Meaning & Relevance Of Soil Testing In Construction

Blog, Construction

No one wants a building whose structural integrity poses a risk to those in it or around it, right? Well, to avoid a situation like that, soil testing was introduced. But what exactly is soil testing, and what is its relevance in construction?

Soil testing, in simple terms, is the act of examining the soil to determine its physical, chemical, and mechanical properties. This process provides valuable data on the soil, including its load-bearing capability, drainage properties, and more. This process is very important as it ensures the success and longevity of a construction project.

In this article, I will explain soil testing in construction, what the test entails, and why it is a very crucial step in the construction process. Let’s get right at it, then.

What is soil testing in construction & how does it work?

In construction, soil testing is the process of carrying out a thorough analysis of the nature of the soil. This tests its ability to bear the load, how suited it would be for the structure to be built, which foundation is needed, drainage properties, and more.

The test is carried out by drilling into the soil or land (generally 3.0m) on which the construction project will be carried out. Afterward, an analysis is carried out by a professional in that field to grade and estimate the properties of the soil and its compatibility with your project plans.

What are the types of tests carried out during soil testing in construction?

Different soil tests are carried out to evaluate specific soil properties concerning the nature of your project or your project plans. These tests provide results to enable engineers to make informed decisions about the project. Some of the tests carried out include the following;

1. Compaction and density test

This test measures the soil density and compaction characteristics by examining or analyzing key factors. Once the test is carried out, the engineer can determine if the soil is compacted, reducing the risk of structural damage.

2. Permeability test

This test is carried out to assess the ability of the soil to allow water to flow through it. This is a crucial step in designing effective drainage systems to avoid issues such as soil erosion and waterlogged foundations. Once this test is carried out, the engineer can make an informed decision regarding the drainage type and material to be used.

The relevance of soil testing in construction

Now, let’s see why soil testing is such an integral aspect of construction. 

1. Safety

In any construction project, safety is a priority. By carrying out thorough tests on the soil, proper knowledge of the soil is acquired. For example, the tendency of the soil to expand or contract allows for a structure that is sound and able to withstand inclement weather.

2. Saves time and resources

The early identification of problems is one of the major advantages of soil testing in construction. This can help you save money on redesign costs, save time and resources, and keep the project on schedule.

3. Longevity and durability

Soil testing provides valuable information about the nature of the soil and what material is best fitted. For example, if the soil contains Sulphur, the test should indicate that to the engineer. Hence, this means that Sulphur-resistant cement would have to be used, enhancing the durability and longevity of the structure.


How is soil testing carried out in construction?

The soil itself is drilled to a certain depth, then the engineer grades and estimates the properties of the soil.

When is soil testing carried out in construction?

It is advised that soil testing be carried out before the foundation is poured for a project.

How much soil is needed for a soil test?

Usually, two cups of soil should be enough for the test.

Is soil testing accurate?

Yes, it is. However, the accuracy will depend on the sample collected, so the soil sample use must be good, so a professional is recommended.

Conclusion – Relevance of soil testing in construction

In conclusion, soil testing is a very important step that ought to be carried out before a project commences. This is considering the amount of information the soil can provide to help ensure the durability and longevity of the structure. So, before you commence your plan, ensure the soil is tested.

Some companies, like Samkins Construction Lnc, have experience in cases like this. We ensure that the process is stress-free for you from start to finish, with a detailed report of our findings. Get in touch with us now, and let’s build your dream home.

Thank you for reading this article. You might also find this article on why buildings collapse interesting.

About Samkins

Samkins Construction Inc specializes in custom home building, general contracting, design-build, architectural design, construction management, and real estate services.


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