Flood Barrier Wall

Written by Bonnie McElfresh
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The best kind of flood barrier is a professionally engineered levee, placed between your property and the source of rising water. Obviously, plans for such a barrier would have to be made and executed well before the time of year when you'd expect flooding. The reason why more people don't build levees to protect their property when they live in a confirmed flood area is primarily expense.

A second best is a dike built from sandbags. This can be a fairly effective solution; indeed it has been used for centuries to protect property from the onslaught of floodwater. However, no matter how well you build a sandbag barrier, some water will leak through and get into your home. With a levee, this shouldn't happen if it has been planned properly.

Preparing to Build a Sandbag Barrier

Overwhelmingly, when the floodwaters are actually rising, the majority of homeowners have to resort to building a barrier with sandbags. Preparing what you need in advance is the only way to make sure that you won't be left without enough sandbags, or without enough time to build your wall. Get more sandbags than you think you need, as you should make your wall longer and higher than you think is necessary.

When you receive notice of a flood watch, you should make sure you have bags, sand and an implement for filling your bags on hand. Also, try to make sure you're going to have plenty of manpower. Floodwaters can rise astonishingly quickly, so you will need to plan ahead here.

Your barrier wall should be built from sandbags that have been filled between one-third and two-thirds full of sand and then left untied. Lay them so that each bag is lapped over the empty, untied portion of the bag before it. This will make a surprisingly strong barrier. Prepare some sandbags that are slightly fuller and tied for blocking individual holes and weighing objects down, such as manhole covers, for example.

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