Expansive soils can be a big problem for home foundations across the country, including in parts of California. That’s particularly true near the coast. Most expansive soils are packed with clay, which absorbs and holds lots of moisture. That’s part of why clay is often used in skincare. However, when it comes to concrete foundations, swollen clay is a problem. It can lead to serious structural problems in homes.
Cracks and movement
Building on absorptive clay can lead to the development of a number of construction defects. As the clay expands, it can crack concrete slabs and even cause the foundation to move. This could lead to serious problems like cracks in walls and damage to upper floors of homes. When the moisture content drops, the soil can shrink, which may cause additional concerns.
Proper planning can help prevent these problems. Some absorptive clay soils can be remediated. It’s possible, in some cases, to balance the moisture content and remove the issue. One of the biggest ways to prevent issues with expansive clay in soils is to conduct testing beforehand. Understanding the soil content before building is one key to avoiding cracks in walls, driveways, masonry work and other issues.
Filing a claim
If you’ve been impacted by expansive soil, it may be possible to pursue a claim against the party that constructed the home. Responsible builders know to test soils before starting construction. Contacting an experienced attorney is an important step if you think you have a case. They help you understand if you have a claim and who to pursue with it.