Landslides are very common in Southern California. This past January, 20 people were killed and countless homes were destroyed after heavy rains unleashed destructive rivers of mud and debris. The wildfires that had inflicted the region late last year are believed to have made these mudslides even more devastating. Vegetation and roots that would’ve held soil in place had burned away. This rendered the area barren; making it more vulnerable to flooding from the nonstop torrential downpouring of rain. Setting the stage for the mudslides that caused so much destruction. If you reside at the bottom of a hill or its downslope, your home is susceptible to a landslide or mudslide. In today’s blog post, we’ll discuss some preventative steps homeowners in the region can take to minimize property damage from landslides.
At the very first sign of trouble, for instance, a period of heavy rains, preventive measures must be taken to minimize mudslide damage.
Boarding up windows, doors, and drainage facilities are a few ways to prevent debris from entering your home.
Stacking sandbags around your house will help prevent water from pooling around it. This reduces the likelihood of your home flooding. Sandbagging not only defends against flooding but also acts as a barrier; redirecting mud and debris away from your house. While sandbags won’t seal out water, they’re still a solid option for diverting moving water, mud, or debris away from your structure rather than through it.
Sand and lumber can also be used similarly as protective barriers. The goal is to deflect, not contain, debris.
Build Retaining Walls
Building a retaining wall or debris fence is one of the best ways to protect a property located on a slope. Retaining walls stabilize the hillside while also providing a sufficient protective barrier. These walls can be built below or above your home. They can either redirect debris flow away from your house or prevent hillsides below it from washing out.
Proper retaining wall installation and maintenance is critical to the effectiveness of this solution.
Utilize Helical Piers and Anchors
Helical piles are large eco-friendly galvanized screws. They’re drilled into the ground beneath a home’s foundation until they reach suitable bedrock or strata. From there, they’re mounted with a steel bracket onto the foundation footings. This ensures maximum stability. Helical piers and anchors strengthen and permanently support your home’s foundation. This keeps your home standing regardless of soil conditions and shifts or debris from a mudslide pushing past a retaining wall.
Be Prepared to Leave
While protecting one’s property is important, so are the lives of you and your family. Be aware of storm durations and severity or the amount of rain that’s hit your region. Keep an eye on the mountains and hills surrounding your home. You’ll often hear a rumbling sound indicating a slide is on its way. If danger seems imminent, do not hesitate to vacate the property to keep you and your loved ones safe.