Sandbags have long been used as part of the flood control measures for homes and businesses. The issue with sandbags is they are heavy to manoeuvre, making it slow and difficult to position in a flood event. What could be harder than carrying a heavy bag of sand around in the pouring rain? But the use of sandbags can be crucial in diverting water around your property.
The majority of floods in the UK are flash floods, which means they happen quickly and then the water disappears. The sandbags don’t absorb the water completely, but they do act as a temporary barrier to divert the water away. The sand will retain some of the water, making it hard and sticky. If you can imagine being on a beach, the soft dry sand is light and easy to move. Whereas the dark, wet sand is hard and firm. This makes it easier to run or play on. In a flood situation, the damp sandbag goes firm and acts as a barrier. Scientists call this wet sand “interstitial liquid bridges“.
The issue is that sandbags are difficult to put into position, especially in remote or difficult locations. They can be impossible to lift unless you are strong and able, making them pointless for elderly. The solution is sandless sandbags, which use special super water absorbing material to retain the water and create the same firm structure as wet sand. As water comes into contact with the sandless sandbag it absorbs the water, and the gel reacts to bind together and create a firm sandbag like structure.
The sandless sandbag are lightweight and come flat packed, making them easy to store. Unlike sandbags, the sandless sandbag takes up very little space prior to inflating, therefore can be easily stored in a garage or on a shelf. The sandless sandbags are lightweight and can be easily put into position around a door or garage in a flood event.
The other benefit of sandless sandbags is they do not require any equipment or tools to deploy. This reduces the stress involved in protecting your home or business.
The sandless sandbag will mitigate the impacts of flooding but they will not create a flood tight seal. The sandless sandbag will become hard when absorbing water, and this will act as a flood barrier to diver the water around your door or garage. The sandless sandbags can be stacked on top of each other to create extra height for the flood protection.
If you want to create a flood seal, we would recommend you look for a flood barrier rather than a sandless sandbag. The benefit of the sandless sandbag is they are an emergency measure which are good to have in case of an unexpected flood. We would recommend checking your flood risk to see if it warrants the investment in a flood barrier rather than a sandless sandbag.
There are a different types of sandless sandbags, each with their own benefit. Here is a list of the best sandless sandbags.
FloodSax are the original sandless sandbag, and come in a flat packed box. When not inflated FloodSax are approximately the size of an A4 piece of paper. The benefit of the FloodSax is you can tailor the barrier structure, including stacking the FloodSax on top of each other. The disadvantage is because they are only the size of A4 paper, you may have gaps in your barrier where water can enter. This may not be the best tactic to divert water.
- Osmo Flood Barrier – 1.5m
The Osmo Flood Barrier 1.5m is great for doors because it is in sock like shape it can easily cover a door opening with no gaps. The other benefit is because of the sock shape it takes less time to put into position than FloodSax. The sock can also be placed in a U-shape around the door to create some space between the door and barrier.
- Osmo Flood Barrier – 3m
The Osmo Flood Barrier 3m is best of garage door barrier. A garage can be the biggest weak spot in a property because of the size of the opening. The Osmo 3m Flood Barrier is the only sandless sandbag to have 3m in length, making a continuous flood barrier for 3m. This makes it a lot quicker to deploy than FloodSax, which would need multiple FloodSax. For this reason, the Osmo Flood Barrier is a lot more cost effective than FloodSax.
It is worth noting that some people say that sandless sandbags are re-usable, however it is not recommended they are reused because of the bacteria they will come into contact with in flood water.
The type of flood control appropriate for you property will depend on the risk associated with your location. In any case, sandless sandbags are a great tool to have you in home protection kit.
The other benefit of sandless bags is they can be used for multiple purposes such as:
- Protecting from drafts under garage doors – simply activate the sandless sandbag with water, and place under the garage threshold. This will stop wind and rain blowing under your garage door.
- Protecting an area or neighbour from power washing- power washing your property can lead to alot of excessive water, which can run towards your neighbours property (and potentially cause an argument). Use sandless sandbags to divert water away from these locations.
- Precautionary flood or leak measure – you can leave the sandless sandbag unactivated inside if you go on holiday. This prevents you coming home to any nasty surprises. A common use is using them under bath pipes or the waste pipes under you sink while away.
If you have any further questions, please contact us on 01484 505059.