PROVEN SOLUTIONS: Choosing The Right Flood Barrier For Your Opening

In the world of flood protection, one size does not fit all. Just as there are many types of companies and facilities, so are there many types of doors, docks and openings. Floodwater on the other hand, doesn’t care what kind of business you are in or what kind of facility you utilize – if it can gain access, it will. Effective flood protection must account for this, matching flood barriers to openings in order to keep water outside where it belongs.

The Facts:

Here are some important considerations to keep in mind when you choose flood protection barriers for the doors and openings on your facility.

  1. Opening Size:
    This is the most fundamental consideration, of course. A pedestrian entrance requires a significantly different flood solution than a large loading bay that is several yards wide. The wider an opening is – and the higher the water rises in that opening – the more pressure is placed on the flood barrier, significantly influencing effective flood barrier options.
  2. Water Protection Height / Pressure:
    Just as important as the width of the opening is how high the waters are expected to rise and how much pressure the flood barrier will consequently need to withstand. To determine how these factors affect the choice of protection, it’s important to account for everything from FEMA maps to hydrostatic and hydrodynamic pressure, wave and wind loads and even debris impact.
  3. Active VS Passive Protection:
    Active flood protection barriers are often the most economical choice for a facility. Depending on the circumstances, they may even be the only choice that will effectively prevent flooding. However, they require time to install before flooding occurs. Passive barriers, on the other hand, are always in place or deploy on their own when floodwaters are present (usually buoyed by the water itself). While passive barriers are reliable and convenient, there are limitations on where you can use them (and they are generally more expensive to purchase and install).
  4. How The Barrier Will Be Secured:
    How a flood barrier is anchored to the facility is critically important. Some structures do not lend themselves to flood load, and this must be considered when looking at your options. Wood, metal and brick, for example, come up short when handling floodwaters, flood loads and anchors. These types of structures may require you to change your flood protection plans, and it’s important to share information like this when choosing a flood control partner.
  5. The Budget:
    Last but not least are the financial resources available for flood barriers. Flood protection is always costly, but the resulting peace of mind is invaluable. Costs will depend on your site, the flooding risk, and complexity of your barriers. When choosing a flood barrier, remember that every dollar spent on reliable protection for your building will return many times that amount in avoided flood damages and increased safety for those inside.

The Challenge:

How can a busy company, organization or government agency take all of these factors into account while continuing to succeed with their everyday tasks? They get help.

Dependable flood protection requires input from multiple groups, from the flood barrier manufacturer to local engineers and architects to the installation contractors. Most flood barriers are custom made or at least contain custom elements. Never trust an amateur when it comes to something so complex and important. A well-qualified flood protection team can be the difference between a dry facility and disaster.

It is critical to partner with a flood barrier manufacturer who can work with your local engineers to engineer and manufacture a custom solution that meets your flood-protection requirements. They should have a proven track record in the flood industry in providing solutions in a wide variety of facilities. By finding a flood barrier manufacturer you trust, you increase the number of factors you can control – critical to planning when it comes to the unpredictable nature of flooding.

The Solution:

Products from PS Flood Barriers™ protect facilities around the world in virtually every industry. Our custom-engineered solutions provide value through both active and passive protection, with everything from flood planks and vertical lifts to pedestrian flood doors and self-rising barriers. From concept through completion, our team includes some of the most experienced flood protection experts and engineers in the world, and our proven track record for successful flood protection speaks for itself. Here are just a few of the key products in the PS Flood Barriers lineup:

Hydo1® Flood Doors
These doors provide always-in-place, 24-hour flood protection while still allowing access to your facility, and they boast the lowest leakage rate in the industry. They are available with a 90-minute fire rating and have passed Florida Product Approval testing, including approval for the High Velocity Hurricane Zone (Miami-Dade and Broward counties – FL #39631).

HydroDefense® Flood Planks™
The planks provide flood protection in vertical increments of six or eight inches and are used by stacking planks on top of one another to build a watertight barrier in front of an opening. They work well for protecting walk doors, retaining walls, driveways and storefronts. This product is designed and tested to meet ANSI 2510 and FM 2510 approval standard.

Hinged Flood Barriers
These barriers are designed specifically for the height of water protection that you require. They are permanently installed at your opening, and during flooding conditions they are closed and latched. When flooding conditions are not present, the barrier is stored in the open position and does not alter the aesthetics of your building. They are an excellent solution where underground walkways and tunnels are flooded during heavy storms.

Bottom Hinge Flood Barriers
Bottom Hinge Flood Barriers can self-store within a walk/drive surface. When flooding occurs, this passive flood-protection system pivots up to deploy without human intervention. It is able to be electrically deployed, passively activated by rising floodwaters or manually activated. They are engineered for H-20-44 loading standards on roadways and are ideal for commercial applications, including driveways/walkways, storefronts, exterior door openings and loading docks.

To determine the best flood protection for the openings in your facility, start by contacting PS Flood Barriers. Our legendary combination of people and products has been protecting businesses from flood waters since the 1980s, and our commitment to innovation has made us one of the world’s leaders in overcoming unique flooding challenges. See more online at