How to Prevent Landslides from Damaging Your Home

Welcome to California, where earthquakes, wildfires, and landslides can often be commonplace. The potential for one of these natural disasters, mudslides, always increases when powerful storms hit the Southern California area and bring excessive amounts of rain. Earthquakes, which cause seismic shifts, and even wildfires, which diminish or eliminate vegetation, can also cause the ground to become unstable and result in landslides.

Unfortunately, most slides occur without warning, leaving a wake of destruction in their path. Not only can they damage or destroy cars, roads, buildings and homes, but also are responsible for over a 100 deaths in California in the last 25 years. Your home is most susceptible to being affected by a mudslide if you reside at the bottom or down-slope of a hill, especially if the area has been decimated by a wildfire. Without vegetation to bind the soil, the fire-destroyed land becomes unsteady and increasing vulnerable.

Likelihood of Landslides in California

This map shows the relative likelihood of deep landsliding based on regional estimates of rock strength and steepness of slopes.

Taking Preventative Steps

The most effective way to prevent a mudslide from damaging your home is to take proactive measures. If you are in an area susceptible to landslides, be sure to board up your windows to prevent debris from entering your home. You should also try to direct any debris away from your home using sandbags, sand, or even lumber.

The goal is to deflect the debris, not contain it. Protecting your property is essential, but not at the expensive of your life, or the lives of your family. Should the situation become too dangerous, you should always be prepared to leave. Remember to stay aware of the storm or rain flow amounts, pay attention to the mountains and hills surrounding you, and listen for rumbling noise that could indicate a slide is on the way.

Retaining Walls & Helical Piers Anchors

One of the best solutions for protecting your home is through the use of a retaining wall, or debris fence. If your home is located on a slope this type of wall can be used to stabilize the hillside and provide a protective barrier from uphill landslides. Walls can be positioned above or below the home to either help decrease the amount of debris flow that reaches your home or prevent the hill from washing out below you home. The key to utilizing a retaining wall or debris fence is to make sure that it is properly installed in the first place, and then maintained over the years.

In addition to building a retaining wall, you can also utilize to strengthen, and permanently support your foundation. These Eco-friendly helices are large, galvanized steel “screws”, which are drilled into the ground beneath your foundation until they reach competent bedrock or strata. They are then mounted onto the foundation footings with a steel bracket to ensure maximum stability. Helical piers help permanently support your home’s foundation, regardless of any soil problems that might occur as a result of a landslide. Because they are flexible, they can adjust to changing soil conditions, thus helping to keep your home standing should debris from a mudslide push past your retaining wall.

Get Started Today

Foundation Technology is a leading expert in landslide protection and hillside stabilization in the Los Angeles and Southern California area. Our fast, non-invasive and extremely economical solutions are the best in the industry. They also come with a 25-year warranty. To get to the bottom of your landslide concerns, schedule an inspection below or give us a call at (661) 294-1313.