to flooding, basements are the hardest-hit areas in your house, which is why investing in basement waterproofing (aka: structural waterproofing) is a great way to prevent groundwater causing significant damage to your property. Costs will depend on your square footage and type of waterproofing, but you can expect to pay between £40 and £250 per m2.

Check out our basement waterproofing cost guide for more information.

Average cost: £120 per m2

Swapping doors and windows for uPVC alternatives

upvc door for flood damage preventionuPVC doors and windows are solid, low maintenance and waterproof alternatives to their material counterparts, and we recommend replacing your front door and windows with uPVC alternatives as a flood defence priority – particularly if you live in a high-risk area. Costs will depend on the style of doors and windows you’re looking for and how many need replacing.

Check out our door replacement cost guide and our window replacement guide for more information.

Average cost of uPVC front door replacement: £450
Average cost of uPVC window replacement: £400 per window

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Water-resistant skirting boards

Skirting boards aren’t just decorative items. When sealed properly, uPVC boards act as a barrier that prevents floodwater seeping through your walls. For a 3m x 3m room, costs range between £250 and £350. However, the final cost will depend on the amount of sealant and labour required.

Check out our skirting board cost guide for more information.

Average cost of uPVC skirting board: £80 per m2

Gutter maintenance

gutter maintenance to prevent flood damageClogged gutters and flood conditions are a terrible combination. Not only does it cause mould, structural issues and potential pest infestations, but it also exacerbates flood issues by blocking runoff and letting floodwater continue to build up. This wreaks havoc on your home, which is easily avoided by regular gutter maintenance.

Check out our gutter cleaning cost guide for more information.

Average cleaning cost per metre: £4

Soakaway installation

Installing a soakaway is a great way to prevent floods reaching your home. Perfect for catching runoff and storm water, soakaways are built underground and covered in a porous-walled chamber that catches floodwater before it causes damage. Depending on the materials used, the depth of the structure, and where it’s being installed, you can expect to pay between £700 and £1000 for a soakaway installation.

For more information on installing drainage friendly front gardens, check out our permeable driveway cost guide.

Average cost: £850

Damp-proofing and damp proof floor membrane maintenance

Damp proofing external wallsDamp is a major nuisance for a homeowner, which is why maintaining or installing a damp proof course and making sure you damp proof your home is essential for avoiding a long-lasting headache. Maintaining your damp proof floor membranes (especially if you don’t have underfloor heating) is also essential for validating your insurance.

Check out our damp proofing cost guide for more comprehensive information on all types of damp and damp prevention measures.

Average cost for a damp proof course: £850
Average damp proofing cost per metre: £60

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Other helpful links for flood damage costs

In the event of your worst-case scenario, it’s helpful to know the potential cost of flood damage repairs. Here is a helpful list for you to browse.


  • Identify your flood defence requirements and prioritise your preventative measures
  • Tackle external measures first, such as your front door, windows and garden
  • Remember that prevention is better than cure. Hire a professional to tackle more complex jobs and ensure your peace of mind

For more helpful guides like this, head over to Checkatrade’s blog for all the latest insights, inspiration and costs on hundreds of relevant topics.

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