Photo Album: Smart Vent installed to meet code in Brick, NJ
A homeowner in Brick, NJ needed to add a smart vent in order to meet code and pass a CO inspection. We had done work for him in the past, and he was aware that our contractor crew installed smart vents as part of its offerings. In recent years, we have experienced more extreme weather events with increasing regularity, and it’s no secret, especially after Sandy, that the Jersey Shore is a target for hurricanes, tropical storms, and nor’easters. The combination of high winds and concentrated rainfall puts our homes, many of which are close to large bodies of water, at risk. Many homeowners are looking for preventative measures to minimize damage from these events, and likewise, many Jersey Shore towns have imposed more stringent building code requirements.
Side of house before installation of flood vents.
Often, with our Smart Vent installation, we are able to remove the existing traditional vents and replace them with our Smart Vents. However, sometimes our projects are more involved. Here, for this homeowner, we needed to cut through the hard board siding, and then chip out the block to create an opening for the vent installation. To be sure, it's a bit more work on our part, but it gets the job done with the same result: the home foundation is protected against damaging floodwaters. This homeowner also had a more immediate concern, of course. He needed to meet code to move into his home.
Installing the flood vent.
We're often asked how these vents mitigate or prevent severe foundational damage from floodwaters. The answer is that they do it by equalizing hydrostatic pressure. These vents permit floodwaters to freely enter and exit the basement or crawl space. It's an exercise in futility to try to keep floodwaters out. Hydrostatic water pressure from floodwaters around your home can easily reach tens of thousands of pounds. It's more than enough pressure to collapse large dams and retaining walls, so your comparatively weak home foundation wall doesn't stand a chance.
Cut out for the flood vent.
What makes these vents so "smart?" It's their elegant simplicity. Unlike traditional air vents, these vents open automatically and passively once floodwaters reach a certain level by using patented internal activation floats. No human intervention is required and no electricity is needed. The vents provide a 3-inch clearance for small debris and trash to easily pass when the vent door is opened to avoid clogging. For vented crawl spaces, there are even Smart Vent models with a metal coil that's sensitive to temperature changes that open and close the vent louvers automatically without manual intervention. For a lowly vent, that's sheer genius!
Installation of Smart Vent flood vents.
Many municipalities understand the benefits of these FEMA- and NFIP- (National Flood Insurance Program) compliant vents. These agencies have determined that these foundation flood vents are so effective that homeowners can save, on average, 80% of their NFIP premiums. How much can you save? Smart Vent has a Flood Risk Evaluator division to ensure that homeowners with Smart Vents receive the proper flood insurance rating. Homeowners can obtain an estimate of their new lower flood insurance premium at www.yourfloodrisk.com. Any New Jersey homeowner with a crawl space or basement in a flood hazard area, especially NFIP-designated V Zones and A Zones, should strongly consider installing Smart Vents to protect their home. Also, more and more municipalities like Brick are requiring them in order to obtain a CO. For many of our communities, these vents are not a nice-to-have home addition. They are mandatory for effective floodwater protection.