How to use Sandbags


How to use Sandbags

Do not assume that your local authority will provide you with sandbags in an emergency! Sandbags will be in short supply and local authorities will choose to protect vital infrastructure such as hospitals, substations etc before residential properties. If you live in an area prone to flooding it is a good idea to be well prepared before any flooding. Sandbags are of no use to protect a property if it has already been flooded.

When working out how many sandbags you need do not forget all the entry points into your house. Airbricks, cable entry points, utility meters, cat flaps etc will all let water into your property if they are not protected.

You will need at least six sandbags to protect a standard door from 20cm depth of flood water.

Placing your sandbags

  • Clear the area of any debris before laying sandbags, this will help to reduce gaps that may allow water through
  • If available put a large, heavy duty plastic sheet between the sandbags and the brick wall of your property.
  • Place bags in layers similar to the way bricks are laid; make sure that the one above overlaps the one below by at least half. Tuck the open end under the filled half of the bag and position it pointing in the direction of water flow.
  • Once the bags are in place stamp them down to eliminate gaps and tighten the seal.
  • To properly protect small entrances such as doorways you may need to empty sandbags slightly so that they can be shaped to fill the gap properly.

For more information please see Building Substantial Walls