How to Design a Foundation on Expansive Soil

Are you dealing with expansive soil that makes your construction projects hard? Luckily, if you want to design a foundation on the expansive ground, there is a solution. You can hire a company that offers high-quality stabilization services.

What is Expansive Soil?

Expansive soil swells and shrinks in response to the level of soil moisture. Moving soils tend to exert more pressure on footings, paving, and foundations.

Ways to Identify Expansive Soils

Landscape architects can design and construct areas with expansive clay soil if they get proper information and engineering guidance. First, the experts will identify if the soil on the customer’s site is expansive clay. There are some preliminary techniques they will utilize when inventorying a site.

  1. Get the Right Consultants

The moment you have identified the expansive clay soil, it’s time to talk to a consultant. Both civil and geotechnical engineers are eligible to test soil for expansion. A geotechnical report contains site guidelines, preparation, allowable soil bearing value, slab and foundation design recommendation, and soil expansion index value.

  1. Construction Design on expansive Clay Soil

There are many methods that can be utilized to lessen the negative factors of expansive soil.

  1. Replacing the expansive clay soil

Experts can remove the expansive substrates and replace them with non-expansive materials. Another option is to combine the non-expansive and expansive soil to lessen the expansion index to a non-threatening level. Talk to a geotechnical or civil engineer to define the recommended soul mixes and depth.

  1. Reinforce Slabs and Footings

Small slabs can be strengthened with a wire mesh in the concrete. This wire mesh offers tensile strength to the concrete that helps paving or slabs resist the movement of soil. Another effective reinforcement method entails using steel reinforcement bars to post-tension a concrete slab on grade.

  1. Add gravel under the slabs

Including crushed aggregate under paving is the best move as it will assist reduce soil motion. As soil shrinks or swells, soil particles infiltrate the gravel. This lessens heaving pressure on the pavement. Install up to 8 inches of compacted crushed aggregate under slabs and paving to lessen the impact of soil motion.

You can Overcome Expansive Soil  

While expansive clay soil might pose many problems for site contractors, some of those issues can be solved through the right design and engineering.

How to Build a Foundation on Expansive Soil

The process of building a foundation on expansive soil is challenging with many risks. Before you start the project, the site needs to be evaluated. The soil must be evaluated for shrinkage index, swelling pressure, strength, and consolidation. Investing in soil stabilization is a good idea since it can help you avoid increasing construction expenses. The procedure entails an injection directly into the soil around the site or foundation where you want to build. 

The injections are non-toxic and assist in strengthening the soil. That means you will spend less money on the foundation.