Planned Erosion Control Using Fibrous Mats to Avoid Future Problems


Landscaping and construction industries use jute and burlap fabrics including mats, rolls, and sandbags for environmental remediation when planning and preparing land for new structures.Proper use and preparation of soil in advance can minimize natural and man-made disasters from happening. Plant fiber products are a valuable tool in erosion control because there are so many ways to use them. They biodegrade as new plants take hold and other landscaping structures are installed. They include:


  • Burlap for immediate erosion control on very steep slopes susceptible to destabilization, biodegrading over time.
  • Jute mesh with large square grids to allow plants room to grow through them biodegrades eliminating the need to remove it later.
  • Coir mat made from the exterior of coconut shells after processing holds water and resists decomposition for longer periods of use than burlap and jute.

In areas being developed for housing, commercial buildings, new roads and parking lots, the exposed soil on newly cut slopes are vulnerable before and after planting. Jute, burlap, and coir matting play a crucial role in allowing the plants to grow and root properly, trapping the soil in place so it can handle the effects of wind and rain. Mature plants will eventually provide natural windbreaks and properly drain and direct water overflow toward reservoirs or drainpipes.

Construction and landscaping can remove current landscape features effectively destroying the self-sustaining value of land and lead to erosion. When structures are built on or near slopes, erosion creates a risk to the structures. Civil engineers and landscapers have a variety of techniques to prevent this from happening. Landscapers calculate the slope of the ground the same way roofers calculate roof pitch. This helps to determine the steps to take when addressing temporary solutions with fabric matting or sandbags.

erosion 1Installing jute fabric stabilizes soil making it harder to be displaced by wind and water. Raindrops hit bare soil and displace soil particles. Those particles collect more soil as they run downhill. Without erosion control, the effects can multiply in a single rainstorm when runoff water settles with loose soil and builds up as silt. Deposits of silt interfere with drainage structures and storm drains. The build-up of underground moisture can liquefy the soil and create mudslides and sinkholes in areas where soil has been moved, cut, and possibly not allowed to compress well enough before construction. These types of disasters are sudden and destroy homes and swallow vehicles.

Drainage systems can bypass exposed soil to stop or prevent a bigger problem by simply digging a path for the water, but drainage systems are not always the best methods for erosion control. It may not be aesthetically pleasing or water may not be the main issue. Reinforcing the eroding surface with fibrous mats placed on top or under a layer of soil in order to prevent erosion or even sandbag retaining walls can provide strong areas of support for soil or sand. Sometimes it requires a combination of different erosion control methods.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 7th, 2016 at 10:41 am and is filed under Prevention Tips.

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