Damage from Expansive Soils


Swelling Soil

Note the heaving of soil under this driveway located in the Denver Metro Area.

Source Material for this Presentation Courtesy of the Colorado Geological Survey Publication 43

Swelling soil contains clay minerals that attract and absorb water. It swells in volume when it gets wet and shrinks when it dries.
Other names for this geologic hazard include “shrink – swell soil” and “expansive soil.” These terms may refer to both soil and bed-rock that contain swelling clay.
Swelling soil may be found throughout Colorado with the general exception of the highest mountain areas.
The swell potential of soil beneath a particular property  depends upon the local geography. Subsurface sampling and laboratory testing are required to evaluate the swell potential of soil or bedrock layers at different locations.
SidewalkDoor DamageExamples of damage from heaving soils include doors out of alignment and street and sidewalks becoming cracked and uneven.