Various Construction Hazards Revealed Through Excavations

Eugene Vargas

In construction, several tests on the identified site of construction are required. Depending on the type of building and other factors, different local authorities impose different regulations and requirements for construction. All these requirements usually enhance safety for the workers on the site, as well as future occupants of the building. Beyond preparing the sites for construction, excavations are also ways of determining several other safety conditions of your construction site. The following are some safety concerns that only excavations can reveal about your site and its suitability to your structure.

Soil strata

This is the arrangement in soil layers from the top soil to the parent rock. Soil strata information is useful in determining the strength of the soil. Soil strata will tell you of the appropriate foundation depth. The progressiveness of the soil strata is also important in determining the stability of the structure. If, for instance, the soil is layered differently in various areas of the site, it may pose the risk of collapse of the building's walls. Excavations, therefore, carefully display the soil strata and its progressiveness around the site.

Presence of underground gas outlets and water

It is no secret that presence of underground water is a risk to every building. Sometimes, water pockets and underground streams exist on construction sites. These occur deeper than the foundation and may be missed by contractors. Excavations can reveal these through soil layers. Soil layer transitions and even colors indicate the presence of such underground water pockets. Further tests can be done to the soil in these regions and determine, for sure, the water pockets and routes. This information is crucial for any construction process.

Gases present underground can also be revealed using excavations. Some gases may prove chemically dangerous while others will simply loosen the soil as they escape. Both scenarios are bad for constructions of certain types.

Fractures, faults and any previous disturbances

Excavations are also useful in viewing the present and past states of the earth at that particular construction site. Through excavations, previously disturbed earth layers will be revealed and experts can then determine the cause of this disturbance. The likelihood of such a disturbance re-occurring can also be assessed before construction is commenced. A presence of faults and fractures in the earth should always be taken seriously during construction. Such areas are either points of maximum weakness in the earth or along major fault lines that are followed by seismic activity as areas of energy release. All these can be revealed by excavations and precautions taken before construction commences.