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What are Flood Vents and How Can They Help with Flooding?

You’ll find flood vents in homes or other structures built on raised foundations. Understanding flood vents and their role in preserving your home should a flood occur.

What are Flood Vents?

Homes with basements, crawlspaces, garages, and other enclosed structures built below the Base Flood Elevation are required by the National Flood Insurance Program to install flood vents. Whether or not you have flood insurance, building codes require that your home has flood vents. If your home is below BSE, you’ve seen the vents on your foundation walls.

The NFIP has three basic requirements for flood vent installation:

  1. One square inch of an opening in a foundation wall per square foot of a house
  2. Vents must be less than 12 inches above the ground
  3. Two vents per enclosed area with vents placed on different exterior walls. 

Can Foundation Vents Help with Flooding?

Flooding is a common and costly problem across the United States. An estimated 13 million Americans live within the 100-year flood zone. And in the last twenty years alone, flooding caused more than $81 billion in damages to homes, businesses, and organizations. Flooding is a costly and devastating natural disaster, which is why flood mitigation efforts are crucial to keeping your home and your family safe.

Flood vents are crucial components of your home’s structural integrity should your property flood. When flooding occurs, water pressure builds on the outside of your home, forcing water to the interior walls. As the flooding slows, the water level on the exterior of your home begins to drop. This is good news, as long as the water level on the interior of your home drops at the same rate. But if water levels remain higher inside your home than on the outside, you’ll quickly run into major problems.

When floodwaters recede, standing water left inside an enclosure –– like your home’s crawlspace ­­­­–– creates pressure from within that can cause severe structural damage. If this hydrostatic pressure isn’t released, a building’s foundation and walls give way to the force, resulting in costly damages. As a result, windows and doors can blow out, or worse –– your foundation can be compromised.

But when your home or building has flood vents in place, you significantly reduce or even eliminate the chances of hydrostatic pressure damage. Flood vents are permanent openings built into your walls. They allow water to pass into or out of a building’s exterior foundation walls. This passage of water equalizes the water pressure inside and outside the walls during a flood event.

Flood vents are necessary for preventing damage to your home during heavy rains and flooding. While food vents can’t prevent water from entering your home, they help prevent structural damage caused by flooding. Homeowners have enough to worry about in the wake of a flood; structural damage and repair shouldn’t be on that list. Flood vents protect your home from easily preventable structural and foundation issues caused by flood pressure.

Financial Benefits of Flood Vents

Flood vents quickly pay for themselves. Firstly, the presence of flood vents on your home often drastically reduces your flood insurance premiums. Because these vents are so effective, insurance companies reward homeowners with flood vents with lower rates.

Additionally, flood vents are designed to reduce hydrostatic pressure and resulting structural damage, and they do both incredibly effectively. Therefore, the comparably low price of building flood vents into your home will be worth it should your home see flooding. Flood vents can save you thousands in the foundation and structural repair damages, making them worth every penny you spend on installation.

Foundation Repair after Flood Damage

As we’ve explored above, flood damage is devastating, and once waters come into your home, the recovery process is long and stressful. If your home has incurred damage from flooding, DeVooght House Lifters has the equipment, resources, and experience to execute your foundation repairs.

We bring decades of experience to each project, walking you through every step of the repair process, so you can feel confident and secure in your choice to work with us.


At DeVooght, our services prevent flood damage before the unthinkable happens, and we help you recover from flood-related foundation damage. Whether you want to discuss house-lifting services or need foundation repair, our team is happy to work with you to provide quality solutions that preserve the integrity and value of your home. Contact us now, and one of our helpful team members will help you get started with us today!

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