12 Apr 2016

Expansive Soil

By now you will have realized that the ground is constantly moving, for the most part, it is slow enough to not be noticeable or make any difference to you or your home. In some cases though, the movement may be a bit stronger and changes may happen faster and that is when your house feels it and it may settle or expand with noticeable foundation cracks. We have spoken about settling before, so here is a quick 101 on expansive soil and how it can mess with your foundation.

Expansive Soil-Composition

First off, you will be glad to know that not all soil expands the same way, some soils are able to hold a lot more moisture while others work like sponges and take in and give out a lot of water. It all depends on composition and the minerals and types of clay and dirt that the soil beneath your home is made of. Get that checked before you build, if you already have a built up structure, make sure you check it anyway.

Weather patterns and the droughts in many parts of the country have left the land parched. The above normal rainfall that is happening around the world and strong winters that is also charted around the world may just bring in enough water to these regions. That is a bit of good news, but if your soil is the type that expands, look out for these signs.

Soil Heaving

Soil heaving is, at the very roots a situation where the soil, packed in layers gets filled in, this makes it expand- much like a sponge cake getting filled in with layers of cream will end up looking bigger. Now imagine a house being built on the edge of a swell like this. In a heave situation like this there are a few things that can happen. First, the heave is even and the layer of soil directly under the house stays dry, this is not much of an issue, but it is rare. In most cases, the center of the foundation cracks may leak water inwards or the outer walls my face added stress by the ground moving up.

If you are experiencing any of these signs or if the soil seems to be soaking in, call in a foundation repair team to come have a look at them and assess it, the sooner you catch it, the better it is.