As groundwork contractors sharing more than a century of trade and industry experience, we use a range of industry-specific terms as second nature. However, we recognise that our customers and clients in Epsom and the surrounding areas may not be so familiar with the vocabulary that surrounds groundworks. Whether it’s drainage preparation, foundation installation or concrete laying, these words range from the somewhat familiar to the completely alien.
As groundwork contractors intent on delivering 100% satisfaction to our customers and clients in Epsom and beyond, we have taken the first step to clarifying terms used in groundworks with a handy glossary below.
Access Chamber: A subterranean space created by our groundwork contractors to allow for easy access to below-ground services such as drains.
Aggregate: A filler used in industrial mixes for groundworks, including concrete and asphalt. This comes in fine, coarse or mixed varieties.
Ballast: A type of aggregate used in a range of groundworks in the Epsom area. This grade has non-uniform components.
Damp Proof Course: An impermeable layer integrated into a wall that guards against rising damp. Usually fitted by groundwork contractors, after foundation installation and drainage preparation work, at least 150mm above the exterior ground level.
Formwork: This is the mould used for some concrete laying services. Our groundwork contractors pour in liquid concrete, then remove the formwork after it cures.
Foundation: A foundation is the part of the structure that transfers the load into the soil. Made from various concrete laying methods, they also anchor the structure.
Groundwork: Groundworks include all digging and excavating operations involved in the early stages of projects, including drainage preparation, levelling, concrete laying and foundation installation.
Manhole: An access hole to reach underground services, areas and access chambers. An important feature of drainage preparation work in Epsom and beyond
Pile: A type of foundation installation, piles consist of columns driven deep into the ground to access a more stable layer than that provided by the immediate sub-surface.
Reinforced Concrete: A type of concrete that imparts huge strength in situations of shear, compression, bending and tension. The reinforcement comes in the form of steel bars embedded within the concrete.
Screed: A mostly dry mix of sand and cement laid over concrete floors before being screeded and trowelled for a smooth surface.
Settlement: The process of a foundation installation ‘settling’ under the weight of the structure above. This move downwards comes as the soil beneath compacts.
Subsidence: The unexpected movement of a foundation installation in a downward direction. This is typically caused by clay soil drying out and shrinking.
Underpinning: A type of groundworks that deepens an existing foundation installation for additional support.