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How to Make a Sandbag Dam or Levee
During heavy storms, when flooding is imminent, an old-fashioned dam made out of sandbags could end up saving your property from damage, or even complete destruction.
If you end up making a sandbag dam, it is important to plan it properly. You want to consider things like: the direction of water flow, the necessary height and width of the dam, and how much space to leave between the dam and nearby buildings.
For tips on constructing a sandbag dam, consult the infographic on this page. A few important items are mentioned below. Read the infographic for the complete set of illustrated tips.
As you build the dam, you'll want to strengthen it and close up gaps by alternating the bags' direction and overlapping them. It is also important that you tamp each layer of sandbags with your foot to ensure that they're stable and the gaps are filled in.
Keep in mind that traditional sandbags typically weigh about 40 pounds each, so you'll want to fill them with sand very close to the area where you'll be using them.
Once you use sandbags, don't re-use them. Sandbags contaminated by floodwater should be sent to a landfill for hazardous materials.
If you live in a flood-prone area, advance preparation will be key. Keep traditional sandbags, alternative sandbags, or water barrier systems on hand so you don't have to scramble at the last minute when a storm heads your way.
This article is intended for informational purposes only. Before beginning any construction project at your home or taking steps to prepare for an emergency, please ensure that you take necessary safety precautions; consult construction professionals, your local authorities, and disaster safety experts whenever necessary. Water Damage Defense accepts no responsibility for the actions you take during an emergency or as you prepare for one.