Discussion in 'Sappers' started by crabtastic, Dec 4, 2007.

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  1. Really not my field of expertise, folks, but a colleague of mine and her fcukwitted husband were dumb enough to ignore the maxim that if it appears to be true, then it probably is.

    Accordingly, they bought themselves a fixer-upper property on a slope within a small canyon. Unfortunately for them, like most Southern Californian canyons, a paucity of vegetation leaves the area prone to mudslides- and we have heavy storms forecast for this weekend.

    Now, Civ Eng was my dad's gig, not mine, and he'll be getting a call in the morning, but he's used to big, captial projects that are planned years in advance and I figure you lot are much better versed in improvisation. I'm a little bit sceptical about my colleague's plan, which as far as I can tell involves just laying plastic sheeting on the slope and hoping for the best. I'm wondering if any of you might have some better ideas about controlling, or at least minimising the risk and damage. Preferably ideas that don't involve any equipment that can't be begged, borrowed or stolen from friends, neighbours or The Home Depot. Labour is not a problem

    I can PM the address if anyone wants to take a look at the topogaphy on Google Earth. Possibly some photos tomorrow afternoon. As regards the geology, I don't have a clue. The soil is bone dry because it hasn't rained properly here since about March and is fairly sandy. I don't know if this means that it's going to be better at retaining water, or whether this means that it's going to be more prone to liquefaction.

    Any help you can give me would be most apprecated, both in terms of practical plans or just general things to look out for and consider. If you want to rip the p1ss, go ahead because, quite frankly, I don't like the dappy bint that much anyway and neither does anyone else. We just want to be able to say that we gave it our best shot.

  2. Why are they so sure there is a significant (ie actionable) risk to their property?

    EDIT: Best send the grid mate. I'm not a geotechnical but I know a few.

    EDIT2: I'm off to me tip but I'll check in the AM.
  3. The place got "yellow-tagged" (minor structural damage) in a slide a year or two ago. Don't ask me why they're still there...

    Address for Google Earth purposes on the way to you.
  4. Just caught me!
    Where are they realtive to the road junction with the cul de sac?
  5. A fence should do the trick. V-shaped in plan with the pointy end pointing uphill. Probably 20' high should do it - and 50' deep. And the fence posts next to each other. Fix leaky hoses connected to a high pressure water supply at 1', 3' and 5' above the existing ground level - this will encourage a mudslide to travel along the fence, rather than build up against it.

    Or dig away at the canyon walls until the slope is less than the natural angle of repose of the soil. You did say that labour was no problem. You could use a high pressure jet to do this, but be careful or you may trigger a mudslide.

    Construct a biodome above the property extending at least a mile beyond the canyon walls and dig a trench around it to divert surface water.

    Remove all soil and replace with reinforced concrete.

    Get lots of liquid nitrogen and create permafrost in the soil.

    Turn to God and pray that it doesn't rain.

    Increase the house insurance and have a 7-day break in Australia, starting Thursday.

    Hope this has been useful.

    PS If the soil is sandy, you're unlikely to have a mudslide. Mudslides require mud. Wetting and rolling (compacting) may help, especially if a bit of cement is rotovated in.
  6. Puttees advice is all good.....

    It looks like they are on top of the slope and there has been a slump, but then I'm no photo-interpreter.
  7. [​IMG]


    If I were them, I woudn't bother with any DIY or gardening this week, I'd be putting all my wordly goods into storage and sleeping in my truck. :)
  8. Right, actually offthis time. Will check in AM again.
  9. If they're on top of the slope, you'll also need a D-shaped fence on the downhill side. Use 50' long fenceposts, hammered fully into the ground, side by side.

    Incidentally, these fenceposts also go by the name of "driven piles." (But that would make my reply a serious one, and it would be a bit impractical to get it done by the weekend).
  10. Ignore these clowns :x

    They're trying to take the piss out of you :roll:

    All you need is five fence posts and a ladder:

  11. Crab, had a similar house in Scotland outside Dunkeld half way up a steep sided slope, some call it a mountain. Dig a series, depends how much money they have, of 6ft deep trenches and fill with gravel or similar about 20 ft from the direction of any potential water flow. Ditto about 6 ft from house. Ensure said trenches are long enough to carry the water well away from the house either side. Solved my problem :)
  12. I'll pass on the suggestions.

    I don't think the Biodome will be a starter- I've seen that movie with Pauly Shore and the Baldwin that was in The Usual Suspects and I think it's a scenario not best repeated.

    There's a bloke with an ice-cream van a couple of doors down- we'll see if we can get him to crank the juice on that baby up a little bit to try and create a permafrost layer at Latitude N34 and 800ft amsl.

    As for the barrier fence, I think it's a capital idea. I don't think they like their next door neighbours or their house, and it'll be an excellent opportunity to extend their garden to the side. If it doesn't rain, the local feral kids can play fortress on it (or get into training for when they get deported and have to jump back over the border fence again).

    I think I'll just suggest that they have a word with the local gansters to see if there are any bodies that need disappearing. Throw a couple of Korean shopkeepers who are behind in their payments in the garage, hope to fcuk that there will be a mudslide otherwise they'll just be lumped with a houseful of Asians and then use the backhanders from the cholos to help build a new place in a less fcuking retarded location.

    In the mean time, I'll help them lay out the plastic sheet and hope they don't get upset when I get out a hose-pipe and charge the aforementioned urchins a nominal fee to use the biggest "Slip-n-slide" any of them have ever seen. Might as well do what we can to keep morale up, eh?
  13. Crabtastic,

    I have a GoogleMaps screen capture of the location you gave me. No address details are visible. Any objections to it being posted? (BTW whats the copyright issue there, does anyone know?)
  14. (Quote the source and argue that it's free advertising?)