How Different Soil Types Impact Your Foundation

How Different Soil Types Impact Your Foundation


Sandy soil (left) and sandy loam soils (middle) expand and contract very little with moisture changes. They can be very reliable when supporting a foundation.

Clay soils (right) expand and shrink in volume dramatically with moisture changes and can cause significant foundation damage.

Sandy Soils & Your Foundation

Water passes through sandy soils rather than being absorbed. This fact makes sandy soils very stable. Instead of expanding as they absorb moisture and contracting as they dry out, sandy soils maintain a fairly consistent volume and density.

Because of their stability and good load-bearing qualities, sandy soils are less likely to shift and settle, so they rarely cause foundation problems. Unfortunately, sandy soils are less commonly found than other more problematic soil types.

How Clay Soils Affect Your Foundation

Soils rich in clay and silt have the greatest potential to damage a foundation. Clay absorbs water easily, expanding in volume as it becomes more saturated. So-called “expansive clays” can cause foundations to crack, heave and shift.

When clay soils dry out, they shrink and crack, leaving gaps around a house where water from the next storm can penetrate easily and deeply to repeat the expansion cycle. Clay-rich soils usually cause more foundation damage by expanding than by contracting.

Sandy Loam Soils

Loamy soils are usually a very stable soil that shows little change with the increase or decrease of moisture temperature.

The primary concern with foundations built on loamy soils is erosion. When soils underneath your foundation erode, they may begin to be inappropriate strata for sustaining the weight of a foundation and home structure.

Call MBRGFR Today for a Free No Hassle Evaluation 817-469-1090

Drainage and Foundation Repair

5 Tips for Foundation Drainage 

Keeping water drained away from home foundations is important for two main reasons. First, if there is living space on the other side, the owner will want it to stay dry. Good drainage is the first step toward accomplishing that, then waterproofing. Second, soils supporting a foundation need to stay at a consistent moisture level to prevent settlement, heave, or differential movement.

Here are a few things to keep in mind

  • Moisture: There are two zones of subsurface moisture: the aeration zone (where both water and air exist) and the saturation zone. Generally, the saturation zone is everything below the water table, which is the level at which water rises to in a well. The saturation zone is seldom an issue in residential construction—soil moisture is the concern.
  • Loss of soil moisture: Soil moisture beneath a foundation is lost in a triangular configuration, so the deepest dry area is just outside the edge of the foundation and the ground beneath the middle of the slab remains saturated. Differential drying or differential amounts of moisture in the soil can create problems, especially in expansive soils.
  • Surface drainage: Controlling surface water is critical to controlling soil moisture beneath the foundation. The ground surface should slope away from the house at between ½ and 1 inch per foot for at least 6 feet—10 feet is better. Be careful of poorly compacted backfill, though, because that will soon mean that the surface will slope back toward the house.
  • Gutters: Downspouts should discharge on sloping surfaces at least 6-10 feet from the foundation. Where that isn’t possible, downspouts should discharge into drained catch basins.
  • Finally, remember that it is much easier to do foundation drainage right in the first place than to repair it later.

Think you may have a Drainage or Foundation Problem?, Call us 817-469-1090 For Your Free Evaluation

Protect Your Investment!

Did you know a home’s foundation directly affects its property value? The moment a potential buyer see’s a crack or finds out that there may be a problem with the structure, their dream of making this their future home could be shattered.

Foundation problems are often caused by a variety of changes that can occur in the soils surrounding your home. Unfortunately, these problems don’t get better with time – they only get worse.

In fact many people associate foundation problems with older homes, however Consumer Reports found that an alarming 15% of new homes have serious foundation problems. These problems were found to have two causes: 1) Poor construction, and 2) Homes built on poorly compacted fill soils.
Therefore it’s safe to say that foundation problems affect new and old homes alike. The decision to fix these problems – permanently – is an investment in your home that makes sense.
If you have a house that’s on the market that needs foundation repairs, MBR is here to help. With our Funding at Closing program, we will accept funds straight from the closing table to help alleviate some of the stress of last minute home repairs! And you can feel safe with MBR’s Genuine Lifetime Transferable Warranty on all our piers. Call us today to get your foundation squared away right away! 817-469-1090

Summer Quick Tip!

We are excited to introduce our new website this Summer! We have added more information and media materials for our customers and partners.

We have over 30 years of experience and are A+ organization on BBB.

Here’s a quick tip: During Summer, because of the high temperatures, your foundation requires an increase in the amount of water needed to maintain ample moisture levels.

Place soaker hoses approx. a foot from the edge (ideally buried about a foot down) and run for about an hour every other day. If the soil begins to recede from the slab, increase watering until you close the gap.

For more tips see our maintenance page, or give us a call at 817-469-1090

Welcome! is here to help! Our website offers a plethora of valuable information to help homeowners, Realtors, buyers, sellers, tenants, or anybody else who manages a property to keep and maintain a healthy foundation.
We have articles on slab & pier and beam repairs, signs of foundation distress, maintenance,  warranties, plumbing, and continuing education courses. We even have an entire FAQ page in addition to a number of short instructional videos, to ensure you’re kept well informed and well equipped to handle any situation that may arise.
Make sure your foundation has the support it needs to support your home! And if it’s already in need of repair we’ll be right there to get your foundation squared away right away!