When it comes to protecting your Kansas City, MO, home from floods, no device plays a more critical role than flood vents. Combined with internal drains and sump pumps, the flood vents prevent structural damage to your home. They allow floodwater to flow unobstructed and create equal pressure between inflowing and outflowing water.
But as with every installation around the home, they can get damaged and fail to offer flood protection. So, it’s essential to check them from time to time, especially heading into a wet season.
Are Flood Vents Essential?
Yes, they are. During rainstorms, raging floodwaters can exert extreme pressure on the foundation walls of your home, causing them to buckle, crack, or collapse. When this happens, your home becomes susceptible to additional damage, compromising its structural integrity. Installing smart flood vents can help prevent foundation damage. And they do this by letting water flow, thereby equalizing pressure and preventing walls from collapsing.
Flood vents are versatile. You can set them up on your garage door wall, enclosed walls, foundation walls, and even the crawl space. Various sizes are available. The number of flood vents and their types or sizes depends on what works in your case.
Another thing is the vents integrate weather stripping and insulation. These features make the crawl space more energy-efficient, meaning you won’t need to heat up your home frequently. And you can install them in your newly built home or in your current home as a retrofit. You don’t have to worry about rust eating them up. Most are made from stainless steel.
Flood Vents and Insurance
Insurance policies rate homeowners who lack flood vents severely and this could mean paying more premiums towards your home coverage. What does the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) say? For homes in the floodplain, there must be two openings. Every square inch of the opening must correspond to every square inch of the enclosed space. And the opening’s bottom must not be higher than one foot above the exterior grade finish.
If you have 900-square-feet of enclosed crawl space, you must have 1,000 square inches of opening. Anything less or incompatible means you will be charged as though there are no openings. Sometimes, basement loading fees may apply. Windows and doors don’t count as flood opening unless they have proper openings installed on them.
Signs of a Defective Flood Vent
When inspecting your crawl space and other installations, don’t forget to check the flood vents as they could be damaged. Pay attention to these signs:
- Cracks between vents and foundation
- Damaged foam
- Holes through the face/screen
- Failed metal clip
- Cracks on top of the vent
Flood Vents Maintenance
Don’t assume your flood vents are in good condition. A lot of things can compromise them, including the elements and physical damage. As part of your maintenance, clean the vents at least twice a year with fresh water. Ensure that no screens, grates, fixed louvers, or other covers and installations obstruct automatic flood of water in and out of the crawl space or basement.
You can repair or maintain your flood vents anytime. But it’s best to ensure it is operational during spring and summer as it’s a time when torrential rains fall across Kansas City, MO, neighborhoods. Check the flood vents to ensure they can open and close automatically.
If your flood vents are damaged, ask your foundation repair contractor to retrofit them. Replacement shouldn’t take more than an hour unless there’s another issue that needs urgent attention as well.
Need Help? At Foundation Recovery Systems, our skilled foundation experts have the requisite experience and skills to perform quick and cost-effective flood vents installation and repairs. Contact us to schedule a free flood vent inspection and quote, and get solid recommendations to protect your home from floods today!