San Antonio and south Texas in general doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to soil condition. This leads to an abundance of foundation issues that many people fear and sometimes even have nightmares about! However, where does this problem come from? This isn’t something new, so why hasn’t the problem been solved yet? I’m glad you asked!
San Antonio is relatively dry throughout the year. We typically only average just over 2 inches per rain each month! The relatively dry climate here can wreak havoc on a home’s foundation. Most homes are built on slab on-grade foundations. With a slab on-grade, the foundation is placed right on top of a level soil base.
What is the soil base? San Antonio soil typically consists of clay that can potentially swell an immense amount. We all know from art class that clay is great to work with when moist, but when it dries it gets very firm and cracks easily. Clay itself is not the root of the problem and definitely isn’t the worst soil in the world. The reason so many San Antonio homes become victims is because of our dramatic and ever changing weather conditions.
When the area gets downpours, the soil will absorb and retain the water. This can cause the soil to swell around the foundation. Then when there is no rain, and we are in a drought; which is very common, the soil releases all of the moisture content. A lack of moisture can cause the clay soil to pull back from the foundation and “shrink”. Slab foundations of all ages can start to sink, settle or heave. This is when people start to experience “foundation problems”.
Here at Center City we are very familiar with these conditions. Many builder’s just build on top of this soil and essentially leave this issue to the homeowner to deal with down the road in 10+ years. We believe in doing the right thing, and building the best home possible. On every single one of our projects we remove this “bad dirt” by digging 5-10 feet down, and replace it with good dirt that isn’t clay based.
This ensures that these homes will not have the average foundation problem and will last a good long time. This allows the homeowner to enjoy their home and focus on other more important things in life!
If you are looking to build, buy or rent downtown give us a call. We would love to connect with you and discuss downtown San Antonio and how we can help you be a part of our amazing Urban Core!