Few things cause homeowners a greater amount of anxiety than soil erosion. One of the primary distinguishing and motivating features of home-ownership is the idea that you are investing in something stable. A home is something on which you can depend. It is supposed to be the literal (and figurative) foundation of your livelihood.
That’s what can make it so frustrating when you start to feel the sands shift beneath your feet due to soil erosion. This can be particularly concerning in visible areas such as your patio.
On the one hand, you want to bring everything under control and make sure that the soil erosion doesn’t get any worse; however, on the other hand, you hardly want to have to do the kind of heavy hardscaping and repair work that may damage your patio setup.
That’s why you’ll want to look to these basic tips for repairing and preempting soil erosion near your patio area.
Steps To Control Patio Soil Erosion
How big of a deal is soil erosion, really? For farms, soil erosion is a major problem and great minds are working on building a solution. For patios and households, it can still be a costly thing to address. Therefore, the best thing you can do in the short term is take preventative measures.
Take Preemptive Preventative Measures
Indeed, the best way to address soil erosion is to try and prevent it from ever happening in the first place. Some helpful preventative measures that you can take in this regard include:
Diverting and Catching Water
One of the primary culprits in soil erosion is water being places where it shouldn’t. This can be exacerbated if you live somewhere where rain is prevalent. This can cause rainwater to become trapped in certain paved areas along your patio, thereby fostering soil erosion. To combat this, you’ll want to divert and catch rain before it can cause an issue. Dig ditches and install piping that diverts the water from the problem areas.
You might also have a problem with your patio slope. If you notice a lot of sitting water in your patio area, you might look into how to remedy that specific problem. Wondering how much slope a patio should have? We wrote a guide!
Plant Thirsty Flora
If you are looking for a more natural solution to the issue of soil erosion, you may want to consider planting some plants. Their roots can help soak up that extra water and the interaction between soil and roots can be good for the long-term health of both. Grass, however, does not work so you’ll need to grow something bigger with more water-absorbing power. Trees and shrubberies are great selections here. For maximum effect, plant and grow these trees near slopes so as to catch water as it drips downward.
Install French Drains
This is, in essence, a type of perforated pipe that is surrounded by soil such as gravel. It can be useful in diverting water and thus preventing soil erosion.
Consider Building Solutions
Let’s say that it’s already too late to install some preventative measures or that you did and they still failed. What then? You may want to look to building solutions that can offer more long-term protection against soil erosion, such as:
These can be useful for stopping water and soil from spilling out over your yard. You’ll want to be sure that you construct them in such a way as to get rid of the water buildup you already have without completely dehydrating your lawn. One of the problems with soil erosion in patio areas is that too much water can be bad for the patio parts while too little water leaves your soil and plants dry, dehydrated, and ultimately dead.
These can be similarly helpful in keeping rainwater where it should be and blocking it out from where it shouldn’t. If you are using this as a means of repairing current soil erosion, you’ll want to be sure to address the cause of the soil displacement first. Once you have identified the cause, building a retaining wall around the areas that keep letting in the water creating the soil displacement can help resolve the matter for the long term.
Gutters and Downspouts
This can be a helpful way of putting your plumbing and irrigation system to work to help address a soil erosion issue. Ideally, these should direct the water well away from your foundation. Downspouts should thus be installed at least five to ten feet from the base of your home so as to avoid any water damage.
Add Ground Cover and Mulch
Now let’s address how to help repair the soil itself. After all, preventing flooding or damage to your concrete patio area is one thing but you don’t want any plants in the area to go bad either.
You will thus want to employ ground cover and mulching techniques to help protect and reinvigorate your soil.
Ground cover is the process of spreading grass, straw, and similar organic items over your soil in such a way as to help them absorb rainwater and prevent it from displacing loose and exposed soil.
Mulching makes use of organic materials to do just this while adding nutrients back into the soil. Manure, compost, newspaper, grass clippings, and other organic materials can be good for this purpose.
These simple methods can help you revitalize your soil, repair damaged areas, and prevent soil erosion in the future.
When To Call The Experts
Sometimes, it’s irresponsible to continue to try to fix problems yourself. When is the problem big enough to call in the experts?
If you’ve tried the above solutions but the problem keeps getting worse, call the experts. Likewise, if the problem seems to be getting worse quickly, pick up your phone and call someone to come out and give an estimate. Most professionals provide one for free.