Flexible Flood Defence Blocks - defend against flooding

The advantages of sandbag alternatives

The flood warnings have been posted,  you are at risk of flooding so what do you do to protect your home or business?  You need to protect the entry points and redirect the flow of water where you can.
Traditionally, sandbags have been used in an attempt to do this.  They are only partially effective and the advantages of sandbag alternatives should render the traditional sandbag a thing of the past.  Modern sandbag alternatives are the way forward. This article explains the different types of sandbag alternatives that are available and their advantages over traditional sandbags.


How do sandbag alternatives work?

Some sandbag alternatives are filled with gel. Once laid in position each bag will absorb approximately 20 litres of water and inflate becoming a barrier against flood water. Smaller strips of the sandbag alternative can be used to create a watertight seal around a door and larger strips of the sandbag alternative can be used to direct flood water.
Place them where you need them, wet them to get them to inflate and then they’re ready to protect your property.
Other sandbag alternatives look like flat discs but they fit together to form an effective barrier against flood water wherever you need them. They are excellent for creating a barrier or directing flood water away from vulnerable areas.


Why are they better than traditional sandbags?

There are many advantages to using sandbag alternatives.

  • Speed and ease of use: Sandbag alternatives are light and therefore easy to move into the place where you need them. You move them when they are dry which makes them light and easy to handle. Sandbags ideally need two people to fill a them and it is heavy labour.  Many a back has been put out in the process!  Sandbags will then weigh approximately 30 lbs and will be need to be carried or dragged to where you need them.
  • Storage: Sandbag alternatives can be easily stored. The bag type are stored dry and being light can be easily stacked and don’t take up too much room.  The block type are reusable and can be cleaned off, stacked and stored ready for subsequent use. Traditional sandbags however, are the absolute opposite of this.  Large quantities of sand need to be stored, it’s cumbersome, can be messy and takes up a lot of space.
  • Reuse: some sandbag alternatives can be dried and re-used. Traditional sandbags are extremely heavy because they’re full of wet sand.  If you attempt to dry them it is a slow process and often the actual sandbag splits and the wet sand escapes creating mess.
  • Disposal: If the sandbag alternative has been filled with clean safe water then it does not absorb contaminated flood water and can be disposed of safely into the environment. However, traditional sandbags will absorb the flood water, including any contaminants and therefore must be disposed of safely.  There is a tax of £64/ton on disposal of used sandbags on top of the costs of transporting them.  It can work out to be quite expensive!
  • Environmentally friendly: The sandbag alternatives that we supply are filled with environmentally friendly super absorbent material. This means that when the threat of flooding has passed the bag can be split and the contents safely released into the soil for easy disposal.



Which sandbag alternatives do you recommend?

We supply both types of sandbag alternative – gel filled and flexible blocks, so that you can choose which you would prefer.

The Hydrosnake: Is a gel filled sandbag alternative and provides a barrier to direct water away from your property.  Use them to protect doors, vents, furniture and equipment.


The Hydrosack: can be moved to where you need it and then inflated with clean water.  They absorb up to 20 litres of water and inflate to create a barrier to protect the entry points to your property from flood water.


Eco Blocks:  provides a flexible yet robust defence against running water.They can be re-used, and will last for years. After use, they can be power-washed and stored, ready to be used again., Flexible Flood Defence Blocks in action
Flexible Flood Defence Blocks in action
The blocks have been used successfully at Hebden Bridge, Cumbria on many occasions  to protect the town centre.  “Once the blocks were in place there was an 80% drop in the water runoff.  The blocks saved the day again!” Andrew Entwistle, Hebden Bridge Flood Warden.


We are the UK Flood Defence Alliance.  We have brought together in one place a selection of  the highest quality flood defence products, from a range of different manufacturers.  This makes it easier for you to find the most suitable products to protect your property. More information can be found on our website  or you can contact us directly on 020 8442 0872 or by emailing info@ukfda.com.  We are always happy to help.