Soil erosion is a concern for many homeowners. When erosion occurs, it can be difficult to grow any vegetation in your yard, and even your home’s foundation is at risk. Healthy and vibrant landscapes can turn into lifeless terrain with soil erosion. You may not think you are at risk, but soil erosion can occur at any site where the ground has been disturbed. However, there are ways to combat soil erosion on your property.
Erosion Is a Natural Process
While it may seem destructive, soil erosion is a natural part of the environment. It helps to sweep away rock and soil material. A few elements can contribute to erosion, including wind, water, and ice. There are two classifications of erosion: man-made and geological. Man-made erosion occurs when humans alter the landscape and accelerate the natural process. You will find man-made erosion at many construction sites. Geological erosion happens when the soil is distributed in a natural manner, such as soil removal or formation.
Making Erosion Worse Around Your Property
Many factors can lead to soil erosion, including climate, soil characteristics, rainfall intensity, and vegetation. Topography and environment are the primary elements that contribute to soil erosion. When you know what causes soil erosion in your area, you can develop a plan to control it on your property. For many people, their landscaping habits can cause these issues. Paved surfaces, changing drainage patterns, and disturbing the soil can all lead to problems with erosion.
Why Should You Be Concerned About Soil Erosion?
Soil erosion is very destructive. It can carry away the topsoil into the local waterways. While it might not seem like a big issue, fertilizers and pesticides are also washed away into the water supply with the soil. In turn, this erosion can affect the local ecosystem and wildlife. Along with that, soil erosion can leave your lawn without vital nutrients and create bare spots throughout your yard.
Your foundation is at risk of soil erosion. When the soil washes away from the foundation, it can expose the foundation to the elements. Your foundation will be prone to cracks and other damages. Any damage to this area can leave the surface weakened and cause issues throughout your home’s entire structure.
Soil Erosion in Your Yard
Soil erosion does not suddenly appear on your property. There are clues and signs before erosion becomes a significant problem. Anyone can spot the first signs of erosion. You want to pay attention to your property after a rainstorm. If you notice that the tree roots are exposed, or the soil levels have changed, then you may have some soil erosion. Any areas with ravine-like patterns in the ground are good indicators that water is slowing eroding the soil in your area. Finally, dirt should not end up on your driveways, walkways, walls, or windows. If you do notice that, it might be time to look for solutions to your soil erosion issue.
What to Do About Soil Erosion?
If you are noticing any issues with soil erosion, you need to come up with a plan. One remedy for soil erosion is stabilizing the soil as you return it to its natural state. The method will vary depending on your land and the location of the erosion. You will need to walk around your yard and find the problem areas for you to repair.
For yards with slopes, you might want to think about stabilizing them. You can add native plants and ground cover to produce an extensive root system. These roots will create a terrace system that prevents erosion and holds the soil in place. You can also think about changing the grade of the slope by adding retaining walls or a series of steps.
Bare soil is another way to tell that you have issues with soil erosion. You can combat this problem by adding plant material, mulch, or straw to protect the area. Bare soil is exceptionally vulnerable to erosion, and you will want to keep it covered to prevent any additional erosion problems.
Concrete paved walkways might look stylish, but they can also contribute to your soil erosion issues. Water does not drain well over paved surfaces. Concrete is not porous, but there are other choices for you to use on your property. Crushed stone, bricks, and flagstone allow water to flow, and they are a better option for yards with erosion problems.
You should always check those downspouts and gutters to prevent damage to your foundation. They should be placed at least 5 to 10 feet from the base of the building. You also want to check on the type of soil in your yard as some expand faster than others. Those soils can cause additional damage to your foundation.
Splashing water against the surface of your home is not ideal. It can create a mess and cause other issues. You will want to add stones to the base of the downspout. These stones will disrupt the flow of the water and disperse its impact on the surrounding soil.
Finally, if you are noticing excess water around your property, you need to find a solution to these harmful rain puddles. For excess water from the rooftop, you should consider some type of rain collection barrel, rain garden, or French drain. The popular choice is a French drain as it can be concealed by mulch or turf. Runoff water can also be directed into a rain garden, or you can collect the water in a rain barrel to use for irrigation in your yard.
Soil erosion is detrimental to your yard and home. You want to find solutions that will stop the erosion and slow the water flow in your area. There are many solutions available to help deal with the problem of soil erosion. If you need expert advice with erosion issues, Charlestown Landscaping is ready to help. We can come up with a few ways to protect your space from the harmful effects of soil erosion.
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