The nip of winter drove most of our construction businesses indoors, so the colder months of the year were considerably less fruitful if you work in any kind of construction or outdoor labour position. But just because many of our sites escaped from the cold, this doesn’t mean that the elusive effects of erosion took any time off. Winter erosion is still an issue, but it’s an issue that doesn’t have to manifest into something overly difficult to fix. Preparing for winter erosion is a must, and here are a few ways you can do so for next year.
Loose soil is at risk of erosion if not taken care of. Spreading mulch across open areas of unprotected soil is a surefire way to protect this loose soil from being moved around by the elements. Mulch normally comes in the form of straw or wood chips, and these insulators keep moisture in the soil to encourage the growth of natural vegetation once the site is cleared. If you had the chance to spread mulch on your site before winter hit, it’s a good idea to consider reapplying as the snow melts and produces runoff, as it will take the mulch with it.
Another way you should have prepared for winter would be through the use of an erosion blanket, especially if your site contains steep slopes. Usually constructed from a synthetic or biodegradable material, the blankets are often mixed with seed to again promote the growth of vegetation once the job is completed. Erosion blankets are secured into the soil and are often more successful in preventing erosion than mulch.
Even if you put these anti-erosion measures in place, it’s extremely important to have the property routinely inspected and maintained over the winter, specifically when heavy snowfall or melt off is a reality. Chinooks bring tons of water runoff, and this can spell disaster for your site if not handled properly. Next year, consider installing silt fences before the chinooks really start to roll in. Controlling the movement of melted snow through the site will save you a lot of headaches once the job starts up again in spring.
Regardless of what’s in place to prevent erosion on your site, it’s of the utmost importance to inspect and maintain your erosion control plans. If you have any questions about how to best tackle erosion during or after winter, feel free to get in touch with our service team!