Flooding can be devastating to homeowners; just a couple of inches of water can lead to tens of thousands of dollars of property damage.
There are ways to help prevent and reduce the amount of water from entering your home from flooding, and luckily, they’re as inexpensive as they are effective.
Sandbags, when used properly, can be a great deterrent against flooding. When filling your sandbags, be sure to only fill them a little over halfway. If they’re overfilled, they may be too heavy to handle.
When placing your sandbags, you’ll want to lay them down like bricks, starting from one end and overlapping them on top of one another. Be sure to stagger your rows so that your bags don’t line up.
In your home, there are several key places that you’ll want to place your sandbags for the greatest protection. You will want to place sandbags over your shower drains, in your sinks and in your toilets to prevent a backflow of contaminated water from entering.
For all doorways, stack sandbags about two rows high (depending on the height of floodwater). If available, lay plastic sheeting down in front of your doorways and place the sandbags on top as an additional sealant.
Make sure you have at least one doorway in your house open if you need to make a quick escape. If it’s an outward facing door, build a semicircle of sandbags around the outside of your doorway so that you can still open it easily.
Additionally, you’ll want to raise any valuables off of the floor to limit damages. Be sure to lift any curtains, rugs or any items in low cupboards. Also, be sure to turn off any power and gas at the mains.
Once the flood has passed, you’ll need to dispose of any sandbags that were in contact with the floodwater. Be sure to wear gloves and any other protection when handling the sandbags—they may have been exposed to chemicals or other harmful contaminates. Be sure to contact your local landfill or other nearby disposal site for instructions on how to properly dispose of your sandbags.