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Soils and Concrete: What to Know When Working Around Concrete

Soils and Concrete: What to Know When Working Around Concrete

Whether you are responsible for overseeing new construction or concrete demolition, here is what you should know about the soil around you.

During the winter, concrete freezes and cracks. The soil and dirt around and under the concrete will also behave much differently when frozen as opposed to when they aren’t. Building foundations need solid concrete to remain as steady as possible. So whether you are responsible for overseeing new construction or concrete demolition, here is what you should know about the soil around you.

What Clay Does

Avoid clay when building a concrete foundation. That’s because the material will expand when it gets wet and contract when it dries out. This property means that the pressure can move the concrete or cause it to shift in unpredictable ways. All of that shifting can crack the pavement and make it more unstable. At that point, you will probably need repairs, replacement, or resurfacing to fix any problems with the foundation.

What Peat Does

Peat is the term that describes the dirt and mud resulting from decomposing organic material in a wet location. Peat is usually most associated with swamps and wetlands, but if your building is near a lake or other similar body of water, then this is a soil type you will need to take into account. Peat behaves much like clay does, which means there is the same risk of cracking.

What Sand and Loam Do

Compared to clay and peat, sand in the soil around your concrete doesn’t produce as much cracking. But the main problem is that sand is much more likely to erode. That’s why any sandy soil needs to have gravel mixed in. Loam is made up of clay, silt, and sand, but it’s the favored medium for concrete foundation construction. You can avoid cracking problems and erosion concerns, meaning your bedrock is strong.

What Bedrock Does

Bedrock isn’t a type of soil. But it is vastly important to factor in when you are planning concrete work of any sort. The pad of bedrock can provide a convenient place to build a foundation. However, drilling through the bedrock or preparing for demolition can be tricky, so you may need to bring in ground-penetrating radar to see what lies beneath.

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This entry was posted on Friday, December 14th, 2018 at 3:10 pm . Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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