Foundation, Concrete and Earthquake Engineering

Expansive Soil Instability of Foundation and Solutions to Avoid Foundation Repair in California

In residential building having relatively lighter structures expansive clay soils cause adverse impact on foundation resulting instability of foundation and foundation repair in this state is very common which involves a lots of money i.e., financial loss to the home owners. So home foundation problem, home foundation settlement or home foundation repair are very common terms in this state to both home owners and foundation repair contractors. Various contractors have made colorful pages in the web seeking quotes and tempting the home owners to inspect their foundations for free.

In the previous posts regarding black cotton soil as well as expansive soils it was discussed many times how expansive soil results failure or settlement to foundations. In this post we discuss possible solution more accurately simple and low cost solution for foundation problems of this type.

Solution for foundation problem:
Sign of home foundation settlement requiring foundation repair

In many places of the world, the home owners consider soil investigation for their small homes is not important. But the main fact is that expansive soil is harmful to the lighter structures having shallow foundation. The established and skill soil investigation firms should be chosen for this purpose. The soil investigation data assist foundation engineers to predict size and depth of foundation (if possible) avoiding top expansive layer if there any. If foundation have to found on expansive soil i.e., there is no way to avoid it, the investigation report provides information to design the foundation to withstand adverse effect of existing expansive soil. This also helps tp provide future maintenance facility if there have any problem.

For structures that are already affected by expansive soils, some foundation solutions are used to strengthen foundation to support foundation and to restrict further movement. This purpose can be served by various methods of underpinning and reinforcing the foundation walls. Underpinning prevents sliding and vertical movement and the later one are used to withstand lateral pressure.

The structures that exist on expansive soil and not yet suffer any adverse effects of expansive soil, soil maintenance is the cheapest and important solution to keep foundation safe. Soil maintenance includes providing and keeping constant and uniform moisture level in the soil. Maintaining uniform and continuous moisture to the soil prevent shrinkage and swelling of such soil. To avoid differential or localized or isolated saturation of soil proper drainage facilities should provide.


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