There are lots of considerations to keep in mind when deciding on the best place to build your modular home.
Perhaps something important that you haven’t thought about is the quality of the soil in the ground that your home will be sitting on. If you haven’t been thinking about the soil, you should be—bad soil can be harmful to both your modular home and your health.
It is important to test your soil for the presence of toxic chemicals and other dangerous waste products, especially if you live near a river, flood plain, mountains, hills or small factories. There is also risk of soil contamination if there’s an underground propane tank, old or dilapidated buildings, or damaged septic systems. If the septic system has ever been damaged, it is important to have the soil tested, as chemicals can persist long after the system has been fixed.
Your body can absorb harmful chemicals through the skin, inhalation of particles, drinking contaminated ground water and direct ingestion. Young children are especially susceptible to direct ingestion, which is the most harmful type of exposure.
The three main types of soil in ascending order of particle size are clay, silt, and sand.
Smaller particle size means the soil will expand more when it gets wet. As soil absorbs water and dries out, the elevation of different parts of your modular house can shift by fractions of a second every day. Keep in mind that although modular homes are less susceptible do damage from differential settlement than traditional homes, you can still encounter issues if you’re not careful. Some of the consequences of differential settlement include cracked drywall, cracked or fractured basement, a wet basement (leading to mold and other toxicity issues), windows and doors that don’t fit properly in frames, damage to utility systems, warped or burst pipes, and cracks in the walls or floors.
It is advisable to hire a soil engineer to do a survey of the soil under your home so that you can take care of any potential issues in a timely manner, minimizing the risk of damage to your home and your health. Some effective prevention methods include compacting the soil as much as possible before laying down the foundation, ensuring that there’s proper drainage so water is directed away from the base of your home, and installing support piers under the house to evenly distribute the weight of the house.
Nashua Builders has your health and safety in mind when it comes to your modular building needs. If you’re considering building a modular home, contact Nashua Builders today.
Elitzer, J. (2015). How Bad Soil Can Damage Your Home And Your Health. The Definitive Guide to Building Modular: Modular Homeowners.