Soil movement can cause extreme damage to a building, including cracking and “heaving” of slabs and hardscape, and separations of drywall and stucco. This damage can be caused by a major event, such as a landslide, or by very slow processes called lateral fill extension or “slope creep”. Damage can also result from expansive soils, or from excessive settlement.
Building sites are graded before construction begins. Soil can either be removed (cut) or added (fill) at the time of grading. Correct compaction of the soil during the grading phase is critical. Problems we find include:
- Improper grading
- Inadequate compaction
- Inadequate foundation design for highly expansive soils
- Inadequate site drainage
- Inadequate area and retaining wall drains
- Inadequate setback or depth of pilasters