As a homeowner, you may have never thought about getting your property's soil tested. However, a soil test can note the overall makeup of the soil, meaning if it's more sand than actual soil or has a high clay content or moisture content, and can also note if it has any type of contaminant that should be treated. Consider some reasons why you may want to think about having the soil tested on your property and how this type of test can benefit you.
1. When pouring new or very deep foundations
Before you put that addition on your home or decide on another storey that will require a deeper foundation or an underpinning of the current foundation, you might have your soil tested. This will tell you if there is high moisture content or another reason why the soil itself cannot support the weight of the new foundation or of a very deep foundation. In turn, your construction contractors can know to either treat the soil with something that will make it firmer and stronger, to underpin the foundation when it's poured, or to change plans altogether depending on the scope of the work needed to make your home secure.
2. When planning a large garden or small farm
Whether or not soil can support certain crops and vegetation will depend on its overall acidity, plant nutrients like calcium and magnesium, and micronutrients, including zinc. Depending on the composition of the soil, you may need to add fertilizer before or after planting, and may want to ensure you use the right type of fertilizer for your particular soil composition. This will ensure you grow healthy plants and crops, so consider soil testing as part of your initial planning stage, before you even begin planting.
3. After any contamination risk
If there has been a spill from a septic tank near your property, a flood, or a runoff from a nearby production facility, you should have your soil tested. Even after cleanup, these types of accidents can leave contaminants behind in your soil. In turn, these contaminants could make your property very unhealthy for dogs and children who play outside, or they may even seep into your home's water supply. Testing after any type of contamination risk can mean knowing if your soil needs to be treated with some type of material that will absorb those contaminants or if you should consider actually having large amounts of soil removed and replaced with fresh soil.