What is Expansive Soil?

Expansive soils are soils that contain minerals such as certain types of clay that are able to absorb water. When the clay absorbs water, it will expand. The more water they absorb, the more they expand. Soils containing as little as 5% clay can exhibit expansive characteristics.

Taking Care of Your Home’s Foundation

Any water that collects underneath a home’s foundation is a significant problem. It doesn’t matter what the source of the water is (rain, sprinklers, plumbing leaks). Since this water is in an enclosed space, there is very little evaporation that occurs, so the water just accumulates.

Does Your Foundation Need to be Repaired?

For homes built on expansive clay soils, changes in moisture level in the soil is the foundation’s worst enemy. During dry periods, the soil will contract and pull away from the foundation, leaving the edges of the foundation essentially unsupported. Since concrete slabs are flexible and not perfectly rigid, the foundation will actually sag along the edges. Then when it rains, the soil expands and pushes up against the foundation with extremely high forces.

Does Your Home Need It’s Foundation Repaired?

Most of the homes that I have inspected have foundations that fall into the category of those that have experienced some typical settling while a small percentage have needed extensive foundation repairs. I am often asked by my client. “Does the home’s foundation need to be repaired?” I will try to answer that question in this blog.