If you have just bought a parcel of land with the intent to build a custom home on the site, you know you have to ensure that your home and any roads leading in won't be threatened by unstable soil. However, not all land purchases are perfect. Many times the land as a whole will be stable and suitable for building, but there may be an area where there are loose rocks or some other landform that needs to be modified to ensure the safety of anyone on the land. If your parcel includes rocky slopes consisting of soils that can slide easily, you have to take care of those before building anything else.
Retaining Walls Where Appropriate
Smaller slopes can benefit from having retaining walls put in. That is likely the cheapest option to stop rocks and soil from sliding into other parts of the parcel. Because rock falls can move with a lot of force, even if the fall isn't that big, this option should be used judiciously and installed professionally. When you're dealing with unstable, rocky slopes in an undeveloped area, a few landscaping rocks stacked up aren't going to cut it.
Inspection After Environmental Events
Any loose rocks that are in immediate danger of falling have to be removed. If the slope is in a remote corner of the property, and you're not going to be hiking around there, then soil that is prone to sliding but not an immediate risk (e.g., soil that would need a lot of rain to slide) might be able to sit for a while, without you messing with it. However, any time there is an environmental event like a quake or heavy rains, you have to get that slope inspected again. Leaving it alone without interference from the weather is already a risk, but if you add in environmental factors that could weaken the slope more, you would have a potential disaster on your hands.
Rock Fall Mitigation
If the slope itself is generally stable, but there are unstable rock formations on the slope, you can have those removed. Companies that deal in soil stabilization and rock fall mitigation can shear off overhanging rock and move boulders away from the slope, reducing, if not eliminating, the risk of something falling down.
Contact a geostabilization company such as Geotech Solutions Inc to have them evaluate the slope and see whether it's an immediate risk or not. You might want your land and your home to look natural, but you also need them to be safe.