How To Choose The Best Flood Barrier?

Sandbags are effective at blocking and diverting flood water. But they are a lot of work to fill and they are usually not the prettiest things to have in front of your house.

A better way to protect your home against floodwater using a flood barrier. Flood barriers work by absorbing, blocking and diverting water. Most are designed with a filling that expands when it comes into contact with water, turning the flat sheet into a thick flood barrier.

The best thing about expandable flood barriers is that they are ready to go in case of an emergency. If it starts raining or there’s a big water leak, simply lay the barriers on the floor to keep water out and channel it elsewhere. The barrier will expand in minutes.

In this buying guide, we review and compare the best flood barriers for homes and building in the UK.

Key Considerations When Buying a Flood Barrier

A. Type of Flood Barrier

We can categorise flood barriers into two general groups:

  1. Expanding; and
  2. Non-expanding

Expanding flood barriers are those that swell up when they absorb water. As they get thicker, they block water from going through or over them.

An expanding flood barrier is a good choice if you don’t want to install a permanent flood barrier.

Keep a few of the barriers in an easily accessible place and use them only in an emergency. You can also lay the barriers where there’s a risk of water coming in so you don’t have to start looking for them when there’s a flood.

One advantage of expanding flood barriers is their versatility. You can use them indoors, outdoors and anywhere else you want to block or divert water. It can be flood water or water from a burst pipe.

Because they are flexible, you can use the barriers around curved areas. You can also set them in a such a way that they divert water to a different location.

A disadvantage of expanding barriers is that they are less effective for extreme floods that rise higher than the barrier.

A solid non-expanding barrier is ideal for permanent installation such as under a garage door or in front of a door.

Door flood barriers are typically several feet high, so they can keep out high floods.

If your home is at a high risk of flooding, consider having both types of flood barriers. Install a non-expanding barrier in front of all your doors and another under the garage door. Have a few expanding barriers handy for use inside the house or to provide extra protection in a serious flood.

B. Length

If you are buying an expanding flood barrier, look for one with sections measuring at least 1.5 to 2 metres. You’ll still need to buy multiple sections for complete protection, but longer sections will block water more effectively than many short barriers.

However, if you are keeping water out of a small area such as your front door, two or three short sections (about a metre each) will do.

If you are buying a permanent food barrier, look for one that’s as long or longer than where you’ll install it whether it is your front door or the garage door.

You don’t have to worry about it being too long. Most permanent flood barriers can be cut to size.

C. Water Absorption

If you are buying an expanding flood barrier, check its water absorption capacity. The more water it absorbs, the better it protects your home.

The absorption capacity of a flood barrier depends on the length of individual sections. Most 1.5-2m flood barriers can absorb about 20 litres of water.

D. Reusable

Finally, check whether the flood barrier can be used once it has done its job. Most expanding flood barriers are reusable for a limited period. Just leave the barrier to dry in the sun and it’s ready to absorb water again.

Permanent flood barriers such as waterproof boards and rubber strips are designed to be left in place even after a flood.

Best Flood Barriers: Top 5 Reviews

1. Quick Dam QD610-1 Water-Activated Flood Barrier

The Quick Dam QD610 is the best choice for anyone looking for an expanding water-activated flood barrier.

The barrier is 3 metres long, so it can protect a large area. And because it’s flexible, you can curve it such that it blocks water from different directions.

If you have a smaller area to protect, there’s also a 1.5m Quick Dam flood barrier. For large areas, there’s a long 5m Quick Dam barrier.

The Quick Dam barrier absorbs water and swells to a height of 3.5” within minutes. A dual chamber design ensures the barrier doesn’t roll away once it swells.

If you think the water will rise above 3.5 inches, the manufacturer says you can stack two barriers on top of each other. But soak them first to ensure no water passes through while the barrier is expanding.

After the flood, you can leave the barrier in place for up to one season. In its inactivated state, the barrier has a shelf life of 5 years.

What we like about it:

  • Long flood barrier.
  • Flexible design allows versatile placement.
  • Swells quickly to keep out water.
  • Reusable for one season.

2. GarageShield Garage Door Floor Seal

If you are concerned about water getting in under the garage door, we recommend the garage door floor seal from GarageShield.

It consists of a 2.5m strip of commercial grade rubber that can seal spaces between 5mm and 13mm. The package also includes a sealant that you use to stick the strip onto the floor.

Once you install the seal, it stays in place for years. You can safely drive your car over it without damaging the strip.

The GarageShield seal is not just good against water. It also keeps out leaves, bugs, dust and pests from getting into your garage.

It’s also a great way to keep your garage warm especially if it doubles up as a workshop. The seal keeps out drafts that come in under the garage door.

If you use an AC or heater in your garage, the seal will help you save energy.

What we like about it:

  • Suitable for all types of garage doors.
  • Permanent water seal.
  • Also protects against leaves, bugs, dust and cold.
  • Can be cut to size.

3. Loidhold Hochwasserschutz Mobile Water Protection Hose

The 1.6m long Loidhold Hochwasserschutz water protection hose is perfect for small indoor spaces such as under the door, near the kitchen sink or near a leaky washing machine.

You can also use it to block or divert floodwater from coming in through the door, but you’ll need to buy multiple barriers and line them together.

The barrier expands quickly when it comes into contact with water. As it absorbs water and swells, it prevents additional water from passing through.

The barrier is reusable. Just leave it in the sun to dry.

What we like about it:

  • Great for indoor and outdoor use.
  • Blocks and diverts flood water.
  • Reusable.

4. Gravitas HydroSnake Expanding Water Barrier

The Gravitas HydroSnake is another good choice if you are looking for an expanding water barrier.

The Gravitas HydroSnake has a flexible three-section design. So you can lay it straight or slant the end sections to keep out water from the sides.

This package includes two barriers that you can lay end to end to protect a large area or place on top of each other to keep out high flood waters.

When you stack the barriers, pre-soak them so that they stop water immediately.

The barriers are reusable for up to three months. After that, you can dispose them with your normal waste.

What we like about it:

  • Flexible design.
  • Blocks and diverts flood water.
  • Reusable.
  • Eco-friendly.

5. Stormguard Floodplan 30FP001 Barrier Universal Single Door KIT

You can certainly use cheaper expanding flood barriers under doors to keep water from coming in. But if the water rises too high, it can overcome the barrier.

A flood barrier board provides better protection against high flood waters. This one from Stormguard Floodplan is 0.7m high and covers doors that are up to 97cm wide. You can trim the width of the board to your door size.

The Stormguard Floodplan barrier includes nylon channels that you fix on both sides of the door. The board slips into the nylon channels, creating a watertight seal on the sides. At the bottom, a foam strip also ensures a watertight seal.

Both the nylon channels and the board itself are waterproof.

When not in use, you can slide out the board and leave the channels in place. During the rainy season, keep the board in place to keep out water.

What we like about it:

  • Protects against high floodwaters.
  • Can be trimmed to size.
  • Easy to install.

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