How Expansive Soils Affect Foundation Walls

The soil around your home may look innocuous, but it’s constantly exerting an incredible inward force on your foundation walls. This pressure is greater than many people realize, and when the soil gets wet this stress only increases. How much pressure your foundation walls are under is determined by the type of soil that supports your home, the moisture content of that soil, and the depth of your foundation. 

The foundation of your home was designed to handle vertical loads and to carry the weight of the entire structure. However, your foundation walls will suffer strain under lateral or sideways forces. And with enough pressure over time, your walls may crack, buckle, bow, or tilt. They may eventually collapse altogether. If you have noticed any of these signs of expansive soil, call your Tacoma foundation wall crack repair team right away.

How Backfilled and Virgin Soils Can Affect Foundation Walls

During the new construction process for a home, contractors must first excavate strong, stable soils to create a hole for pouring the foundation and framing the home. Once this is done, that soil is put back around the foundation walls. 

However, this backfill soil is not nearly as stable as it was before it was dug up. It’s more porous and loose, and can more easily take on moisture. The soil swells significantly as it collects water, which creates the inward pressure exerted against your foundation walls.

dry soil

Causes of Expansive Soils  in Tacoma

Expansive soils in Tacoma are caused by three main factors:

  • Hydrostatic pressure
  • Frost heave
  • Expansible clay soils

Moisture is the root cause of all three of these issues. Soils expand when they take on water and apply pressure on anything nearby. Cold weather can freeze the moisture in the soil, which creates even more expansion. Clay soils tend to be wetter and have greater expansive properties than other soil types.

Foundation Repair in Tacoma

You deserve the best foundation wall crack repair service in Tacoma, and that’s here at Matvey Foundation Repair. Get in touch with our team today to schedule your free estimate.