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Soil Layers

Deep Foundation Soils

Soil under your home can become weak due to weather or weight.

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When your foundation experiences settlement, a professional foundation repair expert will recommend installing a deep foundation stabilizing system, usually known as piers. Soil is made up of layers which have different strengths and qualities. The deeper you go, the more compacted and stronger the soil becomes.

The top layers of soil compress and easily compact – this is where settlement occurs and where you will find problem soils like the loose sandy soils of Florida. The deeper soil layers, like parent rock, are stable and less likely to move. That is why a deep foundation pier system is installed into competent load bearing soils or bedrock.

Organic Matter

The top layer of soil consists of decomposed organic matter that has broken down so much it simply looks like dirt. Dead leaves and other organic materials that have not broken down completely are not included in this category.

Surface Soil

Also called topsoil or humus, it consists of dark, extremely decomposed organic materials. The surface soil is where you will find earthworms, pot worms and forms of fungus and bacteria that are dependent upon plant roots.


This is the layer of soil where you will commonly find clay, expansive or consolidating soils. When your home experiences settlement problems, it is typically due to this layer of soil. Settlement could be caused by the problem soils mentioned above or poor site preparation and construction.

Parent Rock

This section of soil is also known as bedrock. It can contain large rocks and other larger, solid materials. It is much deeper than the other layers and is not typically affected by weather or moisture changes. Bedrock is present beyond the depth that roots can grow, and as a result, does not experience the shrinkage and settlement problems that can occur in other soil layers due to moisture changes. Pier systems and deep soil foundation solutions are installed at this level as a result.

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    Contact Alpha Foundations for Deep Soil Foundation Solutions

    Loose surface soils can cause major foundation damage. If left alone, loose soil will eventually cause foundation settlement; eventually, your home will begin to suffer damage as well. Contact Alpha Foundations and request a FREE foundation evaluation. We will confirm if the soil supporting your home is still strong. If not, we have plenty of solutions to stabilize your foundation.

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    Fort Myers, FL 33905


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    Gainesville, FL 32601


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    Apopka, FL 32703


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    Sarasota, FL 34236


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    Monticello, FL 32344


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    St. Petersburg, FL  33716


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    Valdosta, GA 31601

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    West Palm Beach, FL 33401