3 Benefits of Pre-Construction Soil Testing

Lawrence Kim

If you're planning a commercial build and have identified a suitable plot of land, then you should run soil tests before you buy the land or start planning your build. These tests give you vital information that affects your final plans.

What does soil testing tell you?

Whether You Have Viable Plans

You can't assume that every plot of land will work with every construction project. The quality and composition of soil affect its ability to support a build.

For example, if the soil on your preferred plot is too soft, wet or low-quality to hold the foundations and structures of your buildings, then your projects will fail. You can build on the land; however, your soil might not be strong enough to give your foundations the support they need. Your buildings might ultimately move and subside if their foundations fail.

Soil testing classifies the land you want to build on. Your results will tell you if the soil on your plot is suitable for your planned build. If the soil has deficiencies or problems, you might be able to do some remedial work on it or adapt your plans. Or, you might simply decide to build elsewhere.

Which Materials You Need to Use

The materials you use in your foundation work are affected by soil quality and movements. You need to know exactly how your plot's soil will affect the support you give your buildings.

For example, say your plot has a high saline content. If you don't know this, then you might use regular foundation materials. However, the salt content of your soil can damage these materials. It can corrode the steel rebar in your foundations and make them fail.

If a soil test tells you that you have excess salinity on your plot, then you can plan your build to compensate for potential damage. For example, you can use materials that will protect your foundations against salt exposure such as vapour barriers and stronger concretes.

Whether Soil Affects Your Costs

You might have a rough idea of how much your project will cost at the moment. While you'll create a tighter budget as you plan your build, you might overspend if you have to do extra unexpected work because you have soil problems.

For example, you might need to buy more materials to shore up or protect your buildings from soil exposure. You might need to pay for stronger concrete or special mixes.

A soil test helps you create a more accurate budget before you start work. You can factor in additional costs early and shouldn't have any nasty surprise expenses.

To get started, contact soil testing companies.