How Expansive Clay Soils Pose a Problem for Your Foundation

Containing high amounts of absorptive clay, expansive soils are present in many areas of the country. A type of soil that shrinks and cracks when it dries out, they prevent water from passing through. According to brick foundation repair experts, building a home on expansive soils poses challenges, like cracked or bowed concrete foundation walls.

Why Expansive Clay Soils Cause Bowing Walls and Foundation Problems

Cracked and buckled walls are more likely to occur due to expansive soils compared to any other foundation problems. Once a dry spell happens, the clay-rich soil is more likely to pull away from the foundation wall, which can create a gap that can be filled with stone, gravel, loose soil, and other forms of debris. 

However, this is actually something that you shouldn’t do as long rains can cause the extra materials to increase the pressure on the foundation walls as the soil expands. According to foundation piering experts, this pressure can push the wall inward and cause it to crack and bow in various sections.

Tips for Limiting Damage

Thankfully, it is possible to limit the amount of damage that your foundation can sustain due to expansive clay soils.  Since expansive soils cause damage due to repeated or significant moisture changes, the best way to limit the damage is to maintain a constant moisture level. If your home is in the process of construction, have your contractors pre-wet the soil before placing the foundation to limit further expansion when the foundation is built.

For existing homes, meanwhile, balance the moisture around the foundation during dry periods by installing foundation landscaping. That way, you can stabilize the movement a foundation experiences when the clay soil expands.

Make your search for foundation repair experts easier by turning to Stratum Structural Systems, your number one professionals when it comes to basement waterproofing and concrete leveling services. Give us a call at (314) 620-8153 or fill out our contact form to get a FREE quote.

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