What Expansive Soils Mean for Your Foundation

There are many different types of soils in the ground, and different types can provide a different level of support for your foundation. Expansive soils are one type of soil, and there are many other types of soil that have a certain impact on your foundation.

The type of soil that your foundation was built on plays a major role in the structural stability of your home. If you have any concerns about your foundation, our experts at L.R.E. Ground Services, Inc. can provide a free inspection to answer your questions.

Different Types of Soil in Florida

There are many different soils across the United States, and Florida has many different types. When looking to purchase a property, it’s important to know the type of soil that your home was built on in order to know how supported your foundation will be.

Below are the most common types of soil in Florida:

  • Loam Soil: Loam soil is made up of sand, silt, and clay and is considered the most fertile soil. It easily retains moisture and nutrients, making it a very healthy soil for agricultural purposes.
  • Sandy Soil: Sandy soils typically have large gaps between the particles, making it less fertile since the nutrients can easily drain away.
  • Silt Soil: Similar to loam soils, silt soils have a high moisture holding capacity but will moisture at a slower rate compared to loam.
  • Peaty Soil: This type of soil is very common in wet climates. While it holds water and nutrients well, it can easily become waterlogged.
  • Clay Soils: Due to its consistency, clay soils tend to retain the most moisture and nutrients. It can also be easily compacted and tends to drain at a slower rate. 

As most of these soils retain moisture, they are considered expansive since they expand while they are wet. The expansion can cause the soils to shift and lose their support for your home’s foundation, causing your foundation to settle.

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The Impacts of Expansive Soil

Extreme weather conditions can change the consistency of the soil in the ground. Soils can expand and contract as the conditions change, causing them to become unsupportive to your home’s foundation.

Expansive soils can be very damaging to foundations and are typically the culprit for settlement. Expansive soils, by nature, expand as moisture gets into the ground. During heavy rains, the moisture soaks into the ground and causes the soils to expand.

As these soils expand, they become displaced from their original position. This displacement creates gaps in the soil and it becomes weaker and less supportive to the weight of your home above it.

As a result from the soil expansion, your foundation settles into the ground because it is no longer supported.

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Symptoms of Foundation Damage Caused by Expansive Soils

As your foundation settles into the ground, it can cause many different issues for your home. If the issues are left untreated, they can become worse and more expensive.

Interior Foundation Damage

Interior foundation damage can appear in many different ways. As a homeowner, it’s important to be able to recognize these symptoms so that you can fix the issue before it becomes worse.

  • Wall cracks: Foundation settlement puts a great deal of stress on your home’s structure, which can cause your interior walls to crack.
  • Sticking doors and windows: The pressure put on your home can also cause your windows and doors to “stick” as you try to open them.
  • Uneven floors: Foundation settlement can cause your home’s floors to sink, creating an uneven surface inside the main living areas of your home.

Exterior Foundation Damage

  • Wall or brick cracks
  • Tilted chimney
  • Collapsing retaining wall

If you notice any of the symptoms above in your own home, contact our team at L.R.E. Ground Services, Inc. right away to catch the problem before it becomes worse.

Rely on L.R.E. Ground Services, Inc. for Protection Against Expansive Soils

Unfortunately, the types of soil that are in the ground are unavoidable. L.R.E. Ground Services, Inc. can help you combat these challenging soils with our foundation repair solutions.

Contact us today for your free inspection for foundation repair!