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Flooding can cause catastrophic damage to properties and disrupt lives. As climate change leads to more extreme weather events, flooding is only expected to worsen in the coming years. Installing an effective flood barrier fence around your home or business can help mitigate the risk of flood damage. 

This in-depth guide covers everything you need to know about how different types of flood barrier fences work and where you need them most.

Read our blog on How Smart Fence System Improves Home Security.

What Are Flood Barrier Fences and How Do They Work?

Flood barrier fences, also called flood defence barriers, are structures designed to prevent or control flooding on properties. They work by creating a water-resistant perimeter that redirects the flow of floodwater away from buildings, infrastructure and other assets.

There are several types of barriers and they can be permanent or temporary installations:

Permanent Flood Barriers

Floodwalls – Concrete or masonry walls that fully surround areas at risk. They may have openings like gates and must be very strongly built.

Levees – Raised earthen embankments, often grass-covered, along bodies of water. They range from a few feet to over 25 feet high.

Seawalls – Massive stone, concrete or steel walls lining oceans, bays or rivers prone to storm surges. They prevent erosion too.

Temporary Flood Barriers

Flip-up barriers – Lightweight metal or plastic fences that lie flat most of the time but can quickly be raised up prior to flooding.

Sandbag walls – Stacked bags filled with sand form temporary linear barriers keeping water back for shorter durations.

Inflatable barriers – Tubes filled with water anchor to the ground and can stretch hundreds of feet when deployed.


Permanent flood defence systems offer the most robust protection but also tend to be far more expensive. Temporary DIY-style barriers provide more affordable and modular options.

Where Are Flood Barriers Most Needed?

Flood barrier fences serve a critical purpose at locations situated in flood zones or areas with prior flood history. Specific situations where they prove useful include:

Waterfront Properties

Homes and buildings directly on coastlines, rivers and streams have increased vulnerability. Flood barriers reinforce the boundary and perimeter from rising water levels.

Low-Lying Regions   

Places at lower elevations are susceptible to flooding during storms or rapid snow melt. Channels and levees help control water flow.

Below Flood Levels

Existing flood maps mark 100/500-year zones. Properties positioned below anticipated peak levels benefit greatly from redirected overflow routes that barriers create.


Since below-ground spaces are especially prone to taking on water, waterproofed basement flood barrier walls add a further line of defence.  

High Flood Risk Cities

Many urban areas increasingly face excessive run-off and rainfall beyond sewer capacities. Protecting metro infrastructures prevents immense financial impacts.

Agricultural Areas

Rising waters can wipe out crops and livestock. Farmers now frequently use inflatable tubes or metal barriers for quick deployment when fields get threatened. 

Flood barrier fences serve a vital role in shielding from water damage across these scenarios.

Key Factors in Selecting the Right Flood Barrier

With many types of flood defence systems available, choosing the ideal solution involves assessing:

Flood Duration

How long an area usually stay flooded? Temporary barriers work for shorter periods while permanent fixtures handle extended rises.  

Expected Water Height

The anticipated depth of flooding sets minimum barrier heights, often with added clearance. Flood maps or historical peaks provide data.

Soil/Weight Capacity

The ground must withstand embedded permanent barriers weight or temporary anchors. Geotechnical surveys check suitability.

Installation Timeline

Can a solution be set up within typically short flood warning periods? Some inflatable and flip-up fences deploy within hours. 


Permanent installations should blend with existing architecture and surroundings, combining form and function.   

For maximum effectiveness, the flood barrier type, dimensions and installation method get tailored to specific environmental conditions and risks.

Key Installation and Maintenance Considerations

Proper installation combined with ongoing maintenance ensures flood defence systems fully protect as designed when waters rise:

Professional Installation

Depending on the complexity, have qualified flood contractors handle permitting, site planning and implementation for optimal effectiveness.

Watertight Sealing  

All permanent barrier connections and changeovers in materials require complete waterproofing during construction to avoid leaks.  

Drainage Planning 

Integrate adequate drainage around barriers and pumps to direct overflow through planned escape routes.

Routine Inspections   

Regularly inspect for any material damage, erosion and undersized capacities. Failure to properly maintain can render barriers useless.

Weather Forecasting

Track regional systems and precipitation to know when to ready temporary equipment before flooding begins.

Ensuring robust design, leak-free installation and consistent inspections enables communities and properties to weather the worst water levels and storms.


With flooding emergencies only expected to increase in frequency and severity due to climate change, resilient homes and civic infrastructure design grows more urgent. Installing well-designed and properly customized flood barrier fences provides property owners with an added line of defense to minimize damages when the worst case transpires.

In flood-prone regions, the small incremental investment of permanent or temporary flood barriers pays substantial dividends by averting immense property losses. Hopefully this guide provided useful context into how flood barrier fences function, ideal installation environments and factors to consider when selecting optimal solutions.

Please let me know if you have any other questions regarding securing your property against the risk of flooding with barriers. And if you want modern fence system services then visit Perimtec today and get amazing services!

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