The property that your home sits upon may look like just dirt, rocks, and vegetation to you, but it is much more involved than that. The soil on your property may contain high amounts of clay, which can affect the soil's drainage ability and moisture absorption, which can affect your home foundation and any other structures you choose to build. The following are some recommendations for you to follow when you encounter foundation damage in your home or need to find out what type of soil you have on your property.
Hire a Professional Soil Test
One of the first things you need to determine is if your property soil contains expansive soil, especially around its foundation. If soil contains too much clay, its properties will cause it to absorb too much moisture in wet conditions and swell. Then, when weather conditions dry out, the soil similarly dries out and shrinks, thus creating the damaging shrink-swell conditions you don't want around your property foundation.
Talk to your area's local cooperative extension about a soil test for your property. Keep in mind they may need to test the soil in more than one area because the soil can vary over your property. You can also hire a soil engineer or a contractor to complete or arrange for the testing for you. It is better to determine what type of soil is on your property before you complete any building or repair any existing foundation damage because of further potential for expansive soil problems.
Treat and Stabilize Soil
Once you have determined the soil around your home or on your property is expansive, you can take measures to prevent foundation damage. First, you can treat the soil with a soil stabilizer to boost the soil's drainage, or supplement the soil with sandy fill dirt to balance out the soil's moisture absorption.
Next, when you water your landscaping around the foundation, water in regular intervals. This prevents the soil from becoming too soggy or too dried out at any one time. You can also control the roof drainage around your home to keep the downspout water draining well away from your foundation.
Repair Foundation Damage
Any damage to your foundation from expansive soils should be repaired once you have remedied the underlying problem. Talk to a foundation repair specialist about your options for your foundation damage, whether it is small foundation cracks, wider cracks, or a shifted foundation slab. You can repair your foundation from the interior or exterior of your basement with a moisture barrier or internal drainage collection system.Share