What is black gumbo? Might surprise you to learn that it’s not a spicy, Cajun-inspired stew but a type of soil common in parts of Texas. Also called Houston Black or Texas Vertisol, this sticky, heavy clay can wreak havoc on concrete building foundations, especially during drought or heavy rains, because it expands when wet and and contracts when dry much like a sponge.
You guessed it, our 2 acre airpark lot is good old Texas black gumbo! To prevent cracked slabs, a crew removed the top layer of soil from our home and hangar sites. Next, trucks hauled in load after load of select fill, a reddish soil containing the optimal mix of sand and clay. The select fill was then leveled and compacted repeatedly with bulldozers and rollers to create the pads for both concrete foundations.
Once our runway home’s pad passes two (or more) compact/moisture tests by a third party engineering service, work will start on the post-tension foundation specially designed to withstand our expansive, black gumbo home-site. Homeowners in our area are advised to water foundations during summer dry spells to prevent cracking.