We’ve all seen it, whether in our hometowns or on the news: floodwaters sweeping through whole towns and cities, heedlessly destroying everything that gets in their way. Families are rendered homeless, and companies must shut down until repairs are made.
Although there are plenty of steps to take to prevent or control flooding, escaped water is inevitable. For this reason, you need to do all you can to keep your office or residence protected. While sandbags can prevent water from entering, they’re anything but foolproof. This has led innovative companies to introduce flood barriers.
What Do Flood Barriers Do?
Flood barriers are removable devices designed to redirect or hold back floodwaters. Their primary purpose is to protect a home or business from flooding, preventing damage or obstruction during floods. They are demountable, meaning they can be set up and taken back down again. This means they can be easily stored during dry days and quickly deployed when flood warnings take effect.
They are designed to slide into two upright channels that are fixed in place at the sides of exposed entryways. The panels are locked into place, creating a sealed wall that will prevent any leakage. Each panel is built to the same dimensions. You can stack them as high as the channels are built, depending on your needs. Once the flood water recedes, it can be just as easily removed and stored away again.
With damage and water entry kept to a minimum, homes, and businesses can be quickly cleaned up and reopened. This will greatly reduce the amount of time lost and allow life to return to normal.
How are Flood Barriers Made?
Flood barriers come in various lengths and sizes. They are built according to the width of the entryway in which they are needed. The panels are made of either aluminum or composite material. Although both are robust and reliable, composite material panels are limited in lengths of up to 1.5 meters.
The channel posts are permanently installed on either side of the entryway. They can be built up to a height of 2 meters (2000mm). They can also be connected to create a longer, unbroken flood wall. This means you don’t necessarily have to put flood barriers against the wall. They can be freestanding, allowing for specific areas or stations to be protected.
Types of Flood Barriers
There are many types of flood barriers that can be bought. The size of the area or entryway that a building has will determine which one is needed.
Primarily, flood barriers are used on doors and other entryways such as warehouse entrances. However, you can also use them to partition parcels of land. Designated areas can be set up to help keep equipment dry or provide safe storage during floods.
Retractable barriers can also be set into the ground around buildings. These types of barriers use hydrostatic pressure to raise them as floodwater approaches. Though they won’t stand as tall as regular flood barriers, they are a great way to keep larger areas covered without blocking doorways.
Benefits of Flood Barriers
The benefits of flood barriers are numerous. They include:
- Simple but effective protection – requiring minimal setup and little time, flood barriers can be quickly deployed and provide a higher level of protection than traditional barrier methods such as sandbags.
- Less complicated design – unlike flood doors, which are reliant on hinges and seals, stacked barrier panels have only one joint and rely more on gravity and the pressure of the water to keep them sealed.
- Easy maintenance – aluminum and compound panels are tough, water-resistant, and have no moving parts. So long as they are stored somewhere dry when not in use, there are no threats to their stability. Other options require regular tests and examinations and can be prone to wear and tear.
- Customizable length – flood barriers are not limited to the size of a single entryway. Multiple barriers can be built side-by-side, allowing for a longer continuous barrier around larger buildings and land. Single panels can be created that are up to 1.5 meters (for compound materials) and longer for aluminum.
- Adjustable height options – while most barrier posts will be limited to 2 meters in height, the barrier itself can be adjusted according to flood depth. In the event of a few inches of water, a single panel will be enough, and more can be added as the waters rise.
- Demountable protection – though the posts for flood barriers are permanent installations, the panels themselves can be freely added and removed as necessary. Deploy the panels as flood warnings are issued and remove them as waters recede, leaving areas open and free again.
Disadvantages of Flood Barriers
No system is perfect. While the disadvantages of flood barriers are few, they still bear considering. Some things to remember about flood barriers are:
- Barrier panels require storage – when not in use, the panels for these flood barriers will need to be stored away. While the aluminum panels are not thick or heavy, the size and number of the panels will vary depending on the building. The more panels owned, the more space they will take up while not in use.
- Most barriers are not automatic – while a few recessed types are raised automatically, most flood barriers require manual deployment. If no one is around to insert and raise the flood barriers, they will not be in place to prevent flood damage.
- Upfront costs for installation – installing the flood barrier posts will require professional on-site construction. As they must be built according to specifications, only the company providing the flood barriers will install them, which will add to the cost.
- The flood panels are not available for all locations – due to the necessity of the permanent pillars, and the pressure that will be put against the barriers, the ground in which they are installed will need to be thick and hard. Soft, earthier ground will not suit flood barriers, so they cannot be installed in all flood-prone locations.
Homes and businesses in flood-prone locations like Utah will always require protection from water damage. The best-laid plans of local governments won’t always protect everyone, so it’s up to you to take precautions. Deployable flood barriers are a perfect option for small-scale protection.
Have floodwaters already damaged your property? Get in touch with The Disaster Company. Whether you’re dealing with a full-fledged flood or just a simple waterway, our Utah flood clean up specialists will ensure that your property is restored to the highest level of customer satisfaction.