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What Is Soil Washout?

The term soil washout refers to the soil erosion caused by water rushing along the topsoil. The water loosens and displaces the particles of the soil. The particles are subsequently carried downhill by the water flow. The soil conditions at your home will affect the behavior of the concrete structures on your property. 

What Causes Soil Washout? 

On your property, soil erosion occurs on a daily basis. There is some form of soil movement every time you tread on your grass. Even if you hose off your flower beds, the water droplets that fall on the soil produce splash erosion. In South Carolina, Western North Carolina, and Georgia, the humid summers and range of soils cause soils to wash out from underneath your concrete. 

Soil washout occurs when a stream of water running downhill washes away the topsoil, causing soil washout. Washout is a type of erosion that rapidly displaces soil, particularly in high-elevation areas of the Carolinas. While soil can disintegrate in the presence of standing water, soil washout requires a little inclination to allow the water to flow and wash off the soil. 

On a homeowner’s lawn, this is fairly easy to do because residential terrains are rarely ever even, especially after a few years. Storms, rain, human activity, and other things can swiftly alter a terrain’s slope. There are several areas where soil washout can occur if your property is at least five years old. The sandy loam is the main soil type in certain parts of North and South Carolina. This type of soil is loose, making it wash out easily. 

The Risks of Soil Washout

In the larger scheme of things, soil washout may appear insignificant. However, it harms your property’s concrete. Settling is soil erosion under concrete that causes an uneven structure.

care for your lawn

Your Property’s Terrain

With the Appalachian Mountains running along North and South Carolina, the soil and terrain is more sensitive than other places, meaning the ground your concrete rests on is unsteady. Depending on where you live in the Carolinas, your property main experience more soil washout than if you lived in a part of the country with a more stable terrain. If the land your property stands on is slanted, there will be some form of soil runoff whenever it rains. Your terrain can affect your concrete by making the soil unstable.

Heavy rain and outside flooding

Excess Precipitation

Dirt washout can be caused by rain or flooding, but it can also be caused by snow or rain if the temperature increases quickly enough for the snow or hail to melt quickly enough to take soil away from the location. The excess precipitation may make it harder to keep your soil from washing out under your concrete. Extra water running beneath your house can readily take up small soil particles. Although this may not seem like a big deal when there are only a few particles, it can become a massive difficulty when the rain and flooding won’t stop, producing serious soil washout difficulties.

yard grading and flooding issues

Weak Yard Drainage

The grading of your home is crucial in preventing soil washout. This has to do with ensuring that water runs away from your house. If a home’s grading is poor, water may pool around your home’s concrete foundation or concrete structures, causing hydrostatic pressure issues and eventually foundation problems. It’s also likely that concerns with water drainage are related to issues with rain and floods. You can have water pooling around your property if you don’t have downspouts or gutters, for example. It’s critical to have gutters and downspouts that direct water away from the house and its concrete completely.


Soil washout is one of the most aggravating aspects of property ownership. However, if a problem arises, you should not disregard it because it could be a significant issue. When soil washout does not have a direct influence on someone’s concrete, many homeowners choose to disregard it. 

It’s possible to identify soil washout issues much sooner in the process than you may expect. If you’re experiencing soil washout issues, there’s an underlying cause to consider. Signs of soil washout will be evident by the damage, like uneven or cracked concrete.  

It is not necessary for a situation to be serious before taking action to address it. It only needs to have an effect on your home’s concrete structures, like sidewalks and driveways. In fact, treating an issue quickly on can sometimes be beneficial and increases the amount of solutions available to you. 

Call Us for A Free Inspection 

At Mount Valley Foundation Services in Charleston, Columbia, and Savannah, we deal with a lot of humidity. These places’ soil types can be divided into three categories: silty clays, clays, and loams. If you feel your home is afflicted with soil washout, please call us! Homeowners can benefit from our no-cost, no-obligation inspections, which ensure that there is a problem that needs to be handled. You can trust our abilities because of Angi’s Super Service Award and Home Advisor’s Elite Service Award. We never leave a project half-finished, so your problem will be fixed the first time. 

Michael Wilcher

Michael Wilcher

Michael Wilcher is the Content Lead at Groundworks, helping us to answer all of our customers biggest questions about foundation repair, basement waterproofing, crawl space encapsulation, and concrete lifting. In his free time, Michael enjoys collecting vinyl records, watching Formula 1 Racing, and reading philosophy. He holds an MPhil from the University of Cambridge.

Disclaimer: “Concrete leveling” means the process by which cracked, uneven concrete is stabilized, and in many cases lifted, by means of PolyRenewal™ polyurethane foam. Mount Valley Foundation Services does not guarantee that PolyRenewal™ can make your concrete perfectly level. 

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