While most people think of land surveys in the most basic sense—that is, the drawing of the boundaries of a property—there are actually many different ways of surveying that service many different industries. Property surveys are a large part of the business, but there are also surveys and surveyors that help the construction industry, the environmental sector, and many others. The kinds of surveys that are conducted would surprise most people, and some things that you might think are surveys aren’t surveys at all. Instead of the standard two-dimensional measuring from one point to another, today’s surveys not only measure the land, but also the air and water above and below us. Let’s take a quick look at a sampling of different types of land surveys available.
The most common and well-known surveys conducted today are boundary surveys, mortgage surveys, and topographic surveys. An ALTA survey, which is actually a shortened title for ATLA/NSPS, combines elements of all three with a set of standards put forth jointly by the American Land Title Association and the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping. ALTA surveys are most commonly used for commercial properties; by having a universal standard, companies can assure themselves of the level of thoroughness and be confident when the results are guaranteed by an ALTA survey.
Boundary Surveys are exactly what the name describes: a survey to establish the true boundaries of a given property. Through previously recorded markers and the establishment of new landmarks, a surveyor will establish the true boundaries of a property and then mark the corners and lines of the plot, using markers such as iron rods, pipes or concrete monuments in the ground, or nails set in concrete or asphalt. In the past, trees, piles of stones, and other less permanent markers were used, which led to confusion when the markers were either destroyed or changed.
Mortgage Surveys are simple surveys that for the most part determine land boundaries and building locations. They are usually required by title companies and lending institutions when they provide financing to show that there are no structures encroaching on the property and that any structures on the property meet current zoning and building codes. It is important to ensure that you are getting an officially licensed mortgage survey performed by a licensed land surveyor, and not a mortgage inspection, which is a substandard survey that does not adhere to any set standards and is not regulated or accepted as an official land survey.
Topographic Surveys are land surveys that locate natural and man-made features on a piece of property—for example, buildings, improvements, fences, elevations, land contours, trees and streams. These are measured for their elevation on a particular piece of land and presented as contour lines on a plot. Topographical surveys are sometimes required by the government. Engineers and architects also use topographical surveys to aid in the design of improvements or developments on a site.
One of the largest and most rapidly growing areas of land surveying is in the construction industry. Surveys are crucial tools from inception and planning, to actual construction and maintenance afterwards. Most construction surveys fall under the discipline of civil engineering, which may require additional degrees and certifications in order to conduct. All construction projects begin with the Plot Plan or Site Plan, which set out the plan for the entire project, including all existing and proposed conditions on a given site.
As-Built Surveys are conducted several times during a construction project to verify for local and state boards that the work authorized is being completed to the specifications set on the plot plan.
Foundation Surveys are a type of as-built survey that collects the positional data on a foundation that has been poured and is now cured. Foundation surveys are done to ensure that the foundation has both been constructed in the proper location and has been built in the proper manner according to the plan.
Deformation Surveys determine if a structure or object is changing shape or moving, generally on an existing structure. By the taking of three-dimensional positions on specific points on an object, then letting a period of time pass before retaking and measuring the points, it can be determined whether a structure is shifting or moving, and by how much.
Although it may seem counter-intuitive, surveyors are also responsible for performing Hydrographic and Bathymetric Surveys.
Hydrographic surveys collect data relating to any body of water, and the data collected may include the water depth, bottom contours, the direction of the current, observing and recording high water marks and water levels, as well as the location of fixed objects and landmarks for navigational purposes. They can also be conducted to gather information for engineering or resource management purposes, such as hydro power plants.
Bathymetric surveys deal exclusively underwater, and map the seabed profile.
Geodetic Surveys fall under both the land and water category, as they map out the shoreline. Thomas Jefferson commissioned a geodetic survey in 1807 as the Survey of the Coast. Progress on the survey moved slowly at first as they did not even have the proper instruments to perform the survey until 1815. It still exists today as the National Geodetic Survey, and its responsibilities now include the interior lands of the United States as well as its coasts.
Wetlands Delineation and Location Surveys belong in a category all on their own; they are performed when construction work is being planned on or near a site containing defined wetlands. Local, state, or federal regulations vary, but wetlands are usually classified as areas that are completely inundated with water for more than two weeks during the growing season. Boundaries of wetlands are determined by observing the soil colors, vegetation, erosion patterns or scour marks, hydrology, and morphology of the land in question. Data is then collected based on the locations of the placed flags and a plan is drawn to reference the boundary of the wetlands and compare it to the proposed boundaries of the surrounding plots or parcels of land and the construction work proposed within.
There are many other types of land surveys, but the examples presented above are the most common forms of land surveys that the general public is most likely to encounter.
Carolina Surveying Services is always available to help you with any and all of your surveying needs! Contact us today!
Heat Exhaustion VS. Heat Stroke
Heat Exhaustion vs Heatstroke: Symptoms & Treatment
It’s usually during a heatwave that we talk about staying hydrated and taking precautions to avoid having a heatstroke. It can happen anytime, even when it’s not summer, but is more likely to happen during a stretch of hot days when you need to be outside or if you work outside.
Heat-related illnesses are preventable if you know the differences and the symptoms.
HEAT EXHAUSTION is the precursor to heatstroke and is a direct result of the body overheating. According to Mayo Clinic, heat exhaustion is identifiable by heavy sweating, rapid pulse, dizziness, fatigue, cool, moist skin with goose bumps when in the heat, muscle cramps, nausea and headache. These symptoms may develop over time or come on suddenly, especially during or following periods of prolonged exercise.
When heat exhaustion is not addressed, heatstroke can follow. Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion may develop suddenly or over time, especially with prolonged periods of exercise.
Heat exhaustion signs and symptoms include (Source: Mayo Clinic):
1) Cool, moist skin with goose bumps when in the heat
2) Heavy sweating
6) Weak, rapid pulse
7) Low blood pressure upon standing
8) Muscle cramps
TREATMENT: If you think you’re experiencing heat exhaustion:
1) Stop all activity and rest
2) Move to a cooler place
3) Drink cool water or sports drinks
HEATSTROKE is a condition caused by your body overheating, usually as a result of prolonged exposure to or physical exertion in high temperatures, according to the Mayo Clinic. This most serious form of heat injury, heatstroke, can occur if your body temperature rises to 104 F (40 C) or higher.
Heatstroke signs and symptoms include (Source: Mayo Clinic):
1) High body temperature. A core body temperature of 104 F (40 C) or higher, obtained with a rectal thermometer, is the main sign of heatstroke.
2) Altered mental state or behavior. Confusion, agitation, slurred speech, irritability, delirium, seizures and coma can all result from heatstroke.
3) Alteration in sweating. In heatstroke brought on by hot weather, your skin will feel hot and dry to the touch. However, in heatstroke brought on by strenuous exercise, your skin may feel dry or slightly moist.
4) Nausea and vomiting. You may feel sick to your stomach or vomit.
5) Flushed skin. Your skin may turn red as your body temperature increases.
6) Rapid breathing. Your breathing may become rapid and shallow.
7) Racing heart rate. Your pulse may significantly increase because heat stress places a tremendous burden on your heart to help cool your body.
8) Headache. Your head may throb.
- Take immediate action to cool the overheated person while waiting for emergency treatment
- Get the person into shade or indoors.
- Remove excess clothing.
- Cool the person with whatever means available — put in a cool tub of water or a cool shower, spray with a garden hose, sponge with cool water, fan while misting with cool water, or place ice packs or cold, wet towels on the person’s head, neck, armpits and groin.
A Homeowner’s Guide to Boundary Surveys
Protecting your investment with the services of a licensed Land Surveyor
WHEN PURCHASING A HOME
A home is usually the biggest investment of your life, and only a Professional Land Surveyor can determine the boundaries of the property and make sure you are getting all the land you believe you will own. By having your property surveyed before you buy, you will know where all the property lines are, what you are buying, and whether any natural or man-made features near the property lines are on that property.
WHEN REQUIRED TO HAVE FLOOD INSURANCE
The elevation of the nearest floodplain in relation to your property can be
determined by the Land Surveyor. Having your property analyzed by a Land Surveyor can be the difference in a homeowner paying for expensive
flood insurance or completing a FEMA Elevation Certificate to confirm your property is in the clear.
WHEN MAKING IMPROVEMENTS TO YOUR PROPERTY – (FENCE, LANDSCAPING)
By having a survey done first, you can plan your project and make sure it is within the boundaries of your land. Fences that encroach onto a neighbor’s property have the ability to turn great neighbors into bad neighbors.
WHEN ADDING ADDITIONS
When a homeowner builds an addition or new building, the Land Surveyor can locate all the features of the property that help
determine the building setback and the size of addition or new structure allowed.
Should You Hire a Land Surveyor?
When in need of a professional service, you should know exactly what you are getting. A Professional Land Surveyor will take the time to understand your survey needs. Surveyors who are members of their local, state, and national professional organizations are showing that they are concerned with changes in laws and technology. They are given the most opportunity for continuing education and changes affecting the land surveying profession. Always consider using a member of your local or state professional land surveying organization.
This information is supplied by the National Society of Professional
Surveyors (NSPS) and distributed by: Carolina Surveying Services, Inc.
As South Carolina residents continue to recover from the historic flood they endured there are resources for receiving help or lending a hand. WLTX put together the resource guide linked below to help. They are updating it with new information as they receive it.
Please reach out to Carolina Surveying Services if we can be of any help in the coming weeks and months of recovery.
South Carolina Public Radio will be presenting a segment tomorrow, Wednesday, October 28, 2015 on the SC Boundary Program, specifically about the South Carolina/North Carolina Border survey and its impacts. The report will be presented at 6:22 AM, 8:22 AM and 5:20 PM.
If you’re near a radio at any of these times tomorrow, tune into your local Public Radio Station for this segment.
Aiken/Augusta: 89.1 FM
Beaufort/Hilton Head: 89.9 FM
Conway/Myrtle Beach: 90.1 FM
Rock Hill/Charlotte: 88.9 FM
Sumter/Columbia: 88.1 FM
Carolina Surveying Serivces
415 North Lake Drive
Lexington, SC 29072
Carolina Surveying Services is located in the city of Lexington at the heart of the Midlands. Carolina Surveying serves the greater Columbia area and other locations throughout South Carolina including Lexington County, Richland County, Calhoun County, Orangeburg County, Sumter County, Fairfield County, Newberry County, Saluda County, Aiken County, and Kershaw County, SC.