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Engineered Flood Openings

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Engineered Flood Openings are:

  • Mass-produced flood openings are certified through the ICC-ES

  • Meet the required regulations, performance standards, and design guidelines

  • Designed and tested as flood vents and are given a flood coverage rating based on performance

CLICK HERE to view FEMA's documentation on how Engineered Flood Openings are classified.

WARNING: Any louvers, blades, screens, and faceplates or other covers and devices should be selected or specified so as to minimize the likelihood of blockage by small debris and sediment. Where experience has shown that a particular device or type of device has been blocked or clogged by flood debris or sediment, use of such devices should be avoided." - ASCE 24-14 Pg.45 (commentary)

Non-Engineered Flood Openings

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Non-Engineered Flood Openings are:


  • Not created to be used as flood vents

  • Have not gone through any of the required testing to qualify as an engineered flood vent

  • Solely intended for use as an air vent

  • Rated at the assumptive method of 1 net sq. inch of opening per 1 foot of enclosed area

CLICK HERE to view FEMA's documentation on how Non-Engineered Flood Openings are classified.


Photo credit: FEMA TB-1: Page 21




How Flood Vents Work

Flood Vents protect houses and buildings during floods by preventing hydrostatic pressure buildup that can destroy walls and foundations. This mitigation technique, referred to as Wet Floodproofing, allows floodwater to freely flow through an enclosure such as a crawlspace or garage.

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Hydrostatic Pressure: The pressure exerted by gravity at a given point within a fluid that is at equilibrium, increasing in proportion to depth from the surface.

When Are Flood Vents Required?

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Regulations and Building Codes require:


  • Residential structures in Flood Zone A have their lowest finished floor above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE)

  • Any enclosure (i.e. crawlspace or garage) below the BFE ​to have flood vents to relieve hydrostatic pressure off the walls

  • Unlike residential buildings, commercial structures have the option to wet floodproof, dry floodproof, or a combination of both

Flood vents help guarantee the lowest proper flood insurance premium.


Where Are Flood Vents Used?

Full Height & Walk-out Enclosures

Attached & Detached Garages

Crawlspace Enclosure


Photo credit: FEMA TB-1

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Photo credit: Smart Vent Products, Inc.


Photo credit: FEMA TB-1

Do I Need Flood Vents?

CLICK HERE to upload your Elevation Certificate for an evaluation by a Certified Floodplain Manager and receive a F.R.E. Flood Risk Report detailing your current situation and which mitigation solutions are best suited to reduce your flood insurance premium.

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How Food Vents Work
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Types of Flood Vents

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