Ask the Expert: Hows Does Soil Affect Your Foundation?

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We sat down with one of our inspectors to ask him a few questions about how the soil around your home can affect its foundation.

Question: What types of soil are more prominent in Ohio?

Answer: Clay and Sand/Silt

Question: Is there a soil type that is more prone to causing foundation issues?

Answer: The short answer to this is that all soil types are prone to different conditions that could potentially cause foundation issues. However, in our area, clay and sandy silt are common and tend to swell and heave with the addition and retraction of water around a foundation. Areas that are more prone to swelling and heaving will be more likely to have foundation problems. No home has zero risk of foundation failure.

Moisture content in the soil around your home can push on pull on the foundation, causing failure.

Question: How does soil type affect water absorption around a home?

Answer: Any type of soil will swell to some degree, except for sand, although sand will wash more out easily. The most important piece of the puzzle in regards to water around a foundation is a properly functioning drainage system. It is impossible to keep all moisture out of the ground around your home. The key to prolonging the life of your foundation is to control the water and moisture content that will undoubtedly be in the ground around your home.

Question: What does this mean for you?

Answer: If you start to notice any signs of water buildup around your home or water on your floor, call a professional. Problems caused by water will only compound and never fix themselves.

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