Call Us: 323-418-2239 Email Us Schedule Inspection

Soil Conditions in Los Angeles

Soils that shrink or swell are found throughout Los Angeles . Soils with shrink/swell potential can lead to shifting soil conditions and may result in stability problems for buildings constructed on it.

As ground surface water content increases, soils swell and expand upward. As water content decreases, soils shrink, the ground surface recedes, and pulls away from the foundation. In particular, these conditions create problems in homes with shallow foundations.

LA soil
40 years of experience

There are no perfect soil conditions

for building houses. When a developer searches for land to build on, he selects land for various reasons, which may include availability, price, proximity to schools, and proximity to industrial areas. The main reason for selecting a parcel to develop is that there is a high demand for people who want to purchase homes in that area and a profit can be made from building and selling those homes.

The best way to find out if the soil beneath your house is expansive is to have a report done by a geotechnical engineer. In many housing developments, a Soils Report is prepared, but this requirement varies depending on the region or country.

A geotechnical engineer will drill soil brings on your site and take samples so these soil samples can be tested for expansiveness. These samples will show how expansive the soil is and at what depths. The geotechnical engineer provides a written report on his findings. A shallow foundation will be more impacted by soil and climate considerations than a deep foundation (see Foundation Basics for more information about shallow foundations).

What is the “active zone?”
From the ground surface downward, there is a depth over which expansive soils experience a change in moisture conditions as the climate (or seasons) change. This results in the soils shrinking or heaving. This zone is 18’ deep on average.

Types of Soil in LA

Expansive Clay Soils

Expansive clay soil will swell/ expand when wet, and contract/recede when dry. If the foundation system is in the active zone (a shallow foundation), the foundation will expand/contract as moisture conditions change in the active zone.

Select Fill/ Loam

Select fill is normally defined as a sandy loam that is minimally affected by moisture variations.

A building pad that is properly built with select fill/loam will support the foundation. Problems may arise if erosion occurs that affects the bearing capacity of the soil.

Sand

Sand will not change as moisture conditions change. However, sand can erode if drainage around the lot allows water to filter down under the foundation. Sand can also recede into a crack created by drying sub-soils and cause the foundation to drift (move horizontally).

Rock

Rock will only erode and expand slightly if it is a low density of shale. In some slope conditions, fractures/ faults in the rock lead to sliding and failure if not properly secured with tie back anchors.

bbb

Why Us?

When a structure is supported by various soil conditions, the house may move in accordance with each soil type.  If one half of the foundation sits upon expansive clay and the other half bears on select fill and/or rock, the amount of seasonal movement will vary from one half of the house to the other.

If the foundation system is not properly designed, the differential movement may cause damage to the foundation and structure. Frequently, building pads will be cut and/or filled so the bearing soil is all of the same type.

For this reasons, California Foundation Works curated a team of experts to answer all your questions and give you the best solutions to take care of the soil around your home foundation. We have over 40 years in combined experience and we are here to provide you with a professional and caring service.

WHAT WE DO

Expert Services

One Stop Shop For Your Property Repairs

California Foundation Works, is a Los Angeles Based Foundation, Drainage and Concrete Contractor.

Pool Deck Repair

Pool Deck Repair

Hillside Retrofit

Hillside Retrofit

Caissons

Caissons

Request an Inspection or Estimate

Be Safe, Be Proactive

    Or Fill out Your Contact Details Below:

    Our representative will review the information you provide and will contact you within 24 hours

    [contact-form-7 id="717936" title="Contact form from HOMEPAGE"]
    Submit
    Before you go... we offer a FREE foundation & drainage inspection!
    Fill in your details:
    Call us at 323-418-2239 or fill your details