A sturdy foundation is the strength of any building. The backfilling process is very important in making the foundation strong and robust. Simply put, backfilling is the process of filling a trench or a foundation with soil once the excavation is complete.
Even though it sounds simple, backfilling is much more than just dumping soil to fill a void. It requires skills and knowledge of the process, understanding of soil conditions, and extensive experience in the field.
Backfilling is used to put back soil in trenches after a repair work, for landscaping, and for protecting foundations. There are several backfilling methods, but the most common ones are explained below.
This is one the most common backfilling methods where soil and organic materials are compacted together to make a coarse, wet compound that is then used to fill and level the trench. In this compaction method, the soil to be put in is placed in layers called lifts. Project specifications mention the soil density that is required for the compaction.
Compacting is usually done with the help of a jumping jack, compactor, or excavator. This equipment is designed to reduce the size of the fill by compaction. Compacting is the most commonly used commercial or large-scale backfilling method.
Another common backfilling method is by using flowable fill. In this case, a fill (that is actually a cement mixture) is put back into the trench to close the void and level the soil. A whole cement truck is brought to the site of the backfilling. As the name suggests, the flowable fill is not too coarse or dry in nature and can spread over an area.
Since this involves cement, certain precautions must be exercised when using this backfill method. Although this method works well, it must be seen that the cement mix doesn’t cling to the pipes and other utilities underground too tightly. This can make it difficult to remove or repair pipes later.
This is a popular backfill method using a specific material that hasn’t been compacted. First, the material has to be dumped in the trench, and left like that for a few hours. Later, the contractor comes back and applies pressurized water to the fill. Although this is a simpler backfill method, the downside is that after a long time, the pavement dips and becomes weak and compromised. Jetting shouldn’t be used as a long-term backfill method.
Proper backfilling is crucial to the integrity of a building’s foundation. Bob Smith Plumbing uses crushed limestone to backfill for the utmost compaction. Quite often, the same excavated soil is used to fill the trench, resulting in a poorly finished backfill job with long-term consequences for the foundation.
Bob Smith Plumbing exercises caution to protect underground pipes, cables, and other utility lines when doing a backfill job. Most importantly, we adhere to strict standards to make sure the job passes inspections.
Do you require plumbing experts for a backfill job? Contact Bob Smith Plumbing, or visit us at our offices in Pompano Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and surrounding areas.