A final reminder: hot weather, clay soils and building foundations don’t always mix!

The recent spell of warm and dry weather was a reminder of the influence of desiccation on building foundations. Our GRM Geologists and Site Inspectors have experienced a busy few months taking into account client construction programmes and keeping a specific eye out for dry clay, which is usually hard, friable and may have cracking. This can be particularly visible where excavations have been left open, even for a short period of time.

So, this is a final reminder (for this year) from all at GRM: Keep an eye out for dry friable soils at foundation design depths and ensure that heave precautions are installed as heave can start soon after pouring a foundation.

And for those who are still in the design stage, where foundations are to be placed close to remaining trees/hedges, the optimal time to undertake desiccation analysis is after the summer, so whilst is hasn’t been the best of summers, September to mid-October is the perfect time to catch those worst case conditions.

Further information on seasonal desiccation can be found in a recent series of three articles that we ran earlier in the summer:

Summer Heat and Foundation Woes: The Impact of Seasonal Desiccation on UK Homes

Understanding the Impact of Existing and New Trees on Building Foundations

Foundation Design: Tackling Soil Desiccation for Low-Rise Housing

GRM can provide ground investigation, foundation design and site inspection services which can help manage the risks posed by seasonal desiccation, the rectification of which can be very costly. If you have any development or construction projects, then please get in touch to find out how we can help save both time and costs. Please use your main point of contact at GRM or for new enquiries email richard.upton@grm-uk.com or call 01283 551249.