What does erosion control do and what are ways of controlling it?
Due to many factors, it is considered normal for soil to erode or get washed away into another area as time passes by. Some of the reasons why this happens can also be a result of extreme weather, flooding, ice melt, and strong winds. Unfortunately, erosion can be bad for our land. This is because it can make our properties less stable and may even cause unwanted accidents.
Fortunately, there is a way to prevent soil displacement from happening or to decrease the rate it happens. This is possible with erosion control, or an erosion control service, which aims to make use of certain measures to combat soil erosion and its harmful effects on us, our property, and our environment.
There are several aspects that can influence the rate of erosion in a certain area. For example, a sloped area has a higher chance of eroding if we compare it to level land. Hence, this means that just like there are some factors that differentiate the rate of erosion, there are also several methods to choose from in order to control erosion in a particular situation.
What are ways of controlling erosion?
In the present, soil erosion affects the majority of the world and is already experiencing its effects. Because of this, we have to know the methods that can control it and delay its occurrence. Here are the most common methods experts and property owners use to manage the soil and prevent it from being washed off to another location.
General ways to help control erosion
These methods are applicable for use in either residential or commercial areas.
1. Avoid overwatering
Operating a farm or taking care of a garden requires the use of water for hydrating the plants, trees, and crops. However, it is important to just put a sufficient amount of water as putting too much erodes the topsoil of a piece of land.
Planting trees and even other types of vegetation can help with controlling erosion. Since its roots assist with keeping the soil in one place, they for barriers that allow water to flow slowly while keeping the soil compact.
Terracing is the process of forming a parcel of land, particularly a slope, into multiple levels or steps. As a result, this makes the water flow at a slower rate which also means that there is less soil being transported into another location.
Matting is the process of covering the surface of the soil with organic materials such as coconut fiber. Doing this keeps a majority of the soil in place and also keeps it rich with nutrients.
Mulching is the process of covering soil using shredded mulch materials in order to keep it moist. Aside from this, it can also help prevent erosion as it keeps the soil under its layer protected and secured.
Terraseeding involves the use of seed with a mix of composted soil using a blower technique. Doing this method keeps the soil in the area intact.
7. Installing a drainage system
Drainage systems primarily exist to keep water away from structures and into a specified channel instead. It can prevent soil erosion by transporting the excess and unnecessary water away from the soil that ultimately erodes the material.
8. Retaining walls
Having a retaining wall in a property allows it to have a barrier that will keep the soil from getting washed out. For an optimal result, they should be installed by a professional contractor.
9. Silt fencing
This method acts as a barrier to control the transfer of the sediments into another area. As a result, it lowers the speed of soil erosion in a particular property.
10. Prevent overgrazing
Unsustainable grazing methods have been one of the reasons behind soil erosion. To prevent this from happening, it would be best to alternate the area where animals graze to allow the soil in the property to recover.
11. Plastic sheeting
This method makes use of plastic covers, erosion control blankets, and geotextiles to cover a small parcel of land. This way, the soil will not be displaced in the presence of strong winds or a storm.
12. Contour Farming
Contouring land for farming purposes is also a very effective technique that can decrease soil runoff. By setting levels and rows on a slope, not only will the crops be healthier, but it will also do the land a huge favor.
What are the effects of soil erosion?
Whether we admit it or not, the impacts of soil erosion are serious, harmful, and dangerous. We can already see its consequences and impact in our everyday living, and also its significant contribution to the damages in our homes’ foundations and infrastructures.
1. Soil degradation
Once the soil in a particular area gets too degraded, the result will be a decline in its quality. For example, this can turn the material into having a higher level of acidity.
2. Loss of topsoil
As one of the major effects of soil erosion, the topsoil is the uppermost part of the soil which then gets removed in the process. Unfortunately, this is the layer that contains a lot of nutrients, which means that planting in the area may be more difficult.
3. Increase of flooding
After soil erodes, it can go anywhere. As a result, they may clog streams and hinder rivers to flow smoothly, causing the flooding.
4. Poor water quality
Groundwater is our primary source of water supply. Since they are easy to pollute, they may get contaminated by the soil that has eroded which can highly affect its quality.
5. Fewer trees and vegetation
Remember what we said earlier about erosion’s effect on our soil quality and water supply? This will also take a toll on our vegetation. As a result, farmers will have a smaller and poorer harvest, and crops are less likely to be healthy. Over time, the trees and vegetation will be a lot weaker and sickly.
6. Loss of wildlife habitat
What happens when the poor-quality soil makes the forests lose their health? Thousands of animals and wildlife may lose their homes. Aside from this, the pollutants from the contaminated water will also affect the water ecosystems.
7. Mudslides and landslides
Poor drainage and weak soil will eventually grow weaker and weaker. During storms, the possibility of this soil breaking down is more likely which can result in fatal accidents.
How do you prevent erosion on the side of a house?
Soil erosion can highly affect a house, especially its foundation. Because of this, it would be best to inspect your home’s sides every now and then to see signs of moisture, standing water, or too much foundation exposure. If you see it sticking out more than usual, then your property may already be having an issue with soil erosion that needs your immediate focus ASAP.
Prevent and combat soil erosion on your property by
a) Planting trees, shrubs, and vegetation
Working on your garden and landscape can greatly help your property combat soil erosion. This is because their roots assist in keeping the soil in one place, plus, it also increases the appeal of your yard!
b) Installing a French drain system when applicable
A French drain system helps transport water away from your foundation and property. As a result, there is a lower possibility of standing water washing away the soil from the sides of your house.
c) Adding downspouts and gutters
A downspout keeps your roof in tiptop condition by assisting rainwater to flow down into the designated gutter. Because of this, a well-designed and installed system can prevent the soil from getting washed away by the rainwater.
d) Repairing the grade of your lot
Aiming for your yard to have a positive grade keeps water away and prevents the soil in your property to wash out. This signifies that the slope in your property is allowing the water to move away from the sides of your home instead of pooling into them.
e) Having a retaining wall installed
Installing a retaining wall in a property not only controls erosion but also increases the value of your home. As long as it was designed by a professional and uses a material that will last, you can rely on this structure to assist with your soil problems.
f) Adding mulch on bald spots
Does your yard have low and bald spots around its surface? Sadly, this can be the reason why water may get stuck on these areas and disintegrate the soil, making them easier to wash off in the next rainstorm. Place mulch on these low spots to level the surface in the meantime.
g) Checking your plumbing for damage
In some instances, leaky plumbing due to cracked piping can result in an increase in soil erosion near your building. As the foundation in your area starts to fail, it will degrade, which could also affect the surrounding soil.
h) Always monitoring your drainage systems
It is not enough to have a drainage system. After a heavy rainstorm or hurricane, checking the condition of your drainage is highly essential. It can clog or be stuck with debris which you need to clean in order for them to be functional again. Once it is not in its optimal condition, the excess water near your house may have already been eroding the soil before you notice the damage.