Why Improper Erosion Control Could Have Your Foundation Screaming for Help
The definition of erosion can be loosely defined as the different processes that affect the movement of soil and rock. It is the breaking down and weathering of soil and minerals near the Earth’s surface due to some force of nature, usually a form of water or wind and the changing seasons. It’s quite a common phenomenon. But however common, it never ceases to amaze in how destructive it can be. Sometimes, it can even be the result of some sort of human interference, like construction or farming.
When it comes to our homes and other buildings, erosion can cause a whole host of problems. It can damage the structure by causing an unstable foundation. It can be a slow process that sneaks up on the homeowner at the most unexpected moment, oftentimes when it’s too late and the damage is already done. It can range from small damages to total destruction of the home or building, causing serious problems for families. Even if damage seems to be minor, home and business owners should seek the help of a professional to prevent further damage. One way to possibly prevent the costs of repair after erosion damages is to have some form of erosion control in place before the construction of a home or building. It’s important to make sure that the job is done right the first time because improper erosion control could wreak havoc on your foundation.
The Process of Erosion Control
There are a variety of processes that one can use to prevent erosion. Perhaps one of the most common and effective is planting vegetation around your property. Trees, bushes and other plants can prevent soil erosion because their roots burrow deep into the ground in different directions. This prevents the soil from moving around as much. Having a variety of plants planted around your building or home can aid in erosion prevention.
Another common technique is the use of a silt fence barrier. This is most commonly seen at different construction sites. The silt fence barrier is planted a few inches into the ground to catch any soil, water and rocks that could be moved during a storm. It is a good way to prevent erosion at a construction site until a lawn can be put in place. If the fence is not installed properly, it can result in the flooding of the fence. And, it could possibly cause harm to animals and nearby bodies of water as the murky silt water and debris flow down into rivers, lakes or ponds.
Another way to avoid erosion is with an erosion control blanket. Erosion control blankets are placed on top of soil and secured in place to prevent erosion. The blankets can usually be seen on hills or slopes at sites where some sort of construction is taking place. They will remain in place until grass and other plants native to the area begin to grow through them.
Signs in Your Foundation
As stated above, erosion can be a slow process and it can be hard to see its effects on your home until the damage has already been done. Businesses and homes located in areas where the soil absorbs large quantities of water are more susceptible to erosion than others. Poor exterior water drainage could also contribute to the problem. In your home or business, erosion can be signaled through cracks in your foundation, along your carport or walls. If water pools near your gutter or other drainage system, or anywhere along the foundation, it could contribute to the shifting of soil under your home or business. The movement can cause your house to “settle” and become unstable. Tell-tale signs include creaky doors, floors, and cracked walls. If this occurs, the structure should be examined by a professional.
Correcting Improper Erosion Control
Sometimes, the measures needed to prevent erosion aren’t taken, or they aren’t done properly. This ultimately can cause problems for the property in the long run. If this happens, it can be irritating. However, sometimes it can be fixed without excessive repairs. The simplest fix for eroded land is to replant vegetation in the area. One can also use gravel or mulch for foot paths and surround those areas with plants to prevent these issues in the future. It’s also still important to have a professional come to examine the home/ building to assess the damages and come up with a plan to prevent future damages to the property and foundation because of erosion.
It’s important to watch and listen for the signs that your home or building could be in trouble. Note the causes of erosion and seek out preventative measures to keep the home and property safe. Erosion happens, but proper planning can prevent future problems for your foundation and your wallet.