Home Protection, it’s In the Bag

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– Do you know how to properly utilize sandbags? Properly placed sandbags can help redirect water, mud and debris away from your home. Bags should be filled with heavy-bodied or sandy soil, avoid fine sand and rocky soils. They should be filled one-half to two-thirds full and in most instances be left untied. This allows the sand inside the sandbag to move and mold with the ground or other sandbags when they are laid on top of each other, preventing gaps where water can seep through.

The Army Corps of Engineers gives detailed instructions on how to best place sandbags, so they are most effective: 

  • Remove any debris from the areas where bags are to be placed.
  • Place the bags lengthwise and parallel to the direction of flow. Fill the low spots first before placing bags the full length of the area to be raised.
  • Place the sandbags to redirect water, mud or debris, not dam it.
  • Do not place sandbags directly against the outer wall of a building. Wet bags can create added pressure on the foundation.
  • Fold the open end of the bag under the filled portion. Place succeeding bags with the bottom of the bag tightly and partially overlapping the previous bag.
  • Offset adjacent rows or layers by one-half bag length to avoid continuous joints.
  • To eliminate voids and form a tight seal, compact and shape each bag by walking on it and continue the process as each layer is placed. This flattens the top of the bag and prevents slippage between succeeding layers.
  • Sandbags can best be used to help protect doorways if a waterproof layer like heavy plastic or waterproof canvas is placed behind them. If possible, tape it to the door frame. Stack the sandbags in a pyramid formation, following the above instructions, and wrap the plastic up and over the top. The waterproof sheeting is always essential for protection of doorways.

Keep in mind, sandbags DO NOT guarantee a water-tight seal, but following these instructions can help you more effectively protect your home and property.

The County of San Bernardino offers free sandbags and sand throughout the county, and officials strongly urge residents to use this resource. However, County fire stations maintain only a limited supply of sandbags to be used during an emergency. Homeowners should not depend on that supply. Sand and sandbags can also be purchased at many home improvement and hardware stores. Purchase sandbags early and make them a part of your emergency supplies so they will be available if you need them.

To find your closest sandbag location and information on storm preparation check SBCoFire’s website at www.sbcfire.orgor click https://bit.ly/2KDoAYP. Check the National Weather Service at http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/sgx/ for current and upcoming weather events. 

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