4 Causes of Landscaping Erosion and How to Control It

Slope erosion with grids and grass planted on steep at a residential community
Where oh where is your soil going? Learn to combat common causes of soil erosion.

Consider gutter replacement if your gutters are constantly overflowing.

In-ground ice crystals can form during the winter which can disrupt the soil.

Wind shapes landscapes, and windy days can shift your soil unless you prepare well.

Foot traffic on the lawn can compact soil and remove ground cover.

Gutter Helmet diagram with and without gutter protection

House with Gutter Helmet protection

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Slope erosion with grids and grass planted on steep at a residential community

This content is sponsored by Gutter Helmet

Flowing water is one of Earth’s most powerful forces. It can carve massive canyons, wash away levees meant to contain it, cause mudslides that bury homes and create sinkholes that swallow cars. On a smaller scale, uncontrolled water flow creates myriad costly disasters for homeowners.

One of the biggest potential problems comes from water that drains improperly, often starting from the roof. “A house’s gutters, downspouts … and various drainage pipes are all part of the property’s drainage system,” explains geeksonhome.com. “The trick to fixing drainage problems before they create substantial damage is to proactively identify and correct water issues in and around the property.”

Delphin Thebaud, Regional Marketing Director of Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet®,  “states water is the number one enemy to your home.  In most instances you don’t realize you have a problem until it may be too late. Delphin states a preventative maintenance plan is the best course of action to avoid significant damages and repairs to your homes exterior or foundation.   Here are some guidelines to get you started.”

Check for erosion

As water flows around your home, gardens, flower beds and even your yard, it can carry telltale signs of erosion problems. If you see gravel, mulch and soil streaming out of these areas and onto your lawn, sidewalks, driveway, patio, etc., that is a sign of water flow issues. You might even see little gullies and furrows where soil has washed away. Once you notice signs of erosion, you can begin to identify the reason.

Watch for waterfalls

When it rains, check to see if water is running over the sides of your home’s rain gutters. When gutters are clogged with leaves or debris, water will pour from your gutters onto the ground around your home, which can cause a variety of problems, reports allstate.com. The impact of the water can cause erosion immediately under the gutters. It might even seep into your basement or cause water damage to your home’s foundation.

The National Center for Healthy Housing recommends cleaning your home’s gutters at least twice each year. Another option is to install a high quality gutter guard system that protects gutters from filling up with debris.

Control runoff

During heavy storms, runoff from roof downspouts and even neighboring properties can inundate your yard and threaten your home. Ways to deal with significant runoff are to redirect or capture it, notes information from Fairfax County. A possible solution is to use downspout extensions to direct water away from your foundation. You can also use catch basins, French drains and swales. The key is to quickly move the water away from your home and toward areas where it won’t cause damage.

Eliminate wet areas

“Wet areas that persist for several days after rain or snow are commonly caused by improper grading (low spots or depressions) or poor infiltration of water into the soil,” explains county literature. Make sure the grade or slope of your yard directs water away from your home. When the water sits in one area for days, likely problems are compacted soil, clay soil or even high groundwater. You can try alleviating the problem by amending the soil with organic material. If that doesn’t work, you might need to add underground drainage.

When you have water problems, it is important to deal with them quickly. The damage only gets worse over time and, by dealing with it right away, you can often prevent a minor issue from becoming a major concern. To make sure you handle the problem in the best way possible, consider calling an experienced professional to help you identify what needs to be done.

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