The Dirty Secret About Your Home’s Foundation

the-dirty-secret-about-your-homes-foundation

It’s common for a homeowner to want only high-quality products used during the construction of their home’s foundation. This does not guarantee it will result in a foundation free from problems. The kind of equipment utilized during the creation of a foundation will influence it’s strength. It is not the only thing that impacts a foundation’s structural integrity. What has the most effect on a home’s foundation is the soil where it’s constructed. This could result in foundation cracks and other problems requiring foundation repair.

Damage

There are different types of damage that can be caused to a foundation by the soil where it is located. It’s possible that significant shifting to occur and impact the floors and walls of a house. This would make it unstable. Small cracks could appear in the drywall in the rooms of a house. Pipes could burst and cause water damage. The basement floor could fracture. Doors, as well as windows, may not properly close as a result of settling. Damp conditions in a basement could cause mold or mildew growth and more.

Soils

There are different types of soil made of various properties. It is the unique features of the soils that affect the foundation of a house.

Rock

Sandstone, shale, bedrock, as well as limestone and others, have an increased ability to withstand weight capacities. Rock is an excellent way to support a foundation. It provides depth and stability.

Peat

This soil is often very dark. It is easy to compress because of its ability to retain water. This is very poor soil for a foundation. Its structure easily changes and shifts.

Loam

This is a combination of clay, sand, and silt. It is dry and crumbles when touched. It is good for supporting a home’s foundation. Loam has properties that provide even balance. It even retains water at a rate that is balanced.

Clay

This effectively retains water because it consists of small particles. It does have a great ability to retain water and expand. When dry, it will significantly contract. When moist, it is very easy to manipulate. It’s ability to provide extreme changes in stability will provide stress on a foundation. A foundation can be damaged from its lack of support.

Gravel/Sand

This contains the biggest particles of the different soils. It provides big openings and easy drainage. It doesn’t hold moisture. This will hold together well if properly compacted. It will provide good support for a foundation.

Silt

It is smooth and retains water for a long period of time because it is made up of small particles. Because of its poor drainage, it will expand and press against a foundation. This could cause problems with a home’s foundation.

Foundation Design

The instability in a foundation occurs when its design in not able to handle the increasing and decreasing of the soil’s changing stability. Should a foundation not be able to accommodate a soil’s moisture retention, it will push against the foundation. In this case, the settling foundation could experience serious damage and will require foundation repair.

Solutions

Should a foundation be constructed on silt, peat or clay, there are steps that can be taken to prevent foundation damage from occurring. Proper drainage could be installed. Support piers could also be placed under a house to avoid damage. Doing this can prevent a house from settling. When settling has already happened, these measures will stop any more damage from occurring.

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