December 15, 2019 Kathi Markan


On a steep slope, after you install the 50/50 dirt-concrete mix, you may need a mini retaining wall to help support the slab. (L3)

In this December edition of our HUD-REAC newsletter, and especially during the rainy season, I’d like to discuss HUD’s protocol on Erosion and Rutting and how you can comply!


HUD’s Definition of Erosion and Rutting

  • Erosion and Rutting
    • Natural processes, weathering, erosion, gravity, or man-made processes have caused either of these conditions:
      1. Collection or removal of surface material
      2. Sunken tracks, ruts, grooves, or depressions

*This does not include erosion/rutting from a defined storm drainage system or in a play area – these are covered in those inspectable areas

  • There is no Level 1 choice for Erosion/Rutting
  • Level 2 is defined as:
    1. Erosion has caused surface material to collect, leading to a degraded surface that would likely cause water to pool in a confined area, especially next to structures, paved areas, or walkways.
    2. A rut/grove is 6-8 inches wide AND 3-5 inches deep
  • Level 3 is defined as:
    1. Runoff has extensively displaced soil, which has caused visible damage or the potential failure of adjoining structures or systems, such as pipes, pavements, foundations, building, etc.
    2. Advanced erosion threatens the safety of pedestrians or makes an area of the grounds unusable
    3. There is a rut larger than 8 inches wide by 5 inches deep.
  • General Rules
    • For Erosion to be recorded, it MUST have displaced soil.
    • Bare ground is NOT erosion (such as the area under a tree or path that residents use but does not have grass growing on it)
Not Erosion!

Not Erosion!

advanced erosion

Without support, the slab will crack (L3)

erosion with damage

This is commonly caused by a sprinkler aimed at the slab (L3)

When inspectors see irrigation lines, it’s an automatic erosion deficiency. Bubblers not included (those are designed to be on top of the soil) (L2)

steep slope erosion

On a steep slope, after you install the 50/50 dirt-concrete mix, you may need a mini retaining wall to help support the slab. (L3)

  • What to do about Erosion and Rutting
    • Try to find the root cause of the erosion/rutting and fix the cause
    • Do NOT try to hide the erosion with hay, bark, loosely packed soil, etc – inspectors are permitted to move it away to see if you’re trying to hide it.
    • Many properties tell me that using a 50/50 dirt-concrete mix greatly reduces the chances of future run-off and obviously reduces the labor time of having to reapply the dirt every time it rains!
    • Do NOT drive carts/lawnmowers on the landscaping after a rain or super-soak from your sprinklers.
    • In snow country – be careful about using oversized snowplows for sidewalk snow removal. This creates huge ruts and subsequent erosion next to the sidewalk slabs.
    • Consider large river rocks or mini-retaining walls around difficult to maintain erosion areas.
    • If you do not wish to use plastic/PVC corrugated piping, concrete or plastic splash blocks under downspouts, you can use large river rocks (consider it like a French drain). This is to prevent the water from pooling next to the foundation or runoff from the foundation– you want to divert the water away from the foundation.