Any items such as plant pots or furniture should be moved from the area where you will be placing the bags. Ideally, you should place a large sheet of heavy duty plastic between the sandbags and the wall of your house. This can be tucked under the first sandbag to hold it in place and then lifted up the side of your property. The bags should be placed like brickwork, with each sandbag on the new layer overlapping half of the sandbag below. It is best to stamp firmly on the sandbags to eliminate any gaps and create a more solid seal.
Depending on where you are and the threat of the flood, you may need to build your sand wall high to keep the water out. If this is the case the wall should be built safely – you will need to build a deep wall that is likely to withstand any torrents. Just like brick work again, if you are building a deep sand bag wall you will need to use different layouts for each alternating layer.
The ‘Header’ layout in the picture above is used for layer 1, 3 and 5, while the ‘Stretcher’ layout to the left of this paragraph should be used for layers 2, 4 and 6. The bags should be compacted and flattened into shape to keep them in place. If you have the means, a large sheet of plastic or PVC tucked in to the sand bags will be beneficial to hold it together and create an extra layer of protection. The criss-cross arrangement of the alternating layers is the most effective pattern to use for flood defense.
An added advantage of using sandbags is that they can filter out some muddy sediments and residue that is often found in flood waters due to embankments collapsing and crumbling. This is a good bonus – although be aware when clearing up that some of the residue that has been collected could be sewage, so always take precautions when handling.
For more information on protecting you and your property during a flood please visit one of the following websites.