Soil Erosion: What Causes It & How to Protect Your Home from Damages

Soil Erosion: What Causes It & How to Protect Your Home from Damages

Soil erosion is an inevitable natural phenomenon. Left unchecked, it can affect the shape of your property line, the gradient of slopes, and the depth of your soil. Significant enough changes to these qualities can harm land use and the overall aesthetic of your real estate. It even has the potential to damage your home. This article will detail the causes of soil erosion, how it affects land, and solutions to mitigate damage.

What Causes Soil Erosion?

Soil erosion is caused by various natural and human-induced factors. Natural causes include rainfall, wind, and water flow, which dislodge and transport soil particles, especially on slopes or areas with little vegetation. Human activities, such as deforestation, improper land use, construction, and agriculture practices that remove protective vegetation cover, disturb the soil, or create compacted surfaces, also contribute to soil erosion.

Wildfires can also cause soil erosion through a process known as post-fire runoff. When a wildfire burns vegetation and organic matter on the ground, it leaves the soil exposed and vulnerable. Without the protective cover of vegetation, the soil becomes more susceptible to erosion by rainfall and surface runoff.

What Effects Does Soil Erosion Have?

Soil erosion can have several significant effects on property, causing both immediate and long-term impacts. Here are some of the main effects:

Property Damage: Soil erosion can cause direct damage to property, such as the undermining of building foundations, roads, and other infrastructure. This can lead to structural instability, cracks in buildings, and increased maintenance costs.

Loss of Productive Soil: Soil erosion removes the top layer of fertile soil, which is rich in nutrients and organic matter essential for plant growth. This loss of productive soil can harm agricultural land, reducing crop yields and overall productivity.

Sedimentation: Eroded soil is often carried away by water, leading to sedimentation in nearby water bodies such as rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. Excessive sedimentation can reduce water holding capacity, affect aquatic ecosystems, and lead to increased dredging costs.

Increased Risk of Landslides: In areas with steep slopes, soil erosion can destabilize the terrain, increasing the risk of landslides and slope failures. These events can pose a threat to both property and human safety.

Flooding: Soil erosion can contribute to increased surface runoff during heavy rainfall events. The loss of natural vegetation and the compacted soil surface create conditions for rapid water flow, increasing the risk of flooding in downstream areas.

Water Quality Decline: Erosion transports sediment and pollutants into water bodies. As a result, water quality may decline, affecting drinking water sources and recreational opportunities.

Ecological Impacts: Soil erosion can negatively impact local ecosystems. The loss of topsoil and disruption of natural habitats can lead to reduced biodiversity and ecosystem degradation.

Economic Losses: Properties affected by erosion-related issues may experience a decrease in value and property owners may face financial losses. Repairing erosion-related damage, investing in erosion control measures, and dealing with reduced land productivity can all incur significant costs.

Is There Anything That Can Be Done?

Fortunately, there are various erosion control techniques to mitigate damage to property, such as stepped terracing, constructing anchor walls, planting cover crops, and using protective erosion barriers. All aim to establish a resilient environment that can withstand the factors contributing to soil erosion.

Stepped Terraces

While this is an enormous undertaking, tiered or stepped terraces on your land will help mitigate the effect of erosion on your property. Tiered terraces, such as those used on mountain farms, work by shifting the elevation of the land upward, allowing water to soak into each successive level rather than flowing freely down the slope. This helps reduce the effect of rainwater-related erosion on sloped surfaces, as the moisture tends to soak into each individual step rather than flow freely, carrying soil with it.

Anchor Walls

Anchor walls are structures that prevent the downward movement of soil by presenting a physical obstruction in the form of a wall. These walls also help to block the flow of water and allow you to create adequate drainage rather than having water flow naturally down a slope, collecting dirt and debris as it goes. Anchor walls can be costly and must be installed by a professional, but they can significantly reduce the effects of erosion on your property.

Cover Crops

Cover crops, such as legumes, grasses, or clovers, are grown to cover and protect the soil surface when main crops are not in season. These crops create a natural barrier that shields the soil from the impact of rain and wind, reducing surface runoff and preventing soil particles from being carried away. Their extensive root systems bind the soil together, enhancing its stability and reducing the risk of erosion.

Protective Barriers

Protective barriers, also known as sediment control barriers, are essential tools in mitigating soil erosion. These barriers are typically made of geotextile fabric and are strategically installed along slopes or construction sites to intercept and control the flow of mud, debris, and sediment-laden runoff. When rainwater or stormwater passes through the fence, the geotextile material traps and retains the sediments, preventing them from being washed away and carried into nearby water bodies. Protective barriers play a crucial role in preserving soil integrity.

How Can I Protect My Home from Soil Erosion?

The EvoGuard Extreme Weather Barrier is an effective solution, designed to protect homes and property from the damaging effects of soil erosion. Combining advanced technology and durable materials, this cutting-edge protective barrier offers an array of benefits that fortify your property against the forces of nature.

The EvoGuard system is installed to create a physical barrier that traps and contains solids like soil, mud, and sediment. As it collects solids, its strength and functionality increase. When water impacts the system, its flow is slowed down, preventing erosion and soil detachment. The barrier also diffuses wind, helping to deposit snow drifts or sand dunes in preferred areas. By containing solids and neutralizing the impact of water and wind, the EvoGuard's protective barrier allows surfaces to revegetate and stabilize, providing both immediate and long-term erosion protection.

The EvoGuard Extreme Weather Barrier offers multiple advantages: it is lightweight and easy to handle during installation, has a high static bursting strength (over 22,000 lbs/sf), and is fire-retardant with UV protection for longevity and performance. The system's rip-stop technology allows it to endure impacts without unraveling, while its structural integrity is maximized by integrating post sleeves so the barrier cannot detach from the stakes. These features make EvoGuard highly durable, reliable, and effective in erosion control.

To Use the EvoGuard Extreme Weather Barrier:

  • Roll out the technical mesh barrier along the intended area of protection.
  • Slide the stakes into the integrated post sleeves.
  • Drive the stakes into the ground until the lower rope channel makes positive contact.
  • Repeat until all stakes are installed.
  • Secure the containment toe of the mesh with the ground pegs.

Unlike other perimeter barrier systems, the EvoGuard Extreme Weather Barrier is a trenchless system. Unique to other barriers that weaken, EvoGuard strengthens and increases it's functionality as it collects soil, mud, and sediment.

Frequently Asked Questions About Soil Erosion

These are some of the most commonly asked questions about soil erosion and how to protect against its effects on your property.

How can I tell if I need erosion control on my property?

If you notice signs of erosion, such as exposed roots, gullies, sediment deposits, or barren patches of land, it's essential to address the issue promptly. Additionally, if you are planning construction or landscaping projects on slopes or near water bodies, implementing erosion control measures is advisable to prevent potential problems in the future.

Why Do I Need to Prevent Soil Erosion?

Preventing soil erosion on your property is essential for three key reasons:

  1. Erosion control protects your property from potential damage caused by gullies, slope failures, or landslides, ensuring the structural integrity of your land.
  2. It helps to preserve the quality of your land by retaining fertile topsoil, which is crucial for healthy plant growth and landscaping.
  3. By preventing erosion, you safeguard your property's value and aesthetics.

Can I Install an EvoGuard Extreme Weather Barrier on My Own?

Yes! The system is lightweight and designed for easy installation. The EvoGuard Extreme Weather Barrier DIY Kit comes with everything you need to be successful. For larger or commercial projects, it may be helpful to have a partner or a team.

What Do I Need to Get Started?

First measure the length of the area you are protecting. EvoGuard comes in 50 and 100-foot lengths, but can be linked together for longer stretches of property. EvoGuard Pro is available in 1, 2, and 3-foot heights. Refer to the website's Resources page for further assistance on choosing the right product dimensions for your project.

Prevent Soil Erosion in its Tracks with EvoGuard Extreme Weather Barriers

If you are concerned about soil erosion deteriorating your property, act now. Order your EvoGuard Extreme Weather Barrier today!