Are you wondering Where to find Sandbags for Flooding (Or) How to use Sandbags to Prevent flooding? If so, you’ve come to the right place.
Spring is just around the corner, and with the Spring season comes the Waterworks; you know the saying, “April showers bring May flowers.”
Sandbags For Flooding – How to Prepare
In certain parts of the United States, the possibility of severe storms can place legitimate fear in those who face the potential of flooding. Especially those who live in Hurricane-prone areas of the country, like Florida or Louisiana, Or large rivers like the Mississippi.
Preparing sandbags for flooding can prevent water intrusion that causes mold or, even worse, severe water damage or even foundation issues.
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 home from flooding during those heavy rains.
Where To Buy Sandbags
If you’ve never looked for sandbags, 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 almost any hardware store and big-box home-improvement stores, and you can buy Sandbags Online like these from Amazon.
What is the Best Type of Sandbag?
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 from, 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’ll use it for and where you will 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 use for prolonged periods.
UpNorth White Polypropylene Sand Bags
The durable nature of Polypropylene allows you to place these bags in direct sunlight for extended periods without worrying about 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.
Polypropylene is the type of sandbag used by the military, not just for flood control but also perfect for use on the rifle range.
And they’re very inexpensive to buy, about $1.00 each, like those from the Up North Store.
DuraSak sandbags are a type of sandbag constructed of high-strength Green Polypropylene and are sold in Packs of 100 for big jobs. While they are “pricier,” these bags are durable, last longer, and offer 1600 Hours of UV protection, more than any other sandbags on the market.
DuraSak sandbags may be the way to go if you want longevity. They can be filled up to 50 pounds and have steel bag ties to ensure 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 sandbags, which goes a long way when you have tons of area to cover.
Burlap sandbags are 100% biodegradable and environmentally friendly. These are the best sandbags if you need to cover a lot of ground or have a limited budget.
Sandbaggy Burlap Sandbags
Quick Dam (Sandbags)
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 – and portable, and when wet – these sandless ‘sandbags’ help stop water from penetrating your home.
Best of all, no labor is involved since you don’t have to fill the bag with sand. And each one can absorb up to 4 gallons of water, expands to 3.5 inches, and last up to eight months.
Video: Check out how Quick Dam is revolutionizing flood control.
The Quick Dam product is a great way to divert water during storms and floods. You expose them to fresh water and let the self-activating absorbent powder soak up all the moisture. But beware, these are not used for use with saltwater.
Once saltwater comes into contact with them, a chemical reaction causes the bag to begin leaking. That is why you only use these in freshwater. They do work with snow as well!
Quick Dam Sandbags – 10 ft. length
How to Use Sandbags For Flooding
There are a few different ways your home could 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 flooding?
Sandbags are inexpensive, simple to use, and easy to set up. Also, with today’s technology, sandbags are getting better.
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 nothing is more frightening than sitting and watching while the water rises toward your property.
Fire is the only thing potentially damaging your home or business more than water.
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 Yourself 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, it is not our first choice.
Don’t Overfill Sandbags
Make sure you don’t overfill the bags with sand. Otherwise, they won’t close tight or stay intact when you stack them on top of each other, resulting in loads 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 complete. Depending on the bag size, 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 Sand Bags (For 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 fill the bags with cement. But do understand that you aren’t going to be filling the pack with cement only. Instead, you will need to use a mixture of sand and cement.
It’s a pretty straightforward 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 balance, you will also 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.
What is the “Sand Principle”
Have you ever built a sandcastle before? If so, you already know that the only way to get the castle to stand on its own is to infuse the sand with water. But why is that?
The answer is pretty 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 is just as important as filling them correctly. Stack them incorrectly, and your house could flood, as it would have been without the sandbags. And with all the labor you put in to fill the bags, that is unacceptable.
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 remember is that while sandbags most definitely help protect your home, 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
Standard Stack Method – Home Entry doors or Garage doors
If you have ever seen a brick wall, 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 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, it is best to dispose of the old ones.
After your sandbags have been used, filled with sand, or any other substance, 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 keep 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”.
How 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; how often do we have to worry about our living rooms filling up with water? Probably few do, and if so, very seldom.
However, if you’re here, 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 purchasing as many sandbags as possible during the 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 will likely run out of sandbags once a big storm is on the way.
Plan, and allow yourself plenty of time to fill all the sandbags and stack them where necessary. You, your property, (and your family) will be happy you did!
Thanks for visiting BestHomeGear.Com, and the best success with your Sandbag Preparation!
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References & Additional Resources
- Video on the “Do’s & Don’ts” For Filling and Using Sandbags – WTSP.com
- Flood Safety Preparedness Checklist – AmericanRedCross.Org
- Easy DIY To Fix Your Leaky Toilet – Besthomegear.com
- How to Stack Sandbags – MySafeLa.Org
- Best Wet-Dry Vac To Buy For Flood Cleanup – BestHomeGear.com