The Flood Vent Blog

Flood Solutions Flood Vents Now ICC-ES Certified!

March 27, 2015

We’re excited and pleased to announce we now offer FEMA compliant ICC-ES Certified Engineered flood vents!

What does this mean for you? A cost-effective and easy method for meeting FEMA/NFIP requirements – in all 50 states – when the vents are installed properly.

FEMA/NFIP requirements state that to use the engineered calculations to determine the number of flood vents required, you must have either:

An Engineered Certification from the state in which property is located, along with the specific property address listed on the certification.

OR

An ICC-ES certification and ICC-ES evaluation report from the flood vent manufacturer.

We’re glad you asked. Here’s our ICC-ES Certification – hot off the press! You can also view and download the full ICC-ES Evaluation Report.

ICC-ES Certified Flood Vents

The ICC-ES Certification and Evaluation Report are good for all 50 states.

By using the engineered calculations to determine how many vents you need, versus the net free air calculation, you ultimately need fewer vents – which means more cash left in your wallet.

All Flood Solutions Flood Vents are manufactured in the USA using heavy-duty aluminum. Rot, rust and rodent resistant, our flood vents come in two models and various sizes and are ready to install.

Have questions? Please call – we answer our phone! You can also read through our Info Center where you’ll find FAQs, certification documents, and installation instructions.

Welcome to our new website!

January 5, 2015

If you’ve visited Flood Solutions before and have just returned . . . and have noticed things look a little different, it’s because we’ve completely updated this website.

You will love the changes — we do!

New flood vent models

We completely redesigned our flood vents to be able to offer the most cost effective FEMA Compliant vents on the market. You get the same rugged, rust and rodent resistant vents . . . at a much lower price. Yes, they’re FEMA compliant! And yes, they’re made in the USA (in New Hampshire, to be precise).

As always, you do not have to use engineered or ICC certified vents. Non-engineered vents are totally FEMA Compliant so long as you install them properly. And, our new vents are easy to install!

Keep in mind, you can have a standard air vent, screen, grate, grille or louvered vent in the opening and the vent DOES NOT need to have a 3″ opening in it, only the HOLE in the wall needs to be at least 3″ in diameter.

Mobile friendly shopping cart

When we first built the Flood Solutions website about four years ago, Foxy Cart, our shopping cart, was still relatively new. The cart served us well but customers kept asking why it wasn’t mobile-friendly.

It is now! Foxy Cart has completely revamped their cart, which integrates with WordPress and works on any mobile device. So, if you’re on your smartphone or tablet, please, place an order!

Our credit transactions occur in a secure area of our site, to protect you from any loss, misuse or alteration of information collected. We have put in place the appropriate physical, electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online and to prevent unauthorized access, maintain data accuracy, and ensure the correct use of information.

We use Secure Socket Layers (SSL), the industry standard in transferring information, to process your orders. The SSL encrypts, or translates, your order information into a highly indecipherable code, which is processed immediately.

Updated FEMA information

We’ve updated all of our information regarding FEMA and NFIP so that you have the latest regarding requirements. View our FAQs and other resource pages.

Complete redesign of the website

In addition to the shopping cart being mobile-friendly, safe and easy to use, we completely redesigned the entire site to give it a fresh look and feel. Like the shopping cart, it’s designed to work on mobile devices, too.

Take a look around and let us know what you think. If you run into any glitches, let us know and we’ll fix them, pronto.

Thank you!

Population Growth, Climate Change Mean More Flood Risk

March 17, 2014

In a recent FEMA-commissioned report, The Impact of Climate Change and Population Growth on the National Flood Insurance Program, researchers predict a significant increase in coastal and riverine flooding over the next 90 years. They estimate that flood hazard areas could grow 40-45% by the year 2100 as a result of population growth (which puts more people into flood hazard areas) and climate change (which increases the size of flood hazard areas).

Naturally, these changes bring higher flood insurance costs. In fact, if shorelines remain unchanged, the report writers estimate that the average loss per policy could increase 90% by 2100. Given these numbers, it’s not surprising that the Biggert-Waters Act was introduced as a way to control these costs.

While debate over Bigger-Waters continues, some observers are asking why taxpayers are subsidizing the cost of insuring a smaller group of homeowners. As the Washington Post editorial board recently stated:

… it takes some chutzpah for NFIP beneficiaries to act entitled to subsidies from the vast majority of taxpayers who chose not to live on the beach — or who never could afford it in the first place.

While we’ll leave this debate to lawmakers, it’s worth pointing out that one of the easiest and least expensive ways to mitigate flood damage to your home is to install flood vents. Our FEMA compliant flood vents help keep the integrity of your home’s foundation intact—whether you live on the beach or not. To learn more about our flood vents, contact us.

Debate Over Biggert-Waters Delay Continues

March 3, 2014

The debate over what to do about the rising cost of national flood insurance continues. At the end of January, the Senate passed a bill to delay Biggert-Waters implementation by four years in response to many homeowner complaints about dramatic increases in flood insurance premiums.

More recently, on February 21, House GOP leaders introduced legislation that would reinstate insurance rate subsidies for homes located in flood prone areas and keep these subsidies in place even when the house is sold. Instead, the bill will allow FEMA to slowly raise insurance premium rates over a longer period of time.

Whether these latest amendments to Biggert-Waters will actually pass through Congress remains to be seen. Nonetheless, it’s clear that the debate over Biggert-Waters, and climbing insurance costs generally, is far from over. And if you’re a homeowner who needs flood insurance, you can bet on your rates going up, either now or later.

Fortunately, you can take steps to reduce your flood insurance premiums regardless of how the legislation develops. The NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) gives homeowners a break on insurance premiums when they implement improvements to mitigate flood damage, such as elevating homes and installing flood vents.

Flood Solutions flood vents are FEMA compliant and come in a variety of sizes and models. They’re made of heavy-duty aluminum and start at only $52.00. Learn more about FEMA/NFIP flood vent requirements or contact us with your questions.

Elevating Your Home: Don’t Forget Flood Vents

February 5, 2014

In this blog we’ve talked about different methods of mitigating flood damage, such as raising your home and installing flood vents. But did you know that these two flood mitigation methods are often used together?

The objective of elevating a home is to put the living area above flood level. Usually this is done by raising the living space and building a new lower floor or abandoning the lower level and constructing a new living space above. The method you choose depends on the way your home and foundation are constructed.

Regardless of the method used, the end result is the same: the lower floor is used for parking or storage, not living space.

But you don’t want to go through the expense and effort of raising your home and then fail to protect the foundation from flood damage. That’s why flood vents are an integral part of elevating homes.

As stated in FEMA’s Homeowner’s Guide to Retrofitting, Chapter 5: Elevating Your Home:

An important part of the project is installing flood openings in the foundation walls (your building permit will specify the size and location of these openings), no higher than 1 foot above the ground, so that floodwaters can enter and equalize the internal and external hydrostatic pressures.

This method of flood mitigation is called “wet floodproofing.” According to Chapter 6 of FEMA’s report, wet floodproofing is when floodwater is allowed to enter and exit the enclosed area (usually through flood vents). This helps protect the home’s foundation from structural damage and prevent it from floating off its foundation.

If you’re considering elevating your home and want to install FEMA compliant flood vents, contact Flood Solutions.

Flooding and Your Farm

January 22, 2014

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that flood vents can be an important means of mitigating flood damage to your home. But unfortunately for farmers, flood vents can’t do much to mitigate damage to land, equipment, crops or livestock. Still, you can take steps to protect your farm from flood damage.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a detailed list of resources for agriculture managers in the event of a disaster, including flooding. Here are just a few of the tips:

Planning

Planning starts with setting priorities: consider which farm items are most important to save (i.e. the most expensive or irreplaceable items). Well before flooding is a threat, arrange for a safe location to transport animals. If you have dairy cows, consider arranging for temporary milking facilities. Develop a plan for moving grain, equipment and pesticides out of reach of floodwaters.

During a Flood

Livestock can often survive floods if they’re not kept confined in pens. However, if water rise is rapid, animals may refuse to leave their barns and drown as a result. Therefore, it’s important to evacuate earlier rather than later. Long swims through calm water are safer than short swims through swift water.

If time allows, disconnect electric power to all buildings that might flood, and tie down lumber, irrigation pipes, fuel tanks and other loose equipment.

Recovery

You’ll need to take special steps to recondition flood-damaged farm equipment. You’ll also need to make sure your drinking water well has not been contaminated.

If you have crops in the field you can mitigate flood damage through methods such as opening drainage ditches and removing old growth. Harvested grain can possibly be salvaged by quickly separating dry and wet grain portions. Wet gain might be saved with a drier or by spreading it in a dry area as thinly as possible.

After a flood, livestock may be susceptible to particular health issues, such as pneumonia and foot rot. Report any sign of disease and vaccinate animals for common flood-related diseases, such as anthrax, lepto, blackleg and swine erysipelas.

While flood vents can’t mitigate flood damage to your farm as a whole, they might help mitigate damage to farm buildings. Although new construction or improved buildings must meet dry floodproofing requirements, existing buildings may benefit from flood vents. As stated on the FEMA website under Agricultural Structure:

Under some circumstances it may be appropriate to wet-floodproof certain types of agricultural structures when located in wide, expansive floodplains through issuance of a variance. This should only be done for structures used for temporary storage of equipment or crops or temporary shelter for livestock and only in circumstances where it can be demonstrated that agricultural structures can be designed in such a manner that results in minimal damage to the structure and its contents and will create no additional threats to public safety.

At Flood Solutions, we have a variety of FEMA compliant flood vents to choose from, suitable for retrofitting in existing agricultural structures. For more information about whether flood vents are a good choice for your farm buildings, contact us.

Controversy over Biggert-Waters Act Continues to Grow

December 30, 2013

In an earlier blog post, we discussed implementation of the Biggert-Waters Act and how it may increase flood insurance premiums. (As you’ll recall, the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act instructed FEMA to phase out subsidies and discounts so that premiums more accurately reflect a property’s true risk.)

As the Act takes effect, however, a growing number of politicians and homeowners are seeking to delay its implementation, especially as some insurance rate increases have been larger than expected.

Indeed, even Rep. Maxine Waters, who co-authored the bill, is seeking to have the premium increases delayed. In addition, some states have filed lawsuits against the federal government in an attempt to stall rate hikes. Other states are encouraging private insurers to offer alternatives to federal flood insurance coverage.

It remains to be seen how all this will shake out. But regardless of what happens with Biggert-Waters, it remains true that most insurers will offer a flood insurance premium discount for proper flood vent installation.

At Flood Solutions, our FEMA compliant flood vents come in a variety of models and sizes for both new construction and retrofits. For more information about our flood vents, contact us.

Winter Storm Preparation

December 17, 2013

As 2013 draws to a close, many parts of the U.S. have already been subjected to severe storms this winter. The good news? If you’ve prepared your family and home for flooding, then you’ve also taken steps to prepare for winter storms.

Part of disaster preparation is putting together an emergency kit. Whether you’re preparing for a flood or a winter storm, you kit should include:

  • Three day supply of water
  • Three day supply of food
  • Flashlight
  • Hand crank or battery operated weather radio
  • First aid kit
  • Medications
  • Personal documents
  • Cell phones and chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information.

In addition to assembling an emergency kit, there are other things you can do to protect yourself. In the case of winter storms, it’s important to dress warmly and minimize travel. You also need to be cautious of carbon monoxide poisoning if using alternative sources for heating and cooking.

In the case of flooding, you need to be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice and head for higher ground. You also need to be aware of hazards such as downed power lines, damaged gas lines and foundation cracks.

See the Red Cross’ safety checklists for flooding and winter storms for a more detailed list of what to include in your emergency kit and other steps you can take to prepare for flooding and winter storms.

Installing flood vents can help minimize damage to the foundation of your home from flooding, whether from tropical storms or melting snow. Our FEMA compliant flood vents are made in the U.S.A. and will not rust or rot—no matter what the weather brings. For more information, contact us.

Are Flood Solutions’ Flood Vents FEMA Approved?

December 3, 2013

When you’re researching flood vents, you’ll see that some manufacturers (many, in fact) advertise their flood vents as “FEMA approved” or “FEMA certified.” The truth is that no company can really make those claims. In fact, FEMA does not “approve, endorse, certify or recommend any products.”

Here’s exactly what FEMA states on their website under FAQs – Building Science:

While a product may be in compliance with FEMA design guidance, any language from manufacturers stating their product is ‘FEMA approved’ or ‘FEMA certified’ is incorrect.

What FEMA does provide is guidance on interpreting NFIP requirements for foundation wall openings. This guidance is written up in FEMA’s Technical Bulletin 1 – August 2008.

Therefore, while no company can claim that its flood vents are FEMA approved or certified, a company could state that its flood vents are compliant with NFIP regulations and FEMA’s guidelines for those regulations.

At Flood Solutions, we’re proud to state that all Flood Solutions flood vents are FEMA compliant. Every flood vent we manufacture and sell has an engineered opening that complies with FEMA Technical Bulletin 1-08.

To prove it, when you install a Flood Solutions flood vent, we’ll provide you with an “engineered certificate” for your state. We have 26 of these certificates online. If you need a certificate for a state not listed, simply contact us.

Options for Flood Mitigation

November 19, 2013

You want to protect your home from flooding, but how should you do it exactly? In FEMA’s Homeowners Guide to Retrofitting, FEMA outlines six different ways of mitigating flood damage:

  1. Demolition
  2. Relocation
  3. Levee and floodwall protection
  4. Elevation
  5. Dry flood proofing
  6. Wet flood proofing

Let’s examine each of these options briefly, moving (more or less) from most to least substantial.

Demolition

Demolition is razing your home and rebuilding on the same property or buying a home elsewhere.

Relocation

Relocation is moving your home to higher ground to protect it from flooding.

Levee and floodwall protection

Levee and floodwall protection is constructing barriers to prevent floodwaters from entering your home. A levee is usually made of compacted earth while a floodwall is build of concrete or masonry. While most of us are familiar with the use of these to protect large areas (such as cities), they can also be used to protect a single home. See FEMA’s Barriers for more information.

Elevation

Elevation is raising your home so that the lowest floor is above flood level. Common elevation methods are lifting the house and building a new foundation below or adding an elevated floor or new upper story. More information on elevating your home is available in FEMA’s Elevating Your House.

Dry flood proofing

Dry flood proofing is sealing your home’s exterior walls to protect it from flooding. This usually involved sealing the walls with waterproof coatings, impermeable membranes or an additional layer of masonry or concrete. It will also include installing watertight shields over windows and doors, and implementing means to prevent sewer backup. For more details, see FEMA’s Dry FloodProofing.

Wet flood proofing

Wet flood proofing is making uninhabitable parts of your home resistant to flood damage when water is allowed to enter during flooding. This generally includes using flood resistant materials, protecting mechanical and utility equipment and using openings such as flood vents.

One of the key benefits of wet flood proofing is that it can reduce the effect of hydrostatic pressure, which, if not controlled, can structurally damage your home.

For more details on wet flood proofing, read FEMA’s Wet Floodproofing.

For more information about our FEMA compliant flood vents, contact Flood Solutions.

Toll Free: 800.325.9775

Flood Solutions LLC
1 Industrial Park Drive, Bldg. 27
Pelham, NH 03076

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