Volume 20 No 12 (2022)
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S. Siva Gowri Prasad, Prof. P.V.V.Satyanarayana
Expansive soil, also called shrink-swell soil, is a very common cause of foundation problems. Depending upon the supply of moisture in the ground, shrink-swell soils will experiences changes in volume of up to thirty percent or more. Foundation soils which are expansive will “heave” and can cause lifting of a building or other structure during periods of high moisture. Conversely during periods of falling soil moisture, expansive soil will “collapse” and can result in building settlement. Either way, damage can be extensive. Expansive soil will also exert pressure on the vertical face of a foundation, basement or retaining wall resulting in lateral movement. Shrink-swell soils which have expanded due to high ground moisture experience a loss of soil strength or “capacity” and the resulting instability can result in various forms of foundation problems and slope failure. Expansive soil should always be a suspect when there is evidence of active foundation movement. In order for expansive soil to cause foundation problems, there must be fluctuations in the amount of moisture contained in the foundation soils. If the moisture content of the foundation soils can be stabilized, foundation problems can often be avoided. This paper discusses different types of expansive soils and problems associated with them and remedies during and after construction.
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