Soil Composition and Your Foundation

If you live in the DFW, Texas area, it’s important to understand how the soil composition of our area impacts the foundations of homes and businesses. In the DFW, Texas area and throughout Texas and up into Oklahoma, the composition of the soil is mostly clay. Clay functions much like a sponge when it comes to water. If there’s a lot of water, the clay expands to hold and retain the water. If conditions are dry, the clay dries out and shrinks. HD Foundations offers expertise in handling the specialized foundation issues in DFW, Texas, such as cracking, shifting, and water intrusion, all of which are almost always directly related to issues with the high clay concentration in the soil. 

So, what should a homeowner or property owner do to help protect their foundation? There are different tips that can help you be proactive when it comes to maintaining the integrity of your foundation and preventing damage. Educating yourself and preparing a plan for caring for your foundation throughout the different seasons of the year will help you avoid foundation issues and costly repairs.

Before You Build

If you are in the market to build a new home or business property, consider having any site you are considering for purchase tested by an engineer who specializes in soil mechanics and construction. This will give you a clearer picture of the exact composition of the soil on that site before you commit to building. It can also help to tailor the construction to the specifics of that site.

Learn the Local Watering Laws

Because of the clay composition in the soil, dry conditions and droughts will cause the soil to contract and shrink. You may see cracks in the soil near your foundation as well as gaps between the soil and your home’s foundation. As the soil shrinks during dry conditions, your foundation is at risk to several threats, including shifting, cracking, and even water damage as gaps in the soil may now allow a sudden onslaught of water from a storm or broken pipe to now collect in those gaps. 

To maintain your foundation during dry periods in the year, you should water your foundation regularly. Municipalities in the area allow you to water your foundation, typically during off-peak hours, during times of watering restriction in order to protect your foundation. You can check with your local municipality for the specifics of your local laws for foundation watering or with your local utilities or water districts.

Plan Your Landscaping

While shade trees are a fantastic element in your landscape, a big, strong shade tree needs a lot of water to grow and flourish. Large trees can cause foundation problems. Plant trees far from your home’s foundation so that the tree’s roots do not impact the soil around your home by making it even dryer as the tree roots seek to absorb needed water. Care should be taken in planning all landscaping around the exterior of your home for this reason. 

The challenges of maintaining your foundation may require expert help. Contact us if you see cracks in your foundation or basement walls, or if you have other issues such as shifting or water intrusion. We are Texas Proud to be the leader in foundation repair for the DFW Metro area.

 

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