If you want to see one of the biggest threats to your home’s foundation, just go outside and look at the soil! Many homes in the Nashville area are surrounded by expansive, clay-rich soil, and this can be a major hazard to a home’s structural integrity. Expansive soil can absorb a great deal of moisture and place significant inward pressure on your foundation walls. Here at United Structural Systems, we have worked with thousands of homeowners in Nashville, and our foundation waterproofing methods have reinforced countless foundations against the dangers of expansive soil.
How Expansive Soil Affects Your Foundation
What happens when expansive soils get wet? Either from natural precipitation or a flooding incident, moisture seeps into the clay which can swell 10% or more in volume. This increases the hydrostatic pressure on your foundation walls up to an average of 20,000 pounds per square foot. And if your home doesn’t have the right reinforcements in place to redirect the moisture and/or resist the inward force, you could be left with bowed or cracked walls, water infiltration, or structural collapse.
While the greatest threat of expansive soil is when it becomes waterlogged, it’s also dangerous when the soil dries out. Soil contracts when it loses water content, and this “shrinking” process can create unstable air pockets and erosion. Repeated wet/dry cycles can result in structural shifts in your home, and significant wear and tear on your foundation. Thankfully, our team of Nashville foundation waterproofing experts knows how to help your home resist this type of damage.