Do not rush to categorically refuse the site if there is a ravine on it. This is definitely a reason to bargain and try to lower the price, but often not a critical drawback. However, you should immediately find out what the ravine you inherited is. To do this, you will have to resort to engineering and geological expertise..
You should be interested in hydrogeology, geo- and hydrodynamics. You should find out if there are possible risks, negative factors. The composition of the soil on the sides of the ravine can be both unreliable and quite solid. Another important point is the level of groundwater. A ravine is always a lowland, so the groundwater level should be determined precisely at the bottom, in thalweg, that is, on the line that connects the most lowered areas.
It is necessary to find out if soil erosion continues. If yes, then there is a risk that in a dozen years the ravine will spread, the buildings erected nearby will simply begin to move out..
Important! The ravine is usually formed by water currents! Water flows from above during rains or melting snow, washing away the soil. Often there are streams and springs in the ravines, and the water is always looking for a way out, we must not forget about it.
To find out how much the ravine is filled with water, how quickly its level rises, you should wait for the spring flood and watch what is happening. If in the spring stormy streams of water rush along the ravine, this is a high risk of continued erosion of the slopes, it will be difficult to do anything in this situation.
Some experts advise turning the ravine into a pond with waterproofing, so that the lack of a site is transformed into an indisputable advantage, a decorative element.
An indicator of the danger of a ravine can be trees growing on the sides. If they are tall, strong, healthy, most likely, the soil is dense enough, and the groundwater is low enough and does not interfere with the growth of trees. Sloping, low, crooked and frail trees, on the other hand, indicate the presence of serious soil deficiencies, closely approaching groundwater. But this is only an indirect indicator, for a more accurate determination you still have to, we repeat, turn to geologists.
By the way, it is the trees and shrubs growing next to the ravine that often strengthen its walls with the roots, so you should not rush to get rid of them.!
There are three main options for dealing with a ravine:
- Reinforcement of walls, for example, geogrid, concrete, reinforced concrete slabs, gabions. But it is necessary to determine the level of impact of underground processes, with the dynamics of the soil, otherwise any grids may be useless.
- Backfilling of the ravine. A more reliable option. You can use, for example, soil that turned out to be superfluous during the construction of the basement and foundation of a house located on the same site. If a high groundwater level was noted at the bottom of the ravine, it is advisable to fill in crushed stone at the bottom, arrange drainage, and after that fill the soil. A layer of large crushed stone or construction waste obtained during the dismantling of stone structures should be at least a meter, but in general, this indicator will depend on the depth of the ravine itself.
- Use as a decoration of the site, for example, by building a bridge over a small ravine, arranging a recreation area in a lowland protected from the winds. This is possible if the slopes of the ravine are reliable, and the water quickly leaves after rains..
When filling the ravine, it should be taken into account that the soil at this place will be compacted for several years, no matter how tightly you compact it from above. Therefore, it is still impossible to build on this site. You will have to wait at least a year or two until the soil finally settles, add the top layer in the resulting place of shrinkage. So there will be a lot of problems. However, in the end, if you create the top layer of black soil, you will get additional space for the beds or a beautiful flower bed.
Let us state that it is not so difficult to cope with a small ravine on a site two or three meters deep. More complex options require an appropriate approach, additional costs, and consultations with specialists. Therefore, in the end, the arrangement of a site with a ravine can cost significantly more..