Performing certain tests to ascertain the safety of the house construction is an absolute necessity. These tests before construction provide certainty of the structural foundation and essential support of the construction site as well. This information helps in the case of designing the structure, the foundation, the footing, and the slab. Soil engineers can determine if the density, or toxins present in the soil is perfect for construction. Hence, to make sure problems regarding these issues do not arise some must-do tests before construction are mentioned below:
Testing the Moisture Content
A high amount of moisture content can lead to expansion, warping, and buckling. Therefore, Moisture content tests before construction are crucial to determine the weight of water in the soil. The methods employed for these tests before construction are:
- Oven Drying Method
- Radiation Method
- Alcohol Method
- Calcium Carbide Method
- Sand Bath Method
- Pycnometer Method
- Torsion Balance Method
Among these techniques, the “Oven Drying Method” is more common. This method weighs the sample soil at first and then dries it in an oven at 110° Celsius(+/- 5°Celsius). After drying it finally the soil is weighed again. The difference between these two weights is the weight of the water.
Testing Specific Gravity
Specific Gravity Tests before construction is essential to determine the saturation of the soil with water. It enables indication towards the number of voids and the porous quality of the soil as well. The ratio of any substances’ density to the density of the water is its specific gravity. The density bottle and the pycnometer methods are common in this test. The gas jar method, shrinkage limit method, and measuring flask method can determine the results of this test as well.
Dry Density Test
High bulk density indicates low soil porosity and soil constriction. It can affect water capacity, root growth, and even the movement of air and water through the soil. Therefore, a dry density test before construction is a necessity to avoid these problems. The weight of the particles in a sample soil can reveal its dry density. The test requires sand replacement, core cutter, or water displacement methods to classify the soil’s density level. However, the sand replacement and core cutter methods are more popular for the dry density test.
Atterberg Limits Test
The Atterberg Limits Tests before construction can play a crucial role in the initial stages of the structural design of a house. This test before construction can measure the amount of critical water content in the fine-grained soil. It can ensure the performance of the soil as well. The test has three limits: liquid limit, plastic limit, and shrinkage limit. These limits help to determine the properties of fine-grained soil under various conditions.
Casagrande’s Liquid Limit device determines the liquid limit in this test. This device has a cup that moves up and down which reveals the soil’s liquid limits.
The plastic limit test mainly uses water and soil to make the soil into plastic. Afterward, the soil is shaped like a ball and put into a glass plate. It is then rolled into a diameter of 3-millimeter threads. This whole process continues till the thread breaks determining the plastic limit of the soil.
The shrinkage limit tests before construction determine the amount of water that is adequate to fill the voids of the soil. A mathematical formula indicates the sufficient amount for the soil.
Testing Proctor’s Compaction
This test can reveal the site’s structural stability and the characteristics of the soil. Proctor’s compaction can provide accurate information needed to reach the maximum dry density.
These are some of the very important tests before construction which are quite necessary for attaining a solid infrastructure of the building. Failure to do so might cause severe accidents and fatalities. Henceforth, before the construction of any building, these are the must-to-do tests before construction to avoid any man-made hazardous situation.