Flood doors, door dams, shields, flood planks, and do-it-yourself methods of doorway flood prevention vary greatly. Let’s discuss the differences below, so that you can make an informed decision about which product is best for you. We just finished discussing window and wall solutions in a previous entry. Read the complete #HoustonStrong series for context or contact us today for more information on total solutions for your flooding conditions.
Passive or Active Flood Prevention?
Passive denotes inactivity. In terms of flood prevention, this is actually a good thing. This means that the floodproofing or product is built-in or automatic, and does not require any human activity to prepare for a flood event. On the other hand, active floodproofing requires setup or preparation of some sort prior to a flood event to prevent flooding. In determining which method of protecting your doorways, the first question we ask is, “Do you have time to prepare before flood events?” For some of you, the answer is a resounding yes. You only flood when major storms like Hurricane Harvey hit. For some of you, flooding can happen any time there is a heavy rainstorm. Since this is probably the most important differential to consider, we will categorize them as Passive and Active below.
Passive Flood Product: Flood Doors
For residential use, there is only one passive door product on the market: flood doors. Flood doors open outward toward the flood, but otherwise function exactly like the doors you currently have. They are part of a metal frame assembly that takes the place of your existing door frame assembly. A continuous gasket (around the entire perimeter of the door) seals the door against the metal frame to create a water barrier during flood events. Minor seepage can be normal during extremely shallow flood conditions. However, as the water rises, more pressure is applied to the door, which then creates a tighter seal. This tighter seal can reduce or even eliminate water seepage altogether when the flood is at its highest!
Flood doors require the same maintenance as standard doors for optimal operation. Additionally, greasing hinges after each flood event is highly recommended. Periodic inspection of the gasket material is also necessary for optimal function. The gaskets must be kept free of debris and damage in order to prevent flooding.
FloodSafe USA is the only provider of residential flood doors in the United States. We custom fabricate each flood door from start to finish, right here in Texas. The flood door shown above is a retrofit of an existing door, and the one to the right is a new three-quarter glass door with built-in blinds. Visit our gallery to see more. For pricing or more information, contact us today. In keeping with the residential standard of dry floodproofing, FloodSafe USA Residential Flood Doors are designed to withstand 36-inch flood heights. If you need flood doors to withstand a greater flood height, contact us for more information about commercial rated flood doors.
Active Flood Products: Door dams, shields, flood planks, and more
FloodSafe USA supplies and installs units from PS Doors, although other suppliers exist on the market. The following links provide more details and information on the products described here. Door dams, shields, and flood planks are similar. Preparation may vary slightly, but for all, it involves fitting a shield or plank to a jamb (bracket). The jamb is permanently installed on either side of your opening. FloodSafe USA supplies and installs custom units that may have optional removable jambs as well. If you opt for removable jambs, that would add a step to your setup procedures in your flood preparation plan. Seepage is normal with these units, and a customary seepage rate is 0.01 gal/min/lf of wetted gasket. Unlike flood doors, there is nothing to tighten the seal of these products, and so seepage is constant until the water recedes.
Maintenance is custom to each barrier according to manufacturer instructions, but will require periodic inspection, proper storage, and accurate setup prior to a flood event. We strongly caution you to become familiar with the setup process. If you rush through a process you are unfamiliar with, you risk setting it up wrong. The consequence could be a flooded home!
Sandbagging and other do-it-yourself methods can also have great success at withstanding floods, as long as they are done correctly. The initial investment for these methods are often much more economical than their permanent counterparts, but also much more laborious. Not to mention inconvenient. Imagine setting up sandbags in the middle of the night during a major downpour. One FloodSafe USA client has successfully remained flood free for two years using this method, because he hired us to seal his walls. It works, and CAN BE successful. If budget is an issue for you, hire us to seal your walls, and just sandbag over doorways until you can afford a permanent solution.
NEVER FLOOD AGAIN!
This is the FloodSafe USA motto. If you are ready to invest in dry floodproofing today, Contact us to schedule your home assessment. Coming up, we will show you average pricing for FloodSafe USA solutions, and talk about Federal funding and insurance reimbursement available for all types of floodproofing. You can follow this series and more on Facebook, LinkedIn, or visit our website: www.FloodSafeUSA.com.