Help for housebuilders

Tony Hawkinsin Machinery & Mechanics

The majority of the housebuilding industry has downed tools during the government's 'lockdown' including the UK's biggest builders, Barratt, Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey. These giants of the industry remain active however in lobbying government to bring in measures post Covid-19 to help the industry recover as quickly as possible.

Prior to lockdown, Terrain Aeration was playing its own small part in supporting the leading housebuilders with its unique deep aeration treatment of gardens in new build developments. Picture a piece of flat land being prepared for the erection of dozens of houses and you'll see diggers and dumper trucks, deliveries of raw materials, concrete mixers, bulldozers and brick lorries crisscrossing the site. All of which does a very good job of compacting the ground which may already have a sub-soil layer of rubble, old bricks and general landfill waste. Fine for building on so long as it provides a stable base, but not so fine when it comes to setting out the gardens for each property.

Providing drainage systems for back gardens in new build properties is usually a prohibitively costly and unnecessary expense for the builder. The problem is, in a relatively short period and particularly when heavy rains occur, it becomes evident there's nowhere for the standing water to go, the ground being so compacted. Normal aeration of a newly-laid lawn will have little or no effect, penetrating only a few inches into the heavily compacted area under the topsoil. Terrain Aeration has worked with the builders for many years resolving the problem with their deep penetration aeration system. The company's range of machines is designed for use from open spaces to tight-entranced, enclosed gardens.

The Terrain Aeration machine hammers a hollow probe one metre into the soil using a JCB road breaker gun (this is needed because the ground is so compact at depth that it needs this hammer to break through). Once the probe has reached one-metre depth, compressed air is released up to a maximum of 20Bar (280psi).

The Terrain Aeration machines are the only ones using such high air pressure, which is needed to fracture and fissure the soil. The probe is withdrawn and the process repeated using spacings on a staggered grid pattern - this means that each shot interconnects with the previous ones. On the tail end of the air blast, dried seaweed is injected which sticks to the walls of the fractures and fissures and, over time, expands and contracts with the moisture content in the soil - similar to "breathing" underground. The 1½" probe holes created by the Terrain Aeration machine are backfilled with aggregate to provide a semi-permanent aeration/ventilation shaft, helping to keep the whole aeration process working.

Terrain Aeration is already set to work with the housebuilders once again, as soon as the current restrictions are lifted, and to contribute to getting the housing market back on track.

Terrain Aeration 01449 673783