One of the most common natural disasters, flooding can cause detrimental effects to homes and agricultural operations–especially in the midwest, where farmland is critical to the livelihoods of many. As natural disasters continue to occur more frequently, flood control is a top priority. Sandbags are one of the most popular and effective ways to mitigate flooding and its consequences.

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Sand Bags

Sandbags from Commercial Supply Co. are made from woven polypropylene material. While burlap can be used as an alternative material, its biodegradable nature means that it won’t work well for long term flood control.  Filled with sand or soil, sandbags should be placed strategically wherever flooding may strike. Dikes or levees can also be built to control flooding, and sandbags can be used in these areas–especially near rivers and bridges–for additional control. Creating a sandbag barrier can divert and even entirely stop water from entering vulnerable areas, preventing costly damage and repairs.

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  • Avoid uneven ground, including areas that are curved or include sharp turns. Clear any debris from this area where you are about to build your sandbag wall.
  • You’ll want assistance in filling your sandbags. Have one person hold the burlap or polypropylene bag open while the other fills the bag with sand. A fine sand or sandy soil is best and will ensure that bags can be stacked to form a water-tight flood control barrier. Sand bags should only be filled to half their capacity; this ensures they’ll be easily stacked and won’t split and/or break under their own weight. If the bags need to be transported, tie off the bag to make sure none of the filling escapes.
  • When placing sandbags, be sure that the flap of the bag is folded under and faced away from any potential water. If you’ve tied off your bag, flare the tied end out. Bags should be placed lengthwise running parallel in the direction of the predicted flow of water. To create the most efficient sandbag wall, tamp down on each row before placing the next.
  • Stagger additional sandbag rows. For each additional row, offset by half the length on top of the previous bag. This staggered effect will help to create a strong seal for flood control.
  • If you’re in a high-risk area and need to create a high flood control barrier, build your sandbag wall in the shape of a pyramid. For the most effective flood control, the base of the wall should be three times wider than the wall’s overall height. Bags should overlap at the seams.
  • For additional protection, cover the sandbag wall with plastic sheeting. You can lay the plastic sheet across the sand bags from top to bottom. Once you’ve laid the plastic sheet, lay down another row of sandbags along the bottom to weight the covering.

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With its history of devastating floods, Iowans and other midwesterners know that it’s important to be prepared when flooding is in the forecast–and even when it’s not. Commercial Supply Co. is your trusted source for flood control sandbags. Our non-biodegradable woven polypropylene sand bags can be reused multiple times, and meet all government specifications with a superior 1600 hour UV factor. By using sandbags with UV exposure, these flood control staples last longer and withstand brutal weather without breaking down and falling apart. Contact Commercial Supply Co. today for a flood control sandbag quote.