Basement Wall Cracks & The Soils That Surround Them – Columbia, MO

Basement wall cracks  often indicate a problem. In many cases, this problem has to do with high pressure being exerted on the basement walls. If such a problem is ignored, the walls of the basement are likely to collapse.

The soil

Not many homeowners realize that their choice of site for the construction of their home is important not only for their view and lifestyle but also for their foundation. The soils on your site will influence the integrity of your foundation.

It is important to build your foundation on stable soil that can support the foundation. The strength of the soil on the construction site will therefore be studied before the construction begins. This will allow the building contractor to make important engineering decisions.

Some soils are strong enough to support large and tall buildings. Others are not stable enough to support even the foundation of a small residential home and end up causing basement wall cracks and complete failure of the foundation.

The stability and strength of the soil is influenced by the physical properties of the soil. Clay soils are very strong and are great for supporting structures. Sandy soils are very weak. However, clay soils are known to retain a lot of water when it rains or when snow melts. The soil expands when saturated with water or when it freezes. This results in high pressure being exerted on the foundation walls causing basement wall cracks.

Soils good for construction are able to capture precipitation without retaining too much of it and causing damage to the walls. They should have a balanced chemistry and therefore not cause corrosion. The ideal soils for construction are a mixture of particle sizes. These will provide stability and strength through different cycles of weather and ensure your foundation will not crack.

Bringing all together

The contractor in charge of installing or repairing your foundation will assess your site for:

  • The slope of your landscape
  • The soil type
  • The potential for drainage and storage of runoff water.

They may use a soil map of the area to make important construction and repair decisions. Good engineering designs will incorporate solutions that will either correct or manage the situation. It is therefore important to ensure that you’re dealing with a professional contractor who will ensure that you get the best results from the construction for the long term.