Different Soil Types That Can Affect a Foundation

A foundation can determine how long a building lasts and the amount of intervention that will be required in order to maintain it throughout its lifespan. After all, man-made structures rely on our expertise to prevent the development of devastating and expensive phenomena like subsidence. In fact, there are certain soils that are not very suitable for foundations and can make a building vulnerable. Read on as we go over the top three…


Due to its composition and the fact that it’s made up of tiny particles, clay is a material that stores and absorbs water with ease. With this said, this causes it to expand and shrink significantly as the water content changes each day. In addition to this, moist clay is incredibly pliable which means it can be manipulated by weight without a lot of pressure, putting the stability of any foundations at risk. After all, it’s likely that any foundations built on top of clay will move constantly and this will eventually reduce their durability.


With the largest particles of any other soil type, sand and gravel don’t hold as much moisture as clay does and actually compacts in order to form a supportive and strong foundation for a structure to be built upon. With this said, any moisture that it does retain will drain incredibly easily and the particles will lose their friction when they’re wet which means that they can be washed away. This will ultimately leave gaps beneath a foundation and may make it vulnerable to subsidence overtime.


Many property owners are unaware that a structure and its foundations can be built upon some types of rocks. Although they are technically not a soil, certain rocks like bedrock, limestone, sandstone, shale and hard chalk are known for their high-bearing capabilities. As a result, they can provide a foundation with the necessary support they require in order to ensure stability and depth.

Foundational experts, such as ourselves, will always carry out a series of inspections prior to the commencement of a project in order to determine whether or not the soil is able to support the weight of a completed structure. Luckily, piling is an effective foundational approach because it reinforces the weight of a building to the strong soil located deep within the earth. For the best piling Manchester has to offer, check out the Rhino Piling residential and commercial foundations service today!