Foundation Movement and Settlement in Richmond Due to Expansive Soils

In Richmond, expansive soil is typically clay, and is naturally prone to expanding or shrinking with seasonal changes in its water content. The soil soaks in water and expands, and shrinks when its water content percolates and evaporates out of the ground beneath your home. This continual expand-shrink cycle creates movement in the soil that, over time, causes your home to shift and settle, but not in even increments. One side of your home will most likely sink and shift lower than another side, which creates torque in the structure and the foundation—two elements of your home not built to bend and twist. That stress will eventually result in:

  • A cracked foundation
  • Cracks in the drywall
  • Crooked door jambs
  • Hard-to-open windows
  • Gaps between the floor and walls
  • Gaps between the walls and ceiling
  • Uneven floors

Hydrostatic Pressure

As expansive soil around your Richmond home absorbs more moisture, the increased water content exerts considerable hydrostatic pressure—pressure exerted by a fluid upon an object because of gravity. The foundation of your home was not made to withstand extreme lateral pressure. Concrete is porous and becomes more pliable as water sits against it. Eventually, the hydrostatic pressure becomes too great and your foundation walls bend and bow, eventually cracking and losing their ability to securely stabilize the structure of your home.

Often, water will intrude into your basement or crawl space through the cracks in the foundation, which then creates a hornet’s nest of other problems throughout your home. The longer the problems go unmitigated, the more serious they become and the more expensive they are to repair.

Contact Stable Foundations at the first sign of foundation movement and settlement in your Richmond home. We have proven solutions to restore the stability of your foundation, no matter how extensive the problem. We’re a family-owned, third-generation company and have provided crawl space and foundation repair services in Virginia for more than 25 years. Don’t wait until your home is in serious trouble. Schedule your free consultation today.