What Are Sandbags Used For?

You’ve likely seen sandbags used during a natural disaster, but what are other uses for sandbags? While primarily utilized for flood control and military fortification, sandbags offer numerous benefits to various industries. Here, we will discuss what sandbags are, how they’re used, and their countless applications in different industries.

What Are Sandbags

Sandbags are created with either burlap or woven polypropylene and have been used for centuries to protect against flooding and other natural calamities. The bags are filled with sand or soil and then sewn shut, providing an effective barrier that can reduce the amount of damage caused by water. The most common material used for sandbags is a heavy-gauge woven polypropylene fabric, as it resists tearing and can withstand long-term exposure to water and sun.

The weight a sandbag can hold depends on what it is used for and the type of bag used. Generally, bags filled with sand weigh between 40-100 lbs (18-45 kg). If the bag is intended to be exposed to water pressure or extreme weather conditions, it’s best to opt for heavier sandbags or double-bag your bags.

What Are They Made Of?

Burlap (jute), or woven polypropylene are the materials typically used in sandbags. Recently, the improvement in sandbags’ technology has made them more durable and longer lasting, making them a viable option for many different uses.

These include UV-resistant sandbags, fire-retardant sandbags, and more. Waterproof sandbags are now available on the market designed to withstand harsh weather conditions.

The bag should be filled with sand or soil ½ or ⅔ through and then tied at the top. Once it is ½ or ⅔ full, tie the sandbag securely shut to create a tight seal. You can test a sandbag’s strength by squeezing it. If the bag gives a bit when pressed, you may need more sand to make it stronger.

To create a dike or levee with sandbags, use the same technique of filling the bags  ½ or ⅔ through and then sealing them securely. Place the bags in a line next to each other and fill in any gaps with sand or soil. When finished, the dike should be slightly sloped towards the body of water it intends to protect against.

Depending on their use, the ideal sandbag material may vary. For example:

  • For flood defense, burlap is usually preferred as it is highly durable and allows water to pass through easily.
  • Polypropylene sandbags are often favored for military purposes because they are not affected by moisture, oil, or chemicals.
  • For landscaping projects, burlap bags are commonly used for their versatility and affordability.
  • For indoor uses, such as weightlifting, sandbags may be made from nylon or other synthetic fabrics.
  • For outdoor recreation, sandbags may be made from heavy-duty vinyl or canvas.

All these types of bags can be used in various industries depending on what protection is needed. So, what other sectors use sandbags?

What Industries Use Sandbags?

Sandbags are utilized in various industries, from military and construction to landscaping and fitness. The U.S. Army uses sandbags to protect soldiers against enemy fire and explosives during training exercises or combat zones.

Construction workers use sandbags to divert water from buildings and other structures while under construction. However, that’s not all. Sandbags offer countless uses to a wide range of industries.

Landscapers often use sandbags to create retaining walls or prevent erosion on hillsides, while fitness enthusiasts may incorporate sandbag training in their workouts for added resistance. Sandbags can also be filled with concrete and used as weights in weightlifting exercises.

Other industries adopting sandbags as a tool include agriculture, firefighting, flood control, oil and gas exploration, offshore drilling, and erosion prevention. Sandbags have even been used to protect animal habitats in unique ways – such as shark nets or bird sanctuaries.

Sandbags serve as makeshift walls and dikes, as well as divert or contain water. Construction and landscaping projects need them for erosion control and flood prevention. Other uses include filling trenches or depressions to create a level ground and creating berms, levees, or dams. They also protect structures from storms and floods and anchor tents or tarps for temporary shelters.

Benefits Of Sandbags

Sandbags are reusable and can be used multiple times with proper maintenance, given that they did not come in contact with water. In areas exposed to heavy rainfall or prone to flooding, sandbags help protect property from water damage. Since they’re lightweight, they are ideal for quickly setting up a levee or dike as needed, especially during emergencies.

If that weren’t enough, sandbags are less expensive than other flood defense methods, such as concrete walls or blocks, and are an excellent immediate solution to emergencies. In addition to flood protection and their ability to stay in place, they are helpful for shoreline stabilization, erosion control, and landscaping projects.

They are also great for adding weight to exercise equipment like barbells and kettlebells. They are available in various shapes, sizes, and weights to suit different needs. Depending on the job’s requirements, sandbags can be filled with sand or other materials like gravel, soil, or sand.

Tips To Better Use Sandbags

Using sandbags effectively requires understanding how much weight and bag size you will need for your particular application. For example, if you plan to use a sandbag as a flood barrier, you’ll need to choose a bag size and weight that can contain the water.

Here are 9 tips to ensure you get the most out of your sandbags:

  • Choose the correct type of sandbag based on its function. If you’re using it for flood protection, opt for heavy-duty sandbags with a heavy-gauge reinforced material.
  • Double bag your sandbags if intended to endure exposure to extreme weather or high water pressure.
  • Choose bags that are easy to fill and move around, such as ones with a double-layer fabric.
  • Make sure the sandbags you select are UV resistant and made from materials with a high abrasion resistance rating if they need to be stored outdoors for extended periods.
  • Use good quality sand to fill your sandbags and ensure they are debris-free.
  • Place the filled bags carefully, ensuring they are securely placed and not overlapping.
  • To secure them in place, use stakes or weights such as large rocks to keep them from shifting.
  • If necessary, add a reinforcing layer of plastic sheeting or tarps to the area around the sandbags to further protect what is being contained.
  • Regularly inspect and maintain your sandbags for any rips, tears, or other signs of wear. If you notice any damage, replace the bags as soon as possible.

For any and all sandbag needs, reach out to The Bag Lady, and we’ll help you select the best sandbag for your needs.

About The Bag Lady

If you need a sand bag solution for your project, The Bag Lady has what you’re looking for. We offer a wide selection of sand bag options in various sizes and weights to fit any need. Whether it’s flood protection or landscaping, we have the right sandbags for your job.

Sandbags are versatile, so it pays to understand the available types to determine the best sandbag for your application. They are a great way to provide protection from flooding or to secure heavy objects in place. Don’t hesitate to call us today for your sandbag needs. Call us today to get started on your project!