Erosion is a surprisingly common phenomenon on construction sites. If you work in landscaping or if you’re a homebuilder, you’ve probably experienced it before. Fortunately, there are strategies to prevent erosion—including building temporary structures to keep erosion from getting out of hand. That’s where the FASCO® (a member of BECK) F CL45A Gabion Ringer comes into play—but more on that later. Let’s start with a look at how erosion happens, and tips to prevent it from happening to you.
How Erosion Happens on the Construction Site
Landscapers and homebuilders are two groups of professionals who experience erosion the most often. For landscapers, it happens during the big jobs—those times when you’re working on a massive new deck or a major landscape renovation that requires bare earth to be left uncovered for long stretches of time.
Similarly, homebuilders most often experience erosion during the plot contouring and foundation building phases of a homebuilding project. This is the time when you’ll have a lot of uncovered earth as you shape the new home’s brand-new yard to fit the new foundation.
As to the actual mechanism for erosion, in most cases, rain will be the problem. It can cause sheet erosion, in which soil particles wash downhill along with the flowing water. If it’s raining hard, you may experience gully erosion or rill erosion, which happens when running water gathers into V-shaped channels as it flows. The longer the water flows, the larger each channel will grow—carrying more and more sediment as it enlarges.
Strategies to Prevent Erosion
Whether landscaping or building a home, the best strategy is to plant grass and finish landscape features as soon as possible so that you can get the soil stabilized, which stops erosion from happening. Life doesn’t always work that way, however. Often, you’ll need to wait before placing seed or sod while other phases of the job wrap up—and there is no way to stop rain from happening while you wait.
In that case, you may want to try one of the following strategies:
- Leave as much space as possible untouched. If you’re building a foundation on a one-acre yard, for instance, then it may not be necessary to tear up the grass outside of the foundation’s immediate area. Save the lawn recontouring for later, when you’ll have time to do the job quickly and get seed or sod put down.
- Use plastic sheeting to cover the ground. The majority of the rainwater will run over the sheeting, preserving the soil beneath.
- If an area is too large to make plastic a worthwhile option, try covering the soil with straw, which is much less expensive—and easier to spread. The stalks work well to break up water flow to prevent rills from forming, and they’ll help ensure that sediment stays put, too.
- Use a silt fence. While this method doesn’t stop erosion entirely, it does prevent sediment from washing into local waterways or flowing to other places where it isn’t wanted. Place silt fences at the base of a slope to capture sediment as it washes downhill. Once you’re ready for a more permanent solution, it’ll be relatively easy with a bulldozer or another piece of equipment to recontour the ridges that the silt has formed.
- Gabion Basket: When you need serious erosion control—think steep slopes or particularly large tracts of land—then it might be worthwhile to build a gabion basket. These are metal baskets filled with stone, and they’re quite effective as retaining walls, agricultural fencing, or as erosion control. They act like an extra heavy duty silt fence, one that you can build over long stretches relatively easily and for a low cost.
If you’re building a gabion or another structure that requires C-ring and hog ring fasteners, then you’ll need the F CL45A Gabion Ringer. This is an air-driven tool that uses the CL45 Flex fastener. With a side loading mechanism and ergonomic grips, it’s designed to be easy to use, reducing strain so that you can use this tool all day with minimal effort. See it in action for yourself!