Type B Soils Afford How Many Options of Protection?

An Introduction to Type B Soils Protection

Hello, Reader nawafnet! Today, we will discuss a topic that concerns the safety of our homes and buildings – protection options for Type B soils. Type B soils are defined as soils that undergo moderate to high shrink and swell potential due to moisture changes, leading to foundation damage and instability. Hence, it is crucial to understand the protection options that Type B soils afford. Let’s delve into this topic more closely.

Type B soils are found in numerous areas across the world and are prevalent in regions with high clay content. These soils are notorious for causing foundation failure and damage, mainly due to their susceptibility to changes in moisture content, commonly found in areas with high rainfall or droughts. Without appropriate protection, the susceptibility of Type B soils can severely impact the safety and stability of buildings. Thus, there are numerous protective options available to overcome the associated issues.

In this article, we will discuss the available options for protecting Type B soils and dive into their strengths and weaknesses, providing you with a guide to help you make informed decisions on protecting your structures. Read on to learn more about the protection afforded by Type B soils and which option would work best for your needs.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Type B Soils Protection

In the next section, we will explore the available protection options for Type B soils in detail. Each option comes with its strengths and weaknesses that must be carefully considered before making any decisions.

1. Chemical Stabilization

Chemical stabilization involves treating the soil with additives that increase its swelling capacity while decreasing its shrinkage potential. The substances used, such as lime, cement, or fly ash, attach to soil particles and create a larger structure with a lower water absorption level. Chemical stabilization works well for soils that have a high plasticity index, primarily clay soils.


  • Chemical stabilization is highly effective in blocking water absorption, reducing the risk of foundation damage.
  • This technique is cheaper and faster than other Type B protection options.


  • Chemical stabilization is only compatible with certain soils and may not be effective for all types of Type B soils, especially those with high gravel or sand content.
  • Inadequate installation of stabilization materials may cause further damage to the foundation.

2. Grading and Drainage

Grading and drainage refer to changing the slope and elevation of the soil to direct water around the foundation, essentially creating a water-resistant barrier. The objective is to prevent water from collecting around foundations and saturating the soil, which leads to expansion and contraction.


  • Grading and drainage are highly effective in keeping water away from the foundation, reducing the risk of damages.
  • It is relatively inexpensive and easy to implement, and it offers a long-term solution.


  • The installation process requires ample space around the structure, which may not be available in all cases.
  • If done incorrectly, grading and drainage may cause water to pool around the foundation, leading to further complications.

3. Root Barriers

Root barriers are often used to protect foundations from tree roots that may invade the soil and cause damage. They are made up of materials such as plastic, metal, or concrete that create an impenetrable barrier between the tree roots and the structure.


  • Root barriers are an environmentally-friendly solution that does not harm trees while still providing protection for foundations.
  • They are easy and quick to install and require minimal maintenance.


  • Inappropriate installation may cause tree roots to grow over the barrier, leading to future damage.
  • Root barriers may not be effective for Type B soils that swell and shrink due to changes in moisture content.

4. Soil Replacement

Soil replacement involves removing the problematic soil and replacing it with suitable soil. Suitable soil should have better drainage and less swelling properties, such as sandy soils. This technique – also known as underpinning – provides a long-lasting and dependable solution for Type B soil protection.


  • Soil replacement creates a stable foundation that is less susceptible to damage caused by Type B soils.
  • It is effective for all types of soils, including clay soils with high plasticity and sand and gravel soils.


  • The installation process of soil replacement is time-consuming and labor-intensive, making it among the most expensive options.
  • The complexity of the technique requires skillful installers, increasing the chance of mistakes.

5. Piering and Piling

Piering and Piling involves stabilizing the foundation of the building by inserting supports in the soil beneath it. These supports are made of concrete, steel, or wood and spread the weight of the building over a larger area, reducing the stress on the soil. Piles attach to a grounded footing or sometimes to the bedrock for more substantial structures.


  • Stabilizing the foundation through piering and piling creates a long-term solution that is less susceptible to future damages.
  • This technique is often used in areas with weak soil and is effective regardless of soil type.


  • The installation process requires heavy machinery, which may cause damage to surrounding features of the building like driveways, lawns, or landscaping.
  • Piering and Piling tend to be on the expensive side, making it impractical for small scales repairs.

6. Waterproofing

Waterproofing involves applying a waterproof coating over the walls and basements of a structure to block water entry. This technique also minimizes soil swelling potential, which reduces the risk of foundation damages by limiting water penetration.


  • Waterproofing is an effective option in areas with high water levels, excessive rainfall, or prevalence of wet soils.
  • It also adds functionality to a structure by providing additional protection against leaks.


  • If installed improperly, waterproofing may have a higher tendency to fail, causing significant problems to the structure.
  • Waterproofing does not work for all soil types, and it is not an effective solution for soils that have high plasticity indices.

The Table of All Complete Information about Type B Soils Protection

Protection Option Strengths Weaknesses
Chemical Stabilization Cheaper and faster option; better for clay soils; effective water absorption blocking. Incompatible with certain soils; inadequate installation may increase damage.
Grading and Drainage Inexpensive and a long-term solution; provides a barrier against water accumulation around the foundation. May not work for all structures and all soils; requires ample space around the structure.
Root Barriers Environmentally-friendly, no harm to trees when installed correctly. Inappropriate installation may cause tree roots to grow over barriers; may not be effective for soils that swell and shrink unsafely.
Soil Replacement Effective for all soil types, produces stable foundations, less susceptible to damage. Expensive and time-consuming; requires skilled installers.
Piering and Piling Long-lasting solution, effective for all soil types, causes minimal damage to the existing structure. Expensive, not practical for small-scale repairs.
Waterproofing Effective in areas with high water levels, additional protection against leaks. May not work for all soil types, and improper installation may cause more extensive problems.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are Type B soils?

Type B soils are defined as soils that undergo moderate to high shrink and swell potential due to moisture changes, leading to foundation damage and instability.

2. What causes Type B soils to become unstable?

Type B soil becomes unstable when the soil’s moisture content fluctuates due to changes in the climate, leading to expansion and contraction, respectively.

3. What are the available protection options for Type B soils?

There are six available protection options for Type B soils – Chemical Stabilization, Grading and Drainage, Root Barriers, Soil Replacement, Piering and Piling, and Waterproofing.

4. Which Type B soil protection option is the most effective?

The effectiveness of Type B soil protection options may vary depending on the soil type, climate, and structure’s condition. Consult with professionals to determine the most suitable option for you.

5. How can I tell if my soil is Type B?

Type B soil is common in areas with high clay content. Cracks in the foundation, doors that stick or refuse to close, and leaning walls are key indicators of Type B soil.

6. What are the most common types of Chemical Stabilization additives?

The most common types of additives used in Chemical Stabilization are lime, cement, and fly ash.

7. Is Waterproofing effective for all soil types?

No, waterproofing is not effective for all soil types and may be inadequate for soils with high plasticity indices.

8. How much does Soil Replacement cost?

The cost of soil replacement varies depending on the size and complexity of the job. It may range from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars.

9. What is Piering and Piling’s installation process?

Piering and Piling involve drilling deep holes into the soil beneath the foundation and inserting concrete, steel, or wooden supports to spread the building’s weight over a larger area. It may also be attached to bedrock for more substantial structures.

10. What is the most inexpensive Type B soil protection option?

Grading and drainage are the most affordable Type B soil protection options due to its efficiency and relatively low installation cost.

11. How long does it take to install Root Barriers?

The installation process of root barriers may take a few hours to several days, depending on the area, barrier’s size, and tree species.

12. What other benefits does Waterproofing have?

Besides protection against water damage, waterproofing also provides additional benefits like adding value to the structure, lower energy costs, and improved air quality.

13. How long does Chemical Stabilization last?

Chemical Stabilization is a long-term solution that can potentially last for years. However, periodic maintenance may be required depending on the specific additives used and environmental conditions.


In summary, there are six protection options available for Type B soils – Chemical Stabilization, Grading and Drainage, Root Barriers, Soil Replacement, Piering and Piling, and Waterproofing. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, and the suitability of each option may vary depending on the soil type, climate, and the structure’s condition. To make informed decisions on which Type B protection option is best for you, consult with professionals in the industry. Safety and stability in your buildings rely heavily on the precautionary measures taken to protect the soil they are built on.

Remember, taking action to protect the foundation of your structures is crucial and can reduce the risks of damages and potential costs associated with repairs. Contact professionals today and begin exploring the options available to protect your structures.

The Disclaimer

The information contained in this article is for general information purposes only. While we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability with respect to the article, the information, products, services, or related graphics contained in the article for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is, therefore, strictly at your own risk.

Type B Soils Protection

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