Where are the problem soils?

Where are the problem soils? Just about everywhere.

The South, Southwest, East and Central Areas of Houston

The South, Southwest, East and Central Areas of Houston are characterized by what is known as the Beaumont formation. This soil formation contains significant amounts of moderately to highly expansive clays.

The North And Parts of West Houston

The north and some parts of west Houston are underlain by the Bentley and Lissie formations. The Bentley and Lissie formations consist of sands and sandy clays; these soils generally have a low to moderate shrink/swell potential.

Some of the sandy soils in the north and west parts of the Greater Houston Area also contain silt and can become very weak when they are wet.

In many cases, the silty, sandy soils on the surface are underlain by an impermeable clay strata that can hold water creating what engineers call a perched water table. The perched water table can hold water allowing the underlying clay soil to soften which can result in the clay soil losing much of its bearing capacity resulting in foundation problems. In some situations, the underlying clays are expansive making a bad situation even worse.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is this: although some areas may not be as bad as others, or may have a different mix of problems than other areas, there are very few subdivisions in the Greater Houston Area that that do not have the potential for foundation movement that can cause damage to a conventionally
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