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Building Near Trees and Avoiding Ground Heave

Building Near Trees and Avoiding Ground Heave

Ground heave refers to the upward movement of the ground, and it typically results from the expansion of clay soil. When building houses near trees, it is essential to take steps to prevent ground heave. This is because it can damage the structure of the building, and this can cause issues such as cracks in the brickwork, windows, and doors. Fixing these issues can be very costly and may even require the full demolition of the building. You may even have to evacuate the house because of ground heave. In this guide, we will look at ground heave in detail, as well as some methods of stopping heaves.

What is heave protection?

Heave protection is a compressible and low-density product that helps to protect buildings against ground heave. The product is only used when buildings are likely to be exposed to heave, so it is not standard in constructions. It is typically placed on the inner section of the structures that connect adjacent pile caps. The thickness of the heave protection will vary depending on the results of the soil analysis, as well as the predicted lateral movement of the soil.

How do you stop heave?

Stopping ground heave can be a complicated process, and it may take a long time. One way of doing this is to excavate the soil from underneath the existing foundation, after which you can replace it with concrete. This is done in a series of steps and eventually forms a new foundation beneath the existing one. When implementing this solution, you should consider leaving a cavity so that you allow the upper layers of the soil to move without affecting the building. You should also investigate the actual cause of the problem and see whether it has anything to do with the remedial works of the structure or nearby constructions. In such cases, and as an example, fixing leaking drains can help to resolve the issue.

What is a heave caused by?

The most common cause of ground heave is the death or removal of trees near the building. When such trees no longer suck water from the ground, the accumulated water can make the soil swell, and this will move the building structures upwards. Another common cause of ground heave is the change in the water level in the ground, usually because of changes in the seasons. In some cases, ground heave can result from broken drains or nearby construction projects that affect the existing drainage. Ground heave can also be caused by the freezing of water in the ground. When water freezes, it expands, leading to the movement of the ground.

What are clayboards used for?

Clayboards are foundation systems that help to prevent the destruction of the building structure due to ground heave. When wet, this product creates a void that allows for the expansion of the soil, and this means the building integrity will not be compromised. These boards come in different thicknesses, and your choice will be determined by the size of the required void.

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