The Soil is Pulling Away from My Foundation

Soil Pulling Away from a Foundation

I received an email from a past client asking me why the soil is pulling away from his foundation. The short answer is, “The soil is drying out and shrinking. You need to water.”

For those of you interested in a more detailed explanation, read on.

North Texas is known for its clay soil. Clay soil expands and contracts substantially based upon the moisture in the soil. If the soil dries out, it contracts. If it gets wet, it expands. While this seems simple enough, that shrinkage and expansion can have a dramatic impact on a slab foundation.

A slab foundation sits directly on the soil. Since clay soil expands and contracts, the slab is actually “floating” on the soil. Keeping the moisture level in the soil around the foundation stable is critical to the long-term stability of the foundation. While the in-ground sprinkler system often provides enough water, many times soaker hoses are installed to help regulate the moisture level.

The bottom line is if the soil is pulling away from the slab the moisture content is dropping and steps should be taken to add water. Doing so early can save thousands in foundation repairs later.

If you think you may have an issue, contact a DFW professional engineer or a foundation company.

About Tom Branch

Tom Branch has written 597 posts in this blog.


Have you ever just met someone, but felt you like you'd known him for years? That's what most people experience with Tom. He has a knack for making folks feel right at home. After 21 years in the Air Force, loyalty and honesty are the foundation of everything Tom does. In addition to being a Texas Real Estate Broker, Tom is a Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) and a Short Sales & Foreclosure Resource (SFR).

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