Things That Can Affect Piling Foundations

Things That Can Affect Piling Foundations

Piling foundations are necessary when it comes to the process of construction in order to uphold existing structures (property, civil, engineering, mansions, skyscrapers etc.). However, there are things that can affect the strength of your piling foundations and integrity of your building that you need to be aware of.

What Has An Impact On Piling Foundations?

The piling process itself involves inserting structural piles into the ground where the soil is at its weakest. The piling process is, in many cases, crucial as it ensures the building will not sink and collapse into the ground causing extreme damage to property and its inhabitants. 

Piling is an ancient construction process that goes back to the 1800s, and is frequently used to hold up buildings and in some cases cities. Fun fact - the city of Venice is built on wooden piles!

The types of pile foundations can vary depending on the building – some can be made from concrete, wood, metal or steel and are hammered into the ground. Steel piling is usually used to hold up very heavy structures like skyscrapers, towers and bridges.

Metal piling foundations can be used for underground structures, for retaining walls, seawalls and basements.  Concrete piling is traditionally used in civil engineering and construction. Wood piles or timber piles are used for sea defence structure, jetties, rubbing strips and marine fender piling. 

Tree roots can be detrimental for the piling structure as the deep roots of a tree have the power to move building foundations and structures, particularly concrete and brick. This can result in moving the property and making it unstable and, in some cases, unsafe to live in. A solution to this includes setting up a root barrier or removing the trees from the construction area.

Weak soil also has a detrimental effect on piling structure as different types of soil will affect the structure differently. Fine-grained soils with high clay or silt content can be a major problem. 

This is because they have the tendency to liquefy which creates unstable ground. Other areas to be avoided include marshlands and areas with water mass. Soil testing is a particularly useful and necessary technique to determine the strength of the soil.

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