Foundations can shift dangerously if soil begins to erode. This can leave your home broken and your wallet empty if soil erosion has progressed too far.
The following tips can help reduce soil erosion and keep your foundation safe from cracking.
Build on the right kind of land
If you are starting a construction project, make sure you are building on the right types of soil. If your soil is fertile, it could be for great farming but terrible for a foundation.
Build on soil that has a combination of clay, stone, and soil that would allow proper drainage depending on weather conditions. Your soil should be able to move and flex, but you don’t want it to shift too much, or else erosion and foundation settling could occur.
Build on a low incline
Your foundation should be on a piece of land with a slope of less than 50%. Soil can retain structure with lower sloped land. Any higher and you risk a permanent loss if any severe weather happens.
Add plants and grass
Planting grass and other vegetation in your yard adds roots into the soil. Roots help sustain the ground and prevent erosion. They can also absorb moisture, keeping water away from your foundation.
Apply mulch in your yard
Mulch protects and provides nutrition for the soil in the yard. When rain falls, the mulch will absorb water instead of the soil.
Mulch is not permanent and will erode and decompose (like topsoil). However, once the mulch erodes, much of it is combined with the soil and fortifies it, providing a heartier soil that is more resistant to erosion.
Geotextiles are non-organic pieces of fabric that can be placed beneath a layer of soil to help reinforce the structure. It can also help grow plants and grass, which can strengthen the soil even more.
Build a retaining wall
Keep soil inside the confines of your home and foundation with a retaining wall. If your home is on a slope, a retaining wall will help keep eroding soil from leaving the property and gives planted vegetation time to grow roots.
Note: Depending on your local government’s laws, you may have to get approval of a builder’s permit before building a retaining wall. Check with local inspectors before building. Ram Jack’s helical tiebacks offer permanent support to retaining walls.
Water takes in soil and debris when it flows through your yard. Improper gutter and ditch installation can wreck your lawn and cause foundation to shift dramatically.
Irrigate your yard properly by following the natural flow of water. If there is a huge amount of water runoff, you might have to install an underground pipe. The pipe would direct water away from your foundation and take it elsewhere.
Place concrete over possible compaction areas
If there are high traffic areas of the soil, you need to consider building a stone or concrete path. Compacted soil is more vulnerable to water flows, making it more erosive.
When planning a path, look for permeable materials that will drain water naturally rather than pooling and collecting in the soil. Concrete and other stone can help preserve porous soil by distributing weight evenly over the ground.
Cover exposed soil
Your soil should be at least 40% covered. Dirt patches in your yard invite moisture to permeate the soil and wreck your foundation. Cover them up using mulch, geotextiles, or vegetation.
Reduce amount of watering
Be conservative with water plants and greens and do not overwater. Turn off your sprinkler cycle if your property has just had a hearty rain and consider buying a sprinkler control with moisture controls.
Consider soil injection
If your home is built on clay soils, you may want to directly modify its composition through soil injection. This method can change the makeup of soil to make it less prone to soak up water and swell.
Get a Free Foundation Estimate
We will help you diagnose the issues with your foundation and the repairs that can be applied to your home. We will be able to answer any questions you might have regarding the safety of your home and the stability of your foundation. Contact Ram Jack Systems today!