Soil can cause a lot of issues, particularly for construction. It can become airborne or waterlogged very quickly. However, it can be easily fixed with the appropriate soil stabilisation methods. You can make firm soil to avoid shrinking or expanding with the seasons and reduce damage like cracks or subsidence.
What is Soil Stabilisation?
Soil stabilisation is the term used to describe a wide variety of services. These services specifically treat the change of physical properties in the soil to increase its stability and load-bearing capacity. Changing soil properties vastly improves the ability to build roads, buildings, and foundations, so it is essential to treat soil appropriately.
The soil undergoes engineering quality checks and tests when assessing sites to see if they are appropriate to build on. These tests will allow you to gain a permit for building on the site, as not reaching the correct standards would impact the stability of the building in the future.
An excellent example of why you need to test the soil in areas you wish to build on is when considering clay foundations. Clay is sensitive to moisture, and soil rich in clay will become plastic over time and grow soft as water seeps through it. Whilst this may not be right to build on, soil stabilisation can be used to make it appropriate and get yourself a permit for the building.
Install soil stabilisation methods after doing all necessary soil evaluations and tests. This will enable you to lay the right foundations for your building pad.
Types of Soil Stabilisation Methods
Soil stabilisation has many ways to make itself appropriate for your needs. This can include compressing the soil, using chemical agents, heat or electricity or even biological agents to get the desired composition.
Lime Soil Stabilisation
For clayey soils, lime is often added to reduce the wetness, and cement is added for strength and structure. Lime and cement are standard soil stabilisation components mixed into the ground for their unique properties.
Lime has two main properties, one type of lime is high in magnesium, whilst the other is high in calcium. Both are significant components of soil stabilisation.
Bitumen Soil Stabilisation
Bitumen soil stabilisation is the method that references materials such as tar or asphalt, viscous and naturally waterproof materials. These materials are called bitumen and are mixed into the soil to make them stick together and less likely to shift like sand or dust. As a result, bitumen soil is much less absorbent, making soil water-resistant.
Cement Soil Stabilisation
Another soil stabilisation method is using cement. Mixing Portland cement into poor quality soil is a popular method as this mix reacts, solidifies, and becomes a form of concrete known as soil cement. This is a favoured process due to it being simple and effective. Ash or other silica-rich products are known as Pozzolans. Pozzolans can be added to Portland cement to cause a long-term binding process which stabilises the soil further.
Similarly, a bi-product of Portland cement is cement kiln dust, which is usually acquired free at cement plants. This product significantly improves the soil’s shear strength and decreases its ability to swell. This is a much cheaper option but does require a longer curing time.
Chemical Soil Stabilisation
Chemical stabilisation is different to lime soil stabilisation, and bitumen soil stabilisation as chemical stabilisation is where the soil is pulverised and mixed with a chemical additive then compacted back down.
Chemical soil stabilisation has been used to stabilise soil under roads since the early 1900s. It is a trusted method for stabilising building pads under roads; however, it is not recommended to strengthen soil under larger or heavier buildings.
Get Soil Stabilisation with Condor Projects
When you work with us, we’ll provide you with all the latest technology and analyses to get a detailed geotechnical report of your site. Call us today for more information: 053 397 2401. Contact us for more details by calling 01757 288900 or emailing us at [email protected]