Components of Soil Test: Explaining Field Soil Analysis and Laboratory Soil Testing

Usually, undertaking the soil test is the last thing that one thinks of when constructing a building. However, the very nature of the land an individual will build a building on is the most significant variable of a construction project. Therefore, it is the one aspect that is critical to be taken care of right before starting the construction phase. And it is where soil testing Texas comes in. This test helps people understand what’s happening underground and how to build on it. This article explains everything about the components of soil testing.

The components of soil test

The soil test involves two components:

  • Field soil analysis to collect a soil sample and relevant data and measure the site
  • Laboratory tests on the collected soil sample

The field soil analysis component includes extracting the soil samples, documenting the current soil statistics, and collecting the field data, like the bearing capacity of the land. Soil testing helps evaluate other factors that can affect the long-term stability of the building’s foundation, such as trees, existing structures, drainage, slope, and more.

The laboratory tests component involves undertaking tests in the lab to determine the capacity of the soil to swell and shrink during normal site conditions.

Field soil analysis 

For residential and commercial construction, the proposed building envelope will need a field soil analysis to procure the data related to site features, including:

  • slope
  • trees
  • overland flows
  • existing structure

As a part of the process, existing soil strata are collected to identify soil color, types, consistency, and other significant dimensions by using a 4WD drill rig.

On-site soil testing Texas might involve the following:

  • Drilling boreholes, documentation, and sample collection.
  • Pocket penetrometer (PP) to undertake soil strength tests on cohesive clays.
  • pH and Salinity Test for determining exposure classification for screw piles, concrete, etc.

Laboratory soil testing

Once site samples are transported to the laboratory, they are tested to determine a range of indicators.

  • Reactivity: The reactivity of the soil indicates how much the soil can expand (heave)or shrink (settle) on adding or removing water.
  • Salinity: This indicator helps in knowing the level of salts in the soil, as high salinity can cause steel corrosion.
  • Permeability: This indicates the speed at which the water moves through the soil and also what volume of water can be held by the soil.

Here listed are some main tests that are undertaken to determine the soil as mentioned earlier characteristics:

  • Shrink Swell
  • P Values
  • Liner Shrinkage
  • Liquid Limits
  • Moisture Content
  • Atterberg limits


Soil testing is usually the government legislative requirement for new residential and commercial construction. However, people focus more on working with professional building designers and drafting floor plans and elevations for their dream buildings. Both soil testing Texas and site classification can help design buildings with solid foundations. Since soils are the foundation of the proposed structure, knowing the soil type through different soil tests will aid in determining the materials and designs used for a construction project. Moreover, soil testing is a complex task that needs to be handled by professionals.

What is your reaction?

In Love
Not Sure

You may also like

Comments are closed.

More in:Home