There’s no quick fix to recovering a flooded property. It can take anything from six months to two years or more.

In summary, the process generally requires:

Clean up and strip out

Drying out

Rebuilding & refurbishing

Incorporating resilience measures

Decorating & re-furnishing

Flood recovery & the insurance claims process

In the first instance, if you are insured, contact your insurance company.

A loss adjustor is likely to be appointed. They work for the insurance company. They are your main point of contact in dealing with the reinstatement process. They assess the loss, calculate the cost and ascertain what is covered by the insurance company.

But remember, you can challenge the recommendations made if you don’t believe them to be fair.

Make an inventory of your contents before the drying companies come in. Under the loss adjustors instruction the drying companies will remove what is damaged and take away what can be restored. They will then strip the property of plaster, flooring and whatever has been decided by the loss adjustor before placing dehumidifiers and fans in the property. Periodically they will come and inspect how the drying process is going and have specialist equipment to test the dampness in the walls.

Once the property is deemed to be dry and ready for restoration the drying company will issue a ‘Drying Certificate’ to the insurance company. We suggest that you ask for a copy of this and keep a record of it.

In special circumstances a surveyor may be asked to come and survey the property by the loss adjustor to give a second opinion.

After the property is confirmed to be dry the rebuild process can start. Your insurance company will provide a builder, however if you would prefer to use your own builder you should mention this to your loss adjustor who should then ask you to submit two quotes before reaching a decision.

The building company will appoint a foreman who is there to oversee the project management of the rebuild. It is very likely you will have a variety of tradespeople in your home such as plumbers, electricians, carpenters.

The process can often be impersonal and feel like an intrusion into your personal space.


See our section on resilience and resistance on the ‘Reducing your Risk’ page to learn how you can reduce your risk of letting water into your home or business.

All that remained in our home for almost a year was a cold water tap and a gas meter.

– Mike, Todmorden

Six months on, many people are still not able to return home. Struggles with insurance, independent survey advice, availability of builders and a long list of questions about the reinstatement process all need tackling…nevertheless we have to keep pushing on.

– Colette, Radcliffe

Other support

Here are a few other pages that might support you through a flood.

What if I'm uninsured?

Not having insurance cover is a situation best avoided but we understand how difficult, expensive and sometimes infuriating finding insurance cover can be.

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