Think of the Quick Dam Flood Gate system as flood insurance that will prevent your home from being flooded — either through doors or other wide spaces surrounding your home, like you garage. Protecting your home requires a range of flood barriers and the Flood Gate system is an essential component for building strong protective barriers that can extend over long distances. We think you’ll be impressed by how fast and easy it’s to use.
Table of Contents...
- 1 Review — Quick Dam Flood Gate
Intro : Quick Dam Flood Gate
When we think protection of massive Hurricanes, the most recent one that comes to mind is Harvey. And what made Hurricane Harvey so destructive was the location. Most of the 125 billion dollars of property damage caused by Harvey was in the Houston metropolitan area. Parts of Houston were buried under more than 50 inches of rain, and with nearly 6.8 million people living in this city you can see how that could be a giant problem. Harvey damaged 204,000 homes, and nearly three quarters of those weren’t covered by any sort of flood insurance. Even 2 inches of water can cause massive damage to the wooden flooring, walls, furniture, electronic appliances, etc. in your home, so it is not hard to imagine what 20+ inches of rain within a single day can do to houses.
It is important to remember that you don’t need a powerful hurricane to get flood water in the house. Flooding in urban settlements is a major concern, since the expansion of concrete structures caused by population growth decreases an areas natural ability to absorb water. Urban sprawl coupled with inadequate drainage mechanisms can quickly transform even moderate amounts of rain into a flash flood situation.
VIDEO | See How it Works — Quick Dam Flood Gate
If you live in a flood-prone area, it is not a bad idea to take precautionary measures which will prevent your home from getting flooded or at least reduce the amount of damage caused by unwanted water around the property. While flood insurance and waterproofing of the home through building renovations can be quite costly, you don’t necessarily have to spend tens of thousands in order to stay safe from floods. Even small things like sandbags and homemade plywood barriers in front of the doors or gates can work wonders when it comes to reducing the amount of water that enters your home during a flood.
In this article we shall review two of the most popular temporary flood protection systems that you can install in your homes to prevent flood water from seeping in through the doors. The first one is from Quick Dam, and it is essentially a water barrier that is installed in entryways preemptively to prevent flood water from entering homes or shops. It will latch onto most standard door frames without the need for any special tools and can provide up to 26 inches (height) of protection from flood water. The second solution we review in our article is the Floodshield door barrier. It can be attached to both standard, as well as uPVC door frames within minutes and just like the Quick Dam Flood Gate this barrier requires no special tools for installation. You can remove it after the job is done and stow it away in a safe place.
Review — Quick Dam Flood Gate
Creates water tight seals. Comes in various size which seals areas from 30″ to 50-inches. Clever design allows you to connect multiple units using a locking stanchion system — in a 2-way and 3-way configuration which can create right angles or U-shape around doorways.
- Blocks entryways from flood water
- Flood protection up to 26 in high
- Adjusts for openings from 25″ – 50″
- Stops water in it’s path
- Easy to use & install in just minutes
- No alterations needed
- Can be used inside or outside
- Can be used for doors that open in or out
- Entryway remains accessible while in use
- Neoprene sleeve creates water tight seal
- Expandable sturdy steel frame
- For larger openings, stanchions join units together (stanchions sold separately)
- Kitemark Tested & Approved
Documents for the Quick Dam Flood Gate:
If the doorway in your home or shop is between 30 and 50 inches wide, you can purchase a Quick Dam Flood Gate to provide protection for the interior of your home during flood situations. It will stop water from entering into your house while not interfering with regular opening and closing of the door, so you can still enter/ exit your house by simply stepping over the floodgate.
Currently, there are 5 models available :
- QDFG25 : for openings 25″ to 30″ in width
- QDFG30 : for openings 30″ to 35″ in width
- QDFG35 : for openings 35″ to 40″ in width
- QDFG40 : for openings 40″ to 45″ in width
- QDFG45 : for openings 45″ to 50″ in width
VIDEO | How to Set Up Multiple Flood Gate Barriers
Stanchion Sets : Used to connect Flood Gate Units
Quick Dam has recently released a smaller Flood Gate, designed for entryways between 25″ to 30-inches wide (QDFG25). They have also announced a larger size, designed for entryways between 75 to 80 inches wide (QDFG75). For now, if your doorway is wider than 50 inches, you can look to install an additional frame in order to decrease the opening size. You can also purchase proprietary side rails from Quick Dam (Part# QDFGSIDES for one pair of rails), which are basically metal brackets with pre- drilled holes that let you mount the Flood Gate on uneven surfaces. You can also use these side rails to create a more stable mounting platform for the barrier, especially in combination with masonry walls.
Worth the Money. Consider it An Investment.
So where can you use Quick Dam Flood Gates? Well, pretty much any entryway that fits the dimensions of the barrier (between 30 to 50 inches) and gives you a stable mounting point. You can use it in homes, garages, shops, studios, Condo’s, commercial complexes, and even in hospitals. And in case you wish to join multiple barriers together to create a wider coverage for your garage, driveway, shop, etc. you can purchase proprietary stanchions which are essentially metal frames with vertical mounting points on either side that help you securely join two Flood Gates to create one large barrier. You can pair several of these stanchions together to create a barrier consisting of as many Flood Gates as you want. Each stanchion consists of two main components-
- An anchor or “base” which is fixed underground by drilling a 10” hole and filling it with concrete after placing the stainless steel base inside
- An “upright” made from powder coated mild steel which bolts onto the top of the underground anchor
Before you purchase stanchions and Flood Gates for your garage or driveway, make sure that the walls and floor of your entrance are completely flat with little to no irregularities. Or else the barriers won’t mount properly, and water will seep through. Secondly, you need to make sure that the walls are at a 90° angle to the floor. Finally, take a measurement of the entrance width from wall to wall (let’s call it D) and consider these 3 factors :
- A= Gate Size (depending on the model this can be anywhere from 30 to 50 inches wide)
- B= Stanchion Width (fixed value of 3.56 inches per stanchion)
- C= Side Rail Width (fixed value of 1-5/8” per side rail)
So, if the wall to wall measurement we took for our garage entryway is “D”, then A + B + C must be equal to D.
So for example- if your garage entrance is 120 inches wide, you will need three QDFG35 Flood Gates (35 to 40 inch coverage). And to join 3 gates, you need 2 stanchions along with 2 side rails which will attach to either end on the walls and provide a stable mounting platform. Remember that when installing the Flood Gate, it shouldn’t expand any more than 5 inches from its resting position. Otherwise, the structural integrity and longevity of the unit will be significantly reduced.
The upper portion of the stanchion can be unbolted and stowed away whenever there is no flood threat, and you can use your driveway normally. The underground anchors should be installed such that their top plates are flush with the floor, instead of protruding outwards from the ground.
Is the Flood Gate easy to use, and will it be able to stop 26.5 inches of flood water as advertised? While we haven’t personally tested this product in a real life flood scenario, we can attest to its reliability based on the manufacturer specifications and verified reviews from hundreds of customers who saved thousands of dollars by installing these Flood Gates in their doorways. Each Quick Dam Flood Gate consists of 2 parts- the 1” tubular steel frame with a built-in scissor jack, and the 7mm thick neoprene sleeve that goes on top of this frame. This tubular steel frame can expand both horizontally as well as vertically, which is how it secures itself to the doorway reveal.
The neoprene jacket that goes on top of the frame provides a complete water-proof seal, provided the surface you mount it against is smooth and free of dirt or debris. Always make sure to clean up the mounting surfaces, i.e. your door reveal and doorstep. Use silicone caulk between the neoprene jacket and door reveal if you notice that the surface is uneven. If your door opens outwards, mount the barrier on the inside of your home, behind the door frame. If your door opens inwards, mount the barrier outside. Make sure there is at least 1.25” of reveal in order to ensure a solid grip between the Flood Gate and walls. Quick Dam recommends a 2” reveal thickness for maximum protection.
When mounting the Flood Gate, make sure that the jack side is pointing into your home, and the flat face is pointing outwards (the side with Flood Gate printed on it should point towards the water). The package comes with a 17mm ratcheting wrench inside, so you can adjust the scissor jack to get the perfect grip between your walls and the Flood Gate. After securing the sides, it is time to tighten the 4 bottom bolts to make sure that the doorstep is completely sealed off. Hand tighten these bolts on the bottom of the frame, use a wrench only if you need to. Too much torque on the bolts at the bottom can damage the frame and lift up the barrier, loosening the grip between the sides of the frame and the walls. The flat front shield face is made from 1/8” thick steel, which is adequate for stopping up to 26” inches of flood water.
Floodshield : Flood Barrier — Review
- Comes ready to use. Fit within minutes.
- No tools required. Hand adjustable clips.
- No permanent fixtures or fittings to property.
- Cannot be stolen when door is closed
- Available in 6 different width sizes. All 24 inches in height
Very similar in principle to the Quick Dam Flood Gate, the Floodshield door barrier is designed to shield your doorways from flood water up to a height of 24 inches, or 2 feet. This is a slight disadvantage the Floodshield barrier has in comparison to the more advanced Quick Dam solution- while the Quick Dam Flood Gate offers 26.5” of protection from flood water, the Floodshield is a step down at 24”. Nevertheless, 2 feet of height should be enough to stop floodwater from entering into your home in most scenarios. One of the main reasons we would recommend the Floodshield over the Quick Dam is convenience of installation.
VIDEO | FloodShield Installation — Fast and Easy
With the Quick Dam barrier, you must use a 17mm wrench (provided in the package) to tighten up the scissor jack, then you have hand tighten the 4 bolts on the bottom of the frame so that your barrier is properly secured to the doorway. No need to mess around with bolts or wrenches if you own a Floodshield — just place it in the doorway, rest the rear side against the door frame, and make sure there is approximately 1.5” of overlap between the barrier and door frame. Next, you just secure the barrier clips to the door frame and it is good to go. The Floodshield will work on most standard wooden as well as uPVC door frames.
It doesn’t matter if your doorway uses stone, wood, or concrete steps- the rubber seals will create a watertight obstruction which prevents flood water from entering into your home. If you have door frames of varying thickness in different parts of your home, no need to worry- the barrier clips are adjustable, which means you can extend or retract the clips to change their length and guarantee a rock solid fit every time. Another benefit of the Floodshield is its lightweight design, which makes this barrier extremely easy to unpack and install. And when the flood has receded, you don’t need any tools to unmount it.
Even kids can detach the barrier from the door frame and lift it with ease since it weighs just 12 pounds. However, you shouldn’t mistake the ease of access with poor build quality, since this is one of the sturdiest temporary flood barriers you can purchase for your home. Once you close the door on the barrier, the door acts as an additional securing mechanism on top of the clips. In fact, the company claims that the Floodshield door barrier won’t come off even when subjected to category 5 wind speeds (that’s a sustained wind speed over 157mph).
Choose the Floodshield size which is nearest to, but not larger than Measurement A
While the simplistic nature of the Floodshield door barrier makes it convenient to use and lightweight for easy transportation, this design philosophy does have its trade-offs. For instance, it isn’t nearly as robust or versatile as the Quick Dam Flood Gate. While the Quick Dam barrier can be installed on doors that open both inwards and outwards, the Floodshield barrier only works with doors that open inwards. This means you may not be able to install the Floodshield door barrier on certain parts of your property.
Another thing to note is the fact that the quick connect clips used by Floodshield limit the types of surfaces and doorframes you can use to mount this barrier. Quick Dam uses an expandable frame and neoprene jacket, which means you have a bit of flexibility when it comes to choosing barrier sizes for your door. With the Floodshield product, you must make sure that the model size you choose matches your doorframe closely, with at least 1.5” of overlap on either side for a secure mount. Quick Dam covers door widths from 30 to 50 inches with just 4 sizes, whereas Floodshield door barriers need 6 models to cover a range of 30.75 to 38.5 inches due to their non expandable design.
The Quick Dam barrier can even be used on windows and French doors, as long as you get the right attachments- side rails, frame extenders, etc. You can join multiple Quick Dam barriers to create a U- shaped floodwater diverter in front of your garage or door. You can setup a 20- foot long barrier in front of an underground parking lot or the entrance of a retail store. Quick Dam provides stanchions and side rails that help you make large barriers using multiple Flood Gates. The Quick Dam solution is heavier, costlier, and takes more time to install/ uninstall but you pay for greater durability. While the Quick Dam barrier uses a tubular steel frame and neoprene jacket for a combination of rigidity and watertight sealing, the Floodshield is made out of polypropylene plastic and has no inner frame. Which means, the Floodshield barrier is lighter but also slightly weaker.
You can use the Floodshield door barrier on outhouses, entries and exits, basements, garages, etc., but custom modifications might be required for usage in commercial places like shops, studios, storehouses, etc. Quick Dam makes it easier for you if you want to use their barrier for commercial applications by providing stanchions, rails, etc. to conveniently join multiple Flood Gates in whatever configuration and shape you need.
Which Quick Dam product is right for you?
Flood Barriers: These are self-activating water absorbing strips that you can lay down along a line to provide protection from flood water for whatever is behind the strip. It could be your vehicle, porch, outdoor furniture, etc. These strips are essentially hollow tubes filled with super absorbing polymer crystals. When these crystals come in contact with water, they soak up to 30 times their own weight in fluids and swell up to create a massive barrier which prevents water flow to the other side.
VIDEO | Overview of Quick Dam Flood Barrier Products
You can pre-activate them by spraying water on these strips with a garden hose, or just lay them outside on the lawn so they will swell up when floodwater comes. They can also be stacked on top of each other in a slightly staggered pattern to provide up to 4 or 5 inches of protection from water. The nice thing about these is that you can use them indoors, like in the basement or even hospitals to prevent water from getting to sensitive electronic equipment. They can be used to stop floodwater from getting into your garage, or to contain a bathroom leak. Available in 3 sizes : 5’, 10’, and 17’.
Flood Bags: Quick Dam also calls these Sandless sandbags, and that is exactly what they are. Think of them as tiny flood barrier strips, pillow sized so you can stack them on top of each other like you would regular sandbags. They can be used to contain a leak in the basement, or to divert flood water from your driveway/ lawn. You can also place these in a circle surrounding the pool so that mud doesn’t flow right in during the rainy season.
The main difference between these and the Flood Barriers is that the distribution of polymer crystals is uneven so you might have to pad out the bags by hand to get an even mass spread. In the Flood Barrier, there is a fibrous inner carrier layer which contains the super absorbent polymer crystals so that the whole strip swells up evenly. There is no such distribution system in these Flood Bags, so be careful when placing them. Make sure that they swell up evenly, because if all the powder is concentrated in the front of the bag, only that part will swell up while leaving the rest deflated. This can cause the bag to roll over and water will pass through your barrier.
Water Curb : A giant inflatable polymer dam which can block up to 6.5” of water along a width of 5 feet. Or if you get the really large one, you can block 10” of floodwater along a 20 foot line. Multiple Water Curbs can be stacked alongside each other to cover your whole property, but that will cost a whole lot of money as well. If you want instant flood protection across the entire lawn or around the whole house, this might be it. You will have to activate them beforehand, since Water Curbs aren’t filled with super absorbent polymer crystals like the Flood Bags and Flood Barriers. So you will have to connect a hose and use a water pump to fill it up.
You can drive over the 6.5” model when it is 2/3rds full, and it is recommended that you partially fill the tube if its freezing. Antifreeze can be added to the water to prevent the tubes from exploding. Draining all the water from the tubes will take a while, and you need to make sure you have an area suitable for dumping the water. If you don’t have any drains nearby, carrying the heavy Water Curb manually is pretty tough.
Flood Gate: We already reviewed this one before, it is a solid barrier made from a tubular steel frame and neoprene jacket which installs straight into your doorway and provides a 100 percent watertight seal for up to 26.5” of floodwater. Perfect for protecting wooden floors, furniture, electronic appliances, etc. from getting damaged during heavy rainfall or flash flood scenarios.
Superior Method for Using Sandbags
Preparing your home for a flood —
- Always keep a “Go- Bag” ready if you live in a flood prone area. This kit should contain a few changes of clean, dry clothing for your family, insurance policy numbers, phone numbers of the agent or homeowner, toiletries, and money to last a few days. Pre-plan an evacuation route and a place of shelter (friend or family member’s house) where you can go after your home is flooded.
- If you suspect water will accumulate inside the house, shut off all electrical systems from the main panel preemptively.
- Invest in a battery powered sump pump and purchase a portable generator.
- Move all expensive items, valuables, precious documents, etc. to the attic or 2nd
- Search for cracks in the foundation, and seal them up with masonry caulk or hydraulic cement. If you have a leaking basement, call up qualified personnel to locate and fix the issue.
- Look up the FEMA flood maps for your area and elevate furnaces or water pumps at least 12” above the highest known flood level.
- If you have fuel tanks for the generator, furnace, etc. make sure to anchor them or else they will float around and may rupture.
- Hire a professional to install check valves for your sewer lines which will ensure that waste only flows one way- out.
Steps to take if your house floods —
- Unless the flooding is due to rain or some other natural source, find the cause- is it a leak in the basement, or a broken pipe in the bathroom? Find the cause and shut it down, the easiest way is to turn off the main water valve to your house.
- Turn off power- you don’t want electrical appliances nearby when you’re wading through several inches of water. Shutdown everything from the fuse box, but don’t wade through water to get there. If you cannot get to the fuse box without stepping through water, call your electrician.
- Make sure everyone is okay, evacuate the premises with your family and find the nearest shelter. If it is a burst pipe or sewage leak, the nearest shelter could be your neighbors house. In the case of a natural disaster, you need to listen to the local news for more information on evacuation and shelters.
- Call for help- once you have evacuated all family members including the kids and pets, it is time to do a quick health check and call 911 if medical attention is needed.
- Document and record whatever you can with a camera or phone, so you show it to your insurer. Do not reenter the flooded house without waterproof boots, and waders because it might contain hazardous chemicals and biowaste from the sewage.
- Make sure you deal with mold and mildew during the renovation process, by using strong cleaners like bleach solutions. Check out this FEMA document to learn more about dealing with mold and mildew in a recently flooded home.