Many types of foundations are used to elevate buildings and homes. While the main portions of elevated buildings are above the basement flood elevation (BFE), the foundation and any enclosed areas below the BFE will be exposed to floodwater.
Flooding in Northern Alabama 2015
To address this concern, the NFIP regulations require that enclosure walls contain openings that will allow for the automatic entry and exit of floodwaters. By allowing floodwaters to pass through the opening, this will even out the water level on both sides of the walls, thereby reducing the potential for damage caused by a difference in hydrostatic pressure on different sides of the wall enclosure.
If enclosure walls are not designed with openings to relieve the pressure of standing or slow-moving water against them (called hydrostatic loads), the walls can be damaged or break during a flood. If the walls are “load-bearing” walls that support the elevated building, failure of the walls may result in damage to, or collapse of, the building.
Read More About "Openings In Foundation Walls and Walls Of Enclosures" from FEMA.
Installing Smart Vent Foundation Flood Vents
These vents are used for a home with a foundation or any enclosed area that desires natural air ventilation and flood protection. By installating a foundation ventilation system, it will also help protect against:
- Wood decay
- Mold and mildew
- Termite and insect infiltration
How Does It Work?
The vent door is latched closed until it comes in contact with flood water. Entering flood water lifts the patented internal floats which unlatch and allow the door to rotate open. This allows the flood water to automatically enter and exit through the frame opening, relieving the pressure from the foundation walls.
A bimetal coil automatically opens and closes the ventilation louvers as temperature changes. This happens automatically and no electricity is required. The louvers will be fully closed at 35F and fully open at 75F. In the event of a flood the internal floats lift to release the flood door to rotate open and relieve the hydrostatic pressure regardless of the louvers’ position, open or closed.
Lower Flood Insurance Premiums With Flood Vents
By installing foundation flood vents from Smart Vent, not only can you prevent flood damage to your foundation walls, but can also save money on your flood insurance premiums by reducing your homes' flood risk. Flood risk is unique to each structure and depends upon factors such as the elevation of the property relative to predicted flood levels, the construction style of the building, and the flood risk zone. Adding flood vents to your homes' foundation walls provides a means that permit the automatic entry and exit of floodwaters which protects your foundation and reduces your flood risk. Lowering your flood risk reduces your flood insurance premiums according to the National Flood Insurance Program.