7 Disadvantages of Sandbagging

Sandbagging has been the traditional and easiest way of flood defense we often see in North America because they are readily available and budget-friendly. And it's often the last resource when floods hit our cities and municipalities. But its reliability is most of the time questionable.

It takes many weeks sometimes months (or even years), for an affected area to fully recover after being hit by a flood. The major defense mechanism of people against flooding are the sandbags. But the effectiveness of this procedure is often very uncertain.

The big question is, can you count on these sandbags when your life and assets are at risk?

Let us jot down some of the disadvantages of sandbagging, and see for yourself if this method can save you and your properties from further damages.

1.Making sandbags is time consuming!

Producing sandbags consumes a lot of work, it is also time consuming and physically demanding for the many volunteers that are needed to cover large areas. Most recently, the Okanagan Valley provided over 2 Million sandbags to the people in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada to respond to the steadily rising water table of Lake Okanagan.

Filling the bags with sand, creating a delivery chain and piling the sandbags to the entry-point of water requires a lot of manpower. In case of massive accumulation of melt water from the snow pack and heavy rain, people might not have the time to respond with sand bags. Click here to calculate time, your workforce and $$.

2.Sandbags - you have to depend on others.

Where can I purchase the sandbags when everyone wants them? How to get enough sand to my property? How can I mobilize people to fill the sandbags? What can I do when I am away and have no helping hand?

You will always depend on others. Dependable makes you vulnerable.

3.Sandbagging needs a lot of manpower.

You will be surprised how many people you need to protect an area with sand bags. Click here to calculate your manpower that you'll need for your project. You rely on massive amounts of sand piles in the area and people that help you get the bags filled and applied correctly to protect your assets. What looks like a fun 'neighborhood activity' (I was told these stories many times!) can end up in very stressful situations when supply of sand and other interruptions hinder the process and at the same time the water level was raising. In 2017, the BC Wildfire Crews were spending 120,000 hours of labor to produce, deploy and clean up sandbags in the City after the thread of high water tables of Lake Okanagan.

4.Sandbags are hard to dispose.

One of the disadvantage of sandbags is seen in the aftermath of a flooding. After battling for the water to penetrate your house you will think of where to dispose these used sandbags that are unfortunately good for single use only.

5.Sandbags produce a lot of mess/dirt/bacteria.

Because sandbags basically contains sand, after being soaked for several weeks and entered with water, the sand becomes mud that contains bacteria that cannot simply disposed back. Disposal of used sand produces more work and hassle and money because of the cleaning process.

6.Sandbags are not reliable when it come to durability.

Sandbags can only withstand a short amount of water. It cannot even tolerate a strong amount of water pressure. Because of its cheap materials, sandbags are easily broken when exposed to heavy rains and flash floods.

7.Sandbags and Sand Gabions are inefficient solution for flooding.

On this picture you can definitely understand the inefficiency of sand filled gabions with flooding. No more explanation, let the picture speaks for itself!

A common misconception is that sandbags are a cheap cost- effective method of flood defense; however this is not the case. If you will be computing the overall cost of sandbags per time of usage, it will still cost a lot. Sandbags are basically not designed for long term use. You will just repeat your expenses and process of making it over and over again.

It is always best to seek for a more reliable and effective way of protecting your assets and properties from the damages of flood. We at Flood Control Canada provide you with the best solution for your current situation. We assess, plan, engineer and give you the flood protection with longevity that protects your home and nature at the same time.

If you plan ahead now you can stay away from this old-fashioned sandbagging method, and start protecting your properties from flooding - with peace in mind.

Flood Control Canada is operating in Canada since 2012. Call us today.