What is Foundation Digging and Why is It Essential for Construction Integrity? 

When people think about the construction process, they mostly picture wooden or metal framing, walls being erected, roofs being installed, and drywall added. While all these processes are an important part of the construction world, the first fundamental step to a successful construction involves the ground on which the structure will go. 

So what exactly is foundation drilling and why is it so important? 

Exploring Foundation Digging in the Construction Industry 

There are different types of foundations. They can be classified as shallow or deep. Shallow foundations include individual footing, strip foundation, raft or mat foundation while deep foundations include piles or drilled shafts or caissons. 

A quick note about the different types of drilling:

  • Individual footing or isolated footing foundations are the most common type in building construction. The footing is squared or rectangular. 
  • Raft and mat foundations are spread throughout the entirety of the structure’s parameters. They are meant to support heavy structural loads from columns and walls.
  • Pile foundations are designed to transfer the heavy load of the structure to hard rock strata below the ground level. 
  • Drilled shafts are another type of deep foundation. They are high-capacity foundations that resist loads from the resistance of the shaft. Drilled shafts transfer large column loads. 

A Closer Look at Foundation Drilling

As a term, foundation drilling covers the general process of preparing a piece of land or site for construction. The process can be extensive or relatively simple—depending on the project at hand, the method being used, and the applications. The process usually involves a drill rig that bores a hole deep into the ground to insert piles or other structures, which are then used to build upon a foundation. 

Why Foundation Drilling Matters

Foundation drilling is essential to the construction process. It is mostly used for new construction, but can also be implemented in older structures. The basics of foundation drilling are straightforward, although the process itself is much more technical.

Bigger structures require a lot more foundation drilling than smaller structures because the bigger the building, the more it needs to secure it to the foundation. So professional drilling crews operate specialized machinery and drills that digs deeply into the earth. Then, they install the components needed to provide that stability, harnessing the stabilizing strength of the sediment layers and the soil itself. 

If you see a new construction project underway, the chances are there’s a drilling crew nearby. Whether it’s a residential home, office building, school, or bridge, the foundation must be set to secure the structure in the right way. 

A Few Examples of Projects and Their Foundations 

Let’s take a few examples of how foundation digging is the first step in any new construction project. 

  • Skyscrapers: The taller the building, the more in-depth and essential the foundation becomes. That is because the foundation carries the weight and stabilizes everything that goes above it. A slight shift in a shallow foundation can compromise an entire structural unit. This then necessitates costly repairs, but—more importantly—it can get dangerous.  A secure foundation is essential for longevity and safety. 
  • Utility poles: In order to safely install utility poles, a resistant borehole must be drilled deep into the earth’s surface. The boreholes need to firmly hold the poles taught. 
  • Residential homes: The foundations for residential homes have different requirements than those of a skyscraper. Many homes have shallow foundations. This means that they are just beneath the earth’s surface or sit on top of the earth’s surface. 

Why Expert Drilling is Important for Any Foundation 

Drilling into the earth to adequately prepare a lot for construction is not a walk in the park. It requires technical knowledge of soil, specialized skill with machinery, and the patience to never cut corners or skip essential steps. 

Here’s why a professional dig job is essential:

  • You want to prevent sinking. A bad foundation will sink when there is a shift in the ground. Sometimes, sinking can happen because of a storm, flooding, or earthquake, but it can also be a direct result of a subpar drilling job. A good drilling crew looks at the drilling jobs from all possible angles and considers all issues before they happen. 
  • You want to prevent cracks. Like sinking, cracks in the foundation need to be avoided. A bad drill job can manifest itself in a building through cracks in the walls. The cracking of the walls will indicate a poor foundation. Avoid this by choosing a professional foundation digging team. 
  • Avoid damaged or sagging floors. When there is a poor foundation job, floors can sag or crack as well. A sagging foundation means there are possible gaps between interior walls. 

Get Professional Drilling for Your Construction Project 

At El Paso Drilling, we perform different types of drilling work needed for construction projects or utility installation. Our crews are highly-trained and skilled at what they do. 

Want to learn more about our team? Call El Paso Drilling today