Foundation repair isn’t always a matter of adding concrete to cracks. Sometimes, re-pouring the damaged section will bear a stronger result. However, there are a few important aspects to keep in mind when pouring a new foundation. Below, The Dwyer Company in Lexington, KY, shares three soil factors to consider before pouring a foundation to ensure your structures last for many years to come.
3 Soil Factors to Consider Before Pouring a Foundation
1. Bearing Capacity
The foundation is the base of your home, and it’s imperative to make sure you’re placing this base on soil that can hold an immense amount of weight. This particular figure is called the bearing capacity. Typically, the harder the soil material is, the higher its bearing capacity. Granular soils like limestone, sandstone, bedrock, shale, and hard chalk have the highest bearing capacities. Organic soils such as silt and moist clay cannot be compacted and move under pressure, so they have lower bearing capacities.
To build up from the foundation, the material beneath the concrete must be stable. Soil that shifts can cause your home’s base to move, crack, and require foundation repair. Clay shifts easily when wet, and is not a great base for foundations. Loam—a combination of silt, sand, and clay—is one of the best soil types for this use, as its particles meld together to forge a stable base.
It’s important that the soil beneath your foundation allows for drainage to prevent flooding and moisture damage. You must ensure the soil won’t erode after rainfall, as this could leave gaps in your foundation and cause your walls to collapse. This would require repeated and costly repairs, a process that can be avoided by choosing soils that drain well. Rock and loam offer the best moisture control, as they facilitate runoff and won’t move or erode when wet. Clay, on the other hand, expands and shrinks with fluctuations in moisture, which can lead to foundation cracks and support issues.
Your contractor will assess the soil on your property before devising a plan to provide foundation repair or pour a new foundation. They may opt for steel piering to raise and stabilize the foundation if your soil is less than ideal. To learn more about foundation repairs from The Dwyer Company, call (859) 231-0998, or visit the website. You can also visit their three locations—Bryan Station, Auburndale, and Tylersville.