Building Site Analysis: Three Crucial Soil Tests Before Construction

Posted on: 11 January 2017

Soil testing is an important process which should be performed as part of site analysis, whether you want to build a commercial or residential structure. Basically, this procedure is essential in determining the suitability of the ground for your pertinent construction and development project. Proper investigation will help you avoid setting up a structure on faulty ground. Consequently, you will avoid the high costs, safety risks and inconveniences of future building failure. In addition, the results can be used to remedy the site, ensuring that the building process can continue without a hitch. Here are the crucial soil tests which you should commission before construction.

Soil Reactivity

The reactivity of the soil on the construction site will affect the stability and longevity of the building extensively. Therefore, this is an important factor to consider when starting a development project. In general, soil reactivity refers to the expansion, contraction and movement of the soil, usually due to the changes in moisture content. This is a significant issue because the ground movement will affect the stability of the building.

Additionally, if the soil does not drain well and retains moisture, the installed concrete slabs which are considerably porous will sustain structural water damage. In ideal circumstances, the soil should be non-reactive because this type of ground is highly stable and experiences minimal movement. If the site is reactive, you should consult your structural engineers on the steps you can take to ensure that the new structure is strong and stable.

Soil Contamination

You should commission soil testing to determine whether there are dangerous pollutants on the ground. This is particularly important if your potential building site was initially an industrial site or a disposal ground. If you build your structure on such a space, you will expose the workers and the future occupants to safety hazards. Consequently, you will be open to lawsuits due to negligence. There are different soil contaminants that should be assessed. The common ones include zinc, lead, cadmium, arsenic and mercury. In most cases, the land can be remediated for the development.

Chemical Properties

The soil materials in different sites have varying chemical properties because of factors such as the environment and past applications of the land. These chemical properties can affect the compatibility of the site with some construction materials. For example, if the soil is highly saline or acidic, it will react with carbon steel and cause corrosion. Therefore, it is important to understand the chemical aspects before project commencement to avoid unexpected failure. 


Home Improvement: A Plumber, An Electrician And A Builder

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