Myth: Flood Panels Are Only Effective Against Rising Floodwaters, Not Heavy Rainfall

Modern, lightweight, and easy to deploy, flood panels have proven time and again to be one of the most effective and essential flood protection products against water-related disasters, particularly in regions prone to flooding.

However, a common misconception persists: flood panels are only effective against rising water levels, not heavy rainfall. This article aims to dispel this myth by explaining the multifaceted benefits of flood panels in protecting properties from various forms of water ingress, including heavy rainfall.

Understanding Flood Panels

Flood panels are engineered barriers designed to prevent water from entering buildings. They are typically installed at entry points such as doors, windows, and vents. Compression gaskets provide a watertight seal.

Flood Risk America’s flood panels are:

  • Made of marine-grade material 
  • Engineered with a patented, flood-seal technology
  • Finished with a corrosion-resistant gel coat that protect against hurricane forces and increases the panels’ lifespan
  • Easy to install with minimal tools required
  • Customized for each property to fit the size and shape of the area 
  • Lightweight, weighing less than 5 lbs PSF for easy deployment and storage
  • Insurance industry certified
  • FEMA-compliant, meeting the agency’s requirements and standards
  • Backed by a lifetime warranty, which means you’re protected from any defects related to the product for a lifetime

You can learn more about how FRA flood panels work in this video: “Deployment of Panels”:

The Nature of Flooding

Flooding can occur due to several factors, and its onset can be either gradual or sudden. 

Gradual flooding often results from prolonged rainfall, where the accumulation of water exceeds the capacity of rivers and drainage systems over time. This type of flooding can be predicted with some advance warning, allowing for preparations and evacuations. 

On the other hand, sudden flooding, also known as flash flooding, typically arises from intense, heavy rainfall over a short period. Flash floods can happen within minutes or hours of the rainfall event, leaving little to no time for warning. 

  • Rising Water Levels - This is often associated with river floods, storm surges, or coastal flooding where large volumes of water overflow and inundate surrounding areas.
  • Heavy Rainfall - Intense precipitation can overwhelm drainage systems, leading to surface water flooding, where water accumulates on the ground and flows into buildings.
  • Flash Floods - Rapid flooding caused by sudden, heavy rain, often exacerbated by saturated ground, poor drainage, or urban landscapes.

Other causes of sudden flooding include the rapid melting of snow and ice, dam breaks, or the failure of other water containment systems. Coastal flooding, influenced by storm surges, high tides, or tsunamis, can also occur both gradually and abruptly, depending on the contributing factors. 

Understanding the dynamics and timing of these events is crucial for effective flood management and disaster response strategies.

The Effectiveness of Flood Panels Against Heavy Rainfall

To understand why flood panels are effective against heavy rainfall, it is crucial to consider their design and functionality:

  • Barrier Functionality - Flood panels create a physical barrier that prevents water from entering through vulnerable points, such as doors, windows, floor drains, electrical boxes, and more. This barrier is equally effective against water rising from swollen rivers as it is against water accumulating from heavy rain.
  • Sealing Mechanisms - Modern flood panels are equipped with advanced sealing technologies that ensure a watertight fit. This prevents water seepage, whether the water source is a rising river or pooling rainwater.
  • Pressure Resistance - Flood panels are designed to withstand significant water pressure. During heavy rainfall, water can accumulate quickly and exert pressure on entry points. Flood panels are constructed to resist this pressure, keeping interiors dry.
  • Versatility in Installation - Flood panels can be installed in various configurations to address different types of flooding. For heavy rainfall, panels can be deployed around areas prone to water pooling, such as basements and ground-level entrances.

The most important message here is that flood panels are highly effective in protecting against flooding, whether caused by heavy rainfall or rising water levels. 

Their construction is strong enough to withstand the intense forces of hurricanes and severe storms, ensuring reliable protection even in extreme weather conditions. 

By implementing flood panels, properties can significantly reduce the risk of water damage, offering peace of mind and safeguarding investments against the unpredictable nature of flooding events.

Case Studies Demonstrating Effectiveness

Several real-world examples illustrate the efficacy of flood panels in managing both rising water and heavy rainfall:

  • First Service Residential in Miami - Flood panels installed for this building’s parking garage saved the property owner a potential $100,000 and more in damages
  • The University of Houston’s Boiler Room - Boiler rooms are at risk during intense rainstorms and rising floodwaters. Once damaged, equipment is incredibly costly to repair and replace.
  • First Service Residential Building - A great example of how FRA’s flood panels effectively kept floodwaters out of this residential building through a week of intense rainfall and tropical storms.

Final Thoughts

The myth that flood panels are only effective against rising water levels and not heavy rainfall is unfounded. Flood panels are versatile products designed to protect properties from various types of flooding, including the challenges posed by heavy rainfall. 

By understanding their functionality, sealing mechanisms, pressure resistance, and versatility, it becomes clear that flood panels offer comprehensive protection against water ingress. 

Investing in quality flood panels can provide peace of mind and substantial protection for both residential and commercial properties in the face of increasingly unpredictable weather patterns.