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Thursday, April 24th, 2014 by Jessie Schoepflin
Let's go over a few of the factors leading the basement walls to crack in your home.
Many homes are built in areas of clay-rich soils. These areas of clay infused soil are more desirable to home-building than sandy soils for a couple reasons. Basements and crawl spaces are able to be dug out and retain some stability during construction unlike sandy soils. The sandier the soil, the greater the possibility for a higher water table in the area.
Home-builders would like to avoid homes on a water table due to the possibility of rising levels and consequent flooding. On the flip side, clay rich soils are more likely to absorb water should the surrounding conditions change after soil has been backfilled.
With absorption of water comes expansion and an increased pressure on surrounding basement walls which could cause cracking.
The exterior drainage pipes installed during backfill are very likely to clog with clay and soil and prevent proper drainage of water surrounding the home's foundation. If water stays trapped in the soil during cold winter months and begins to freeze even more expansion can occur causing an even greater pressure force on foundation walls.