Building a home or a building on the side of a hill can allow for breathtaking scenic views and increased property value. Building a home or a building on the side of a hill and not installing a proper foundation or constructing the home or building on a slip plane of a slope can have an adverse effect.
One thing can be said about hillsides, is that they are always in constant movement. The causes of the movement can have varying degrees of impact depending on a number of factors.
- How well the slope is constructed. Man made slopes are required to have rigorous compaction testing as they are being built. Not having the proper compaction of the fill soils can result in the creation of an unstable slope.
- The material with which a hillside is made up of also carries a large role in how much movement a slope will have and how quickly it will occur. Clay soils expand and contract at an alarming rate. Compound that will the slippery texture clay produces when in contact with water and you have a perfect scenario for the slope to start to slide and ultimately fail.
- Vegetation on the hillside helps to hold the slope together by the intertwining of the root systems of these plants. They essentially create a weaving effect that can help to reduce the amount of spoil run off during a heavy rain.
- Drainage is critical to the life expectancy of any slope. Minimizing the amount of water that is able to flow down the slope from run off is critical to maintaining the slope's integrity. You will see catch basins and V-ditches along slopes to break up the amount of water that is able to free flow and wash out the slope. Water is not going to be the slope's best friend in ensuring minimal movement of the slope.
Fortunately, we have been working with many engineering firms for many years to construct cost effective slope repair methods and strategies. Learn more about how we repair and stabilize these slopes throughout our website.
We inspect hundreds of homes each year that are nestled into the hillsides of our beautiful Southern California landscape. With visiting all of these homes throughout the years we’ve become quite familiar with the signs and symptoms associated with a slope that needs repair. These are some of the most common signs of slope movement that we see in Southern California.