Common Foundation Issues in Nevada

Soil conditions vary from region to region, especially in the United States. Understandable since it’s a pretty significant portion of land. Nevada is no exception for having unique soil conditions. 

Even with those different soil conditions, Nevada isn’t unique with foundation issues. The source for foundation issues may vary compared to other areas of the United States, especially Southern California. 

Dalinghaus Construction has over 100 years of combined experience, inspecting and doing projects in Southern California, Arizona, and Nevada. We have licenses to work in these states, meaning we have to also understand the issues Nevada homeowners have to deal with. We understand the soil conditions where we work. We want you to know how these conditions affect your foundation. 

Here are the common foundation issues you’ll find in Nevada. 

What soil conditions are unique to Nevada?

Dalinghaus Construction focuses more on Southern Nevada in areas such as Las Vegas. That said, we are licensed to work in Nevada.  

Nevada is very similar to conditions in areas of Arizona such as Pheonix. You’ll figure out very fast that Southern Nevada has alarmingly similar soil conditions to Southern Arizona.

There is a loose sandy layer of soil on the top like the Planet Tatooine in Star Wars – but without the twin suns. Then there is a layer of caliche – which can be as hard as concrete – as you go 5-8 ft down. 

This differs from Southern California, where there isn’t much of that caliche layer. It might be up in Baker, CA, but you won’t see much caliche. 

Southern Arizona and Southern Nevada have very similar soil conditions. 

To understand Arizona soil conditions, check out the Top Foundation Issues in Arizona and see how Nevada is similar. 

What you Nevada homeowners should know

Nevada is susceptible to foundation issues

I know. Crazy concept, especially after reading the title of this article. 

Foundation issues aren’t unique to Nevada compared to why they happen. Nevada is still susceptible to foundation settlement and foundation heaving. 

Foundation settlement

You might find an area of your home sinking into the ground as the soil your home stands on compacts from a lack of moisture or erodes when water travels. This will describe foundation settlement. It is the most common occurrence of foundation issues Dalinghaus Construction has seen. 

Foundation Heaving

This phenomenon refers to when expansive soil absorbs moisture, you’ll see… well, expansion. The soil expanding will cause areas of your home to be thrust upward (at a snail’s pace). 

While this is less common, it happens often enough. 

Grading practices and drainage

As we said, the soil conditions in Southern Nevada are very similar to Southern Arizona. The same can be said about grading practices and drainage. 

The sad truth is many homeowners aren’t practicing these things. 

Many homeowners have the misconception that because they’re in a desert there isn’t a need to have proper grading or drainage to divert water away from their homes. It makes sense, especially when weather conditions are typically dry.

However, the dreaded (and welcomed) monsoon season hits. And it lets you know it exists.

Weather conditions

When monsoon season hits, it hits pretty hard. All the rain for the entire year hits in an incredibly short amount of time. We’re talking buckets of rain all at once. 

Without proper grading and drainage, the water sticks around like a friend who won’t leave after the party is over.

While this article we want you to check out is directed toward Arizona, you can also prepare your Nevada home for monsoon season by reading Monsoon Season in Arizona (Protect Your Foundation).

Reasons for proper grading and drainage

When it rains during monsoon season, it pours. And without proper grading or drainage, water likes to hang around your home like that friend who’s been staying a little longer than you’re comfortable with, crashing on your couch. 

Water still tries to go somewhere, whether it’s away from your home or into the ground. And when water moves, so do the soils, causing erosion. This is a common occurrence that results in foundation issues, especially foundation settlement. 

If you’re looking to alleviate this issue, it would be best to hire a landscaper. You can do proper grading as a DIY project, but a landscaper is recommended since they specialize in the job.

Besides, some drainage problems may be too difficult to take on by yourself. 

You want to make sure you have proper flow, or else the water will get backed up. 

Proper drainage might not prevent foundation issues

Don’t get it wrong: you want proper drainage. It’s important in alleviating foundation issues. Though the reality is monsoon season brings in so much water that you still have something to worry about. 

The precipitation can drag the soil away from your home, making foundation repair inevitable. There might not be a choice but to eventually have your home properly anchored. 

You might be asking yourself, “then what’s the point of worrying about drainage and grading?

Not having these things will exacerbate the damage and make it worse. No matter what, you want water diverted away from your home. Moisture making contact with your home for a long time can cause other problems such as concrete spalling – the concrete becomes damaged and starts to flake like a bad ice cream topping. 

Water can also reach the rebar – even without cracks in the concrete. Not many people know concrete is porous. It’s a matter of time until the water reaches the rebar, causing it to oxidize, also known as rust. Oxidizing rebar expands, which will blow out your concrete footing. 

To understand the consequences of how moisture crashes the party and causes damage, check out How Does My Foundation Handle Flooding/Moisture?

Licensing for foundation repair in Nevada

You do need a license to do foundation repair in Nevada. With Dalinghaus Construction starting in California, it might surprise you to read that getting a license in Nevada is a bigger pain to acquire.

This is even with transferring licensing information from California to Nevada after five years of practice.

Either way, when hiring a foundation repair company, you want the company you hire to be licensed and insured. 

Dalinghaus Construction has an A General Engineering license to practice foundation repair in the state of Nevada. The company you hire needs to have the proper, up-to-date licensing and insurance. 

You want to know if a company is licensed to do a job for credibility and certification. Basically, you’re making sure the company you hire knows what they’re doing and that they’re legitimate.

An insured company makes it so that if something wrong happens on the job site, you aren’t held liable. You don’t want workers coming after you for something you didn’t do. It’s a little weird, but the whole point of a company having insurance is to make sure YOU are protected. 

Check out our article on why you want to make sure the foundation repair company you hire is licensed and insured

Before you even check for licensing, narrow down your search via third-party review sites such as Yelp, Google Reviews, and Angi (formerly Angi’s list).

After you have an idea of what companies you want to potentially hire, you can check their licensing information on the Nevada State Contractor’s Board

You have a better understanding of foundation issues in Nevada. If you’re unsure about issues you might have, schedule a free foundation evaluation. 

You’ve learned about common foundation issues in Nevada, why they happen, how they can be mitigated, and how to check if a foundation company is licensed in Nevada. If you think you have foundation issues with your Nevada home, set up a FREE foundation evaluation. 

If you have a garden you take care of on your property, learn the consequences of excessive irrigation and how it affects your home

Prepare yourself for what to expect for a foundation inspection

For additional questions or to schedule an evaluation, call Dalinghaus Construction at (877)360-9277.


Brian Dalinghaus

Brian is one of the Co-Founders of Dalinghaus Construction. He has been in the foundation repair industry since 2005. During his career, he has been associated with helping over 4,000 homes and structures throughout California and Arizona.

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