Soil testing is a very important step in the construction process, but many people – building owners and builders alike – take it for granted. They either do a cursory soil examination or completely do away with it and use the results of the general area.
This article attempts to show why you should not ignore it and push to have a proper and comprehensive soil test done on your building site.
Safety of the building structure
By checking the natural make-up of the soil, engineers are able to determine if the site which has been chosen can sustain the weight of the building that has been proposed for construction. The soil testing should therefore not be forsaken so that you are sure that you are building in the most ideal place.
The soil test also points out the chemical composition of the building site. The different chemicals found in the soil can affect the structure of the building itself or the life of the people who will take up residence in it. If the area has unpermitted concentrations of hazardous chemicals, this might render the building dangerous to live in. Other chemicals like sulphur might damage the foundation, and according to Nairaland Forum, the builder must use a kind of cement that is resistant to sulphur to ensure the structural integrity of your building.
The results of a soil test on the building site will determine the kind of foundation to construct, and it will also determine which building technique to use to offset any slight complications unearthed by the test.
In general, therefore, the soil test is done to ensure the structural safety of your building during the time of construction, after it has been completed and numerous years after it has been in use.
Many people write off doing soil tests because they deem it an inconvenience as well as an undertaking they would rather not spend on. Looking at the big picture, however, one realises that the cost of doing a soil test is way cheaper than footing the bill for damages to the building resulting from faults in the ground that were not detected.
If, for example, you pass on doing a soil test at the site of your proposed building yet the water table is very near and the soil is weak, the foundation of the building will be soaked and will not support it ably. The weak soil might also not support the weight of the building, thereby presenting a situation whereby the building is not safe to live in since it might sink into the ground or crumble down.