Are you looking to find Sandbags for Flooding – Where to buy Sandbags and how to use them? If so, you’ve come to the right place.
Spring is just around the corner. But with spring comes the waterworks, you know the saying; “April showers bring May flowers.” In certain parts of the United States, the possibility of severe storms can place legitimate fear in those who face the potential of flooding. Heaven forbid, you may also be in a hurricane-prone area of the country.
Sandbags For Flooding
There are a few different ways your home could possibly flood, from cresting rivers to breached flood barriers, to failing sump pumps, and the obvious one – Rain Storms. So why are sandbags such a favorite way to stop the flooding?
Sandbags are inexpensive, simple to use, easy to set up. Not only that but with today’s technology sandbags are getting better by the day. All it takes is some sand, a shovel, and an extra set of hands; and voila, you’ve got a makeshift fort for your home to keep the water where it belongs; on the outside of the house.
We’ve all seen the damage floods are capable of, and there is nothing more frightening than sitting and watching while the water is rising towards your property. The only thing more potentially more damaging to your home or business than water is fire.
Sandbags for flooding can prevent water intrusion that causes mold or even worse; serious water damage which can lead to damaged foundation issues. Check out this Handy Sandbag Print & Save Prevention Guide.
That’s why we put together this easy to follow guide on Where to Buy and How to use Sandbags and hopefully help prevent your own home from flooding during those heavy rains.
Where To Buy Sandbags
If you’ve never gone around looking for sandbags, then you probably have no idea where to buy sandbags for flooding. The good news is, they are pretty easy to find. You can find them at most any hardware store, a big-box home-improvement store, and of course, you can find Sandbags online as well. We’ve provided a few quick links below, so you can check out on Amazon.
What Type of Sandbags are Best
When most people think of sandbags, they usually think of the old-school burlap sacks that have been used for centuries. But there are plenty of other materials you can choose, and we’ll explore those options.
There are numerous types of sandbags, and before deciding which bag to get – you’ll first need to determine what you’re going to use it for, and where you are going to be placing the bags. Here are a few of the different types of sandbags manufactured.
Polypropylene bags are made of sturdy plastic-based material. They aren’t biodegradable, so they last significantly longer than the original burlap sacks that most people are accustomed to using. Polypropylene means they are great for using for prolonged periods.
The durable nature of Polypropylene allows you to place these bags in direct sunlight for extended periods, without any worry of them rotting. With that said, if you expect to keep them in direct sunlight for very long periods, you might want to check out the Polyethylene sandbags below, with a higher UV rating.
If you would like to check out polypropylene bags on Amazon – click below;
Polypropylene is the type of sandbag used by the military. They aren’t just great sandbags for flood control, but they’re perfect for use on the rifle range too.
DuraBag sandbags are a type of sandbag that’s constructed of a high-strength mesh fabric called Polyethylene. While they are “pricier”, these bags are very durable and offer one of the highest UV protection of sandbags on the market. If it’s longevity you’re looking for then DuraBag sandbags may be the way to go. They can be filled up to 50 pounds and even have steel bag ties to make sure the sand stays where it belongs.
Burlap sandbags are probably the most common type of sandbag that you are going to come across. They are the least expensive, and that goes a long way when you have a lot of areas to cover. They are 100% biodegradable and environmentally friendly. If you need to cover a lot of ground, these are by far the best sandbags for you to use.
Here’s the one you’ve probably never even seen or heard of: Quick Dam isn’t necessarily a sandbag, but it does act like one and is still an excellent flood deterrent. They are self-activating when wet – sandless ‘sandbags’ that help stop water from penetrating your home. Best of all, since you don’t have to fill the bag up with sand, there is no labor involved. And each one can absorb up to 4 gallons of water and expands to 3.5-inches and lasts up to eight months. Check out how Quick Dam is revolutionizing flood control
– Click here to watch it in action!
The Quick Dam is a great way to divert water during storms and floods. All you have to do is expose them to freshwater, and let the self-activating absorbent powder soak up all the water. But beware, these are not able to be used for saltwater. Once saltwater comes into contact with them, a chemical reaction causes the bag to begin leaking. That is why we only use these in freshwater. They do work with snow as well!
How Do You Use Sandbags?
How to Fill Sandbags
Figuring out what type of sandbag you should use is only the beginning of the sandbag experience. Now is where the hard work begins, because now you get to fill them up. To do this, you’ll likely need a little extra help from a friend.
Get to the sand
Many municipalities that border Rivers with High Flood Plains, tend to have an ample supply of sand for residents’ use. While we always recommend that you use sand to fill your sandbag with (after all, that is why they are called sandbags), if sand isn’t available, then you can use soil – in a real pinch, although for a lot of reasons, not our first choice.
Make sure you don’t overfill the bags with sand. Otherwise, they won’t close tight or stay intact when you go to stack them on top of each other, resulting in bags falling over when you need them in place the most. However, If you underfill, they won’t be nearly as effective at stopping the water from entering your house.
The perfect amount of sand is between 30 to 40 pounds when it’s full. Depending on what size the bag is, this will allow you to easily stack the bags effectively – because they will be malleable enough for the bags to stay where they belong, while still being able to effectively hold back the water you’re trying to keep out of the house.
Cement (semi-permanent flood control)
You may not want to use sand or soil, and that’s fine too. Instead of using that, you could also opt for filling the bags with cement as well. But do understand that you aren’t going to be filling the bag with cement only. Instead, you will need to use a mixture of sand and cement.
It’s a pretty straight forward process, all you need to do is fill the bag at a three to one ratio. That means three parts sand, to one part cement. Of course, once you are done filling the sandbag with the proper ratio, you are also going to have to fill it with water. Once you’ve got a perfect consistency, you can rest assured that your sandbag fort will keep water from entering your house; which saves you a bunch of cash.
The “Sand Principle”
Have you ever built a sandcastle before? If so, then you already know that the only way to get the castle to stand on its own is to infuse the sand with some water. But why is that?
The answer is fairly simple; once water hits the sand, it activates a chemical reaction that turns the sand from fine grain to a supremely water-absorbent substance — the same concept goes for a sandbag blockade. Once the water hits your sandbags, the sand will begin to absorb it, swell, and then firm up.
How Do You Stack Sandbags?
Stacking sandbags properly are just as important as filling them correctly. Stack them incorrectly, and your house could end up flooding, as it would have been without the sandbags. And with all the labor you put in to fill the bags, that is an unacceptable outcome.
But that’s why we are here; our goal isn’t just to help you pick out the right sandbags, and show you how to fill them correctly. Our goal is to make sure that your house doesn’t flood.
Something that you should keep in mind is that, while sandbags most definitely help to your home protected, they don’t offer a watertight seal. Thankfully, when you stack the sandbags correctly, they are an excellent tool for minimizing the damage — provided they’re correctly assembled. Here is how you should stack your sandbags
Normal Stack Method – Home Entry doors or Garage doors
If you have ever seen a brick wall, then you have seen how you should stack your sandbags for flooding. First, you will need to lay down a line of sandbags, but the second row doesn’t merely go directly on top of the bag in the first line. Instead, put the second stack of sandbags in the middle of two bags (this will help you to pack them tightly so that water doesn’t get between the sandbags). Stacking your sandbags is the last line of defense between your home and the flood that is trying to overtake it, so take a little extra time to lay them correctly.
Pyramid Stack Method – For Major Flood Protection
Preferred Pyramid Stack Method – with Plastic Sheet layer on Water intrusion Side
Are Sandbags Reusable?
Sandbags aren’t meant to be a permanent fix. Sure, they are great for keeping your house free of flooding during severe storms, but that is about as much use as you can get out of them. Once you have used them once it is best that you dispose of them.
After your sandbags have been used, filled with sand, or any other substance, they tend to deteriorate. Storing them for future use (even if they still look like they are in good condition) may result in you having faulty sandbags that are incapable of keeping your house from flooding.
Instead, it would be best that you properly dispose of the sandbags. We understand that you may want to throw them in the trash, but because of exposure to flood water, they have probably been in contact with chemicals and other wastes that are harmful to the environment. Rather than tossing them in your trashcan, you can find out how and where to throw them out by searching your city’s guidelines on google: “getting rid of used sandbags”.
What Is The Way To Prepare For Flooding?
Most of us never even think about preparing for a flood or taking precautionary measures to keep our homes from flooding. And it makes sense if you think about it, I mean, how often do we have to worry about our living rooms filling up water? Probably few do, and if so very seldom.
However, if you’re here then it is likely that you likely live in an area prone to flooding. Please don’t wait until the last minute to start prepping your house for flooding, it can occur much quicker than most people realize.
We could all learn from those who didn’t prepare for flooding. Common sense suggests we go ahead and purchase as many sandbags as we think we should have on hand during flooding seasons.
Once a severe storm is on its way – and before the floods begin – you’ll be ready!
Quick Reminder: Just as grocery stores quickly run out of bottled drinking water in an emergency, stores are also ikely to run out of sandbags – if a big storm is on the way.
Plan ahead, and allow yourself plenty of time to fill all the sandbags and stack sandbags where it’s necessary. You, your property, (and your family) will be very glad you did!
Thanks for visiting BestHomeGear.Com and the best success with your Sandbag Preparation!
References & Additional Resources
- Video on the “Do’s & Don’ts” For Filling and Using Sandbags – WTSP.com
- Flood Safety Preparedness Checklist – AmericanRedCross.Org
- How to Stack Sandbags – MySafeLa.Org
- Best Wet-Dry Vac To Buy For Flood Cleanup – BestHomeGear.com
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