Types of Soil
There are 4 Types of Soil Found in and Around SF Bay Homes and on planet Earth. Depending on the types of soil will find what if any precautions a homeowners need to take to protect their home. SF Bay Homes are
usually built on Clay and Sandy Soils. Please see our post on crowning floors here.
Clay soils are thick in volume with very small air pores. Clay soil retains high levels of water and drains poorly. It is one of the reason you will see foundation cracks and stress cracks over door frames of a home. In the winter months when it rains the Clay soil expands from all the water while during the summer month Clay soil contracts. This seasonal movement causes the home to move both laterally and horizontally.
Some homeowners will experience doors, which close easily in the summer and stick closed during the winter months. To prevent damage to the foundation through this ongoing heaving and contracting of the Clay soil. A professional engineered property drainage system suited for any property with drainage problems. French drainage system was very effective to mitigate the heaving properties of Clay soil.
Sandy soil is found throughout SF Bay Homes too. The Sandy soil is dry and gritty to the touch. It has trouble holding water and not very good for growing much of anything
other than those plants of the cactus and palm families. Sandy soil consist of very loose pieces of rock. You will find Sandy soil on beaches and deserts. Remember, most of Los Angeles is desert land or Sandy soil.
Rock soil, or sometimes called Bed Rock Soil. It is solid rock that is very hard and is unyielding to simple pick and shovel. There are not much Rock soil in the SF Bay Homes area. Redwood City has two separate places of Rock soil. One is in the New High School Acres tract and the other is on West Summit in Emerald Hills.
The last type of soil is Silt soil. This type of soil consists in texture between Sandy and Clay soils. It leans towards the fine sand consistency and moved from place to place through water movement. This is important to know about because it has effect on communities like Foster City, Redwood Shores, and the port areas of Redwood City.
When there is a buildup of Silt soil
dredging where it has settled and moved to a new place like a land fill or out in the open sea is usually done. The Corps of Engineers is the controlling governmental agency and dictate where, when and how Silt soil handled and disposed of properly.
If you what know the type of soil your home sits on you can find that information in Menlo Park at the USGS on Middlefield Road. They are very helpful people and will show you on their official maps what type soil your home sits on.
Additionally, if you have purchased your home within the past 15 years you probably was given by the Seller an Environmental Report issued by company with an Engineer qualified to put a seal on the report. Commonly in the SF Bay Homes area are two companies; JCP Reports and Property ID.
If you are curious about your soil and what it means to you and your home.
Please call, email or text SF Bay Homes and we will be more than happy to help you in determining what you can expect from the soil your home sits on. Our contact information at the bottom of this post. Feel free to contact us. Put our 40+ years of experience to work for you.