No matter whether you want to know where to buy sandbags for flooding or simply where to buy sandbags, we have you covered.

Sandbags have been used by people to help prevent flood damage for hundreds of years. The basic design of sandbags relies on two factors; the inherently non-porous nature of sand, which catches and holds silt and fine particles from floodwater as it flows through, which makes the sandbags more effective over time, instead of less; and the fact that sandbags are cheap and easy to construct, making them perfect for emergency situations, where more high-tech materials may not be available.

Although the most common and well-known use for sandbags is to divert or contain flood water, to prevent damage to crops, buildings or livestock, sandbags have a number of other uses.

  • They can be used in regions of civil unrest to help protect people and animals from explosives shock waves.
  • Some people use sandbags as ballast, for example to add weight to a vehicle to give it more traction in the winter, or to hold down temporary roofing or tarps.
  • Sandbags can also be used to construct temporary walls for the containment of materials such as mulch, dirt, or, ironically, sand.
  • And even more uses…

How to Use Sandbags

There are two main types of sandbags used for flood control; those made out of synthetic polypropylene, and those made of burlap, a natural fabric derived from sisal or jute fiber. In either case, the bags are loosely woven, tightly enough that they contain the sand held within, but with enough gaps to allow water to saturate the bags, as this is a primary part of what makes them work as flood control.

So which type of sandbag do you need for your particular job? There are two factors to consider. How long do you need the sandbags to remain in place, and what kind of cleanup is possible or preferable when the project is done? Burlap bags will biodegrade, making it possible to simply leave them in place, which can be ideal for remote locations or applications that don’t require reclaiming the space. Of course, the fact that they degrade means that they are less effective over time.

For long-term applications, synthetic bags are preferable, but they must be reclaimed after the project is complete, since the bags will not biodegrade. This makes bags good for things like long-term shoring up, and applications that may require re-use of the bags, such as ballast.

There is a third option for flood control, the “sandless sandbag”, which is a bag constructed much like a typical sandbag, but filled with a synthetic particulate that expands on contact with water, creating the same effect as if the bag were filled with sand, with none of the weight or mess. It should be noted that these types of sandbags tend to be much more expensive. They can be reused a few times before becoming ineffective, but where contaminants in the water (like chemicals or sewage) are a concern, the bags shouldn’t be reused, for health and safety reasons. Still, when you really need a flood barrier in the shortest amount of time, these bags may be a wallet (or even life) saver.

Uses for Sandbags

‘Sandbag’ can also refer to any bag with heavy filler, intended to weigh something down or provide resistance. These types of sandbags are usually not woven, made of solid vinyl or other synthetic materials, and generally used for exercise, medical purposes, or ballast.

There are bags specifically designed for exercise which have handles on them to allow the user to lift and manipulate the bag, much as you would any other kind of free weight. The benefit of using sandbags for exercise is that they have dynamic rather than static weight (the weight distribution can shift as you are using it), which can engage a broader range of muscles for each exercise movement.

Some of the hobbies and sports that use multi-use sandbags are:

  • Target shooting (bow or gun): Sometimes used to prop up the gun or bow for long range shooting
  • Photography: Used to weigh down lighting and other equipment to keep it from moving accidentally
  • Camping: Used to weigh down tarps and tents
  • Film making: Used to provide counter-weight to boom mics to allow precise positioning, also to weigh down equipment
  • Yoga: Used for support of the hands, arms, legs, or feet during various poses, as an aid
  • Horse back riding: Used to balance the weight on a saddle if a horse is being used to transport anything

There are as many uses for sandbags as there are things that need to be propped up or weighed down, for whatever reason, and not all uses and purposes are listed here.

Using sandbags effectively as flood control depends on proper deployment, especially when you are filling them yourself. Here are some helpful videos that show how to fill a sandbag, and how to build a sandbag flood retention wall.

Where to Find Sandbags for Sale and How Much Sandbags Cost

Sandbags are fairly easy to find in most home stores, superstores, and even online retailers like Amazon. They are usually sold unfilled in bulk, from as few as 25 all the way up to 1,000. To get some idea of cost, a pack of 50 unfilled sandbags will usually run you between $20 and $50 dollars, with a small bulk discount as the number increases. Some companies will also offer pre-filled sandbag services, where they will deliver the sandbags to your location of choice. Here are 15 stores that offer each of these types of sandbag for purchase.

Physical Stores with Sandbags for Sale

These stores have sandbags for sale at a physical location, and can be found either nation-wide, or at least over a very wide geographical area.

1. The Home Depot

2. Sears

3. Walmart

4. ACE Hardware

5. Northern Tool and Equipment

6. TrueValue

Online stores

These retailers offer sandbags for online order and delivery.

7. Amazon

  • What kind can you get: woven polypropylene unfilled, sandless sandbags, exercise, multi-use
  • How much do they cost:
    • woven poly unfilled: $36.99 for 100
    • sandless sandbags: $20 for 6″x10′ bag
    • exercise: Varies
    • multi-use: Varies
  • View available products online

8. ULINE

  • What kind can you get: woven polypropylene unfilled, sandless sandbags,
  • How much do they cost:
    • woven poly unfilled: $31 for 100, with discounts for larger orders
    • sandless sandbags: $45 for 6 12″x24″ bags with discounts for larger orders
  • View available products online

9. SandbagsToGo.com – This Business Provides Filled Sandbag Services

  • What kind can you get: woven burlap filled/unfilled, woven polypropylene filled/unfilled
  • How much do they cost: Varies
  • View available products online
  • NOTE: This website has a minimum order requirement of 300 units

10. eBay

  • What kind can you get: woven burlap filled/unfilled, woven polypropylene filled/unfilled, exercise, multi-use, sandless sandbags
  • How much do they cost: varies
  • View available products online

11. Newegg.com

  • What kind can you get: exercise, multi-use, sandless sandbags
  • How much do they cost:
    • exercise: $44.99 for 1 bag with multi-weight system
    • Multi-use: Varies
    • sandless sandbags: $25.64 for 6″x10′ bag
  • View available products online

12. The Sandbag Store

  • What kind can you get: woven polypropylene filled/unfilled, multi-use
  • How much do they cost:
    • woven poly unfilled: $25.95 for 50
    • multi-use: Varies
  • View available products online

13. eSandbags.com

14. CampingSurvival.com

15. R E Williams Contractor Incorporated

Where to Get Sandbags for Free

One final thing to consider is that, depending on where you live, especially if it’s somewhere that flooding is a regular concern, you may be able to get free sandbags for flood control from your local police, fire, or other safety officers, or from your local government. For instance, in Los Angeles, the Department of Public Works offers sandbags for free that residents can get from their local fire stations. It might be worthwhile to call your local fire, police, or other safety officials to check and see if a program like this is available near you.

Sandbags for Sale: Conclusion

Knowing where to buy sandbags can be a lifesaver – literally. No matter your needs, this list should provide you with some options. Once you have your bags (if you didn’t buy prefilled sandbags), the topic of how to make a sandbag is simple. Use a pre-bought bag and fill with locally sourced sand. Just make sure it’s legal to take the sand from where you plan to acquire the sand.

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