Site Preparation: How to Make a Proper Bed for Concrete
People often think that a strong building begins with the foundation, but the top structural concrete contractors in Savannah, GA, know that it goes a bit deeper than that. To have a well-laid foundation, you must first create a proper bed for the foundation.
If the site, or ground, isn’t properly prepared, everything that goes on top of that could be at risk. That makes soil and bed preparation one of the single most critical elements of an entire construction project. You should always look for structural concrete contractors in Savannah, GA, like our team at Donald Rushing Construction. We understand how to prepare a proper bed for a concrete foundation and have been doing it for more than 30 years.
A Quick Guide to Proper Concrete Bed Site Preparation
1. Testing the Soil’s Strength
The soil must be capable of holding up everything placed upon it and even withstand significant disruption. Determining this requires expert geotechnical and chemical engineers who sample the soil to determine its strength and likelihood of shifting underweight. Based on their results, it may be necessary to excavate the area and truck in new soil that will be able to meet the design criteria.
2. Moisture Levels
Another key element is the optimal moisture level for construction. The soil bed should be at or near maximum density when compressed under pressure. This requires discovering and creating a “just right” level of moisture that allows the soil to compress as needed, but without becoming muddy and unreliable.
3. Soil Compaction
There are several methods available for compacting the soil, prior to laying the foundation. The most popular option is vibrating plates that move along the ground, delivering up to 6000 vibrations per minute. Another option—best for tight quarters—are machines known as “rammers” that pile-drive the soil over and over until the correct compaction is achieved. Rolling compactors can also be deployed, which have high efficiency but are more expensive to use.
4. Measuring the Compaction.
Finally, the site must be measured to ensure the soil has achieved the desired level of strength and compaction. The most common method for this is with a device called a nuclear density gauge. It emits a small cloud of radioactive particles, then measures the rate at which the particles are reflected back. This provides an accurate assessment of the soil’s overall density.
Then, if everything looks good, it’s finally time to pour the foundation.
For more structural concrete advice, contact Donald Rushing Construction today.