Erosion Control Advice, Sustainable Real Estate Projects Tips

What is Erosion Control and Why is it Essential

16 June, 2020

What is Erosion Control and Why is it Essential in Sustainable Real Estate Projects?

Erosion is one of the Earth’s most well-known, natural catalysts for the creation of streams, lakes, and valleys. The process of erosion is initiated when the surface soil of an area wears down and begins to slide away.

The breakdown process occurs through everyday weather events such as rainfall and wind, as particles of the soil are bombarded by the elements and eventually fall in, slide down, or wash out.

While steep slopes may be the most visible evidence of erosion at-work, this natural process can also occur beneath ground level. Excessive rainfall has enough force to wear away the undersides of yards and roads, which will not be evident until a hole suddenly appears.

Depending on the region, erosion is controllable and can be regulated through deviations of flowing water, reduction of water debris, and the addition of support structures to steep landscapes. For those hoping to implement your own erosion control plan, Granite Seed is a great resource for the beginner or the seasoned developer.

What is erosion control?

Although erosion is, typically, a naturally-occurring process, man-made erosion is an accelerating trend across the world. With the development of suburbs, over-farming on the rise, and an influx of construction projects that strip layers of soil, man-made erosion has the potential to inflict irreversible devastation on natural structures.

Erosion control, in the form of human development and expansion projects, is the best way to intervene and slow spiking rates of man-made erosion.

Why is erosion control so important?

The need for proper erosion control extends beyond the vulnerable hillside property or the occasional pothole. Erosion can actually skyrocket development costs and create liability for contractors if it is not addressed during the planning process.

Without erosion control, these planning errors can wreak havoc on local homes and businesses and can even spiral into costly lawsuits that have the potential to destroy hard-working businesses. Similarly, if erosion continues to be unregulated, both man-made and natural erosion have enough power to wash away homes and businesses, debilitating landowners who may not be able to recover the lost land later.

Accelerated erosions, specifically, can decrease the productivity of developers, reduce agricultural production, or cause a complete collapse to the eroding areas. Wind and water are the two primary contributors to natural erosion. However, human product development, if not addressed during development, can exacerbate the destruction caused by wind and water’s natural wear.

How to implement erosion control measures in real estate projects

Erosion control can help secure the nutrient-rich topsoil in place, allowing the bottom layers of soil to remain firmly attached. Keeping the topsoil in place can expedite the germination process which results in healthy lawns and thriving plant life. This improves the landscape’s appearance and makes a property more attractive to potential buyers.

Without erosion control, buyers may be deterred by these unsightly lawns. Unregulated erosion can also force developers to accept liability if erosion destroys a property.

How is erosion prevented or slowed?

Whether it’s a new home, business, or sub-development undergoing construction, there are several options for erosion control for future buyers and planning committees.

Erosion control blankets

Erosion control blankets are designed to cover the surface of topsoil to reduce existing exposure to wind and rain. While the soil is still susceptible to some of the wind and rain’s effects, the added barrier prevents the soil from sliding or blowing away.

Over time, the erosion control blankets start to biodegrade, which helps to stabilize the soil and allows for future planting.

Mulch

Mulch is a cost-effective and convenient way to prevent soil erosion while tackling a time-intensive project. The mulch protects the soil from excessive exposure to the wind and rain and secures existing soil. Mulch can limit runoff and prevents the soil from sliding down a hillside.

Mulch will weigh down the soil and protect any plants and seeds planted during construction. Mulch can also work to protect the plants from the cold by keeping the soil warm, so you can better ensure the plants will survive fall winds and winter snow.

Tackifiers

Tackifiers are binding agents that work to “glue” different types of materials together so they can endure the effects of erosion. There are different types of tackifiers: organic and inorganic. Both are easy-to-use across different industries.

Plantago

Plantago seeds are an economical way to prevent erosion, as it hydro seeds the soil. The seeds are non-toxic, natural, and biodegradable, which makes them perfect for holding soils together and stimulating seed growth.

Guar

Guar powder comes from Guar seed that helps to hydrate different soils to rapidly bind them together.  Guar powder is another cost-effective tackifier that is perfect for the construction industry and the oil and gas industries.

DustFloc

DustFloc is another non-toxic blend of natural and organic matter engineered to bind soil particles together. The DustFloc works with a lot of different types of soil pH types to strengthen the soil’s structural integrity.

Wattles

A wattle is an erosion control log. The wattle is a straw or coir log used to prevent erosion then biodegrade over time. The wattle is perfect for use along slopes or banks to support hillsides that are under construction. They can also help with drainage and sediment control at multiple locations around a job site.

Final Thoughts

Erosion control is a concern for businesses and homeowners alike. Without erosion control, before and during a job, it is more likely that damages will occur during construction.

After the home or business is complete, the erosion control plan must continue to ensure that new yards do not breakdown or disintegrate during extreme weather.

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