Foundation Repair in IN, including Fort Wayne, South Bend & Gary.
Foundation Repair

Expansive Soils & Your Foundation Walls

diagram of backfilled and virgin foundation soils around a home.

Backfill soil behaves differently than the unexcavated, "virgin soils" farther away from the foundation. Backfill soil typically absorbs more water and expands more, exerting pressure against the foundation.

Straight Talk About Foundation Soils

The soils around your foundation can put a lot of pressure on your foundation walls! The amount of pressure will vary depending three factors:

Since foundation walls are designed to support loads from above rather than lateral (sideways) loads, expanding soil can cause foundation problems.

When the pressure from outside the basement walls is greater than the wall can handle, the wall will begin to crack, bow, and push inwards.

Factors such as expansive clays, hydrostatic pressure, and freezing water can create too much stress on basement walls, causing them to push forward and even collapse entirely over time.

free foundation repair quote in Warsaw

We can stop expansive foundation soils from damaging your foundation! Call us for a free foundation repair quote today!

We serve South Bend, Fort Wayne, Gary, and many nearby areas in Indiana.

Backfilled Soils & Virgin Foundation Soils

Diagram of rainwater affecting foundation soils

As water builds up in the soils around your foundation, hydrostatic pressure increases against your basement walls, potentially leading to damage.

When your home was being built, contractors had to dig a big hole in the ground. This was created to make space for your basement. They dug up mounds of the hard-packed earth that was there -- some of which may have laid there untouched for hundreds of years or more.

As foundation walls and house framing were completed, the empty space around the foundation needed to be filled. Contractors typically backfill foundation walls using some of the excavated soil that was removed to make room for the basement.

The excavation process breaks up and loosens the soil. Because of this, backfill soils will always be more permeable, or water-absorbent than the hard-packed earth beyond.

When it rains, the water will collect in the backfilled soils, exerting hydrostatic pressure against foundation walls. This is known as the "clay bowl effect".

What Causes Soils To Expand?

Wet foundation soils have a number of possible ill effects on the soils. By adding water to soils, you can cause them to expand, add weight to the soil, and ultimately lead to enormous pressure on the foundation walls.

Wet soils can lead to foundation damage in these three ways:

Water-soaked clay soils

Expansive, Wet Clay Soil

While sandy soils remain stable as water passes through them, soils rich in clay undergo significant changes based on their moisture content.

When clay type soils dry out, they shrink significantly -- so much that the ground can become covered with cracks. But after a heavy rain, the cracks are gone and the soil is fully saturated with water.

Because clay soil absorbs so much water, it expands during wet weather. Expansive clay soils can put enormous pressure on your basement or foundation walls. When the pressure becomes more than the wall can handle, the wall will begin to push inwards.


Water gushing through a dam

Hydrostatic Pressure

Hydrostatic pressure is the pressure exerted by a fluid due to the force of gravity.

To understand how hydrostatic pressure can damage foundation walls, imagine how much heavier soil becomes when it's soaked with water. When the weight of water is added to the weight of the soil, you've got much greater pressure pushing against a foundation wall.

Hydrostatic pressure effectively amplifies soil pressure against a foundation wall. When pressure exceeds the foundation wall's ability to withstand it, the wall will begin to bow, buckle, tilt inward at the top, or move inwards at the bottom.

More about bowing, buckling walls.

More about our foundation wall repair system.


Frost covering trees and a grassy field in New Haven

Frost Heaving

In areas with cold winter climates, frost heaving can sometimes put enough pressure on foundation walls to make them fail.

When water turns to ice, its volume increases by about 9%. If wet soil experiences a deep freeze, the wedging or heaving force that results can be extremely powerful.

Frost heaving can put literally thousands of pounds of force against your foundation walls, causing cracks, bowing, and heaving.

More about foundation heaving.

More about wall cracks.

Do You Need A Foundation Repaired?

When your foundation is showing signs of bowing, buckling walls or any other foundation issues, we at Foundation Supportworks, Inc. are the contractors you're looking for. As a locally owned and operated foundation repair company, we've been working with soils in your neighborhood since we first opened our doors for business.

We'd like to offer you a free, no-obligation Foundation repair quote to help you identify the problems you're facing with your foundation -- and what it might take to fix them. To schedule an appointment with us, call or e-mail us today!

We're proud to serve South Bend, Fort Wayne, Gary, surrounding areas such as Mishawaka, Valparaiso, Elkhart, Crown Point, Michigan City, La Porte, Goshen, and many nearby locales in IN.

Looking for a price? Get a no cost, no obligation free estimate.

  
Serving IN including the Greater Fort Wayne area
Our Indiana Service Area
Cities in Allen County, IN
Fort Wayne
Grabill
Harlan
Hoagland
Huntertown
Leo
Monroeville
New Haven
Spencerville
Woodburn
Yoder

Cities in DeKalb County, IN
Ashley
Auburn
Butler
Corunna
Garrett
Saint Joe
Waterloo

Cities in Elkhart County, IN
Bristol
Elkhart
Goshen
Middlebury
Millersburg
Nappanee
New Paris
Wakarusa

Cities in Fulton County, IN
Akron
Kewanna
Rochester

Cities in Huntington County, IN
Huntington
Roanoke

Cities in Jasper County, IN
Demotte
Fair Oaks
Rensselaer
Wheatfield

Cities in Kosciusko County, IN
Burket
Claypool
Etna Green
Leesburg
Mentone
Milford
North Webster
Pierceton
Silver Lake
Syracuse
Warsaw
Winona Lake

Cities in La Porte County, IN
Hanna
La Crosse
La Porte
Michigan City
Mill Creek
Rolling Prairie
Union Mills
Wanatah
Westville

Cities in Lagrange County, IN
Howe
Lagrange
Shipshewana
Topeka
Wolcottville

Cities in Lake County, IN
Cedar Lake
Crown Point
Gary
Griffith
Hammond
Highland
Hobart
Lake Station
Lowell
Merrillville
Munster
Saint John
Schererville

Cities in Marshall County, IN
Argos
Bourbon
Bremen
Culver
Plymouth
Tippecanoe

Cities in Miami County, IN
Macy

Cities in Newton County, IN
Brook
Lake Village
Morocco

Cities in Noble County, IN
Albion
Avilla
Cromwell
Kendallville
Kimmell
Laotto
Ligonier
Rome City
Wawaka

Cities in Porter County, IN
Chesterton
Hebron
Kouts
Portage
Valparaiso

Cities in Pulaski County, IN
Francesville
Medaryville
Monterey
Star City
Winamac

Cities in St Joseph County, IN
Granger
Lakeville
Mishawaka
New Carlisle
North Liberty
Notre Dame
Osceola
South Bend
Walkerton

Cities in Starke County, IN
Grovertown
Hamlet
Knox
North Judson
San Pierre

Cities in Steuben County, IN
Angola
Fremont
Hamilton
Hudson
Orland
Pleasant Lake

Cities in Wabash County, IN
North Manchester
Roann
Urbana

Cities in Wells County, IN
Markle
Ossian

Cities in Whitley County, IN
Churubusco
Columbia City
Larwill
South Whitley

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