Do you live in an area that suffers from earthquakes? Many more Americans live in earthquake-prone regions than may realize it. And while there's nothing you can do to prevent an earthquake, you can take steps to reduce damage and injury on your property. Here are a few landscaping tips that any property owner can and should consider.
1. Secure Hardscaping
The hardscaping in your yard is all the inorganic elements—things like decks, patios, flower pots, play areas, pathways, driveways, and rocks. The best way to protect these from damage in an earthquake is to secure them so they don't fall. So, for example, secure your kids' swingset in the ground, add a safety line to hanging pots, brace trellises, and keep patio roofing in good condition.
2. Maintain Your Trees
Healthy trees can weather more disasters without falling or breaking. Regular maintenance will help keep your own trees healthier. This includes annual pruning to remove diseased or dead limbs, cabling for large limbs or codominant stems, and treatment for pests and diseases as early as possible.
3. Protect Slopes
Does your property include any slopes? These are prime candidates for landslides, especially if they have already suffered from erosion. Planting slopes with ground covers, flowers, trees, and bushes help keep the soil intact. Consider more aggressive interventions like retaining walls and terracing of steeper or larger slopes.
4. Fix Drainage Problems
Poor drainage sets up your yard for more problems in an earthquake. Water draining toward the foundation weakens that foundation, resulting in bigger structural issues after an earthquake. Soggy spots encourage the movement of soil and landslides. And these areas don't provide stable footing for hardscape, which are then more likely to fall.
5. Protect Your Home
Analyze the landscape in relation to weak spots in your home. The most common of these are windows and doors. Could the trees, hanging elements, and shrubs in your yard fall into the windows or doors and break them? If so, secure the landscape feature with additional strapping or move it to a safer spot. Similarly, secure landscaping around utility boxes, meters, air conditioners, and furnaces.
Where to Start
Could your landscape be better prepared for a small, medium, or large earthquake? Find out by meeting with a professional landscaping service in your area today. Calling on their expertise, you'll soon have a plan to shore up your entire property against whatever Mother Nature throws at it.
Contact a local landscaping service to learn more.