An essential step of any construction, the earthwork adjusts and flattens the topography of a given land in order to adapt it to the requirements of the desired plan. The earthworks are also involved in outdoor works (garden, swimming pool). In this case, the depth of the digging during the excavation of the land causes expected or unanticipated discoveries.
In this way, the earthworks reveal the stages of the constitution of the land and the history of its various residents. So, without further ado, let’s dive into this blog and learn some of the things everyone should know about earthwork.
1. Organic finds
In general, the first wastes of earthwork are of vegetal nature. It is the green waste resulting from the stripping of existing trees and the shaving of plants and shrubs covering the surface of the land. From an environmental protection point of view, it is advisable to sort them in order to recycle them. The modalities of access to this chain of transformation of green waste are within reach of any professional of earthwork and sanitation.
In addition, it should be noted that the subsoil is a natural habitat for insects, reptiles, and wildlife. As a result, the excavated material may uncover burrows for slugs, earthworms, ants, bats, scorpions, mice, or snakes. Unfortunately, these digging operations also bring unpleasant surprises, such as the discovery of animal or human bones.
The latter case is the responsibility of public authorities such as the gendarmerie or the national police. Therefore, it is necessary to inform them so that the evacuation of the bones and the investigations can take place. Eventually, the land will become a crime scene, and work will have to stop until further notice.
2. Mineral materials
Among the essential steps of an earthmoving procedure is the evacuation of the excess earth to flatten the construction area. For this purpose, the appropriate machine is the bulldozer. In practice, the excavated earth blocks contain mineral material. The most common mineral findings are rubble, clay, pebbles, granite, limestone, sandstone, sand, and coal. It is important to know that a thick layer of sedimentary rocks, especially sand or limestone, is a formerly flooded area.
For confirmation, it is necessary to check with the inhabitants of the public administration whether this is still the case or not. In short, the discovery of these minerals says a lot about the history of the area. For your information, mineral materials are not worthless. The more of them there are, the better. In fact, they have economic advantages, as they can be reused in construction.
3. Unknown and archaeological discoveries
During earthworks, non-biodegradable waste can also be found in the subsoil. It can be old plastic toys, sewage pipes, ironworks, or demolition materials. It is necessary to sort them out before getting rid of the backfill. The goal is to ensure proper recycling of each material. These ideas of recycling and reuse must be a permanent reflex as a way to be faithful to the planetary challenge of environmental protection.
In addition, some construction sites may be subject to archaeological or historical discovery. Indeed, some earthworks lead to the discovery of historical monuments, ancient tunnels, or even a historical sarcophagus. In this case, it is necessary to declare them to the town hall concerned. The intervention of the regional archaeological service will depend on the relevance of the discovery. This historical find will also result in a temporary or permanent halt to work.
Backfilling is the last phase of the earthwork. Indeed, this step allows us to fill the holes previously dug during the construction of the gutters, the pipes, and others. The objective here is to level the ground and make it flat. Moreover, it is recommended to install a geotextile film before the backfilling stage.
This film is designed to prevent the regrowth of undesirable weeds and roots while protecting you from rising dampness. However, you need to know that just like geotextile film, the backfill step may not be suitable for all soils. You will need to check with your local city hall or simply call in a professional.
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