Civil/Structural Engineering, Vashon, Washington, USA 206-463-5311

Landslide Call-to-Action

What To Do If You Have a LandslideThings To Do:


  • Contact us immediately.  We can visit your site, determine the level of risk to you and your property, suggest immediate mitigation measures, and get you started on the complicated process of landslide repairs.
  • Contact local authorities.  Local authorities will need to know about the slide.  They may need to clear roads, restore damaged pipes, and clear culverts.  Ultimately, they may have to approve of any engineered landslide repair option.  And they may know of help to homeowners through FEMA - the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
  • Get help from engineering professionals.  Landslides may require the help of at least three professionals:
    • Geotechnical Engineer - A geotechnical engineer is a specialist trained in assessing the site-specific geology of your site, determines the nature and cause of your slide, and recommends appropriate options to repair the slide.  Usually, his findings and recommendations are presented in a Geotechnical Report.
    • Structural Engineer - A structural engineer will decipher the information from the Geotechnical Report and design an economical structure to stabilize the slope, repair the slide, and stabilize adjacent structures.  The structural engineer will produce drawings and calculations suitable for building permit and construction by a contractor.
    • Civil Engineer - A civil engineer may be needed if special piping or drainage systems are needed to collect and control stormwater away from the slope.  In some instances, a civil/structural engineer will be able to provide both functions.

·         Select a reputable and qualified contractor – Landslide repair is a specialized field of site contracting.  A qualified contractor will handle construction in a safe and efficient manner.  We can suggest contractors for consideration.  Typically, three contractors are contacted to provide bid estimates for the work.

·         Apply for the proper permits – Though many slide repairs need to be done quickly, a building permit will be required.  Recognizing the risks to life and property, your local jurisdiction has procedures to expedite the process.

·         Slide repairs may be done in stages – Recognize that landslide repairs may be done in stages, as weather and site accessibility permit.  Initial work may involve installing plastic sheets on the slope to mitigate further erosion, and collecting and controlling stormwater runoff in temporary pipes.  Later repairs may include constructing a retaining wall, installing permanent stormwater piping, and re-planting the slope.