“In The Field” with Jim Hardin – Expansive Soils
Welcome to “In The Field” with Jim Hardin, where you can learn about real situations that happened out in the field during a home inspection. This will be a great resource for both new and experienced inspectors to learn about a wide variety of different obstacles that a home inspector could experience while out in the field performing a home inspection. Jim will cover it all… From tough agents to naive clients to difficult defects to angry seller’s. Every week Jim will share an experience that he personally had to deal with while performing a home inspection in order to help educate other inspector’s when they come across the same situations. Please review his next post below:
In Colorado we have expansive soils and the most common is bentonite soil. These soils absorb moisture that can create heaving and settling. The best way to describe it is to put your hands, one over the other and explain that the soil is like a sponge. When it is dry, it is flat. When it gets moisture, it heaves. (move your hands in a cupping motion keeping the fingers and palms together) When it drys out, it is like the dry sponge. (bring your hands back to the flat position). You can do this a few times to illustrate what happens. I will also say that when you are going down the road and the road goes up and down, it is the bentonite soils that causes the roads to heave and settle.
That is when I explain that in the 60’s, builders started building homes with floating walls in basements that are built with a 4″ inch pad. In addition, in the 80’s, the builders started building with floating wood or concrete floors. The clients really appreciate the explanations and going above and beyond to explain something like bentonite soil and the impact that it can have on the home.
Good Inspecting and Be Safe.
Jim Hardin is a certified home inspector through InterNACHI and was part of the very first Axium Academy class that took place back in January of 2016. He started working for Axium Inspections in March of 2016. Since that time, Jim has performed over 1,000 home inspections by averaging around 55 inspections per month. This high volume of home inspections has turned Jim into one of the most requested inspector’s with the company in a very short period of time and he shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Prior to working for Axium Inspections Jim worked in the Appraisal and Roofing industries.