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Soil Erosion Can Cause Problems For Your Home’s Foundation

Soil Erosion Can Cause Problems For Your Home’s Foundation

A number of key factors come into play when farmers, gardeners, and the general public start looking at erosion control and how to better protect our environment. Erosion is the slow or rapid removal of soil, sand, and sediment from an area where it is naturally occurring. This most often happens by the movement of water but wind can also cause soil erosion. Specially trained erosion engineering experts look for ways to slow down this process and keep wind and water from mobbing the dirt away.

Most sediment gets damaged and will erode away due to friction. The movement of air over long periods of time or the movement of water after a rain or flood are prime examples of this. Flowing streams erode downward until they reach a level place where they are not moving as quickly. And the same happens with the wind as it blows uninterrupted over open areas of soil and sand.

Preventing soil erosion is important because, without good soil, crops cannot grow, animals cannot be fed, and the area turns into a bare wasteland. Everyone can take steps right now in their own gardens and backyards to protect against wind and water-driven soil erosion!

Homeowners know that an expert soil analysis must be done before builders will begin construction. However, soil changes over time. Soil erosion can happen anywhere. But what damages the soil around a foundation? How can you spot the signs early enough to turn things around? Thankfully, there are some simple tried-and-true methods to fix a foundation failure.

Why Should You Care About Soil Erosion?

Erosion is just what happens when the topsoil washes away. Topsoil is about 5 to 10 inches thick depending. This relatively thin layer of soil is very important in an ecosystem as this is where plants and organisms thrive. Damages to the topsoil negatively effect the growing viability of an area.

What Damages to the Soil Will Effect a House’s Foundation?

Water is the top culprit when it comes to soil erosion. Too much water isn’t inherently a problem. The real issue is when too much rain water is concentrated in one area due to an inadequate draining system. The excess water washes away the topsoil.

Too little water can be a problem too. The soil becomes dry and begins to shrink away from the foundation of the home. In this instance, the wind can become a negative as well. Rough winds will blow away dry topsoil little by little. Some areas are more prone to this problem, of course, which doesn’t require an expert soil analysis to diagnosis.

What Are Common Signs of Foundation Problems?

Erosion develops over a period of time, not all at once unless there are unusual circumstances. This means that the slow erosion will produce signs to take note of, and make adjustments. When too much water is present the soil will form wet patches, or eventually gullies.
Too little water will show up as cracks that get deeper over time. The soil around the foundation of the house will shrink away from the structure leaving gaps. Another sign is that the plants or grass in one area of the property are all failing to grow.

How Do You Repair Soil That Shows Clear Signs of Erosion?

The cause of the erosion dictates how to treat it. For areas that are getting too much water, the drainage system needs to be better. Creating better drainage solutions may require adjusting the slope of the ground around the foundation of the house to allow for better runoff. Or, it could just be a matter of making some adjustments to the rain gutters so that the rain water is better distributed.

Dry areas benefit from the addition of sprinklers to account to control moisture levels. Any soaker sprinkler needs to be a minimum of 18 inches away from the foundation of the house so as to not cause more problems. If plants continue to die, an expert soil analysis could help. These are recommended every three to five years, and can be integral to pinpointing what’s going on in the soil around your home.

Soil is different in every area. There’s 60 different kinds in the state of Texas alone. However, each time is susceptible to soil erosion, which can cause problems for the foundation of a house. Know the signs of soil erosion so that you can make changes as needed. If you’re unsure where to start, start with requesting an expert soil analysis.

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