Sunday, May 3, 2015

Maintaining and protecting your waterfront property By Ryan Additon

Time and time again, waterfront properties fall victim to erosion. While living on lakes, ponds and rivers is commonly viewed as desirable, they are vulnerable to a variety of environmental hazards. Erosion is typically caused by high winds, storms, rising water levels and wave action, as well as land layouts that improperly divert storm water.
Many homeowners don’t consider the potential devastation that erosion can cause to their waterfront property. It is usually cheaper and easier to prevent rather than repair erosion problems.
This is your home, your safe haven so why not protect it? 

When concerned about erosion look for possible symptoms around your yard. It is ideal to assess problem areas right after a rainstorms. Sights such as quick drop offs, trees leaning out over the water, poor sandy or clay soil, angulated land and undermined shoreline are all indicators of erosion and suggest future problems. Don’t ignore small channels or eroded areas, as these often turn into larger problems.

How to protect your shorefront:

-Leave as much natural vegetation as possible. This leaves established roots within the ground, slowing runoff water flow and stabilizing the integrity of the shoreline.

-Keep the shoreline at a gradual slope. This absorbs the wave energy, disturbing less ground.
-Plant rows of indigenous small shrubs which have vigorous root systems to hold the soil together.
-Minimize hard surfaces and buildings which prevent water from soaking into the ground and therefore increasing runoff and erosion.

-Runoff from roofs often creates erosion so consider gutters. Just be sure that the outflow of the water is managed properly.

For more serious instances seawalls are built. For this task choosing a company for the job is not something to take lightly. The company you choose should be certified in erosion control by the Department of Environmental Protection in order to be able to perform tasks within the 250 foot setback. This certification provides non-point training which provides contractors the knowledge on proper selection, installation and maintenance of practices like sediment barriers, mulch, vegetative stabilization, riprap and more.

It is also important to find a contractor that provides not just the engineering but also the proper permits and installation. Also look for experience and ask to see samples of their work to ensure you get results that are both functional and visually appealing.

This article was brought to you by Ryan Additon, owner of Northeast Landscape Design Contractors in Windham. For more information and to avoid severe erosion damage to your waterfront home call 207-576-7402.

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