Posted on: 16 November 2016
Laying the foundation is the most critical part of any building construction job. The foundation passes on the weight of the whole structure to the ground. If it is not made strong and stable, therefore, all other construction work may be in vain. The soil below which your building is supposed to be erected plays a big role in the success of the construction project.
For that reason, you need to know the qualities of soil at your planned construction site so you can determine if it is suitable to support your building. But many people often ignore the need to have the soil tested prior to the start of any work onsite. This is because they usually don't have a clue about what it is that gets tested.
Here is a look at a number of common soil tests performed prior to the start of building construction projects.
Testing the moisture/water content of soil
Moisture or water content of the soil is an important thing to consider when it comes to new building construction. This is because the amount of water in the soil affects soil compaction. With time, soil tends to draw moisture from the environment. This causes the soil to lose strength and settle, which undermines the load-carrying capacity of the soil. Sub-base soil is usually compacted so they can absorb less water or moisture from its surroundings.
Testing the specific gravity of soil
Like water, the presence of voids can also lead to soil settlement and affect proper compaction of soil. Specific gravity of soil test is carried out to investigate the density of the soil relative to that of the air. In other words, this test is performed to ensure that any voids found in the sub-base soil cannot interfere with the stability of the construction site.
Testing the dry density of soil
Dry density of soil is a test performed to measure the density of soil when it is dry/wet. The water-holding capacity of soil can affect the stability of your foundation. Soil that holds too much water tends to settle, and this will result in structural problems with your building's foundation. Likewise, soil that dries too quickly and becomes loose in the process may not be able to support a building as it should. Therefore, it is important to test the dry density of soil so you can know if the soil will remain sufficiently densified when it absorbs or loses water.Share