06 June 2011

Expansive Soil Building Foundation Tips - Gutters And Site Drainage

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a few days ago someone sent me an

interesting remark and rarely do I get something interesting that gets me thinking you know wait a minute this guy's got a good question this guy did he wanted to know what would be better to use over expansive soil a regular concrete foundation solid concrete foundation or a foundation that would require footings and a wood framed floor which would be a raised foundation and I really couldn't answer his question because I don't think the soil expansive soil is going to it's one of them is going to benefit the other one too where I would say you know what you've got to go with a raised foundation or a slab because expansive soil on any type of building foundation whether it's a raised foundation or a solid slab foundation will expand and contract and create problems for each one of these slabs now for those of you who do not know what expansive soil is this is a clay type of soil that when it is wet it will expand and it will actually put pressure on the foundation and then when it dries out it will actually shrink so you can actually see gaps between the foundation and the dirt right next to your house look at the house if there's

a gap there you've got expansive soil if you don't you're lucky or you're maintaining the property what I did have as a comment for this guy is that the best thing you could do with either foundation if you pour a raised foundation or concrete slab would be to keep as much of the water away from the property as possible you can keep some of the water away from the house by installing roof gutters and downspouts and try to get the water to drain at least I put away from the building foundation if possible the farther away the better now as you can see here this one is probably about three feet away from the garage foundation and that is going to be acceptable but that is not ideal so remember that one more thing you can do is install sight drains these would be drainage pipes that will carry the water away from the property this particular drain here goes underneath the sidewalk down the driveway and out to the street so site drains plus roof gutters and a nice drainage system is going to do wonders for your building foundation so if you can keep the water away from the building foundation then you really

won't have to worry about whether the soil is expensive or not so just something to think about anything you can do to keep the water away from the building foundation will reduce erosion and settling of the house so I've seen a house one time the worst one I ever seen was a house settled about three inches I believe it was instead of using two by six but actually had to use two by ten so there's a four inch difference there and trust me we needed every bit of it so don't take something like this lightly you know a lot of times you see a house without gutters and you don't know you know hey why should I put gutters on my house well here's the reason why