Exploring the Different Types of Flood Defences

Posted on in Helpful Guides, Property Protection
country road in UK with flood warning sign

Flooding can cause catastrophic damage to properties and infrastructure when water levels rise and breach floodplains. With climate change leading to more extreme weather events every year, flooding is a growing concern for homeowners and businesses in many regions, particularly those in higher-risk areas. This is why implementing sturdy, reliable flood defences is so important, particularly when you consider that natural barriers like woodlands and hedgerows being removed puts residents at further risk. As the seasons begin to change and wet weather continues to permeate the UK, many are using this time to reflect on their flood defence choices and whether they are suitable enough.

Whilst it’s crucial to consider our methods for reducing climate change, companies and homes need to be proactive when the worst should happen. There are various types of robust flood defences available, each with its advantages. Here you will find a brief overview of the key flood defence options to consider and how they can mitigate risks.

Permanent Hard Defences

Concrete Barriers

Precast concrete barriers are a popular choice for permanent flood defences. Made from robust reinforced concrete, these sturdy barriers form an immovable wall that floodwater cannot easily permeate.

Jersey barriers, kentledge blocks, and delta blocks are just some of the many concrete barrier systems that provide robust flood resilience and protection. They can be installed along roads, pathways, riversides, and other waterways prone to flooding.


  • Extremely strong and durable
  • Withstands high water pressure
  • Permanent or temporary, depending on your needs
  • Long lifespan of decades
  • Low maintenance needs
  • Can be reused repeatedly


  • Heavy to install, often requiring machinery and additional resources
  • Can come with higher upfront costs in some cases

As a leading concrete barrier supplier, Maltaward offers durable precast concrete blocks engineered to BS EN 13369. Our jersey barriers are highly stable for reliable flood defence as well as construction site safety when projects are underway in high-risk areas.

Concrete barriers make sufficient flood prevention products, offering sufficient sturdiness and robustness without the need to embed them into the ground. Compared to, for example, structures like flood defence walls, stacked concrete blocks and barriers can offer sufficient protection in even the highest of flood risk areas. While defence walls can be solid in their own applications, concrete barriers offer additional flexibility and expertly safeguard the area between the floodplain and a property.

Demountable Defences

Water-Filled Barriers

Modern water-filled barriers offer rapid deployment for temporary flood defence. Interconnecting modular plastic units together creates aligned barriers that can be arranged and adjusted as needed.

Once in place, the barriers are filled with water for weighting and remain sturdy without the need to be drilled into the ground. The sturdy polyethylene material resists damage while providing effective flood diversion.


  • Fast and easy to deploy
  • Resilient polyethylene material
  • Modular flexibility
  • Highly visible
  • Not fixed to the ground


  • Can be punctured and prone to leaks if damaged
  • Limited weight stability
  • Not as strong in the long-term as concrete

Water-filled barriers enable quick response flood defence lasting days to months. They work well for public events and construction sites and divert smaller overflows.

MASS Barriers

MASS barriers provide sturdy, versatile flood defence protection. These interlocking galvanised steel units connect to form secure barriers against floodwaters.

Different MASS barrier products are available to hire or buy, with special products like the Visirail or Siteguard ranges possessing additional mesh fencing for increased visibility and security.


  • Strong and secure construction
  • Easy to transport and install
  • Variety of barrier products
  • Reusable for future events


  • Not as stable in high winds
  • Relatively heavy to manoeuvre
  • Not a permanent solution

For reliable temporary flood defence lasting months to years, MASS barriers are a smart investment. Their durability provides effective protection that’s easy to deploy quickly.

These modular, freestanding barriers are more flexible and reliable than sandbags stacked together like bricks. Sandbags, while tried and tested in some applications, only provide limited protection compared to robust and weatherproof barriers. For large floodplains or high-risk areas, consider using barriers as you will get far more out of them.

Protect Your Property With Confidence

The optimal flood defences for a site depend on the flood risk, landscape and budget factors. Hard defences like concrete barriers provide reliable frontline protection, while temporary demountable defences like water or MASS barriers enable proactive and rapid responses in times of crisis.

When considering your flood protection options, it’s better to have a proactive solution in place rather than be reactive in the face of danger. To find out whether your current flood protection options are suitable enough, and for a no-obligation consultation, contact the team at Maltaward.

As leading suppliers of concrete and plastic barriers as well as a range of permanent and temporary safety blocks, we can advise on the right type of flood defence solutions for you. Contact us today for a free quote and advice.

Steph Davies
Steph Davies
2 November 2023
I have been using Maltaward for about 12 years, mostly using their traveller eviction services. They have always been very helpful and easy to deal with. No fuss, just get the job done! More recently in my new company, I have brought them in to use utilised their vacant security services. They have worked with me to provide the correct service for our specific requirements. They have a common sense approach to everything. I really cannot recommend the team enough. They have been without a doubt the best security company I have been involved with.
Tom Lampard
Tom Lampard
2 November 2023
Everyone, and I mean everyone!, from the office team to the guys that drop the barriers, at Maltaward is very responsive, polite and genuinely helpful! I have used them at several sites and they have never let me down!
Syanne Mara
Syanne Mara
23 January 2023
Amazing service as always with a quick response time. Maltaward always have a solution to all problems and execute any works or requirements swiftly and thoroughly.
Julie Curtis
Julie Curtis
23 January 2023
Excellent product & delivery. We have ordered from Maltaward several times and we can't fault them.
21 November 2022
Quick turnaround and a good job. Many thanks .
Ian Rhoden
Ian Rhoden
26 August 2022
Great experience Keith was top-notch
Declan Goldie
Declan Goldie
9 August 2022
I have used maltaward for years. Jim has been very helpful throughout this time. Thanks
Sally Atkins
Sally Atkins
1 July 2022
Just wanted to say a big thankyou to your driver Del, although he didn’t like nettles :) he carried out the job with no bother. Would highly recommend Maltaward

Request a Free Quote

Fill out the form below and we will get back to you ASAP.

Add Any Supporting Documents Or Images
Max. file size: 32 MB.

Why Choose Maltaward Barriers?


  • Fast and Friendly Service
  • 30 Years Experience with Proven Track Record
  • FORS Gold Certified
  • ISO 9001 Certified
  • Local Authority and Major Property Managers Approved
  • Heathrow & Gatwick Airport Approved
  • Range of Solutions to Suit Your Budget

What Our Clients Think Of Us

We are really greatful for you guys organising these barriers, the driver was early, took no time at all and we are now properly secure. We will only use you for this sort of stuff in future, 10/10 service.


Multiple compliments from staff and patients – I have been taking full credit.

Chaps did an excellent job – quick and efficient and spelling perfect!

Car Park Line Marking