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Soil Erosion Control
Soil erosion is a costly problem, so it is very important to plan ahead when buying a home. Making sure soil erosion control and rain damage prevention are done right during the original landscaping and building of your home will lead to a nicer overall yard and keeping your yearly maintenance costs down.
The by-product of soil erosion is sediment. You’ve seen this after a hard rain on your sidewalks and driveways. Sediment from soil erosion is the largest pollutant in our lakes, rivers and streams. If your yard sediment clogs up your storm sewers, it can cause flooding. Any uncovered land on your property, no matter how large or small an area, is susceptible to rain damage and soil erosion.
Sediment from yards can also be a major source of phosphorus in lakes and streams. When you get excess phosphorus, there is a higher likelihood of unhealthy algae blooms. These algae blooms cause an awful smell, and can kill fish and other water life. Rain damage prevention along with soil erosion control is the better way to keep our waterways clear and the environment clean. (Not to mention it is much more cost effective to prevent the damage than to try to restore something after it has been damaged.)
There are key ways to keeping your yard looking better. Some common ways of planning for soil erosion control and rain damage prevention are:
• Cover all stock-piled soil you have on your property. When these soil stock-piles are not in use, keeping them covered with a weighted plastic tarp will help with soil erosion control.
• Plant a temporary vegetative cover on your unfinished yard. When you have an area of your yard that is bare and won’t be touched for a while, just plant something temporarily to help hold the soil in place. Annual rye grass is a good choice for this.
• Use mulch. Any areas of soil that are exposed and next to a hard surface, like a sidewalk or driveway, should be covered and stabilized by mulch or mulch and a temporary vegetative covering. There are many types of mulching products, including straw, straw netting blankets and wood fiber blankets. When you place these on large areas of bare ground, you are doing the best thing possible for rain damage prevention and soil erosion control.
• When your home landscaping is complete, permanently seed or sod your entire yard. This will stabilize the soil for the life of your yard.
Now that we have covered many soil erosion control methods, we can move to the rain damage prevention of your home.
When a house is built, water that lands on the roof generally runs off and is taken to the ground through gutters and downspouts. Gutters should be properly fitted from the start and pitched toward the downspouts. Keeping the gutters sloping to the downspouts will accelerate water flow, and will allow the water to flow easily. To keep this all from leaking, any joints in the gutters and downspouts should be caulked.
Downspouts are normally found on the corners of the house. All downspouts should be properly fitted with screws and sealers. At the bottom of the downspout, piping situated underground is connected and all water will be taken away from the house through subsurface drainage.
Although this design for rain damage prevention and soil erosion control has been around for many years, sometime it can be very costly. If any maintenance is needed, whether due to leakage or clogging, you can be looking at a hefty bill.
Now enters the “new kid on the block” for rain damage prevention and soil erosion control. There is a product on the market that actually extends your downspout far enough out into your yard to help keep your home safe from rain damage and soil erosion. Rainguard Downspout Extensions are placed on the bottom of a downspout and they roll out when it rains to drain the water away from your home. What is especially nice about these extensions are that they roll back up and out of the way when it is not raining.
So, as you can see, you have many options for soil erosion control and rain damage prevention in property you own and maintain. A rain storm does not have to be a problem for you or your environment.