Shrink-swell soils are present throughout the world and are known in every U.S. state. Every year they cause billions of dollars in damage. The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that 1/4 of all homes in the United States have some damage caused by shrink-swell soils.
Even though expansive soils cause enormous amounts of damage, most people have never heard of them. This is because their damage is done slowly and cannot be attributed to a specific event. The damage done by shrink-swell soils is then attributed to poor construction practices or a misconception that all buildings experience this type of damage as they age.