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Searches on house we're buying show significant risk of surface water flooding.

(32 Posts)
paddingtonbear1 Sun 17-Jan-16 14:46:06

We weren't expecting any kind of flood risk... not sure what to make of it. The report says that the site and area surrounding (up to 25 m) would be expected to be affected by surface water flooding in a 1 in 75 year rainfall event to a depth of between 0.3m to 1m.
The property is fairly high up and not near any river etc.
Anyone else had this? What did you do? We've asked for a further report and need to check the insurance. Our surveyor also found an unexplained high damp meter reading from the floor under the stairs, dh is hoping there is no connection!

Bearbehind Sun 17-Jan-16 15:22:49

I'm no expert but I thought the flood risk was all to do with proximity to water.

If you have a river or stream or something within so many meters of a property then they'll caveat the survey with a flood risk even if the actual chance of you flooding is nigh on impossible.

A friend on mine has this as there's a river nearby but her house is on a very steep hill and basically the whole town would be underwater, as in the lowest houses would be completely submerged, before water got anywhere near them.

I'd just use common sense- would we be needing an ark if the property you are talking about floods?

I'd get the damp issue checked out though.

Goodbetterbest Sun 17-Jan-16 15:26:22

We had something similar - sorry I can't remember the ins and outs of it. We had a report done, some further investigations and went ahead. No problems or indication there might be any in the future. No river nearby either.

fuctifino Sun 17-Jan-16 15:32:28

We had this, moved last October.
We informed our insurance company who said there was no extra premium required as it was surface flooding. They also thanked me for my honesty, saying many people don't bother informing them of such findings.
We live up a hill and nowhere near water. Ironically, we did flood on Christmas day due to the sheer volume of water running off the surrounding fields.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Sun 17-Jan-16 15:44:58

Our house comes up on an EA flood map of being at risk of flooding. Dh laughs and says if our house floods the whole county/area is in serious trouble. I think it comes to specific local knowledge which the EA doesn't seem to use.

Ive lived in this village 40 years and this house has never flooded. 92yo Fred up the road has lived here his whole life and says it's never flooded.

There are tthree houses in the village which have flooded in the past due to surface water flooding. None of these three are near any water. There is a slight problem in the village with the surface water sewer capacity and sometimes the drains/road gullies stop draining. These three houses are in slight dips and have flooded. Not seriously.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Sun 17-Jan-16 15:45:28

Meant to say, so I would ask about for some local knowledge.

caroldecker Sun 17-Jan-16 15:48:10

Some areas are far from rivers but have a high water table, so can flood

specialsubject Sun 17-Jan-16 15:49:24

Might be due to a new development nearby or lots of people tarmacing their drives. This stops surface water being absorbed and so floods other houses nearby. And new builds are still being placed on flood plains; check out the sad story of the Glasdir estate outside Ruthin in North Wales which flooded when half completed and was recently at risk again. Good luck to anyone trying to sell one of those...

there are also farming policies placed by successive governments which encourage land clearance. So down come these wonderful water absorbers, trees.

Quoteunquote Sun 17-Jan-16 17:18:32

It's a myth you have to be on low ground or near water courses to flood,

Flash flooding is the most common flood problem.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Tue 19-Jan-16 15:30:14

The property is fairly high up and not near any river etc.

Is it on bedrock or something which is not permeable?

paddingtonbear1 Tue 19-Jan-16 20:20:39

It doesn't sound like insurance will be a problem. We've asked for a more detailed report via our solicitor, which hasn't come back yet. The rest of our chain look like they might be ready to exchange soon! Really hope this doesn't turn out to be a problem as there are no other houses on the market we like in the area!

CaurnieBred Thu 21-Jan-16 14:54:55

Just be prepared if you know there is a risk. We live across from a stream and checked out the flood plain when we bought here and we were on the (good) edge of it so happily went ahead with the purchase.

A week after moving in we were chatting to our neighbour and commented that we were glad that we had the stream as a visual and were happy that we didn't have to worry about it flooding. That is when he told us that we DID flood, but with surface water flowing down the hill and settling as it reached us at the bottom. It had happened to them twice in over 20 years of living there. Joys. You can guess what happened then the following week: dry summer in London, torrential rain storm that lasted for a few hours = flooded garden. Luckily the houses had been built with a high damp proof course, so the water only went into the foundations through the air bricks. The garage flooded though. (It was a great way to become friends with the neighbours - they invited us in for wine and we spent the next few hours in with them.) Other neighbours further up the hill were not so lucky - they had rivers flowing through their houses as the water made its way downhill. It happened on a Friday night - if we had gone out to the pub after work and got the last tube home we would have got back and wondered why the wheely bin was in the front garden - all the water had gone by 1am: the next morning the grass wasn't even damp.

When we built on an attached garage and put the freezer out there, we made sure the freezer was raised up on breeze blocks just in case and the tent is also raised off the ground - it has now been over 13 years since that happened but we don't forget.

tilder Thu 21-Jan-16 18:31:56

Surface water flooding is different to fluvial. Fluvial is from rivers and streams, surface water is effectively runoff.

Like the previous poster who was flooded from water running off fields. That's surface water flooding.

People on hills flood too you know, it just tends not to hang around as long. If there is enough rain and there are not enough drains it will flood.

The agency do take account of topography when drawing up flood maps. A flood risk that high is likely to have an agency flood risk assessment which should be Googlable

I would be wary of someone saying 'I've not flooded in 40 years'. Doesn't mean it won't. The risk will get worse over time.

Lots of causes of surface water runoff. Can and does lead to roads looking like a raging torrent with not a stream in sight.

That to me is a high flood risk. I wouldn't touch with a barge pole.

tilder Thu 21-Jan-16 18:52:00

I can't do links on my phone but Google 'environment agency flood risk for planning ' then click on the link for 'go to flood map for planning'. There is a little drop down box for other topics. Select risk of flooding from surface water, search the area you want.

WhatwouldOliviaPopedo Sat 22-Jul-17 10:12:34

Reviving this old thread to see whether you went ahead with the purchase PaddingtonBear1? Environmental search on the house we're buying in middle of dense residential area in north London has come back with exact same issue - medium/high risk of surface water flooding (with same 1 in 75 year rainfall event to a depth of between 0.3m to 1m marker). Wondering whether to be really concerned or not.

user1497480444 Sat 22-Jul-17 10:17:41

Ironically, we did flood on Christmas day due to the sheer volume of water running off the surrounding fields.

why is it ironic? That is exactly what surface water flooding is

m0therofdragons Sat 22-Jul-17 14:49:00

Our searches came back the same and it's bonkers as for our new home to flood the rest of the road would need to be under at least 2metres of water.

Luckily we're moving 3 minutes away and know the area well so we're ignoring that part. Current home is closer to stream than new one but current home isn't a flood risk. Baffling!

user1497480444 Sat 22-Jul-17 15:09:56

it isn't baffling at all! some poster don't seem to understand where floods come from. A body of water flowing down hill will flood higher properties before lower areas, in fact lower areas might be left totally untouched in the water is soaking away as it flows.

And the idea that "local knowledge" trumps EA data is just silly. If a property is given a once in 75 year chance of flooding, that means it has a 1/75 chance of flooding each year NOW, not that it is likely to have flooded once in the last 75 years, or even the last 200 years.

A property could have a once in 75 year chance of flooding this year, but 30, 40, or 50 years ago a ZERO chance of flooding. The environment changes, land is built on, flood defenses come on line or are abandoned, most significantly , selfish cunts pave over their front gardens because they feel entitled to a parking space (should be a criminal offence with a ten year jail term - one day it will be, I'm sure)

so never having flooded does not mean is unlikely to flood, and being on higher ground does not mean less likely to flood.

use the EA data, they have the most up to date models available, and publish the information for everyone's benefit and information - plenty of know-it-alls on here think they know better, but don't listen to their ignorance

RandomlyGenerated Sat 22-Jul-17 15:11:00

Densely built up areas can flash flood as there is a lot of hard standing areas that don't allow water to infiltrate and instead channel water to drainage systems that can be overwhelmed.

RandomlyGenerated Sat 22-Jul-17 15:11:19

Densely built up areas can flash flood as there is a lot of hard standing areas that don't allow water to infiltrate and instead channel water to drainage systems that can be overwhelmed.

Ktown Sat 22-Jul-17 15:13:32

Are you surrounded by concrete? Many floods can just be overcrowdig and poor drainage.
I wouldn't touch a property like this. It could result in a house price drop and you unable to sell at a price that covers your mortgage.

user1497480444 Sat 22-Jul-17 15:15:21

and know the area well so we're ignoring that part

doesn't matter how well you know the area, do you know the current flood models? No.

Does the EA? yes.

Have they made this information available to you for a reason? yes

It up to you if you want to live in a property at risk of flooding, of course. In practice it is often cheaper, so you can buy better, and you might feel it is a risk worth taking.

But make sure you are insured against flooding, keep irreplaceable items upstairs, and have a contingency plan.

realistically, if it has 1/75 year chance of flooding in any given year, and you live there 37 years, there is an equal chance that the property will flood in that time, although it could be any year.

user1498911589 Sat 22-Jul-17 15:16:22

Our road floods - we are not on the flood plain and are not near any rivers; they are a mile away. The whole road floods when it's stormy because at the end of the road is the overflow for the storm drains from the top of the hill; it didn't show up (and still doesn't) on any searches.

user1497480444 Sat 22-Jul-17 15:17:35

It could result in a house price drop and you unable to sell at a price that covers your mortgage.

this is true, but realistically, it will have been cheaper to buy in the first place, so as long as you are well insured for flooding, you shouldn't lose out too much money. It is more the lack of security and potential disruption to family life that would put me off

user1497480444 Sat 22-Jul-17 15:19:46

Our road floods - we are not on the flood plain and are not near any rivers; they are a mile away. The whole road floods when it's stormy because at the end of the road is the overflow for the storm drains from the top of the hill; it didn't show up (and still doesn't) on any searches.

This might be worth raising with the EA. it could be that the storm drain is not well maintained, and maintaining it could help.

Of course all the risks quoted depend on well maintained flood defenses, if they are not well kept, the risk increases.

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