How To Prevent Property Erosion From Threatening Your Home

Erosion happens whenever soil and rocks become displaced — usually as a result of water, wind or geological shifts. The process happens naturally, and soil erosion is largely responsible for the unique contours of the planet.

But soil erosion can also be an unnatural process.

Excessive land development and agriculture can accelerate the pace of soil erosion. Widespread deforestation removes the complex root systems that hold soil in place. In addition to stabilization, these roots also absorb water, helping to maintain consistent, subterranean moisture levels.

Eliminating this vegetation allows soil and water to move more easily. Worse still, the ground contracts and expands unpredictably, loosening even more soil.

Left unchecked, this erosion can lead to landslides, floods and severe property damage to area homes. Foundation failure is one of the most common (and costly) results of soil erosion.

As a homeowner, what actionable steps can you take to prevent erosion from damaging your property’s foundation?

Tips for Preventing Soil Erosion and Property Damage

There are a number of professional and DIY strategies for reducing soil erosion around your home. The following list outlines some of the most effective techniques:

1. Planting More Trees

The most straightforward strategy is to add more trees and other plants throughout your property (especially on slopes). This helps to re-establish underground roots that can stabilize soil and divert water.

Depending on the slope of your yard, planting trees isn’t always an option. Soil erosion might happen before roots have a chance to find purchase.

Certain types of annual grasses may be a better solution. They establish roots more quickly, allowing perennial grass strains and slower-growing vegetation to develop.

2. Adding Retaining Wall Barriers

By adding retaining walls or anchored solider pile walls, you can block soil from shifting down steep slopes. These barriers also help redirect water so you can control the flow and direction of drainage.

Note that adding retaining walls is not a DIY project. You need a licensed and professional contractor who has experience with this erosion-prevention strategy.

3. Creating Stepped Terraces

Similar to the tiered fields you associate with mountain farms, stepped terraces are another effective solution. Rather than let water run freely down the slope, each successive level soaks in moisture.

Depending on the gradient of surrounding slopes, this may sometimes be a DIY fix. But for steeper slopes, you’re better off contracting a professional.

4. Planting Rocks (Riprap)

Strategically planting rocks can further impede the free flow of water and soil. Best suited for low-gradient slopes, granite riprap can help soil stabilization. However, this is usually a temporary measure that only buys you time.

5. Adding Nets & Meshes

For more aggressive erosion problems, you may need to consider protective netting and covers to help keep soil in place. Some of the more common solutions in this category include:

  • TECCO mesh
  • Rock drape
  • Shotcrete facing


This level of intervention is definitely not a DIY job. Call in a professional who’s experienced in slope stabilization.

What Should You Do If Soil Erosion Is Already Happening?

The above solutions are mostly preventative measures — i.e. steps you can take before soil erosion becomes a problem.

But what if erosion is already happening? Left unchecked, sliding soil and water could cause serious damage to your home — or worse still — a neighbor’s property.

At the first sign of soil erosion, contact our slope stabilization team immediately. Our team can assess what (if any) damage to your home has already taken place.

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