If there is potential for issues with soil during a new build, a geotechnical engineer can carry out soil testing prior to the commencement of the build. Homeowners are usually unenthused at the prospect of extra costs, especially before construction has even started, however, the value of soil testing is in taking preventative measures to combat expansive soil.
The alternative is facing future repair costs, which will dwarf the cost of testing, arising from expansive soil and other hazards. In some instances, you may lose your home due to extensive damage that is irreparable.
Contracting a Geotechnical engineer
If an architect or builder concludes that the soil on your site needs testing, they may contract a geotechnical engineer. As the homeowner or developer, you may also take charge of acquiring the services of a geotechnical engineer.
You are placing trust in a geotechnical engineer to provide solutions that will safeguard the future structural integrity of your home. A key consideration when contracting a geotechnical engineering company is ensuring that they carry out their work according to Australian standards and regulations.
Geotechnical Engineering Solutions
A knowledgeable and qualified geotechnical engineer will have extensive experience of soil-structure. Site and subsurface soil interaction is analyzed to provide solutions for various aspects of the build. The foundation design and slab on ground construction are just some of the important elements for which a geotechnical engineer provides recommendations.
The geotechnical engineer can also carry out testing on soil where there are existing structures. The soil from these sites provides valuable information on any issues that are linked to the soil. Builders, architects, and homeowners benefit from data on problematic soil conditions, as well as solutions for repairing or preventing soil issues.
Potential Soil Hazards
Earthquakes have the potential to create soil hazards. Water, being one of the most destructive forces on Earth, also tops the list. If your site escapes those hazards, you may have landslides, and compressible and expansive soil to contend with.
Expansive soil is a serious hazard that should not be ignored when constructing a home. The damage resulting from expansive soil can run into millions of dollars. In a worst-case scenario, foundations are severely damaged or building settlement occurs. In both cases, the building can become structural unsafe.
There are a number of ways expansive soil can impact on a building. Swell occurs in expansive soil when it is wet. When the soil is too dry it will shrink. The entire structure above the soil may heave, shift, or settle in unexpected ways. Repairing these issues can be incredibly expensive and significant devalue a home if the situation is not addressed.
Establishing the Need for Soil Testing
The simple fact of the matter is you want your home to remain stable for many years to come. Soil testing is one of the ways you can establish the best way to construct a home that has sound foundations. Soil testing is essentially an evaluation tool that helps you to ensure that your build exceeds quality expectations.
A build cannot meet relevant safety standards if foundations are sited on unstable or expansive soil. All homes are built from the ground up, so ensuring that soil is suitable should be your first consideration. Retrospectively carrying out repairs is challenging and expensive. A soil analysis provides builders and architects with mitigating solutions for design and implementation of construction elements at and below ground level.
When you build your new home you will also need a stage inspection to identify any defects. The report that you receive from a stage inspection can prove useful when discussing build progress with your builder. Call Houspect in the Northern Territory today to learn more about the importance of stage inspections.