We often get asked how to protect your house from flooding?  Flood gates are the No. 1 way to give you peace of mind that your home is protected from flooding. Flooding of your home can be devastating, leading to months of turmoil and disruption to your life. The majority of flood events in the UK are flash flooding, which means the flood water affects the property for a short period of time (usually less than 24 hours). In this situation a floodgate is something you can quickly grab and deploy to prevent flood damage to your home and valuable possessions.

The type of flood gate on your home will depend on the size of the aperture, so you may need a different flood barrier for a door compared to a flood barrier for a garage. The type of flood barrier and options available will change depending on the width of the door and the height of flood protection required.

This guide is aims to provide you with an overview of all the considerations for flood gates for your house. The guide will review doors, garages and driveways, the three most common area flood barriers are used on a home.

Flood Gates for Doors 

A Flood Gates is a removable flood defence product, which can be quickly deployed if there is a flood warning in your local area. The barrier slides into two permanent upright channels, which will be fixed to the wall either side of your door. When required, a flood gate can be quickly installed by sliding the barrier panel into the upright channels and locking into place. It is worth noting, a flood gate is often referred to as a flood barrier or a flood control barrier. Flood gates are versatile products and can be installed on commercial or residential properties.

Measuring Flood Gates

The first step to determine which flood barrier is suitable for your door is to measure the width. To take the measurement you should take the brick to brick measurement i.e. from the outer edge of the door frame where it meets the wall.  If the door width is under 1.5m, you will have the option of an aluminium flood gate or a composite flood gate. If the door width is over 1.5m, your only option would be an aluminium flood barrier. The reason is the aluminium barrier is a stronger and more robust material, and can therefore withstand greater water pressures than composite flood barriers.

There are a few other things to consider:

Is the door open in or open out?  

The first thing to consider is whether the door is open in or open out. If the door is open in, then the flood barrier should be fit externally. If the door is open out, then we would recommend fitting the barrier inside the door. If you are fitting the flood gate inside your home, you need to make sure you are fixing to is solid wall i.e. not plaster board. Check there is sufficient space and no obstructions on the side of the door where the barrier will be fit. You may also want to consider whether you will deploy the barriers when you go on holiday. If you are going to install them when you are away, then you may want to consider having the barriers fit internally so passer-by’s do not know that your house is empty. It is quite common for people to install flood gates inside their garages for this reason.

Where will the upright channel fix to the wall?  

You can fix the upright channels on the face of the wall or in the reveal where the door sits. Depending on the type of gate will depend on the space required in the reveal. The minimum recommended space for each barrier is below:

If you have enough space to fit in the reveal, you then need to check the door has no cill that could obstruct the barrier being put in position. If there is a cill that sticks out at the bottom of the door, you will need to fit the barrier on the face of the door. You may also need to add a packer to the fixing (see no. 5 for more details). This may require additional length, which may mean you need to install an aluminium flood barrier. Keep an eye out for any cables, pipes or obstacles that could get in the way of the barrier fixing to the wall.

If the door is a sliding door, we would recommend installing the flood barrier with a face fix as there is unlikely to be enough space in the reveal.

How high can I have a flood gate?  

The next step is to think about the required flood protection height. Composite flood gates only come in 600mm high panels, where as aluminium flood barriers are available in 200mm or 400mm high increments. In the UK, the recommended flood gate standard is 600mm high, however this may not be suitable in all situations. For example, you may suffer when storm water causes drains to overflow, and you only need a 200mm barrier to deflect the flood water away from your house. In this situation, an aluminium barrier may be more suitable. In some circumstances you may require a flood barrier over 600mm high. For example, your door may be below ground level. In this situation, you would need to install an aluminium flood barrier, which can be manufactured up to 1600mm high.

Flood Gates for Garages 

The most common type of flood gate for the garages is a demountable aluminium flood barrier. The type of flood barrier will depend on the width of the garage and the height required. You will need to take a brick to brick measurement to determine the right flood barrier solution for your garage. Once you have taken the measurement, your garage flood barrier options are:

Up to 1.8m Wide 

The Buffalo Aluminium Barrier for garages up to 1.8m wide. At this width, no demountable post is required. The flood barrier comes in 200mm increments, therefore you can tailor the height the requirements of your garage. A popular size is 1.8m wide, 600mm high (the recommended UK standard for flood protection).

Between 1.8m-2.4m Wide 

The best solution is the Buffalo HD Aluminium Barrier. The HD flood gate is thicker than the standard Buffalo Barrier, and comes in 400mm high panels. Therefore, the HD Aluminium Barrier does not need a demountable post unless your garage is wider than 2.4m. Although the UK flood barrier standard is 600mm, the HD barrier comes in 400mm increments, therefore you can have greater protection that the UK standard at 800mm.

It is also worth noting that garage floor levels are often below the level of the house, therefore the additional 200mm offered by the HD version is popular. You may need 800mm flood protection on your garage, and a 600mm flood barrier for a door.

Over 2.4m Wide 

Above 2.4m wide you will need a demountable post, which will require a 300mm deep hole, 150mm in diameter to be core drilled into the ground. The ground should be a solid concrete where possible.  The demountable aluminium post works like a light bulb i.e. you unlock the cap, and then put the post in and turn 180 degrees and the demountable post fixes into place. The demountable aluminium post can be stored in your garage with the flood boards.

Flood Gates for Driveway 

The most common type of flood gate for the driveways in the UK is a demountable aluminium flood gate. An alternative option is a hinged flood gate, however this is usually installed in commercial flood control.  The advantage of a flood gate for a driveway is it is the most cost effective way to control flooding of your property. It is common for water running off the road and into your house, with the driveway being the primary source of water entering your property. This is particularly a problem if drains in your area are rarely maintained and prone to blockages. The same options that are available for garages are also suitable to driveways. This is because aluminium floodgates are manufactured to any length.

Advantages of flood gates 

  • Aluminium flood barriers are bespoke made and can be manufactured to any length (with the use of demountable posts). The benefit of this is the barrier is designed to fit your driveway perfectly, and ensuring effective flood control.
  • Cost effective flood control – demountable flood barriers provide the most cost effective solution to protect your driveway from flooding. Alternatives, such as the self closing flood barrier are x5-x8 more costly.
  • Quick and easy to deploy – in a flood event, you need a solution that can be quick to implement and control the flood waters. A demountable aluminium flood barrier can be installed in a few minutes, even with a demountable post.

Additional Flood Protection Measures

  • Drain non return valve – one of the most unpleasant experiences in a flood event is backflow from the drainage system coming up the toilet. To prevent this from happening, install a drainage non return valve in the inspection chamber outside your house.
  • Anti-Flood Air Bricks – air bricks are designed to let air ventilate under your property, and can be a major source of water entering the property. In this situation, we recommend replacing with anti flood air bricks, or anti flood air brick covers.
  • Flood Proof Windows – if you have low lying windows around your property, you may consider installing flood proof windows.
  • Water Activated Sandless Sandbags – another alternative is the use of sandless sandbags, which are lightweight and easy to deploy. The sandless sandbags become firm when they come into contact with water, and can act as a flood barrier to divert water away from your garage or door.
  • Air brick flood covers – an alternative option to anti flood air bricks is air brick flood covers. The benefit of air brick flood covers is they do not restrict the air flow under your property, allowing the air brick to do the job its meant to do an ventilate your property. The air brick covers come in bright red colour to remind you to remove the cover after the flood risk has gone.

If you require further advice on how to protect your home from flooding, email us at info@thefloodcompany.co.uk or call on 01484 505509.