Codes and Certifications
- How do SMART VENTS provide so much flood coverage?
- What is the difference between Engineered Openings and non-engineered openings?
- What types of certifications are accepted for Engineered Openings?
- What are some examples of Non-Acceptable Flood Openings as defined by FEMA?
- What is FEMA?
- What is the International Code Council (ICC)?
- What is the NFIP?
- Am I required to buy flood insurance?
- Does my homeowners insurance policy cover flooding?
- My house is in Flood Zone AE. How can I reduce my Flood Insurance bill?
- Where can I learn more about purchasing flood insurance?
- What is a Flood Vent?
- When are Flood Vents required?
- Is my property in a flood zone?
- What is the Base Flood Elevation (BFE)?
- What is a “100-yr flood”, “1%-annual-chance flood”, and “base flood”?
- What is an Advisory Base Flood Elevation (ABFE)?
- What is a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA)?
- The floor of my basement/crawlspace is lower than the ground level; what do I do?
- Do you sell direct? What is the price of SMART VENTS?
- How do you install SMART VENTS?
- What are the FEMA, NFIP & Building Code Requirements for installing flood vents?
- How do the vents attach?
- What is the depth of SMART VENTS?
- Can I install the vent in an entry door?
- My grade changes (slopes/dips), or my house is built on a hill. How do I place my vents?
- How do the models differ? Do they come in custom sizes? What sizes do you have?
- What can I do to finish the inside of the opening?
- Do they come in different colors?
- Do the vents keep the cold air out?
- Do the vents have insect screening?
- Does the vent require any electricity?
- Do the vents open only during a flood?
- Do you know of any other company that makes a similar product?
- Are the vents more expensive than other flood solutions?
Codes and Certifications
Non-engineered openings have not gone through any of the required testing, or any sort of flood testing for that matter, to qualify as an engineered flood vent and typically are solely intended for use as an air vent. Therefore, they are rated at the assumptive method of 1 net sq. inch of opening per 1 foot of enclosed area.
The following are acceptable forms of documentation for engineered openings:
For ICC-ES Evaluated Flood Vents, simply attach a copy of the Evaluation Report to the Elevation Certificate and highlight the model or models used in the home. Liability of the vent falls on the manufacturer.
Without an ICC-ES Evaluation an individual certification is required for each home that the vents are installed in. The certification needs to be an original certification with the signature and raised or electronic seal of the designer who is licensed in the state where the building is located. This option is for a licensed architect or engineer to design a unique opening for use in one particular home. Liability of the vent falls on the individual architect or engineer certifying the product.
• Standard foundation air ventilation devices that have detachable solid covers that are intended to be manually installed over the opening in cold weather, because they do not allow for the automatic entry and exit of floodwaters when the cover is in place.
• Standard foundation air ventilation devices that are designed to open and close based on temperature (unless they also are designed to allow for the automatic entry and exit of floodwaters).
• Windows below the BFE, because the automatic entry and exit of floodwaters cannot be satisfied by the expectation that windows will break under rising floodwaters.
• Garage doors without openings installed in them, because human intervention is required to open the doors when flooding is expected. Gaps between the garage door and the doorjamb or walls do not count towards the net open area requirement.
• Standard exterior doors without openings installed in them.
For further information see the Unacceptable Measures Section on Page 19 of FEMA TB 1-08.
Our ICC Certification Evaluation Service Report (ESR-2074) states that one 16" x 8" SMART VENT unit is certified to provide 200 sq. ft. of flood protection and should be attached to the Elevation Certificate.
Nearly 20,000 communities across the United States and its territories participate in the NFIP by adopting and enforcing floodplain management ordinances to reduce future flood damage. In exchange, the NFIP makes Federally backed flood insurance available to homeowners, renters, and business owners in these communities. Community participation in the NFIP is voluntary.
Flood insurance is designed to provide an alternative to disaster assistance to reduce the escalating costs of repairing damage to buildings and their contents caused by floods. Flood damage is reduced by nearly $1 billion a year through communities implementing sound floodplain management requirements and property owners purchasing of flood insurance. Additionally, buildings constructed in compliance with NFIP building standards suffer approximately 80 percent less damage annually than those not built in compliance.
In addition to providing flood insurance and reducing flood damages through floodplain management regulations, the NFIP identifies and maps the Nation's floodplains. Mapping flood hazards creates broad-based awareness of the flood hazards and provides the data needed for floodplain management programs and to actuarially rate new construction for flood insurance.
On your EC, Section A8/A9 will tell you the square footage of your crawlspace/garage/etc., the number of flood openings you have, and the flood coverage they provide. If your coverage does not meet or exceed the square footage, this is deemed as non-complaint and will result in a high premium. Installing proper flood openings or “flood vents” will correct this issue. Contact your Insurance Agent for information on some other factors such as elevation of machinery, elevation of first livable floor, and Building Diagram type.
The ABFEs are based on FEMA coastal studies that were completed before Hurricane Sandy. The studies include data that has been collected and analyzed over a number of years. Though advisory now, eventually information used to develop the ABFEs will be incorporated into official FIRMs.
FEMA Region II created this website with a tool to help you find the ABFE for your property. It is at www.region2coastal.com/sandy/table.
Our vents are the size of a standard concrete masonry unit (CMU), 16” wide x 8” tall. They can be stacked as many high* (although two is typical) and arrayed as many side-by-side as needed. For large commercial applications, we are able to design and manufacture custom mounting frames to contain various arrangements of vents in a single steel frame. We also make a Wood Wall FLOOD VENT that is designed to fit between wood studs spaced on 16” centers that measures 14 ½ “ wide x 8 ½“ tall.