Sloped Land 101: Preventing Landslides

By LandCentral
house on slope with erosion
Image by Paul Brennan from Pixabay

Landslide prevention is a must for any house positioned on or near a slope. The last thing a new home owner wants is to build their dream home only to watch it slide away down a muddy ramp. While retaining walls are tried and true methods to protecting your assets, they can be expensive, especially if you’re dealing with a large chunk of land. But don’t you worry. There are cheaper, more natural ways to keep the mud from stealing your home. Check out LandCentral’s Sloped Land 101: Preventing Landslides:

#1: Plant Native Plants

Native plants are your best friend in preventing a landslide. They’re cheap, easy to find, and they typically only require the amount of water your region provides naturally because hey, they’re used to living there. Planting native plants and trees on sloped land works to retain the soil from eroding thanks to the intricate root system that often develops. For example, in the Pacific Northwest, low growing Ferns and Douglas Fir trees are ideal for sloped land as they’re both native to the region and their root systems help develop the integrity of the slope structure, keeping erosion at bay.

#2: Divert the Water Flow

If you observe water flowing down your slope, it’s possible to divert the flow to a more desired area, keeping your slope free from a landslide. This can be done by digging channels to carry the water through a mote or even pipes, if you want to get fancy. Some more expensive techniques involve diverting the water flow to a designated area of your yard and building a fountain in that spot to recycle the water. But don’t go broke diverting your water flow. Sometimes a simple man-made creek is all you need to save your slope from a slide.

Check out these 6 Ways to Divert Water

#3: Use Ground Cover

Also known as the poor man’s bark dust, ground cover is a great way to limit erosion and stabilize your soil. Again, it’s a root thing. But ground cover is one of those “plant it and forget it” plants, so it’s worth the investment up front. If ivy grows in your region, it’s the number one go-to to help control erosion. Just don’t forget it completely, as ivy tends to take over if you let it.

#4: Build a Terrace

Now we’re getting into more expensive territory here, but if you have the money, terraces are a great way to not only prevent landslides, but utilize the slope in your day-to-day. Try building large steps or small patios into your sloped land by flattening out sections. Don’t forget the retaining wall to keep that slope from encroaching back over your freshly made terrace. Which brings us to our final suggestion for landslide prevention.

Get more bang for your buck with a terrace garden!

#5: Build a Retaining Wall

Last but definitely not least (or cheap), build that retaining wall. A well-designed wall will be built out of bricks, stone or even steel. Hence, the expense. But remember, the wall itself isn’t enough. A well-built wall will have draining material placed behind the wall to maintain the soil. Yes, retaining walls are expensive. But in the end, they’re a lot cheaper than having to rebuild your dream home after watching it wash away with the rain. What can we say? Some things are worth the investment.

Check out this how-to guide for a DIY Retaining Wall.

So there you have it, LandCentral’s Sloped Land 101: Preventing Landslides. Whether you go cheap or expensive, these 5 tips will help secure the integrity of your slope and prevent a landslide from destroying your home.

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