Why Is Clay A Problem?
Clay has been used for centuries to create firm, smooth surfaces for buildings, dams and even ponds. However, clay has one “imperfection.” It possesses tiny electrical charges or ions that attract water. This attraction is so strong, it has been observed to attract water molecules through solid ground from up to 12 feet away! While these charges are very small and pose no problem individually, when millions of them are combined into a large clay mass, their ability to attract water becomes significant.
Dry Soil with Clay Content
Clay masses attract moisture on a grand scale, attracting hundreds of gallons of water. This creates vast numbers of small voids, or capillaries, that act as passageways for the water. These capillaries exist throughout the clay mass, like infinite “veins” where water can travel. As the water is pulled into these tiny pathways, soil swells to make room for the water. The swelling can easily break apart roads and lift a home or office building off its foundation, sometimes as much as 15 inches!
Once clay has absorbed water once, the capillaries provide passageways for the water to flow in and out of the clay depending on factors such as rainfall, irrigation, temperature etc. This causes the characteristic cracked look of dry clay, as it shrinks back to its normal size. Clay is always cycling between being moist and holding water, and shrinking to become dry and cracked. For this reason, untreated clay is not a stable building surface.
How Do I Combat The Effects of Expansive Clay Soil?
The expansion and contraction of soil with clay content can be avoided by injecting Condor SS - Soil Stabilizer. This can be done either before or after construction, working to prevent damage or to correct problems following damage previously caused by untreated soil. Treatment is fast, easy, inexpensive, and permanent. Changes in moisture due to the changing seasons or other factors, will no longer cause damage from heaving and swelling soil.
How Does Condor SS Work to “Perfect” Clay Soil
Swelling in clay soil is caused when clay attracts and retains water. This happens because tiny, but powerful, electrical charges present in the soil attract the moisture. Condor SS neutralizes this problem by introducing more ions with an opposite charge from those in the clay. Once the ions in the clay have been neutralized, the clay no longer attracts water. Weight applied on top of the clay can compress it, collapsing the capillaries that had previously carried water. With the capillaries collapsed, and no attractive force pulling water into the clay, the clay becomes ideal for supporting roads, runways, homes, and other structures.