An aerial view of flooded fields.

With the harmful effects of climate change and extreme weather events becoming increasingly prevalent, the risk of coastal, surface, and river flooding has elevated across the UK in recent years.

Flood water entering your property is a nightmare situation for renters and homeowners. It can considerably devalue your property and damage your precious personal possessions, not to mention the risk to human health that contaminated flood water brings. Therefore, floodproofing your property as much as possible if you live in a high flood risk area makes perfect sense.

Floodproofing your home by putting up flood-resistant defences to keep your home dry and flood water at bay of course costs money. To provide you with some insightful advice on how much you can expect to pay to floodproof your home in high flood-risk areas of the UK, we at CIA Landlords have done the research for you.

The top 10 towns and cities in the UK with the highest flood risk

Town/City Annual rainfall mm Days of rainfall >1mm
Blackburn 1314.25 175.42
Glasgow 1208.14 174.34
Cardiff 1203.28 153.39
Manchester 1197.22 170.27
Bolton 1197.22 170.27
Newport 1110.7 137.93
Preston 1058.07 157.89
Leeds 1057.27 156.47
Bradford 1049.26 156.47
Burnley 1041.25 No data available

From our findings and looking through the data from the period 1991-2020 on annual rainfall and days of rainfall, we found the town of Blackburn turned out to be the place that received the most rainfall in the UK. Blackburn is a town on a hill in Lancashire with an oceanic climate, which explains why it rains so much there!

How to floodproof a property

A property with floodproof measures installed.

We worked out how much floodproofing homes in the 10 towns and cities in the UK at the highest risk of flooding would cost on average. We did this by working out the daily rate we would have to pay for the tradespeople we need to fully floodproof a house and keep it nice and dry. This may also involve some retrofitting if homes are old or more difficult to floodproof. These daily rates are based on an 8-hour working day.

Anti-flood air bricks and vent covers

Air bricks contain ventilation holes that allow more airflow into your property than regular bricks do. Want to do a good job of floodproofing your home? Getting a bricklayer to install air bricks is a must.

Anti-flood air bricks are a great functional way to keep your home flood resistant and prevent flood water from entering. Air bricks work by allowing air to pass freely through them, but not water. When water enters an air brick, the valves close, stopping flood water from getting through. Air brick covers provide you with extra floodproofing as well as keeping nasty slugs and bugs from passing into your home through air bricks.

Large swathes of flood water can lead to the foundations of your home cracking and becoming unstable, bursting pipes, a sagging roof, and much more. Damages from excessive flooding can cost an arm and a leg to repair. That’s why it’s a wise idea to be aptly prepared and install anti-flood air bricks to floodproof your home.

Here are the daily rates for how much it will cost in the 10 most flood-prone towns and cities in the UK to pay a bricklayer to install anti-flood air bricks and vent covers in your home.

Average cost for a bricklayer
Blackburn £180
Glasgow £220
Cardiff £203
Manchester £219
Bolton £288
Newport £198
Preston £206
Leeds £206
Bradford £190
Burnley £171

Check valve piping

Flooding can lead to excessive pressure building up in pipes, causing them to burst. Pipes bursting greatly exacerbates any other damage caused by flood water and means the damages and repairs you need to do afterwards will skyrocket in price.

Protect your home by getting a plumber in to install a reliable check valve that will close shut to prevent backflow if a flood should occur. Check valves will also help to prevent the drinking water in your home from being contaminated.

Here is the average daily rate a plumber will charge to come and install check valve piping to significantly increase your home’s flood defences.

Average cost for a plumber
Blackburn £232
Glasgow £256
Cardiff £228
Manchester £231
Bolton £239
Newport £226
Preston £244
Leeds £220
Bradford £225
Burnley £255

Floodproof doors and windows

People living in flood-risk areas should stay prepared by floodproofing their windows and doors. By the time you start putting sandbags down, it will already be too late and the damage will be done.

Flood water can easily seep into your property through doors and windows. Installing floodproof doors and windows is therefore a top solution to protect against flood water building up and gradually getting in to cause extensive damage. They both use durable compression seals as a flood defence and provide your home with extra protection against surface runoff and flooding.

Here are the average daily rates to hire a carpenter or joiner to fit new floodproof doors and windows in your home in the top 10 flood-risk towns and cities in the UK.

Average cost for a carpenter/joiner
Blackburn £170
Glasgow £173
Cardiff £180
Manchester £195
Bolton £189
Newport £183
Preston £162
Leeds £178
Bradford £172
Burnley £186

Flood-resistant flooring

Flooring should be properly sealed so water doesn’t get into the subfloor. Flood water will ruin wooden and laminate floors since they are quickly warped after coming into contact with water. To floodproof floors in high flood-risk areas, we recommend installing highly flood-resistant flooring materials, such as ceramic or porcelain tiles.

Here we have found the daily rates for a tiler in the 10 towns and cities in the UK most at risk of flooding.

Average cost for a tiler
Blackburn £163
Glasgow £176
Cardiff £181
Manchester £178
Bolton £172
Newport £187
Preston £189
Leeds £171
Bradford £172
Burnley £200

Protect your household appliances

It’s important to try and protect household appliances in the event of a flood. After all, dishwashers, washing machines and so on don’t come cheap these days. In particular, it’s crucial to ensure your electrical appliances, including plug sockets and live cables, don’t come into contact with flood water. A sensible floodproofing solution is to hire an electrician to rewire your outlay and move your plug sockets further up the wall, safely away from where any water may pool on the floor.

Here we have looked at the average daily rate for electricians in the 10 towns and cities most at risk of flooding by having the greatest amount of rainfall in the UK.

Average cost for a tiler
Blackburn £223
Glasgow £251
Cardiff £210
Manchester £221
Bolton £222
Newport £210
Preston £217
Leeds £234
Bradford £230
Burnley £243

Flood-resistant paint

Keep floodproofing in mind when decorating a rental property. Flood-resistant paint will help protect walls and home decorations from the effects of flood damage. Water-resistant paint only protects against the penetration of water to a certain extent, and not completely. Whereas flood-resistant paint with coatings such as Xylan and Teflon are practically impermeable to water.

It can be better to get the professionals in so you can floodproof a property with flood-resistant paint. We have drawn up the average daily rate for painters and decorators in the towns and cities at the highest flood risk in the UK.

Average cost for a painter and decorator
Blackburn £149
Glasgow £163
Cardiff £172
Manchester £164
Bolton £158
Newport £171
Preston £146
Leeds £158
Bradford £154
Burnley £156

Grade your garden slope away from your house

Make sure the garden is landscaped in a way that prevents surface runoff from flowing towards the property. Regrading the gradient of your garden slope may well involve requesting the services of a landscape gardener, and it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to floodproofing measures. Along with this, you must also surround the property and garden space with efficient downspout guttering.

We have found the average daily rate for landscape gardeners in the top ten towns and cities with the most rainfall in the UK.

Average cost for a landscape gardener
Blackburn £214
Glasgow £233
Cardiff £163
Manchester £192
Bolton £200
Newport £176
Preston £216
Leeds £144
Bradford £145
Burnley £193

Overall average cost

So, where are the cheapest and most expensive places to floodproof your property? Our results show Bradford to be the cheapest place to floodproof a property and Glasgow to be the most expensive. Recent research found Bradford to be the most affordable UK city to live in, with an average monthly cost of living of £1,015 including rent.

This could well help explain why paying tradespeople to floodproof your property is more affordable in the Bradford area. Whereas house prices in Glasgow are currently rising higher than the average rate in Scotland, and this could be having a knock-on effect of making the cost of having household renovations done to floodproof your property more expensive.

Overall cost of flood proofing a home
Bradford £1288
Leeds £1311
Blackburn £1341
Newport £1351
Preston £1380
Cardiff £1397
Manchester £1400
Burnley £1404
Bolton £1468
Glasgow £1472

Does high flood risk affect landlord insurance?

It is certainly more difficult for landlords of properties in high-risk flood areas to get insurance from a dependable provider. You may need to have extensive insurance coverage to cover your back if your property is located in a high-risk flood zone, and this means it may cost you a bit more than taking out a standard basic landlord insurance policy. There is the government-backed Flood Re scheme (flood re-insurance) that offers reasonably affordable insurance rates to owners of homes in high-risk flood areas.

Your buy-to-let property may well be one of your main ways of generating income, and every extra bit of money helps, especially if you’ve got a large family to look after! You want to protect your asset, and that’s where a robust landlord insurance policy can come in handy. Your bank balance will thank you because covering property repairs from flood damage is pricey if you don’t have landlord insurance! Taking out landlord insurance is the smartest way to safeguard your financial future and protect your investment.

Do you provide tenants with furniture and other items? When owning a buy to let in a high-risk flood zone, you need to cover these items with reliable contents insurance. Paying to replace sofas, chairs, dishwashers, washing machines, and more can really add up if you don’t have adequate contents insurance.

Find out lots more about our specialist landlord insurance by visiting our website or calling us on 01788 818 670.


We looked at towns and cities with a population above 100,000 inhabitants in the UK and used met office data on average rainfall (in mm) and days of rainfall (>1mm) from weather stations within 10 miles to discover the areas at the highest flood risk due to excessive rainfall.

To work out the average cost involved in suitably floodproofing a property in our list, we researched the renovation work that would need to be done and collated the average hourly rate charged by local tradespeople in the different areas.

On average, UK homes have 2.95 bedrooms, so we based our findings on 3-bedroom homes.


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