FAQs

How are FloodBreak® Automatic Floodgates different from other flood barriers that have been around for so long?
FloodBreak has revolutionized flood mitigation. No longer do you need to assign and train personnel to deploy flood barrier systems. The FloodBreak Automatic Floodgate is a permanent, passive flood control system that will deploy automatically without people or power dependency. It provides 24/7 flood protection and eliminates the risk of operations and human failure.
If people and power are not needed, what makes your system deploy?
The FloodBreak flood barrier is designed to automatically FLOAT up, so all that is needed is floodwaters to pool under the buoyant hinged panel and the hydrostatic pressure will deploy the gates without human intervention.  View how it works
Why does the FloodBreak flood barrier float?
The FloodBreak automatic floodgate is actually a buoyant panel constructed of hollow aluminum extrusions. The extrusions are designed to be structural while also providing excellent flotation. Additionally, the extrusions are chambered so that even if an area of the panel is compromised, the overall panel will still float. This is similar to the design of a ship’s hull, where bulkheads protect the ship even if the hull is locally damaged.
How much does the floating panel weigh?
The actual weight varies depending on the type of floodgate, loading requirements and any special coatings or surface treatments specified. The FloodBreak Automatic Floodgate is designed to ensure that the total weight is always less than the water it floats upon, including a safety factor. Each gate is certified by an independent professional engineer.
Do you have any real world deployments?
We have hundreds of installed FloodBreak floodgates protecting a wide range of facilities including hospitals, commercial buildings, subway systems, municipal properties, apartment garages and campuses. We have installations across the US and globally. Our flood barriers have been tried and tested in the field for over a decade. More then a dozen customers have experienced verified deployments in real flood conditions including many that have deployed more than once. That doesn’t count the times the barrier floats up and returns to the rest position during a flash flood.
Have any of the gates failed?
Since our inception, there has never been flood damage behind a properly installed FloodBreak flood barrier.
What is the expected life of a FloodBreak Automatic Floodgate?
The gate is designed to last as long as the structure it is protecting. Materials are specified for long-term exposure to outdoor, industrial conditions. The units are low maintenance, highly durable, not prone to corrosion, and easy to clean and inspect.
What is the tallest FloodBreak floodgate?
The tallest installed floodgate is 12′ with many other tall gates in various stages of design & fabrication. There is no practical height limitation and gates can be designed for wave action loading and other requirements.
What is the widest FloodBreak floodgate?
The widest fabricated FloodBreak gate is 300 feet wide. The system is built in panels that are each self-supporting so there is no practical limit to width or height.
Are there any limits to how high and wide you can build FloodBreak floodgates?
FloodBreak floodgates are designed with tension members rather than stanchions or vertical stops and are modular in nature. There are no practical limits in height or width, and we can provide custom-engineered solutions for any flood problem.
Can we put a FloodBreak Automatic Floodgate on an incline/decline?
Absolutely. Placing the floodgate on an incline or decline has no negative bearing on the function of the FloodBreak flood control system. We have installed FloodBreak flood barriers on minor inclines and in cambered roadways. The geometry of an installation almost never prohibits use of our system. We’d be happy to discuss your project.
What velocity of moving water can the FloodBreak Automatic Floodgate handle before being over powered?
Our standard floodgates are rated for water velocities up to 37 feet per second (25mph), which is a surge velocity higher than expected in a Category 5 Hurricane. If water velocities are higher, we can provide custom-engineered solutions as well.
Will debris affect the operation of the gate?
The gate and pan are designed to be self-clearing both before and during a flood. Debris is blocked from entering the pan prior to a flood, and the gate and tension members are designed to withstand impact from large objects floating in the floodwater. Drains act to keep the pan clear during normal conditions and to remove the floodwater quickly once a flood has begun to subside. We always recommend checking and clearing the gate after a flood has receded. In over a decade of field deployments, debris has never caused damage or malfunction of our systems.
We have a problem with silt and clay in our floodwater. How does this affect the operation and maintenance of the FloodBreak Automatic Floodgate? 
The FloodBreak passive flood barrier system will operate normally with silt and clay suspended in the floodwater. It doesn’t impact the operation – even very muddy water will float the bouyant flood barrier. The system is designed so that debris is washed through to the pan and out the drainage pipes, including during rainstorms and other non-flood water events. Contact us to discuss the specifics on your project.
Can the FloodBreak passive floodgate system be designed to support levee specifications for a three foot top-out factor (i.e. three foot freeboard over BFE)?
Yes, The FloodBreak gate design can accommodate a top-out factor. There are no practical limits in height or width. Our floodgates are installed in a number of levee crossings and for a variety of applications. Learn about IBWC levee crossings.
Does FloodBreak conform to specifications for pedestrian and bicycle safety? 
FloodBreak gates conform to OSHA and Caltrans specifications for pedestrian and bicycling safety, including the design of the inlet gratings. We will always work to confirm specific requirements for your project.
Does FEMA approve, endorse, or certify FloodBreak?
No. Federal policy does not allow FEMA to approve, endorse, certify, or recommend any products, contractors or companies. FEMA has indicated its preference for passive flood mitigation compared to active measures that require human dependency and FEMA has approved and funded a variety of mitigation projects that included FloodBreak passive floodgates.  Learn More
Does FEMA verify or certify design calculations published by FloodBreak?
No. FEMA does not verify or certify design calculations for any product. However, every FloodBreak floodgate includes a Structural Design Report certified by a licensed third-party engineer confirming that the gate meets or exceeds necessary structural requirements and will perform as intended.
Can the FloodBreak floodgate be opened before a flood, such as a hurricane?
Yes, FloodBreak Automatic Floodgates can be opened and locked into place before an imminent storm or flood event. The floodgates can be raised into the fully deployed position with human lifting, machine-assist, or a one-button self-contained lift system, depending on size and specification.
Will ice stop the FloodBreak flood barrier from deploying?
We have a number of cold weather locations already in service, and FloodBreak has performed flawlessly in the cold. Ice crusts and surface freezing will not affect the gate’s ability to deploy. If water is flowing, even under the ice, the hydrostatic pressure will lift the flood barrier. Some facilities take it a step further, either with routine maintenance to remove all ice and snow on a daily basis, or even heat tape embedded in the surface of the unit. We work with each customer on an individual basis to plan for special circumstances such as these. Learn More
Will we have to lubricate the hinges?
No, the hinges are designed to operate without lubrication even in harsh environments.
In the event of a flood, does the floodgate automatically go back down?
It really depends on how much floodwater deployed the gate. If a gate is deployed by a few inches of floodwater, the gate will lower back into the pan when the flood ends. In the event of a major flood, the gate may stay in the fully open position. Some customers request that the gate have a lock to keep it in the open position after deployment so that the area can be checked and cleared after the flood recedes.
Can a person become trapped behind a deployed floodgate?
Our normal deployments do not seal a person into an area, although they may have to climb over if the floodgate has already risen.
Does the floodgate have to be in a fully upright position to stop the flood?
No. The FloodBreak flood barrier will rise with the floodwater, from initial activation all the way to full deployment. The higher the flood, the higher the floodgate rises. The floodgate will hold back the maximum elevation of floodwater it is designed for, though most flood events are far less than the full design elevation.
Can FloodBreak Automatic Floodgates be used to prevent floods from sea water or will the materials corrode?
Yes, FloodBreak gates can be installed in marine applications. All of the components used in the fabrication of our gates are specified so that rust or corrosion are not a factor even in harsh environments such as road salt and salt water.
What is the material and rated life for the seals used in a FloodBreak floodgate system?
All of FloodBreak’s seals are made from EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer). The blended sheet is a black colored sheet rubber which provides excellent resistance to weathering, chemicals, salts, ozone and UV exposure. It is rated for 10 year service life and can be easily replaced when required. See material specifications.
What are the maintenance requirements for FloodBreak Automatic Floodgates?
FloodBreak Automatic Floodgates are designed for decades of service life in extreme conditions and require minimal maintenance.They are designed to be self-clearing but a power washer can also be used to clean away any debris. We recommend periodic inspection to check the gate panel, pan, and sidewalls for visible damage or misuse. With the gate in the raised position,the gasket, gasket flange bolts and hinges should also be checked. We suggest that spray lubricant be applied to the gaskets. That’s it.
What is the warranty? Can we purchase an extended warranty?
FloodBreak’s standard warranty is for one year, starting on the date of installation, and covers all materials and workmanship. We also offer an extended warranty and service plan which provide full warranty and maintenance coverage on an ongoing basis, giving you long term confidence for your installation.
What if someone parks atop the barriers? 
A car parked atop the gate will not hurt the floodgate, but it may stop the flood barrier from deploying during a flood event. Typically, the placement of the floodgates is such that a parked vehicle would obstruct the entry, making parking less likely. In cases where inappropriate parking is a possibility, two solutions have been used – painting the top of the gates with warning notices and/or posting no parking signage.
What if a car runs over the gate when it is partially up?
It depends on which direction the car is traveling and how high the gate is deployed. If the car is coming from the dry side into the flooded side and the gate is only partially deployed, the gate will be pushed down by the weight of the car and will float back to the deployed position when the car passes. A car striking the partially deployed gate from the wet side can cause damage (to the car and possibly the gate as well). The gate is coated with high-visibility materials to provide a visual warning to drivers, and in high-traffic applications we can provide warning systems including strobes and even barrier arms if needed.
Can you demo the gate for me in person?
Absolutely. We have representatives across the USA and each has a mobile demonstration unit to bring to your place of business. Also, we invite potential clients to visit our fabrication facility just northeast of Houston, TX to view a full size Vehicle Gate installation (20 ftx 4 ft). Contact Us
What does it cost to get started?
It costs nothing for a proposal. Please contact us and provide us with project information, including available plans, pictures and dimensions. With sufficient information, we can get a proposal back to you in 24-48 hours. We may also be able to make suggestions for your project – we enjoy working with our customers in the early stages of planning, where we can put over a decade of experience to work for the best possible outcome.
What is included in the proposal price?
The quote you will receive from our team will cover the fully assembled and shop-tested FloodBreak flood barrier(s) with installation bracket and components, ready for installation and operation. As-built shop drawings and a stamped engineering package are provided as part of the system price. The proposal will also include any specialty items, such as special coverings, manual lift systems, and other project-specific options. Our proposal will also include pricing for on-site advisory services during installation as needed, as well as optional items such as a service and extended warranty plan.
What are the items excluded from the price?
Engineering of a foundation under the system, installation, taxes, freight, permits and any other third party charges are not included in the price. However, we will provide support materials for engineering and installation contractors to make sure they have the knowledge to complete the job.
How deep and wide of a hole is required to install the gate?
The best way to understand this is to refer to the Installation Guide. In this presentation you will find examples of how to formulate the hole size according to your gate size.
What options do we have in terms of coatings?
The standard coating is a non-slip, high-wear coating designed for long service life in outdoor, high-traffic installations. Color can be matched to customer specifications. The gate can also be skinned in architectural finishes, including carpet, tile, paving stones, granite, and other materials. Sidewalls can be architectural materials that match the building facade. One of major benefits of FloodBreak is that the gate can be almost entirely hidden in the entryway to a structure.
How long does it take to fabricate and deliver a FloodBreak gate?
Our usual lead time is 10-12 weeks.
How long will we need to keep our entry closed during installation?
A typical installation takes about 3 days from start to finish. In some cases, depending on site conditions you may not have to close your entrance at all. Click here for the Installation Guide.
Does FloodBreak install the gates?
We do not typically provide installation contracting. We do provide on-site supervision and advisory services during installation.  It is a requirement for warranty activation.
Does FloodBreak service the floodgates?
We offer an annual service and extended warranty program which includes one site visit per year for inspection, cleaning, and maintenance of our products. The full FloodBreak warranty is included in this program, which can be renewed continuously for total peace of mind.
For freight purposes, how much do the floodgate units weigh?
The actual weight varies depend on the type of floodgate and any special coatings or surface treatments specified. The system is relatively lightweight and modular in nature, allowing almost any configuration to be shipped via standard commercial carriers without special permits.
For a longer lengths, can you build a single continuous floodgate?
With our modular approach, we can provide any length needed for your project without sidewalls or breaks in the opening. Depending on the project, breaks may be placed strategically to assist maintenance or make turns in the wall.  Floodgate panels can be delivered as a single unit or easily bolted together on site.
Can we pay with a credit card?
We do not accept credit cards but operate on standard commercial account terms for customers with approved credit.
Can I get help from FEMA for the cost of the gates?
Many of our installations have been part of larger FEMA mitigation projects, typically under the FEMA Section 406 grant program. FEMA has indicated its preference for passive flood mitigation solutions as they are more effective than active mitigation measures that requires human intervention. Your eligibility depends on specific FEMA requirements. To learn more about FEMA Hazard Mitigation funding under Section 406 visit: Hazard Mitigation Funding under Section 406 (Stafford Act)