While shopping for a new home, I found out and learned a lot about land erosion/landslides. Where I am trying to buy home is near an active landslide, something that could be devastating for a homeowner.
So first let me explain how erosion happens. Basically when the soil cannot hold more water than its weight, it can slide down to the slope. On places where there’s cliffs like in Daly City where I am trying to buy a home, this can cause huge landslides. When this happens to the land nearby your house, it can be devastating as you can easily lose your home.
To stop erosion and landslides, the soil must have enough plants, specifically native plants. No, growing grass won’t do it because grass can actually help erosion in some cases but if you grow “native” plants that grow in the erosion-prone soil, and lots of it, it can absorb much of the water, even if El Nino hits.
There are other artificial man-made ways like setting walls and whatnot but in my research, I learned that the best way is the natural way, by growing native plants and trees.
Upon closer investigation of where I am trying to buy a home where there’s an active landslide nearby, I learned that the city of Daly City actually used a synthetic/natural mix of fibers called Flexterra FGM that can attach to the soil in matter of seconds plus you can add native seeds/soil so plant grows on it. (You can see a detailed of landslide/erosion prevention that the city of Daly City did with Flexterra here. PDF)
Flexterra® Flexible Growth Medium™ (FGM™) uses Thermally Refined® wood fibers, crimped man-made fibers and performance-enhancing additives to form a lofty, interlocking matrix that creates air space and water-absorbing cavities that accelerate germination, reduce the impact of raindrop energy and minimizes
It’s a flexible material you mix with water, seeds, and soil then spray it where you need the erosion protection using an industrial hydraulic pump. (Yes, you will probably need some industrial equipment for this…)
Now, this won’t prevent landslides entirely because landslides are pretty much unpredictable but by installing Flexterra FGM, it can prevent heavy rains from soaking up/saturating the ground, thereby relieving stress on fractures of the landslide, potentially stopping another larger landslide or perhaps delay it for a longer time. (Longer time here we mean here could be 50 years or more, which could be long enough before I have to worry about my potential new home being taken.)
Anyways, this Flexterra FGM stuff really works, it’s a fiber that can absorbs 15 times more water than its weight, plus it can protect the soil from raindrop impacts.
For those of you who are facing natural landslides or erosion for your home or farm, you should highly consider studying further about this Flexterra FGM stuff. This could potentially save your home or farm from going under a natural disaster.
I’ve actually talked to one of the residents in Daly City, who’s backyard has been shrinking due to the landslides and he says that his backyard has shrunk by about 50% in the 25 years he’s lived there. Also, he tells me he cannot sell his house because of that. But that’s the area where Daly City has not sprayed Flexterra FGM. Next time I see him, I will surely to let him know about it, perhaps this could save his home and many other houses that lie on the cliffs by the ocean in Daly City.
I think it’s only available in large quantities (perhaps you might have to shell out a lot of money for this stuff) but hey, I am telling you this can stop landslides and erosion or perhaps delay the natural process long enough where it might be a viable solution.
Overall, I have actually found a house I want to buy in Daly City with a ton of great ocean views and best of all, the house comes with a rather big family room that faces the ocean, which I want to turn into my office. (that will resemble a PC Cafe)
During the process of deciding on the home to buy, I also learned a ton about land erosion, geology, earthquakes, and yeah, I will blog about it so you know too. It’s actually rather interesting stuff, man trying to fight against nature. Nature will always win but man can find a way to delay disasters, I think.
Heck, if I wanted to be really safe, I shouldn’t live anywhere near San Francisco Bay Area which is prone to major earthquakes every 30-odd years. I still remember that day my parent’s house rocked like a big boat in ’89 earthquake, that was the year my parents and I immigrated to the U.S. and I had never experienced earthquakes before. Well, I know a big one is coming soon, it’s been 21 years, I just hope I live through that too.
I guess people who live in the “danger” zone sorta forget about how dangerous it is to live there, even myself. One thing though, life is best when you are living on the edge and adrenaline flows through your body all day long, otherwise why live at all? (Oh yeah, I am reading CrushIt now by GaryVee, highly recommended read as he talks about living life on the edge too.)
Anyway, live everyday if it were your last, you should enjoy every minute of it. 🙂