Having stable ground is important for a wide array of construction, renovation, remediation, demolition, and landscaping projects. Unfortunately, the topography of an area doesn't always lend itself to people's goals. Time can also undo a number of locations that have been previously deemed stable.
One soil stabilization solution that's frequently used is concrete. Let's take a look at how it might figure into your next project.
Signs of Instability
Unstable soil is frequently not discovered until after work is begun or even completed at a site. People often see floors and walls cracking, chimneys crumbling, and porches collapsing long before such failures can be expected.
If you're very lucky, you'll notice the problem when heavy equipment moves onto the site for a job. In fact, soil stabilization sometimes has to be performed during demolition projects just to allow machinery to get in and out. While no one wants to have to rescue a bulldozer, it's still better to discover these issues before a whole structure or a road goes in.
Can You Stabilize Soil Yourself?
If the area is expansive enough that you're worried about soil shifting under the weight of structures, it's unwise to proceed with stabilization efforts yourself. The work demands professional help. First, the types of soil at a location have to be identified. Second, a solution that'll work with that soil composition will have to be decided upon. Third, the job often calls for injecting pressurized mixtures of cement and lime into the ground. Simply put, it just isn't a DIY job even if you have significant construction and land grading resources on hand.
What Types of Soil Usually Need Help?
Granular soils, such as materials left behind from ancient riverbeds that have dried up, are especially challenging to deal with. Clay soils and anything that has a fine grain are candidates for stabilization, too. When the weight of buildings, roads, or new topsoil is added, the pressure can cause the grains to compact or shift.
Reclaimed sites frequently have soil stability issues. If a location was previously the site of a landfill, toxic waste dump, coal mine, road, or building, the soil can become loosened up by human activities. The topography of a site may also be changed by land grading or landscaping efforts, altering how water flows through the soil. It's a good idea to request a professional assessment if your site meets any of the criteria listed here.