Do you have clay soils on your property? These soils are problematic, especially when it comes to ensuring the health of your foundation. Read on if you’re looking for a way to prevent foundation cracks.
The problem with clay soils
Clay soils are known to be expansive soils. Clay soil consists of tiny particles. These particles can absorb large volumes of water. The particles expand in relation to the volume of water they have absorbed. These particles can expand to many times their original size. When this happens, a great amount of pressure is exerted on the foundation walls.
The particles also lose water easily. During the dry season, the particles will lose water to the air through evaporation. The particles shrink down and cause the soil to contract. When this happens, the foundation loses support. Water is also likely to enter the space formed between the foundation wall and the soil during a downpour. When the water freezes in winter, it will expand and cause the foundation wall to bow inward as a result of the pressure exerted against it.
How to prevent foundation cracks
You don’t have to be resigned to a fate of a lifetime of repairs simply because you live on property that has clay soil. There are things you can do to help protect your foundation and your finances.
- Water the soil around your foundation
It is important to ensure that the soil around your foundation maintains a constant level of moisture. This will help to prevent extreme contracting especially in the summer. You can do this by watering your foundation. This is a cost-effective way of preventing the deterioration of your foundation.
- Install drainage
When the rains come around, it’s important to ensure that the moisture levels in the soil do not cause extreme expansion. You can do this by having drains installed on the outside of your foundation. These will help to get rid of excess water.
- Reinforce your walls
You can prevent your foundation walls from moving by having them reinforced, one of the easiest ways to do this is by installing carbon fiber straps or sheets. These will help to keep the wall stable and prevent further bowing.
Always ensure that foundation cracks are repaired by a professional and experienced contractor. They will help you identify the root cause of the cracks and provide you with solutions that will give you long term relief.