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Collapsing and Expansive Soils

When building new homes, the terrain can pose a unique challenge. Volatile soils and unstable sloping lands can cause issues that have to be properly addressed before building can even begin. Most potential problems are predictable, and builders have established techniques available to address these matters. When designers and builders do not follow these techniques, homeowners are the ones who may suffer the consequences, in the form of cracked foundations and other building problems.

When construction homes, the developers must account for surrounding environmental issues. The law gives homeowners protections for when developers and builders are negligent in this regard. As a homeowner, you are entitled to adequate, timely, and complete disclosure of the risks associated with the underlying soils and slopes of the land. You are also entitled to disclosure of the various construction techniques employed to deal with these conditions.

If you have not been fully informed of terrain challenges, or if your builder failed to take the standard precautions to address the underlying geologic hazards, Burg Simpson can help. We work effectively to protect the rights and interests of homeowners around the country.

Call us as soon as possible to schedule a confidential free consultation with one of our construction defect attorneys at (866) 344-7582 or fill out our free case evaluation form.

Soil-Related Construction Defects

Our construction defect lawyers have represented thousands of homeowners in lawsuits seeking compensation for damage caused by:

  • Collapsing soils
  • Expansive soils (wetted soils that exert thousands of pounds of pressure)
  • Rock falls
  • Landslides
  • Flooding
  • Soil erosion
  • Mud slides
  • Leaking irrigation ditches

Soil Types

Depending on the type of soil where your house was built, you could face different issues. Collapsible soils are sediments that can quickly settle – or collapse – the ground. These sudden settlements can damage foundations, sidewalks, and even roads. Hydrocompactive soil is a type of collapsible soil characterized by low density and low moisture contents, which means the grains in the dry soil are not packed tightly together. When water is introduced to hydrocompactive soil, it shifts and settles dramatically, leading to collapses.

Another kind of collapsible soil is dispersive soil, which is dislodged quickly in running water. It is highly vulnerable to erosion and can readily break down into its basic components of sand, silt, and clay.

Expansive soils can also threaten buildings. These types of sediments are classified as soil and rock that contains clay and expands by as much as 10 percent when wet, and then shrinks again once it dries out. However, expansive soils move with such force when their water content increases that they can lift foundations and cause significant structural damage.

Contact the Construction Defect Lawyers at Burg Simpson

We always advise homeowner associations and individual homeowners to attempt to work out problems with builders and developers first. However, after you have exhausted every other reasonable avenue to get them to correct the problem, Burg Simpson will provide legal assistance. Our construction defect attorneys strongly encourages the use of settlements involving roundtable meetings of construction experts to develop a repair plan to be funded by those responsible for creating the issues. Homeowner associations and homeowners must be careful not to rush prematurely into agreeing to a plan for repairs that merely provides a Band-Aid solution following an inadequate investigation that will come back to haunt the owners years later.

Call us at (866) 649-8734 or fill out our free case evaluation form to discuss your concerns related to soil erosion, slope instability, and other soil-related construction defects with Burg Simpson today.

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