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Conservatory Groundwork

Clay Soil

Handled carefully it can work well...

There are arguments for and against the attributes of clay soil. Gardeners, for example, have mixed opinions on the subject of clay soil; generally speaking however, most would agree that while it can cause problems for some plants if it is handled carefully it can work well. Soil that has a large spread of clay is sometimes advantageous because of its ability to retain water and nutrients – this is good for plants such as roses or elder bushes but problematic for other things.

Conservatory Foundation on Clay Soil

A certain type of foundation needs to be used...

In summer we just make sure we water our conservatory base to prevent the clay from becoming dry...Joanne Butterworth...Brighton

When it comes to erecting a conservatory the clay soil has to be treated and a certain type of foundation used if the building is not to develop cracks within the first couple of years. Where there is expansive clay soil and changing whether conditions this can cause differential movement in the ground which is hazardous to conservatories and can cause householders a great deal of money to put right. If the subsidence is not attended to as soon as it becomes obvious then this can cause worse problems and with time the foundations will sink causing significant damage to the conservatory on top of them.

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Clay Soil Considerations

Expansive clay soil will either expand or contract...

As its moisture content changes according to the weather conditions, expansive clay soil will either expand or contract. Depending on the area the amount of shrinkage and expansion can be anywhere up to sixty five percent of the total wet volume. Shrinkage accounts for the cracks that appear in the soil after an extended dry period.

  • Subsidence
  • High Maintenance.
  • High Cost

One way that a person can minimize the effects of this cracking is to water the soil around the conservatory foundation base every day during extended dry periods – otherwise the cracks can cause the foundations to sink a little and cause cracks (what is known as subsidence) in the walls of the conservatory.