Different types of flooding and how to combat them.

When you think of flooding, it probably seems straightforward: rain, rain, rain, with nowhere to go… flooding.

However, it isn’t quite so simple.

There are various types of floods, and the damage each can do to your home can be different.

Knowing which types of floods could affect your home is essential to better prepare for the disaster.

Different Types of Floods:

  • Coastal flood
  • River flood
  • Flash flood
  • Groundwater flood
  • Sewage flood

Coastal Flooding

A coastal flood is an accumulation of water on land caused by waves, tides, storm surge, or heavy rainfall.

Coastal areas are prone to flooding because they are near the ocean.

Due to climate change, the risk is expected to continue to grow.

According to the Office for National Statistics, over 5.3 million residents live in coastal towns in England and Wales, of which 3.5 million live in seaside towns and 1.9 million in other coastal towns.

Coastal flooding can have dire consequences, from drownings and injuries to contaminated water-caused sicknesses to mental health problems.

Some of these include mental health issues caused by stress during the flooding, injuries while attempting to escape from the water or falling debris, respiratory illness due to damp environments that can lead to mould damage, and coming into contact with contaminated flood water.

There are three levels of coastal flooding:

  • Minor: Low likelihood of property damage and not directly life-threatening
  • Moderate: Elevated likelihood of property damage and possibly life-threatening
  • Major: Significant likelihood of property damage and seriously life-threatening

River Flooding

A river flood occurs when water rises over the top of riverbanks.

Any size of river and stream has the potential to flood, with rivers having an increased potential to overflow once every two years.

Typically, river flooding is caused by extreme rainfall, long-lasting thunderstorms, combined rainfall and snowmelt, and ice jams.

These pulses of melting snow or rain cause water to rise above the riverbanks and flood surrounding areas.

Though river floods can usually be predicted, there is potential for unexpected property damage if a dam or dike breaks.

However, most of the causes of river floods often stem from storms that allow enough warning for those in surrounding areas to evacuate safely.


Flash Flooding

Flash flooding begins within 6 hours of heavy rainfall and is often caused by severe thunderstorms and other weather patterns.

Flash floods can also be the result of a dam or levee breaking.

Several factors contribute to the severity of a flash flood, including:

  • The intensity of the rainfall
  • Location of the rainfall
  • Landscape
  • Soil type and condition

Urban areas are more prone to flash floods than suburban or rural areas, and the damage is likely to be greater with less soil to soak up the water.

However, the lack of soil is not the only reason for this increased risk of flash floods.

Areas that have soil but haven’t seen rain in some time are in similar danger since the water cannot be absorbed by the soil fast enough, leading to water quickly running off to lower areas.

The greatest danger with flash flooding is that it can occur quickly and leave little time to prepare.

Those in areas of heavy rainfall are urged to know the difference between flood watches and warnings to identify if an evacuation is needed.

Most flood-related deaths are the result of flash foods.

They can also lead to significant structural damage to homes, including foundation damage, damage to appliances, and long-term harm resulting from mould.


Groundwater Flooding

Groundwater floods are usually the result of inundated drainage systems by significant rain that causes water to overflow into streets and nearby properties.

They are equally likely to occur in urban and rural areas.

Fortunately, groundwater flooding happens gradually when the water levels are shallow, so homeowners often have time to remove their possessions.

However, this groundwater flooding can be troublesome because it may persist for weeks or months until the soil can absorb the standing water.

As a result, they can lead to significant danger to homes, with an increased likelihood of structural damage to properties and more risk to long-term risks such as mould.


Sewage Flooding

Sewage flooding is caused when unexpected heavy rainfall overwhelms sewage systems or treatment plants, causing them to break down and release untreated sewage into water bodies.

Sewage floods are arguably the most unpleasant, with sewage leaking through pipes or drains or coming up through toilets, sinks, or showers.

These floods are the most hazardous because the water is contaminated with harmful bacteria and chemicals that can cause infections, diarrhoea, fever, vomiting, and other diseases.

Fast response and a thorough and detailed clean-up by experts familiar with sewage cleanup services are vital in these situations.


Recover from Flooding Damage to Your Home

No matter the type of flood, the damage to your home can be severe.

Each home flooding situation is different and requires an expert to know the correct steps that need to be taken and how to best recover from the damage.

ServiceMaster Restore has qualified flood and water damage restoration experts who are highly skilled and can get your home back to normal as quickly as possible after a flood occurs.

See how your local experts can help you by finding your nearest ServiceMaster Restore business today.