Metairie residents who suspect a sinkhole may form near or under their property, along with property owners and developers may opt to call in a geotechnical drilling team to extract samples of the earth which can be used to learn more about the location and its overall safety and suitability.
Louisiana is prone to sinkholes and other issues with ground quality due to the composition of the local earth. Louisiana has soil that is less stable than many other varieties of earth with a high clay content. This also makes it more prone to issues with over-saturation during the summer’s rainy season. Some areas may not be suitable for large structures if the land lacks sufficient integrity.
Limestone is a fairly soft stone and it can easily dissolve when exposed to water with even mild acids. This means that the bedrock can be dissolved by acid rains and water that percolates down through the earth. This can result in the formation of an underground void or cavity that can ultimately collapse, forming what’s known as a sinkhole.
There are many sinkhole remediation techniques available, such as pumping the void full of concrete to prevent a collapse or placing large metal rods down into the bedrock and securing the other end of the rods at the surface to an existing structure’s foundation, resulting in support that will increase the building’s chances of standing even if the ground gives way and collapses into a sinkhole.
Geotechnical drilling is a relatively fast, easy and cost effective technique for locating problem areas and extracting core samples that can be used to evaluate the quality of the ground. Core samples are large columns of earth that are extracted within a tube during the drilling process. These core samples can be sent out for analysis to determine information such as:
- the composition of the ground;
- the ground’s moisture content;
- the composition and depth of the various ground layers;
- the degree of compaction at the site; and
- identifying the location of underground voids and cavities that could collapse into a sinkhole.
If an area requires additional investigation, other techniques such as ground penetrating radar can be used to evaluate the area.
How Do You Perform Geotechnical Drilling?
Metairie geotechnical drilling teams will be dispatched to your location to set up portable drilling rigs. The number of rigs will vary depending upon the size of the site, the nature of the information you’re seeking and the number of samples that are required.
Drilling can take anywhere from a couple days for a small site to several weeks for a very large site. As a result, the cost varies significantly too. It all depends upon the type of information you’re seeking about the location.