The Effect of Expansive Soils on Foundation Walls

Here at Matvey Foundation Repair, we’ve seen the tremendous damage that expansive soils can do to Everett homes. All the soil around your home is constantly exerting inward pressure on your foundation walls, and this pressure only increases when the soil expands. How much pressure your foundation walls are under is determined by the soil type and moisture content, and the depth of your foundation. 

The foundation walls in your home were designed to handle a great deal of vertical load, as they support the weight of the structure. But when faced with constant, high lateral load, like from expansive soil, these walls can bow, tilt, crack, or buckle. Over time, if these problems are left unmitigated, the pressure from the expansive soil on your Everett home can cause foundation cracks and even a total collapse of your foundation.


How Backfilled and Virgin Foundation Soils Affect Foundation Walls

When your home was being built, contractors excavated the soil around your foundation and basement, disturbing the pre-existing compact and stable virgin soils. As the contractors finished your foundation and home framing, they filled in the leftover space with the soil they previously excavated.

However, this backfill soil was much looser and more porous than it was before, giving it a greater ability to absorb water and expand. So over time, with wet weather or flooding, the soil swells and places a great deal of pressure, often causing the need for foundation wall crack repair on your Everett home.

Causes of Soil Expansion

Soil expansion is commonly caused by three things:

  • Hydrostatic pressure
  • Wet clay soil
  • Frost heave

dry soil

In each of these cases, moisture is the primary factor. Soil will expand and get heavier when it takes on water, and clay soil can hold more water than other soil types. Additionally, the water in the soil will freeze in cold temperatures, causing additional expansion.

Foundation Repair in Everett

If your home is showing signs of foundation damage due to expansive soils, you can trust Everett’s Matvey Foundation Repair to assist you. Reach out to us at 253-327-1650 or click to request your Free Inspection to get started.

Get a Free Inspection with Matvey Foundation Repair

If you would like a free quote on your project, call Matvey Foundation Repair to schedule an appointment.