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What to do if a sewer floods and causes damage to your property

Dealing with sewer flooding can be quite unsettling. Apart from damaging properties and vacant land or garden space around, the waste water also tends to affect health of the people on premises. The good news, however, is that the water company is liable to compensate for property damages caused by public sewer floods, but only when there is sufficient proof of negligence on their part. It is important to act in an organized and timely manner to tide over such floods.

How To Deal with Sewer Floods

In the event of a sewer flood, residents should make sure to

• Contact the water company to control flooding.
• Inform the landlord, if on a rental structure.
• Get in touch with the building insurer at the earliest to notify the problem.
• Use a disinfectant to thoroughly clean hands and feet, if in contact with water.
• Use waterproof clothing and footwear while traversing affected interiors.
• Get help to pump out water, if required.
• Turn on heating/fans and ventilate the property to speed up drying.
• Gather proof to substantiate the claim for compensation (extent, duration of flooding, uninhabitable premises, etc.)
Internal property damage calls for automatic refund of sewerage charges (£150- £1000) for the entire year.
Damage to land, gardens, outbuildings, etc. is entitled to a refund of 50 % of annual sewerage charges.#

It is important to keep children away from affected areas until the zones dry up and are clean, hygienic and safe to use. Digging up or tilling flooded gardens and vacant plots help speed up natural decay of residual sewage. The cleanup process should allow sufficient time (max 20 days) for the soil to cure – this usually varies based on the season and type of soil.

Tips to Limit Damage from Sewer Floods

• While there’s nothing people can do to prevent flooding of public sewers, they can intimate the water company when they see flooding on the streets.
• As for property owners, getting a good assessment of their terrain is important to get adequate cover against probable threats such as subsidence and flooding.
• Building insurance to cover the cost of an entire rebuild is recommended to address structural damages caused to the property. This ideally includes costs of demolition, clearing debris, and builder/architect fees.
• Opting for an extra building insurance to deal with known threats in high risk areas can help limit expenses incurred in rectifying damage caused to the property.
• Private sewers are, however, the responsibility of the property owner. Maintaining drain pipes and sewers on premises in good condition is a must to prevent clogs and flooding.

Claiming For Damages

Property owners can claim for damages caused to the structure and contents, as well as the surrounding land or other outbuildings by flooding of public sewers. However, it can get difficult to pin the accountability on the water company.

It is important to first intimate the company on the issue, failing which automatic refund will not happen and claims will need to be routed through the insurer.

The water company should settle claims within 20 days, else it’s liable to compensate each subsequent incident of flooding with £20. Claims for damage to vacant land or garden surrounding the property should be filed within three months of flooding.

Jet Rod are experts in providing drainage surveys, repairs and clearance services for all our customers. For more information, get in touch with us today and we’ll be happy to help you with anything you need.

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