Sometimes even the most well-made foundation can experience problems due to outside forces beyond our control.
One of these forces that can lead to a need for foundation repairs is soil composition and how the soil functions.
Expansive clay soils behave in certain ways that can strain a foundation, causing damage over time if the right repair solutions are not implemented.
Protect properties in areas with clay soils by knowing what signs to look for and how the damage happens.
Clay Soils And Water Expansion
Soils with a high clay content can go through periods of expansion and contraction based on the water content in the ground.
It is this movement, and the added pressure that expansion creates, that causes foundation problems.
Found all over the United States, these soils contain a large percentage of minerals and other organic materials with high absorption.
When water is introduced to the soil, it is absorbed and the soil expands in volume, at least until the water slowly evaporates which makes the soil constrict and become very dry and hard.
During dry seasons, a suggestion from foundation experts is to water the soil around the foundation to keep it moist enough until rains return to keep it moist.
How Does Clay Soil Expansion Affect A Foundation?
Due to this repeated expansion and contraction, clay soil can cause damage that requires foundation repair if the surrounding building pad is not correctly prepared to accommodate for this movement.
As the soil swells, it puts increasing amounts of pressure against the concrete foundation, potentially weakening it.
Various repair solutions may become necessary for buildings built on clay soils if the soil type and its known behavior were not taken into consideration during the foundation design and construction process.
What Are Signs of Damage from Soil Expansion?
Soil expansion pushing up or against a concrete foundation can cause a whole array of symptoms indicating there are different foundation problems:
- Foundation Cracks - Cracks in the cement on the walls or the floor of the foundation or basement.
- Sinking or Settling of The Foundation - Downward angling or sinking of the structure over time.
- Foundation Upheaval or Lifting - Upward angling or raising of the structure over time.
- Doors and Windows That Stick - Openings affected by the foundation shifting and settling.
- Wall Cracks Inside the House - Paint, plaster, and drywall cracks caused by wall movement due to foundation shifting.
- Dampness and Moisture Problems - Basement leaks, high home humidity, mold, and poor indoor air quality caused when soil moisture is able to get in through cracks caused by expansion pressure or foundation shifting.
All of these issues that may take place where there is clay soil that expands suggest that foundation repairs may be needed to correct the root of the problem.
Noticing Damage From Clay Soil Expansion?
Expansive clay soils can cause all sorts of foundation problems that will negatively affect a home or building.
Many of the symptoms may not initially seem like they are caused by a need for foundation repairs.
Unless the right repair solution is used, foundation issues will only worsen in time.
Anyone experiencing problems like those mentioned above in a building built on clay soil should consult with a foundation specialist right away.
Foundation Problems in Wichita Kansas?
Talk To AAA Basement & Foundation About Foundation Repair Solutions!
Call 316-844-1615 To Learn More!
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