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High surface water flood risk.
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Fandyman · 12/05/2022 20:15

Hi,

We've had an offer accepted on a dream home few days ago.

I've been doing some checks and did the long term flood risk check (https://check-long-term-flood-risk.service.gov.uk/) and the house comes up as a high surface water flood risk. I've contacted insurance broker to get some quotes on the house and nothing negative came up and the quote within standard rates. I've also contacted a lender and am awaiting their survey to find out whether they would lend the 35% I need to complete on the house.

I've not talked to the neighbours yet but am planning to. I've sent some question to the seller one of which was about any past flooding and his response was:

Never flooded in the time I was here. Not sure about prior to that

Not sure what to think about it.

Would there be a chance to get some historical data let's say from Environmental Agency?
Has anyone had similar situation?
Were you worried about future resale value or difficulty finding new buyer?

I've checked 2 of my friends who recently bought and to my surprise their house also come up as high surface water flood risk.

I am not sure what to think of all this but I really like the house.

Any advice appreciated.

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Alphabet1spaghetti2 · 12/05/2022 20:33

Definitely check with the Environment Agency. I also looked at flood work in the area I was buying to see if there were an historical works and present/future plans. (a google general search and it pulled up news and planning flood works).
I also asked the surveyor his opinion as he was local to the area. Like you I am going to be in a high surface water area, it hasn’t affected either the insurance or proposed mortgage. Apparently it’s just the way it is, had it been flooding from the river, then it would have been uninsurable.
so yes, ask and google!

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Fandyman · 13/05/2022 11:45

Spoke to EA today and they said they are only dealing with river, reservoir and sea flooding and I would have to talk to lead local flood authority (LLFA).

What they also said is they get the maps for surface water flooding from LLFA and possible apply some additional update and publish on that long flood risk website.

I have not contacted the LLFA yet and am finding it hard to see the contact number (the EA could not provide one...). I can try calling to report a flooding event in the area and ask for the number to get that surface flooding historical info about the area.

Other thing I found out is that the water surface map is based on a LIDAR mapping of the ground and some level of rainfall (not sure what level) that is then translated to produce a map. There is no historical data applied in the process (there may be none that LLFA has for the area).

Basically not much information really...

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notafraidofthebigbadwolf · 13/05/2022 12:53

I'll look it up for you if you send me the exact address. I've got access to that info. The question is what you want to do with that knowledge. You have found that insurance companies aren't penalising you for a quote this year. This doesn't mean that it will be the same situation in say 5 years time, but it might be. Once the info is there and insurance companies build it in to their quote systems, the chances are it will become more problematic for the owner of that home over time. More important than the cost of insurance while there has been no flooding in recent memory, how do you fancy living through an actual flood? I am told it is horrendous. Insurance quotes for flood will obviously be sky high from then on and the property will be harder to sell to risk averse people. You may find that as it's your dream home you don't care.

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Alphabet1spaghetti2 · 13/05/2022 14:39

Having been through two floods (river) I can confirm it is not an experience to be taken lightly. But, there are ways to mitigate the effects and recover or even reduce the risk. Basically flood proof the house and contents as much as possible and have a plan for the safety of the occupants and pets. Watch weather forecasts and learn the behaviour of the river.
high surface water is a different as it is much more unpredictable and (imo) a far nastier water to deal with.
neither situations are great and definitely for those who are nervous or infirm. You need to be self reliant.

op have you googled the area for historical news? Have you searched the local historical archives? Perhaps join the local Facebook site and ask?

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Furbaby65 · 13/05/2022 14:42

If its a village try looking for historical parish council minutes.

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parkrunner1977 · 13/05/2022 14:49

Your solicitor can request a more in depth home check flood report as an addition to the standard one that forms part of the searches. We had one done before & it cost £36.

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idril · 13/05/2022 14:53

We had this when we bought our house. The surface water flooding maps only came out in 2013 so a lot of owners are unaware that their house comes up as high risk of surface water flooding.

We dithered despite the fact there was no historical flooding since records. began and we phone insurance companies and none of them said it was an issue. We love the house so we bought it anyway.

For us, it was just us and the house next door that is at high risk. The rest of the street is fine. It's because we are at the bottom of the road but the incline carries on behind us. I think if we'd been in the middle of a huge flood area, we might have thought twice but we took the risk.

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Fandyman · 13/05/2022 15:11

Thanks for offering to check the info. I will first try to contact LLFA and if nothing will think about it.

The reason I wanted that knowledge is to make sure the area has not flooded from surface water frequently. The insurance quotes are reassuring but it may also be there were flooding events that could have gone unreported right?

The only way to find out is go and talk to neighbours or talk to LLFA which I will do over the next few days.

Is it likely the environmental searches will show more detail data that will not necessarily be so alerting comparing to the long term flood risk 4 levels - high status?

Thanks for any input.

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Chilver · 13/05/2022 15:15

There are steps you as the homeowner can take to reduce surface water flooding - rain gardens, suds compliant driveway, look at garden planting etc

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Catmummyof2 · 13/05/2022 15:22

The LLFA is usually the local county council or unitary district council

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Chubarubrub · 13/05/2022 15:28

Fandyman

Hi,

We've had an offer accepted on a dream home few days ago.

I've been doing some checks and did the long term flood risk check (https://check-long-term-flood-risk.service.gov.uk/) and the house comes up as a high surface water flood risk. I've contacted insurance broker to get some quotes on the house and nothing negative came up and the quote within standard rates. I've also contacted a lender and am awaiting their survey to find out whether they would lend the 35% I need to complete on the house.

I've not talked to the neighbours yet but am planning to. I've sent some question to the seller one of which was about any past flooding and his response was:

Never flooded in the time I was here. Not sure about prior to that

Not sure what to think about it.

Would there be a chance to get some historical data let's say from Environmental Agency?
Has anyone had similar situation?
Were you worried about future resale value or difficulty finding new buyer?

I've checked 2 of my friends who recently bought and to my surprise their house also come up as high surface water flood risk.

I am not sure what to think of all this but I really like the house.

Any advice appreciated.

Hmmm we recently went for a home insurance renewal and we were told they couldn’t cover us anymore as we lived in a surface water flood risk area. Weird as in 5 years it’s never flooded here and we are a long way from any bodies of water. I queried it and was told I’d need to take it up with the underwriters. I did but got fed up waiting for a response. I called another company and was very open and honest, they got back to me the same day and said they couldn’t find any issue so we switched to them. They obviously use different information but wherever our original insurer got that information from was obviously incorrect. They’ll probably say that there’s a once in a 100 year chance but that’s ridiculous imo.

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WelcomeEverythingIsFine · 13/05/2022 15:31

There’s a company called JBA who will be able to do a manual risk assessment of surface water flood risk (I.e. written by a consultant not just a random dataset). Think it’s around £120.

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wonkygorgeous · 13/05/2022 15:34

I usually find the best way is to go to the village shop or post office with a parcel, or to buy groceries and ask. The people who work there are usually from the same village.

I'm not saying to base your whole purchase on this, but it often reveals things. You don't have to ask specifically you can ask generally if there are difficulties when it rains heavily in the winter.

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Pixiedust1234 · 13/05/2022 15:34

Was going to check my address as I have lived here 25yrs with no flooding so if it stated high risk I could reassure you hopefully but your link doesn't work.

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Fandyman · 13/05/2022 16:14

Just read the last post and apologies the link is: https://check-long-term-flood-risk.service.gov.uk/postcode

Will come back to read all comments with some more thoughts when I finish work tonight.

Thanks in advance!

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Pixiedust1234 · 13/05/2022 21:07

This is mine, been here over 25 years and never flooded. When we get very heavy thunderstorms we get surface water running down the road (like a shallow river), but doesn't everyone? As soon as it turns into normal rain it goes/drains away within minutes. We are near the top of a sloping road but the whole road is this medium risk. The road that crosses the bottom where the "river" ends up is also this.

Worth a knock on the neighbours doors but check out the positions of road drains/how many and whether they look blocked by leaves and other debris. Road drains are the responsibility of councils to maintain, so not really anything you can do to mitigate it. Maybe put more driveway drainage in?

Hopefully this helps you a little.

High surface water flood risk.
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Abouttimemum · 13/05/2022 21:16

@Chubarubrub You don’t need to be anywhere near a body of water to suffer surface water flooding, it’s road gulleys, road drainage and drain capacity, so local authority and water company issues. Those areas that suffer surface water flooding frequently tend to get improvements, some places might not see the flooding happen for 10 years or so. Depends where the rain falls really.
with climate change it’s going to happen more frequently, to more people, I would think.
when we first moved into our home we were frequently flooded in our rear garden (thankfully not inside) but the water company upgraded the drainage system in our street and it hasn’t happened since.

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TizerorFizz · 13/05/2022 21:29

Definitely get non return valves fitted into drains and sewage pipes. Get flood gates for the property.

You cannot personally control surface water flooding. It’s because people don’t have soil front gardens and have hard standing instead. It’s because gulleys are blocked and new houses haven’t got suitable surface water retentions schemes in place. Very recent ones will but older estates might not. Lack of trees doesn’t help and some areas are trying to plant to retain water in the soil.

I don’t think this should worry you too much. We do get more rain at times but it’s difficult to predict where it will be and when it will be. If you are in a valley with housing all around, then it’s more likely that if you are on top of a hill.

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thewaitislong · 13/05/2022 21:34

The house we are buying shows up as having high surface water flood risk in the maps on https://check-long-term-flood-risk.service.gov.uk/postcode. However the environmental searches use a different map and it shows up as low risk in the searches. A couple of streets away actually has high surface flood risk according to the maps referenced in the search. So the maps in that link are incorrect for us, if that helps.

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notafraidofthebigbadwolf · 13/05/2022 22:22

The most detailed info I can get you is to show whether you are exposed within the 1 in 75 year surface water event. This means that you have a 1.33% chance every year of it flooding in that area to one depth or another. That is considered a severe risk, but many homeowners tend to think it needs to be something like a 10% chance to consider the risk severe. That's why they think somewhere is fine if they are told that it hasn't flooded in the last 10 or 20 years and feel happy to buy.

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