The Role of Soil Type and Drainage in Foundation Damage: How to Address These Issues

mother/daughter digging up dirt

While many obvious causes can lead to foundation damage in your Hamilton home, choosing the right soil type and drainage solution can make or break the integrity of your foundation. While we encourage you to review the risks of foundation problems, let’s explore how to address the potential issues these decisions may have on your property.

How Does Soil Impact Your Foundation?

The soil surrounding the foundation of your home heavily impacts its ability to stand the test of time. It acts as a support system to build upon, and surround laying down the actual foundation of your property.

Here are some examples of how different soil types affect your foundation:

  • Peat: Peat soil is one of the more commonly known soil types. While it is great for many planting and renovation projects on the surface of your property, it is arguably the worst option for foundation support. It holds significant amounts of water but becomes extremely dry and unstable during the summer heat resulting in poor support to your property’s foundation.
  • Loam: Loam combines the properties of various soil types to provide the most balanced, long-lasting option for your property’s foundation. Its ability to support water consistently makes it less likely to expand, crack, or result in other issues.
  • Sand/Gravel: This type of soil is a combination of multiple particle types from different soils. If compacted properly, it can act as a functioning option for the foundation because it doesn’t hold water. However, if it is not compressed appropriately, the space between the particles can make it an unstable option.

These soil types can make or break the success you have in maintaining the longevity of your property’s foundation.

How Does the Drainage on Your Property Impact the Integrity of Your Foundation?

Due to the porous nature of your foundation, it is built to handle a certain degree of moisture with the support of the proper soil surrounding it, but it can still become inundated with moisture. That is why having appropriate drainage in place is imperative.

Here are a few ways drainage impacts your property:

  • Directs water away from the foundation of your home
  • Help alleviate stress from the soil surrounding your foundation
  • Decrease chances of cracks in the foundation

If appropriate drainage is not implemented at your property, it can result in:

  • Minor or major foundation problems
  • Costly repairs
  • Damage to personal property
  • Unnecessary stress and impact on your health

If you are starting to see areas of concern in your foundation or would like to ensure preventative measures are in place, consider some of the following solutions:

  • Installing a Sump Pump: Sump Pumps are designed to direct water away from your foundation, which helps to minimize potential issues
  • Maintain/ Replace your roof gutters and downspout: Ensuring your downspout is clear of debris and damage will allow it to carry water away from your property.
  • Weeping tile replacement: Weeping tiles provide a discharge of accumulating liquid away from your home. When maintained, they can compensate for other potential drainage issues or poor soil selection for your property.

Contact Conterra Foundations Today.

Knowing how soil type and drainage impact the integrity of your foundation and risk potential is imperative for recognizing how to address problems. If you believe you have an issue with your foundation or would like to discuss preventative measures, contact us today!