Expansive Soils in Three Forks, Montana - A Concern for Homeowners

Three Forks, Montana, and Broadwater County, generally, are known to have expansive clay soils which sometimes can present serious problems for homeowners.[1] Swelling soils can cause severe damage to homes. Swelling soils contain clay minerals that attract and absorb water. These clay soils, when wetted, swell in volume and shrink when dried.[2] The increase or decrease in subsurface moisture has a major effect on swelling soil behavior. When historically undeveloped land is developed for residential use, this change may significantly increase the amount of moisture in the ground and can result in deeper sub-surface wetting. Id. Increased soil moisture following land development often triggers soil swelling and may cause damage to homes.

Homeowners in Three Forks, Montana, and Broadwater County, generally, may wish to consider special designs for ground preparation, site grading, and foundations. Homeowners may wish to consult with a geotechnical engineer in considering whether to buy or build homes in Three Forks and Broadwater County. Geotechnical engineers may offer designs specific to the potential severity of soil swelling at the building site.

Cracked walls, foundation damage, difficulty with closing windows and doors, and heaved driveways are often signs of damage resulting from expansive soils.

If you are a homeowner in Three Forks and/or Broadwater County that has a home which has been damaged due to expansive soils, you may have viable claims against the builder and/or design professionals who built and designed your home if they failed to build or design your home to withstand the presence of expansive soils. For additional information regarding what claims you may have if your home is suffering damage due to expansive soils, you can reach Jean Meyer by telephone at (406) 219-8422 or by e-mail at meyer@meyerconstructionlaw.com.


[1] https://mbmg.mtech.edu/pdf-open-files/mbmg537_lowerjefferson.pdf

[2] http://www.professional-home-inspections.com/at/phi/SSR/Special.pdf