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How to tell if your home is vulnerable to a landslide

Friday, November 8th, 2019 by CJ Garcia

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Landslides are one of the most common natural hazards in the Pacific Northwest, and most people aren’t even aware that their home sits on top of a potential landslide.

Fortunately, there are tools and resources available to protect your home from a landslide.

What is a landslide?

A landslide is when soil moves dangerously downward, and it’s one of the most common and devastating natural hazards in the Pacific Northwest.

A massive landslide could cost lives, but more realistically in Oregon and Washington, a landslide could damage your home by disrupting your septic and water lines or buckling your foundation.

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What causes landslides in the Pacific Northwest?

Landslides can be caused by earthquakes, and those earthquakes don’t have to be all that seismic to trigger a slide. Anywhere from 15 - 20 earthquakes happen in the Pacific Northwest every year, and although those earthquakes are small in magnitude, you only need a magnitude of 4 or more to cause a landslide.

But the most common cause for landslides in the Pacific Northwest is heavy rainfall and snow. There is no exact number of how much rain is required to cause a landslide, but depending on the slope and the soil’s vulnerability, a shallow landslide could occur after just a few hours of heavy rain.

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How do you prepare your home for a landslide?

The Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries has a comprehensive interactive map that allows you to type in your home address and see if your home is sitting on top of a potential landslide.

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Most homes in the Pacific Northwest aren’t built to protect from earthquakes or landslides, and that means they don’t qualify for earthquake or landslide insurance.

To ensure that your home qualifies for the insurance, it’s often necessary to have your home’s foundation retrofitted.

TerraFirma Foundation Systems can retrofit your home, and we ensure that the work we do complies with insurance coverage standards.

If you want to learn more about how your home can be protected from an earthquake or landslide, then contact us today and schedule your free estimate.

our service area

We serve the following areas

  • Adams
  • Adrian
  • Arock
  • Athena
  • Baker City
  • Bates
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Our Locations:

TerraFirma Foundation Systems
761 NE Garden Valley Blvd.
Roseburg, OR 97470

TerraFirma Foundation Systems
13110 SW Wall St
Portland, OR 97223

TerraFirma Foundation Systems
10111 S Tacoma Way D5
Tacoma, WA 98499

TerraFirma Foundation Systems
2001 NE 117th ST
Vancouver, WA 98686
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