1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

March 18, 2008

:078 Expansive Soil & Trees

134-expansive-soil-tree-tif1.jpg

source: Extreme Weather Hits Home

Suggested Review – :075, :076, :077

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:078 Tip: When a large tree is stressed by drought it can remove 100 gallons of water from the soil each day. This can be especially damaging to buildings if the tree roots extend under the building and the soil is expansive clay.

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Additional Information

Trees should not be planted close enough to buildings for the roots to extend under the foundation. This generally means you need to plant the tree as far from the building as its expected mature height. If you have an existing tree that is too close, an experienced arborist can cap offending roots and help save both the building and the tree.

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March 17, 2008

:077 Re-hydrating Soil

131-photo-expansive-clay-soil-usda.jpg

source: USGS reprinted from Extreme Weather Hits Home

Suggested Review – Also see 1:5:10:365 Ecotips :075, :076, :078 for more information on expansive clay soils.

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:077 Tip: When expansive clay soils shrink from drying out they cause damage by no longer supporting the buildings foundation. Re-hydrating soil that is expansive must be done properly to prevent additional permanent damage. It is always best to consult with an expert since the way the soil is re-hydrated can be very important. For example watering expansive soil cracks directly can wash soil into the crack and prevent it from closing completely making the damage permanent.

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Additional Information

135a-wrong-soil-watering-jpg.jpg

 wrong watering source: Extreme Weather Hits Home

135b-right-soil-watering-jpg.jpg

correct watering source: Extreme Weather Hits Home

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Climate change isn”t only about warming. In my book- Extreme Weather Hits Home: Protecting Your Building From Climate Change, I discuss how to prepare your home for many other extreme weather conditions including expansive clay soils.

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March 16, 2008

:076 Expansive Soils

expansive-clay-soils-usgs.jpg  Credit: USGS

Suggested Review: See 1:5:10:365 EcoTips :075, 077, :078 for more information about expansive clay soils

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:076 Tip: Over half of the United States has areas with buildings constructed over varying amounts of expansive clay soils. These soils shrink and expand based on their moisture content. Early identification of the problem can help provide less expensive solutions. Expansive clay soils cause more damage each year than earthquakes and is typically not covered by insurance. 

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Additional Information

In my book Extreme Weather Hits Home, Protecting Your Buildings From Climate Change I discuss how warmer soil temperatures are resulting in less soil moisture and greater damage from expansive clay soils.

For maps of expansive clay soil regions in the United States, and more information about this problem, go to my book blog at http://jbanta.wordpress.com and click on your state.

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