Slope repair is a procedure designed to make slopes more resistant to erosion in the future. It is also an important process that helps rectify slope instability and protect your property and everyone in it from catastrophic landslides. Any property that is located on either side of a hill or a steep surface is at risk of dangerous landslides. Slopes are of course not the same. Some are steeper and some are not that steep. The most important thing to note is that the steeper the slope gets, the higher the chances of instability. Slope instability will damage the foundation and this will make your structure weak. If the problem is not fixed, your building may start to crumble. Slope repairs are, therefore, very important and should be done as fast as possible.
Look out for Potential Triggers of Slope Instability
Even if your property has shown or shows no signs of slope instability, you could be at risk if it has just undergone a deluge from heavy rains or melting winter snow. Heavy rains and melting snow can saturate the soil. This change in the soil’s water saturation levels could lead to adjustments in its angle of repose, which could in turn cause landslides.
Look out for Signs of Foundation Damage
The following may indicate that one or more components of your foundation are failing. Again, it should be stressed that if your home is located on a steep slope, a failing foundation may be early warning signs of slope instability.
- Your floors have become out of level.
- Parts of your home seem to be pulling away or tilting.
- There are cracks in your foundation, walls and floors.
- Your doors and/or windows stick or are misaligned.
- There are gaps around your doors and/or windows.
- There’s apparent soil movement away from the foundation.
- There’s moisture in your basement/crawlspace walls and other signs of water intrusion into your foundation.
Triggers of Slope Instability
Slope instability is not something that happens all of a sudden. It is a gradual process. In that case, even if you are not already experiencing issues with slope instability, it doesn’t mean it can’t happen, especially during heavy rains or rapid ice melting. Heavy rains, in particular, can cause extreme soil saturation. This will adjust the angle of repose and increase the risks of a landslide. But even if the landslide does not occur, water saturation will still have an impact. Saturated soil may cause gradual settlement and if this is not addressed immediately, it may lead to serious foundation damages. There is nothing as dangerous as a damaged foundation on a hillside property sitting on an unstable slope. This is basically a disaster waiting to happen and the sooner you take care of this the better.
What To Look Forward To In Slope Repair
Our team of foundation experts and engineers will work to ensure that the damaged slope is rectified. We use state of the art equipment and modern construction techniques to strengthen unstable slopes, prevent any slope instability by putting in place mitigation measures, and fixing damaged slopes effectively.
Our approach is also very cost effective. We understand that slope repairs can be very expensive and the last thing you need is to continue living on an unstable slope just because you cannot afford the repair. This will not happen with us. We use all our experience in slope repairs to ensure we give you an affordable yet effective slope repair solution that meets your budget.
The following are some of the slope repair methods we use:
Do You Need Slope Repair?
A foundation specialist with experience in hillside foundations can easily tell you whether you need slope repair or not. If there are any signs of failure on the foundation or any of its components on your hillside property, you need to have it checked.
Here are some of the things you need to look out for:
Look Out For Any Signs of Damaged Foundation
Foundation damage is very common in hillside properties. There are signs that will tell you that your foundation or one of its components needs some repair.
The following are some of the early warning signs to look out for:
- Floors in your property have become out of level
- There are some parts of your home that are tilting or pulling away
- Cracks are appearing on your foundation walls and also on the floor
- The windows and the doors are misaligned and some gaps have started to appear around them
- You can see soil movement away from the foundation
- Water intrusion into the basement or the crawlspace
Signs of Slope Instability
There are also a number of signs that may indicate slope movement or potential slope instability.
Here are some of these signs:
- The exposed soil shows that there have been erosions recently
- You realize that there are visible cracks, bulges, and water intrusions in areas that didn’t have the problem before
- Some areas around the slope have dropped or sunk
There may also be signs of long term soil movement. This process is known as downhill creep.
Here are some of the main signs:
- Trees around the hillside property are leaning or in some cases the trunk appears curved.
- Additionally, pay attention to other fixtures in your home or around the neighborhood. For example, if the utility poles and fences appear tilted or leaning then something is not right.
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Friction piles are installed in areas where lateral soil movement is highly likely. The piles are basically preventive. They can be designed as retaining walls using additional panels and lagging or installed in isolation. However, the idea of installing the piles together with laggings in order to create a stronger retaining wall is far more effective.
Keying and Benching
Keying and benching are absolutely important in repairing slopes. A damaged slope will lose much of its earth materials. In order to fully restore it, these materials need to be filled. The filler materials to be used will be compacted. They will then be keyed and benched into the competent material below until the slope is fully restored.
The main role of the geo-grid is to add strength to the fill. It is a heavy gauge plastic mesh that will be installed within different layers of the fill. In case the gradient is steeper than normal, the use of geo-grid is very necessary to ensure that the risk of slope instability in the future is significantly reduced.
Building retaining walls is also an effective solution that works by preventing lateral movement of soil. The walls will also play an important role in adding to the size of the level pad area. In the city of Los Angeles, a 4-feet retaining wall can be built without an official permit. However, if the wall is to be higher than 4 feet, you will need a Geological and Soils Engineering Exploration Report, structural engineering, and a complete survey before you are granted a permit to proceed with the construction.
This process uses a grid of reinforcement bars and concrete to add strength to the slope. The grid will be anchored to the slope properly and then concrete will be applied. This will help to stabilize the slope and restore its strength. However, in order for you to use Shotcrete as a measure of strengthening your slope, you will be required to have a proper survey, structural engineering, and also a Geological and Soils Engineering Exploration report.
Poor drainage is one of the major causes of slope instability. Every hillside site has the minimum requirements for drainage. However, drainage on a slope needs to be done in a way that prevents the erosion of soil. It is often best to have your site inspected by an engineering geologist so that they can provide effective drainage recommendations for your specific area. This will be very important in preventing slope instability in the future.
Slope repair doesn’t need to be a difficult and expensive process. We have the expertise you need to get the job done. Feel free to give us a call today so that we can begin working on your slope as soon as possible.