In the case of flooding, sandbags can help prevent or lessen water damage by slowing down or stopping floodwater. Sandbags are inexpensive to make, but they require some work and preparation. Getting prepared now can save time, money and stress if a flood occurs.
In a pinch, you can use a variety of homemade options that are just as effective or better than store-bought sandbags. You'll need a bag, sand and a shovel or trowel. Piling sandbags in multiple layers can also provide additional protection.
To prepare sandbags, it's best to work with a team of two people. One person crouching down will hold the bag open by folding the top of the bag over to form a collar opening. The second person will empty a shovel full of sand into the opened bag. The bag should be filled to about one-third to one-half of its capacity so that it is heavy enough to prevent collapse.
Once the sandbag is fully loaded, it should be folded over the open end and tucked under the last bag. The untied open end should face the direction of the flood flow. It's important to build the sandbag wall with a gap between it and the building. This will prevent the force of water from driving the sandbag wall against the building and potentially causing damage. Generally, a maximum of two rows of sandbags should be built against the building. If more sandbags are needed, they can be placed at a later time.