Why is Regina soil so unstable?
Cracked walls, damp basements, sticking doors, and uneven sidewalks are often the first indications for owners of residential and commercial buildings that the ground has shifted. In the Regina area, the ground shifting is particularly impacted by the heavy clay composition of the soil. Sodium bentonite in the clay makes it highly absorbent—10 grams of clay can take on as much as 30 grams of water. (source: Dr. Ulrike Hardenbicker, Leader-Post, November 7, 2012) The expanded, wet clay presses against foundations, causing walls to crack and basement floors to rise. Driveways, sidewalks and patios are also damaged by the uneven shifting of the ground.
The heavy clay soil, or Regina gumbo, can prevent water drainage around exterior foundation walls. Any cracks that may have formed in foundation walls then become pathways for moisture to seep into basements. Depending on the amount of water trapped by the clay, the results can vary from minor basement dampness to flooding. (source: City of Regina Flood Protection)
Beyond general maintenance, there is often little that residential and commercial building owners can do to prevent the effects of clay-based ground shifting. Fortunately, Mustang Construction's concrete specialists can provide effective solutions for new foundation and flatwork builds as well as for existing concrete structures impacted by Regina gumbo soil.
Mustang Construction offers a wide range of services for repairing foundations as well as for building new foundations.
Foundation walls may bulge into a basement as a result of ground shifting or soil shrinkage. This often occurs when trees draw moisture from the soil near foundations. The drying soil compresses, causing the ground to drop. The compacted soil puts pressure on the basement walls, resulting in bulging. Straightening and reinforcing basement walls with vertical steel bracing is an effective, long-term solution.
Basement teleposts transfer the weight of a home's main beam to its foundation. Over a period of time, expanding and contracting soil beneath the foundation may lead to an unequal distribution of weight along the beam and result in cracked drywall and sticking doors. Having the teleposts professionally adjusted can compensate for the ground movement by redistributing the weight of the building.
Generally, a sump pit is installed in a low area of a foundation floor to collect water from the basement or from the water table around the exterior of the foundation. A sump pump placed in the sump pit moves the water away from the foundation.
Knee and pony walls are poured, reinforced concrete walls containing vertical steel braces. Formed against the interior side of foundations, the walls and braces support the joists of the building's main floor when the original foundation is damaged or otherwise unable to bear the weight of the building.
When used in garage construction, grade beams are poured, reinforced concrete structures that support the weight of the garage walls.
Piles are columns of concrete and/or steel placed deep into the ground during the construction of a foundation when the soil beneath the foundation is unstable. Piles are also used in underpinning.