I purchased a house last year and discovered over several months that I live in an area with highly expansive dark clay soil. This has caused cracks in my floating slab foundation, drywall, and of course affected doors.

I'm looking at solutions to this problem. Neighbors have had piering and mudjacking done with some less than ideally successful outcomes.

I see it as two problems. One the soil, and one the existing damage.

I've been trying to get a company that uses Ionic Clay Stabilizers to give me a quote, but have had challenges getting someone that serves Kansas.

In my research a lot of the advertising on Polyjacking seems to suggest that foams/and or resins provide soil stabilization under the house, however my intuition is a bit questioning of this as the expansion and contraction of the soil seems like it would still cause issues unless the resins and foam cause the entire subsurface to be more resilient to expansion.

I found this article which also seems to suggest poly improves soil stabilization.

Can anyone enlighten me to if polyjacking simply fills voids and corrects damage or additionally mitigates on going damage of expansive soils?.

Related guidance, experiences, and info/advice are also appreciated. I've currently gotten a quote for piering (16 piers) and polyjacking, but I want to make sure I understand my options and have the best chance of a good solution.

  • 1
    Off topic: Make sure you investigate whether anything resembling fraud was committed in the sale of the house, such as failure to disclose.
    – isherwood
    May 22 '18 at 20:30

All buildings settle as they are constructed. What we attempt to do is minimize the settlement and have the building settle uniformly.

Unfortunately you live where the soil moves (expands) due to moisture. This movement is caused by the wetting AND drying of the soil. As the soil gets wet, it expands...and vice versa. Using a “filler” in the soil, will not solve this problem.

Polyurethane foam in soil works if you have “weak” soil conditions. It will not work in expansive soils. I live where the soil is “mush”. When we want to stabilize the soil we’ll use something like poly foam. When we’re done the soil is stabilized (no movement).

You can inject poly foam into the soil, but the soil will still be expansive. As soon as it rains or the soil dries out, it will expand or contract and cause movement in your house.

You should use drill piers or drive piling through the expansive soil. Then, when the soil starts moving, it won’t matter.

For new construction, we’ll often over excavate the site and then install a gravel base 6-7’ deep and extending 4-5’ past all the footings. This is expensive, but gives a “uniform” base so the house settles uniformly and we can calculate the amount of settlement based on the size (height and loads) of the house. Obviously you don’t have this option and I don’t think it would work where you live anyway because the soil under the new base could expand and cause problems up through the new gravel fill.

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