Soils and Foundations - How Foundation Soil Settlement Damages Your Home
The soil underneath your home is made of many soil types and layers, and depending on environmental influences, can be made stronger or weaker. Looser surface soils, like fill soils, are often what homes in Davenport are built upon, leading to foundation settlement over time.
How Foundation Soils Affect Your Home’s Foundation
Sandy loam soils don’t change much depending on moisture, but clay soils easily expand and contract with changes in moisture. These soils aren’t as stable, and can put your home’s foundation at risk.
What Is Your Home Sitting On?
Most soils are made up of many different ingredients like clay, loam, silt, and sand, and the ratios of these things can determine how your soil behaves under certain temperatures and moisture changes. The characteristics of your unique soil significantly affect the longevity of your foundation.
The Active Zone Of Foundation Soils
Different soils are affected by moisture in different ways. Sandy, clay, and sandy loam soils react to water differently, and throughout the cycle of wet and dry periods in the weather, can expand or contract. Your home sits on top of many layers of soil, with potentially different characteristics, but typically the deeper layers have more load-bearing stability. The top layer, sometimes called the active layer or active zone, is what affects your home the most.
MidAmerica Basement Systems is proud to be a leading foundation settlement repair company in Davenport, and we can help you assess your soil active zone and create a custom plan to support your property no matter your soil conditions. We can help get you back on solid ground, so give us a call today for a free on-site inspection and estimate!
Illustration of the active zone around and underneath a foundation.
How Does Foundation Settlement Occur?
As the soil under your home shifts and settles, your foundation naturally moves with it. The top three reasons for home foundation soil settlement include poorly compacted fill soil, drying/shrinking of soil, and wetting/softening of soil.
Drying & Shrinking Of Soil
Soils often dry or shrink because of two reasons. The first is drought. Long dry periods can reduce the volume of the soil, creating holes or voids that cannot support weight. The second is maturing trees, whose roots can draw up significant moisture, resulting in soil shrinkage.
Wetting & Softening Of Soil
There are three main reasons for wetting or softening of soil. First, heavy rains or floods can get soaked up by clay-based soils, softening and weakening the soil. Second, inadequate drainage around your home allows water to sink into the soil over time. Third, leaks in your plumbing or water lines can saturate nearby soils, resulting in weakening and reduced load-bearing capacity.
Poorly Compacted Fill Soil
To prepare a site for construction, builders will often move soil around, bringing loose “fill soil” to level the ground. However, this newly moved soil is lighter and looser than the compact soils nearby or underneath, and isn’t as good at supporting heavy weight. If it is not properly compacted prior to construction, this soil compresses under your home’s weight over time, leading to foundation settlement issues.
Our Foundation Repair Contractors Proudly Serve Davenport
MidAmerica Basement Systems is a locally owned and operated foundation settlement repair company serving Davenport, and we’re here to help you address any and all of your home’s support problems. Call us today for your free, no-obligation inspection and quote!