The Role Soil Types Play in Foundation Problems

Even if you have no interest in gardening, it’s helpful to know a bit about the type of soil under and surrounding your house. Why? Knowing what kind of soil you have on your property will help you reduce the likelihood of foundation problems. 

In short, your home may begin to shift when the soil underneath cannot withstand the weight of the structure. Since different types of soil react differently to moisture and temperature changes, it’s helpful to know the kind of soil you are dealing with – and what you need to do to keep that soil stable. 

Types of Soil

Here’s what you need to know about how different soil types react to moisture and temperature changes.

Clay Soil

Clay soil, common in the Midwest, can be problematic to foundations.

Clay absorbs water easily. This means the clay soil around your foundation walls will swell and expand in volume when the snow melts and spring rains come. This expansion can cause your home’s foundation to crack and shift.

However, during dry seasons, your clay soil will shrink and contract. As a result, the ground will pull away from your foundation, and cracks and gaps will form. This lack of support may cause foundation problems.

In addition, when the rain and snow finally return, the moisture will easily penetrate the cracks in the soil. And, of course, that moisture will expand when it freezes.

Loose Soil

Loose soil may be good for crops, but it’s not ideal for foundations.

Loose soil naturally settles over time. In addition, during wet seasons, water may accumulate under the slab or in small cracks. When it freezes, the water will expand, putting pressure on your foundation.

Sandy Loam Soil

Loamy soils do not react as much to temperature and moisture changes as other soil types. However, loamy soil erodes. If this happens, you may lose some of the support for your foundation. 

How to Keep the Soil Under Your Home Stable

The good news is that there are things you can do to try to prevent foundation problems from occurring.

Here’s some advice – based on the type of soil you have on your property.

What To Do If You Have Clay Soil

Pay attention to the moisture level around your foundation. Water around your foundation during extended dry spells. 

What To Do If You Have Loose Soil or Sandy Loam Soil

Unfortunately, you can’t do much about settling soil. If the new soil around your home is not properly compressed before construction, the ground will move and change consistency.

You can help reduce the likelihood of foundation problems when you have loose or sandy loam soil by paying close attention to the grading around your foundation. Ensure the soil is built up around your foundation so water naturally runs away from it.

Contact KC Foundation Repair and Basement Waterproofing for Advice

Do you need help determining what type of soil you have on your property and want expert advice on keeping your foundation healthy? Contact KC Foundation Repair and Basement Waterproofing. We will analyze your soil, the grading around your foundation, and your home drainage system to see if any problems need attention. Contact us today for a free evaluation.