Causes and solutions to soil loss

The causes and solutions to soil loss can be a complicated subject that requires the guidance of a professional to fully understand and deal with the issue.  Soil erosion is more than just a problem for farmers, it’s something that can affect every property owner.  Soil erosion can damage your property’s foundation. That’s right, soil erosion can damage the foundation of a building, which can destabilize it and cause major structural issues.  That’s why it’s important to understand what soil erosion is, and more importantly what you can do to prevent it.

What causes soil erosion? The main culprit is water.  While wind and other forces can have a minor effect on soil erosion, for the most part, they aren’t much to be concerned about.  Water on the other hand, is a major concern.  When rain falls and it strikes dirt that does not have any vegetation covering it, the dirt is displaced.  A single drop of rain doesn’t go much, but during heavy rainfall countless drops combine to create a significant effect.

When rain first strikes bare earth it causes soil erosion, but that’s not the end of the process.  During heavy rains not all the rainfall can be absorbed quickly enough by the ground, which results in pooling of water, and frequent runoffs.  As water flows it also moves soil, causing erosion.

What you need to remember about soil erosion is that it’s not something that generally happens overnight.   While torrential rainfall can cause a massive amount of soil erosion quickly, that is the exception and not the norm.  Normally, soil erosion takes place over the course of several years while the accumulated effects of rain slowly shape and alter the landscape.

Soil erosion is a major problem for farmers since it strips away the top layers of soil and can make it much more difficult to sustain crops.  Vital nutrients in the soil can wash away, which makes sustaining crops more difficult.  This, in turn, leads to more bare earth due to less crop growth, which feeds into the cycle causing additional soil erosion.

While this is a problem, it’s likely not one that affects you directly.  Farmers have learned how to deal with it, so how is soil erosion a problem for the average home or business owner? When a building is designed properly the landscape is designed in a way to allow for water from heavy rains to flow away from the building.  When there is significant soil erosion, the designs are compromised, which can lead water to pool around the edges of a building.  When this happens, it can seep into the ground and destabilize the foundation of a building.

What can you do to help prevent soil erosion? Consulting with a professional is your best option since they can provide you with a customized plan based upon the location of your home or business.  They will likely look at your property to ensure that runoffs have been designed, and to also ensure that the landscape is shaped in a way to encourage water to flow away from any structures. We have various services such as land clearing, siteworks and excavation.

The main defense against soil erosion is vegetation.  However, in a drier climate, such as the one in Perth, dry, hot conditions can make it difficult to plan landscaping that will work without resulting in a lot of water usage.  Fortunately, a professional can also help in this regard.  Get in touch with Dobson Excavations to look at your property.

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