Enlisting Different Types of Soil Tests for Commercial Construction

Soil testing is a vital aspect of building or road construction. No commercial construction can proceed without knowing whether the soil can support the load. Therefore, the primary purpose of soil testing Texas for commercial construction is to determine the soil’s suitability for the type of construction that can be done. There are different types of soil testing for commercial construction- from moisture content tests to proctor’s compaction tests. What soil test needs to be undertaken depends on the properties of the soil. This article talks about the most common soil tests for construction. 

  • Moisture content test

The moisture content test is one of the most commonly used soil tests for building construction. This test determines the soil’s moisture content with the help of several methods- the torsion balance method, oven-drying method, radiation method, calcium carbide method, and more. The oven-drying method is the most common, wherein sample soil is weighed, dried in the oven at 110 degrees Celsius, and then weighed again. The water’s weight in the soil is the difference between before and after weights. 

  • Dry density test

The weight of soil particles in a given sample’s volume is referred to as the dry density of the soil. The value of the soil’s dry density depends on the void ratio and the specific gravity of the soil. A technician uses this value to categorize soil as loose, medium dense, or dense. Generally, three methods are used for dry-density soil testing Texas, and these are sand replacement, water displacement, and core cutter. 

  • Specific gravity test

The specific gravity of any substance is defined as the ratio of density to water’s density. Several methods that can be used to determine specific gravity are the density bottle method, gas jar method, Pycnometer method, measuring flask method, and more. The density bottle and Pycnometer methods are the most common for soil analysis. 

  • Proctor’s compaction test

Proctor’s compaction test helps in figuring out the compaction characteristics of the soil. The technician air dries the soil sample and then divides it into four to six smaller samples. The water content of the samples is adjusted by adding 3% to 5% water, and then the technician places these samples in the Proctor compaction mold in three distinct layers. 

After this, each layer is given 25 blows from a standard 5.5-pound hammer, the samples are removed and dried, and finally, the water content of these samples is determined. A curve is plotted based on determined results by taking density as a function of water content to know the water content required for reaching the maximum dry density. 


Always remember that a soil test is only as good as the sample. Now that the design of the building foundation is determined based on the report of the soil test make sure to use an accurate and reliable soil sample. Therefore, it’s better to hire a professional and experienced company to handle the soil testing Texas for commercial construction. These companies usually conduct some soil tests on the construction site and others in a laboratory. 

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