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Construction Defects in the Northwest: Are you Having Soil Movement Issues?

Soil movement problems in Oregon and Washington are generally caused by one of two issues:  (1) soil subsidence or settling; or (2) soil expansion.  

Soil subsidence or settling occurs when a home is constructed on top of fill soil.  Fill soil is imported in order to level the building site.  For example, if a contractor intends to build a home on the side of a hill, soil needs to be imported to level out the building site.  Subsidence or settling of fill soils can occur for a number of reasons.  Generally, however, soil consolidates and contracts as it settles, causing the building constructed on top of the soil to move as well.  This is when structures get damaged.  Even though the building is moving very slowly with the soil, it can retain significant damage.  As more time passes, the damage will only get worse.  

Soil expansion is when the dirt under a structure rises and contracts over time.  This typically occurs when the soil under a building contains clay.  When clay is exposed to and retains water, it expands.  When it dries out, it contracts.  This expansion and contraction can result in building movement and significant damage over time.  

If you are experiencing any of these issues, then it is likely that the construction professional that built your residence did not take the necessary steps to safeguard against these defects.   Please contact one of our Washington or Oregon construction defect attorneys at Slinde Nelson Stanford to answer any of your questions regarding soil issues.

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