Floodbreak Automatic Flood Protection Barrier

New Revolution in flood protection

The revolutionary FloodBreak automatic flood barrier is changing how flood mitigation projects are designed. FloodBreak will protect virtually any vulnerable opening, 24/7, without the need for human intervention or power. Permanently installed and nearly invisible, FloodBreak flood barriers sit beneath entrances, roadways and other openings ready to deploy and prevent flood damage.

FloodBreak passive flood barriers represent a revolutionary change in traditional flood control measures. FloodBreak was founded on a fundamental yet very simple concept – using the power of rising water against itself to automatically protect structures from flood damage caused by floodwaters. Without human intervention. Without power.

Historically, the only methods for protecting building entrances, driveway ramps, vent gratings, and other vulnerable floodpaths have been active flood mitigation measures that require power systems (which fail during floods) or human intervention (which puts people and systems at risk of error). Some flood control companies have been in the business for fifty years. Some joined the market more recently and make essentially the same active flood control barriers.

FloodBreak is different – it is permanent, passive flood protection.  The flood barrier sits beneath the ground at vulnerable entrances, ready to deploy 24/7, without dependence on human intervention or power, so that you don’t have to worry about unexpected flash floods, storm surge or other flood events.




FloodBreak Factory Test- Big Barrierjpg_Page7

How FloodBreak Works

FloodBreak® automatic floodgates are passive flood barriers deployed by the rising floodwater without dependency on people or power.
The concept is simple – the rising floodwater creates the hydrostatic pressure to float the buoyant aluminum beam and activate the self-sealing rubber gaskets. The higher the water rises, the higher the flood barrier is lifted until it reaches 90° and is held closed by the floodwater. When the water recedes, the flood barrier returns to it’s recessed location in front of the entry way, allowing vehicle and pedestrian passage to resume.

Why does the passive flood barrier float?
The FloodBreak 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.

Types of FloodBreak
FloodBreak is available in types according to application as following;

(1) Pedestrian Floodgate automatically blocks pedestrian entrances from street-level flooding. These automatic floodgates provide permanent flood protection for door entrances, stairwells and pedestrian walkways. No longer do you have to worry about flash flooding or prematurely closing important pathways.


(2) Vehicle Floodgate provides permanent flood protection while keeping important service areas open to vehicles until an actual flood event happens. There is no need to shut down your facility prematurely. The FloodBreak flood barrier is automatically deployed by the floodwaters.  When the floodwaters recede, the floodgate returns to it’s hidden, underground position.


(3) Roadway Floodgate passive flood mitigation system designed for continuous traffic service and heavy use on local roads and highways. It provides permanent flood control and is hidden underground to allow uninterrupted vehicle traffic until deployed by floodwaters.


(4) FreeView Flood Barrier provides permanent passive protection along rivers, levees, lakes and coastlines without blocking views or limiting community access to the water. FreeView barriers provide permanent, 24/7 flood protection while remaining hidden below ground or cantilevered over the water until an actual flood event. Rising water levels lift the buoyant panels and support the hydrostatic loads. When the water recedes,  the self draining and self retracting passive barrier returns to its rest position.


(5) Vent Shaft Flood Protection an innovative flood control solution for underground rooms, tunnels and subway stations that have vertical ventilation shafts to the surface. The system fits securely beneath street-level grates and prevents floodwater from pouring through the vent shaft to the rooms and stations underground. Water can be channeled to existing drainage systems through a weep hole at the bottom of the unit.  This allows water to drain from the system at a controlled rate.   Once the flooding subsides, the vent shaft gates automatically reopen allowing air to flow freely to the space below.


 Architectural treatment and decoration

FloodBreak passive flood barriers can be covered with architectural treatments to make the system virtually invisible and match your design.

FloodBreak flood Saves – Actual flood Protection Before and After
FloodBreak passive flood barriers have protected customers from flood damage on numerous occasions. There are at least a dozen verified flood saves including some locations where the floodgate has deployed more than once.  Here are before and after shots for those locations where customers photographed the flood save.


Frequency Asked Questions (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.

How much does the floating panel weigh?
The actual weight varies depending on the type of floodgate 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?
There are 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 floodgates 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.

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 10 feet (3.0 m) tall but taller gates have been designed.

What is the widest FloodBreak floodgate?
The widest fabricated FloodBreak gate is 300 feet (100 m) wide. The system is built in panels that are each self-supporting so there is no practical limit to width.

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 floodway 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 (25 mph), 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.

There is 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 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 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.

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 beapplied 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.

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.

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