Here's What Your Site Analysis Might Reveal

9 June 2016
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog


In a large number of cases, site analysis is a prerequisite for commencing construction-related activities on a site that is to be newly developed.

It's important for prospective new homeowners to understand what to expect from the results of a site analysis. This is because the results of the analysis may make it difficult for the construction to be carried out as it had been planned initially. Results of the analysis may also affect the budget of the construction activity. Here are two things that a site analysis may reveal.

Site Contaminated

Site contamination may be the most frequently recurring result that many prospective new homeowners get from their site analysis. In a large number of cases, site contamination refers to the presence of harmful compounds in the soil on-site.

If chemical fertilizers (for example) had been used for a long time on the site prior to the date of analysis, it is likely that harmful chemical compounds from the fertilizers (e.g. arsenic and zinc) will have been left deposited in the soil.

If demolition-related activities had been carried out on the site and the waste products from the demolition were left on-site, it is likely that the soil will have suffered asbestos contamination. This is because demolition waste products (e.g. broken vinyl tiles and damaged asphalt roof shingles) usually contain asbestos.

If a site is found to be contaminated, the contamination has to be dealt with first before construction-related activities on the site can commence. For example, you would need to enlist the services of a soil remediation contractor (in the case of fertilizer contamination) or an asbestos removal contractor who will salvage the situation before the construction of your home can begin.

Soil Too Weak

The soil on-site may not be contaminated, but an analysis may reveal that the soil does not have the capacity to bear the weight of the structure that is to be constructed on it.

If the projected weight of your house is higher than the weight-bearing capacity of the soil, you may be forced to make adjustments to the design of the house. If this is not an option, you may choose to opt for a different site.

Expansive clay is perhaps the best example of soil that often has a low weight-bearing capacity. This type of soil will expand when it's wet and then it contracts back to its original size when it becomes dry.