Types of soil structure: How it matter in Foundation of the house
Types of soil structure
All soil is vulnerable to erosion. And during the construction process, soil becomes loose and loses its stability. To help decrease any problems caused by erosion, one method is limiting the space where the soil is moved around during the excavation process.
Types of soil in construction
- Clay & Black Cotton
Clay is an expansive soil, which means it expands when wet and shrinks when dry. These changes cause a great deal of pressure on foundations and can cause them to move up and down, and eventually crack. For this reason, clay is usually not a great soil to construct a home on.
Peat is a dark brown/black soil formed by decomposed organic material. It’s usually found near wetlands and is especially porous. Like clay, peat shrinks and expands depending on weather conditions and has a low bearing capacity, making it a poor support material.
When compacted with gravel and other materials, sand does not retain water and therefore will not cause any structures above it to shift. However, over time, sand particles can lose their friction and be washed away, creating gaps beneath a foundation.
Varieties such as bedrock, limestone, and sandstone have exceptionally high bearing capacities, which make them suitable for supporting buildings and homes. It’s imperative that a rock surface is level before a foundation is constructed, otherwise, the foundation must be held into place with anchors.
- Loam & Red Soil
Loam is an ideal surface for foundation. Typically, loam is a combination of sand, silt, and clay, and is crumbly/soft to the touch. Loam handles moisture in a balanced way and will generally not expand or shrink enough to cause damage.
If you’re planning a construction project, it’s best to figure out what kind of soil you’ll be working with and understand its properties.