A concern that many people have during foundation drilling is the loss of earth retention. The loss of earth retention can lead to early washouts, the collapse of a building, the collapse of a structure such as a bridge, and severe erosion issues over time. Many drilling companies use methods to prevent earth erosions and help increase earth retention. Here are a few of those methods and what to know about them if you are considering foundation drilling for your project.
Sheet Pile Walls
A common way to prevent earth erosion and to increase earth retention during foundation drilling is to use sheet pile walls. These walls are made of thin steel sheets, usually stainless steel. The steel sheets are placed along the sides of the project area where the earth needs more support, such as where the most erosion and fallout can occur. The walls are often around 1 and 1/2 feet wide by 10 feet tall or larger. The walls are placed in the ground as well so that a portion is in the ground while the rest of the wall is out of the ground, retaining both the earth above the soil line and under the soil line.
Earth anchors are an engineered option that helps retain earth during and following foundation drilling. When the foundation drilling begins, these tie-backs or anchors can offer a temporary wall that can help support the initial structure such as a sheet pile wall that is already working for earth retention. The anchor offers a lateral means of support and can serve temporarily or as a permanent option after the foundation drilling has been completed.
Jet grouting is a technique of earth retention that is done at the ground level. It is an improvement option that is used to improve the ground stability. You will likely see this method used when there is an existing foundation that is requiring underpinning and additional foundation drilling. An example of this would be with homes or buildings. This type of earth retention method uses high-pressure water jets to advance drill rods into the ground. The rods are then rotated and withdrawn at a slower rate which allows a mixture of the soil to take over allowing for a soil-like concrete to be placed in the area during the drilling process.
These are just a few of the methods that foundation drilling companies use to help retain the earth during the construction process and in the future. If you are concerned with your specific project and the earth retention of that project, contact your local drilling contractor. They will be able to discuss the methods that they use and will be able to perform a consultation to look at your specific needs.