The Clay Bowl Effect and Hydrostatic Pressure

After your home’s foundation was completed, previously excavated soil was replaced around the walls. This loose, fluffy soil is not as dense or tightly packed as undisturbed soil farther away from the house. So, when water collects in the soil immediately surrounding the home it creates a “clay bowl.” The saturated soil expands and puts pressure, known as hydrostatic pressure, on foundation walls. When this constant pressure becomes more than the walls can bear, they will begin to show signs of failure in the form of cracks and inward movement. 

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