North Texas Soil And Your Home Foundation
The North Texas soil is a major factor in foundation damage. The majority of the north forms part of the Texas Blackland Prairie which is made up of relatively deep soil with the bedrock sitting far below.
In the western part of this prairie, a chalk bedrock helps to support home foundations. However, the rest of the region doesn’t offer any support to foundations which can lead to rapid damage. As if that’s not enough, the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex is located on a slope. So you might find that your home is sitting directly in a drainage path!
The nature of the North Texas soil is, however, the biggest problem. A large portion of the DFW area is located on thick clay soil. During the rainy season, the soil absorbs a lot of water and expands. But as soon as drought sets in, the water is lost and soils quickly contract and crack.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, North Texas is affected the most by this expansion/contraction trend because northern soils contain the highest levels of clay compared to other regions in the country. Even compared to South Texas, the upper third of the state contains a lot of clay particles, making it prone to seasonal expansion and contraction. The area covering Dallas through Tarrant to Collin and Denton counties is among the worst with over 50% clay content.
When North Texas soil expands and then shrinks, your home and its foundation will rise and fall. Over an extended period, say a few years, this could cause foundation sinking and settling. Since different areas of the soil expand and contract at different rates, the settling is usually uneven which can result in cracking. And in some cases, this can require expensive foundation repair work to prevent the problem from getting worse.
But that’s not all. Clay soils also drain rather poorly. Even several hours after rain or snowing, you’ll still find water pooling next to your foundation. This too can cause heaving and sinking and ultimately lead to foundation failure.
What you can do
If you’re worried about your foundation having seen signs of settling or shifting, don’t wait. Act now. Ensure that your gutters are clean, create drainage channels to direct rain water away from the home, and install a drip irrigation system to ensure consistent moisture in soil adjacent to the foundation. Above all, call a foundation expert to further diagnose the problem. You’ll save thousands of dollars, and possibly the home!
Atlas Foundation Company has been providing reliable foundation repairs for homeowners in the Greater Fort Worth area since 1958, and we stand behind our work with a free lifetime structural warranty.
If you think your foundation may be in need of repair, give us a call and schedule a no-cost, no-obligation estimate.