Why You Should Care About Expansive Soil
Colorado has seen a huge boom in real estate development over the past few decades, and as more people move here, thousands of new homes are going up. But whether you live in a new home or an older one, what lies beneath you is still the same. Colorado has a high amount of expansive soil, particularly throughout the Denver area. This soil is named for its natural tendency to absorb water and swell and then shrink when it loses its water content. This is typically due to the high clay content in the soil.
How do expansive soils affect you as a homeowner? Essentially, the behavior of expansive soil can cause damage to your foundation if your property does not have sufficient water drainage systems in place. The soil will create tremendous hydrostatic pressure against your foundation walls when it’s wet and becomes more prone to erosion and weakness when it’s dry, which will cause the foundation of your home to settle unevenly. Here in Colorado, we see big swings in moisture throughout the year—very dry summer months and winter months with lots of snowfall. If you don’t put the right reinforcements in place, the water-soaked soil could damage the foundation of your Denver home. Over the years, foundations will endure a lot of wear and tear, due to just the soil behavior alone.
While there is nothing you can do about the type of soil your home was built on, you can take preventative measures to reduce the likelihood of soil-related foundation damage. One strategy often recommended by our Denver foundation contractors is to keep the area around your home dry. This may include installing drainage around the perimeter of the foundation, using downspout extensions, or installing other exterior waterproofing options such as French drains. Your home may also benefit from basement wall anchors, crawl space joint supports, or other types of structural reinforcement to help your home better withstand changes in soil pressures.
Every homeowner across the Denver area should be aware of expansive soil, and should consider the health of their foundation concrete! If you want to learn more about the dangers of expansive soil and how to protect your home from its effects, reach out to us at Van Matre Construction.