Knowing the Types of Soils in Texas and how conducive they are for construction
“Don’t build your house on the sandy land, Don’t build it too near the shore”.
Well, building anything requires stable ground and a solid foundation for the structure to be strong. One of the main reasons for The Leaning Tower of Pisa’s tilt is its weak and shaky foundation. The cause was it being built on soil that was loose, sandy, wet, muddy, and full of clay. The soil is not sturdy enough to bear the weight of the structure and has caused the foundation to sink unequally. The engineers who built the tower in the medieval ages in Europe may not have surveyed the land or the soil on which they built the tower. But, with all the modern methods of surveying land and checking soils, preparing a site for construction is a specialized skill that Pierce Land Clearing has mastered with great technical expertise.
Understanding the soil and its features is critical. It gives the foundation support and is instrumental in the health and strength of the structure. Texas has as many as 1300 different types of soil - quite a wonder in itself isn’t it? Each of these has its own characteristics and knowing these characteristics helps in land clearing. The different types of soil found in Texas are:-
- Vertisols - consist of expansive clay. Found in Eastern and Southern Texas. Constructing in this soil would require the foundation to have space to move a little because when the clay hardens it could be problematic for the home, e.g., Houston Black Soil
- Inceptisols and Entisols - hold a lot of water and are soft soils. These soils are not good for construction as the foundations would get waterlogged and sink.
- Histosols and Spodosols - contain a lot of organic matter. Histosols are wet and not great for construction, while Spodosols are drier and are good to build over.
- Aridisols - dry soils are rich in minerals. Good for construction.
- Mollisols - rich agricultural soil. Building foundations in this soil would entail watching out for vegetation growth in the structure
- Ultisol - infertile and highly weathered soil. Good for construction.
- Alfisols - are very fertile and rich in clay. Not great for construction as the vegetation would cause damage to the structure.
The soil in and around Austin is alkaline and clayey. The Edwards Plateau region also has limestone in the soil due to the many aquifers. While this makes for interesting geology, when a site has to be prepared for construction, these factors play an important role in land clearing. Dripping Springs, TX also known as the “Gateway to the Hill Country” is a small, developing community just 25 minutes from Austin. It is full of natural wonders, and a popular tourist destination with breweries and wineries.
Removing invasive species in the soil before construction
Before preparing a site for construction, unwanted flora needs to be removed. The area around Austin has clayey soil which is not very fertile but has plenty of invasive species of the mesquite tree. This tree tends to absorb a lot of moisture, leaving the soil dry and not conducive for agriculture. It also takes away the nutrients from the soil and is a hazard for wildfires. Therefore mesquite removal is an important part of land clearing and preparation of a site for construction or agriculture.