Mudslide Damage : How To Protect You and Your Property


With the weather patterns this summer ushering in hotter, drier and windier conditions and drying out vegetation, brush fires have been and continue to be a constant threat.  With the recent fires, residents in several areas in Riverside County have been ordered to evacuate due to the closeness of fires to their homes.


And these fires have already affected thousands of acres of hillside, charring them and leaving them bare of vegetation.


While the fires are a threat themselves already, the resulting destruction of vegetation also brings forth another looming danger - mudslides.  With trees and bushes destroyed across vast areas, there’s no plant life to contain flooding and mud. In such conditions, even a little bit of rainfall can trigger a mudslide.

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If you live in an area where mudslides are likely to occur, what can you do to prevent or lessen the threat of mudslide damage?  Keep in mind that these precautions are what you can do ahead of time.  


If a mudslide threatens your home or property, you should listen to authorities and evacuate immediately.


Plant ground cover for slopes around your home or property.  This is the most basic but long term way you can prevent a mudslide on a slope. This works best on slopes that are not too steep and more importantly, if you have not observed any movement yet.


The roots of trees and plants have the ability to absorb excess water while keeping loose soil from running down slopes.  However, it is important to keep these facts below in mind:


  • Keep plants trimmed to 18 inches high near your home or building


  • Heavier vegetation may be helpful but can potentially cause more damage if it breaks loose during a mudslide.


  • The plants and trees you plant should be kept well watered. Dry or dead plants are no use against mudslides and easily become fuel for  fire.

mudslide damage plants

Build retaining walls. As an alternative to planting vegetation, sturdy retaining walls can help prevent mudslides from becoming worse. They can also help water flow away from your home or building protecting it from flood damage. 


A word of caution though. Weak walls are no match for the powerful force of a mudslide. It is important to use materials rated to handle excessive forces. Weak retaining walls may increase damage should they be swept away. 


The recommended materials to use are masonry, stone, brick or steel. To add stability, drainage materials behind the wall are likewise recommended.


Build debris pathways or channels. Properly constructed channels or pathways that divert debris away from structures may also help prevent or lessen mudslide damage.  However, it is important to carefully plan where the debris flow lands. 


It is possible to get a geological survey of your property to determine flow direction around the home or building to ensure that the diverted mudslide does not end up on somebody else’s property.  In worst case scenarios, home owners could be held liable for any damage or loss of life that carelessly routed channels cause.


Install sandbags or straw wattles. These are temporary solutions and work best to stop smaller mudslides from getting into your property.  Straw wattles allow water to pass through while stopping soil and are better alternatives for larger spaces.


Other temporary solutions to protect areas without vegetation due to recent fires are plastic sheeting, tarpaulin or burlap.

mudslide damage sandbags

Other preventive measures. Here are other extra steps you can take to help prevent further mudslide damage in the event that your home is inundated.


  • Install flexible fittings that better withstand ground shifts for your water and gas lines.


  • Raise appliances including water heaters, furnaces and electric panels off the ground to prevent water damage in the event of a mudslide.


  • To be better prepared for an emergency, know how to shut off the gas and water to prevent collateral damage in the event your house or property is compromised. 

Mudslide Damage - Protecting Yourself


The best solution to avoiding catastrophic mudslide damage is to ensure that you are not building on property located in an area susceptible to mudslides.  Your best sources of information are local officials who can tell you if it has experienced debris flows in the past. 


It is also advisable to have a ground assessment of your property by a reputable insurance company. This will tell you how vulnerable the land around the home is to mudslides.


Finally, if you live in an area that is prone to mudslides, make sure you have a homeowner’s insurance policy that at least includes flood protection to cover water damage in case of a mudslide.  


It’s rare for insurance companies to offer stand-alone mudslide coverage, but if you can find homeowners insurance that covers mudslides, it’s an excellent idea to get one. It may be the one purchase you do not ever want to use, but one that will save you a lot of headache in the event of a


What To Do in Case of a Mudslide

mudslide damage evacuate

We have been discussing what you can do to prevent mudslide damage in advance.  We cannot emphasize this enough - if a mudslide is threatening your home or property, you should evacuate as soon as instructed to do so by authorities.  


Keeping your property safe is important but your safety and that of your family should always be first priority. 


Here, we offer safety tips to protect yourself from danger:


  • Be alert of any warnings of rain or thunderstorms if your area is vulnerable to mudslides.


  • Always be prepared with an emergency kit in case you and your family need to evacuate. 


  • Ensure that your mobile phone is always charged in case you need emergency help.


  • Document your property with photos or videos before any mudslide damage has occurred for your homeowner’s insurance.


  • Always be alert for rumbling sounds or sounds of rocks crashing together or tree branches cracking.


  • Listen to advisories from authorities and be ready to evacuate as soon as directed.

Mudslide Damage - FIVE STAR Can Help

If you have experienced mudslide or water damage, FIVE STAR Restoration can help. A mudslide can cause major damage but this can be made worse with the moisture that mud brings. This can cause water damage and potentially the growth of mold in a short period of time. 


FIVE STAR Restoration is a top rated water damage restoration company.  We offer affordable, round the clock water damage help.


If your home or building experienced structural damage, we ensure that affected materials are safely removed from your property. We work quickly to remove mud and water from your home or building while minimizing the inconvenience as much as possible.  


We use specialized equipment to completely dry and sanitize the affected areas and materials on your property so you can  return to normal life as soon as possible. 


Finally, we offer you invaluable assistance in filing an insurance claim if necessary.  We work directly with your insurance adjuster so your claim can be processed with the least amount of hassle and stress.  


Call FIVE STAR RESTORATION for a quick response and assistance on your mudslide and water damage emergency.


Call us at this number - 951.368.2227.


Tags: Mudslide Damage, rain mudslides, fire damage, home water damage

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