soil in ft worth

How The Soil In Fort Worth Contributes to Foundation Problems In Homes

Different soil types affect a home’s foundation in unique ways. Texas is huge and has a large variety of geography, surface geology and climates in the area, as well as a multitude of soil types. What this means for Texas homeowners and homebuyers is that the foundation of your (prospective) home will be affected by the type of soil found where your home is built.

As such, it is important to learn about the specific soil type in your area and the impact it may have on your foundation now or in the future. In this post, we shall look at the most prominent soil types found in Forth Worth Texas and what this means for homeowners and homebuyers.

There are various types of soils found in Fort Worth, so the foundations of homes and buildings in different parts of the city will be influenced by the specific soil type found there. As such, having a soil test performed would go a long way in helping you identify the exact type of soil and its characteristics. However, the most common soil types found in Fort Worth are clay-rich soils and sandy loams.

Areas found in Central and Eastern Tarrant County have clay-rich soils formed by different limestone formations consisting of shale and limestone. Areas of Fort Worth in Eastern Tarrant County are supported by Woodbine sandstone, which is dominated by sandy loams and clay-rich soils.

Tarrant County

Image Courtesy of Tarrant County

Loam soils are ideal for foundations because they are evenly balanced and can therefore maintain water at a balanced rate. However, because the loam soils in Fort Worth are sandy in nature, they might allow for some subsurface water movement, which can be harmful to a home’s foundation over time. This is because sandy particles may be washed away when moist, leaving gaps in the foundation.

Clay-rich soils that are highly absorptive can put a lot of pressure on concrete foundation walls. In fact, expansive clay soils are probably the most difficult to deal with when it comes to building foundations. This is because they swell significantly when they get wet, and can have a 10% increase in volume. This creates the kind of pressure that could crack a concrete foundation wall or floor slabs. It could even lead to foundation movement, which might result in damage to a home’s upper floors.

Moreover, expansive clay soils will also shrink when they dry out. The resulting cycle of shrinking and swelling puts constant stress on concrete foundations. Fissures may form in the soil that would allow water runoff to seep through basement walls.

Dry soil

Image Courtesy of StockSnap

If you’re planning to build a home in Fort Worth, knowing the type of soil in the land where you intend to build you would give you a good idea of what to expect in terms of potential foundation problems. It is also important to find out what measures could be taken during construction to minimize the chances of foundation damage. For instance, in the case of expansive clay soils, stabilizing the moisture content in the soil would go a long way in preventing foundation damage.

Unfortunately, most people don’t buy their homes based on the type of soil they are dealing with.  In Fort Worth, and North Texas in general that likely means at some point in time dealing with foundation cracks or more sever damage.  If you have any signs of foundation damage on your home then contact Texas Foundation Pros for an estimate for repair.  In the meantime, check out this hilarious video from our partners, GL Hunt:

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(Image Courtesy of StockSnap)

(Image Courtesy of StockSnap)