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Three Different Ways To Stabilise Soil

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When replacing a driveway or carrying out renovation work, sometimes a homeowner is faced with the task of stabilising soil. The aim of stabilising soil is to add a substance to the soil that can bind the particles of soil together. This creates stronger soil, which means that more weight can safely be placed on the soil. Three substances to stabilise soil are lime, cement and chemicals. Let's look at some pros and cons of these substances when used to stabilise soil.

Lime For Stabilising

Lime is effective for stabilising clay soils, but won't work well on sandy soils. There are two types of lime: quick lime and hydrated lime. Generally speaking, quick lime is more effective than hydrated lime, but hydrated lime is preferred as it is not as dangerous to handle or move as quick lime. Most DIY people use hydrated lime for home renovations. Some pros of lime include:

  • The lime is easy to source and purchase
  • It is an inexpensive solution
  • After the lime is added, the soil becomes more workable
  • Generally it increases the strength of the soil

Some cons of using lime:

  • Limestones are burned in fabrication plants to make the lime; this process is not good for the environment
  • It gives the weakest overall results from all three stabilising substances

Cement For Stabilising

To make soil cement, Portland cement is mixed with pulverised soil and some water. This creates a mixture than can bind the soil together, while also reducing the soil's affinity to water. This reduction means that the soil is fairly stable, even when water is present. Some pros include:

  • It is easy to make the soil cement
  • It comes at a low cost
  • The mixture creates a highly durable stabilisation job
  • The cement soil controls swelling of the soil

Some cons of using cement:

  • Continued exposure to wet conditions may produce cracks in the cement
  • The process is labour intensive
  • Adding concrete to soil can't be considered environmentally friendly

Chemicals For Stabilising

For soil stabilising, many chemicals are used in conjunction with each other to build up strong and stable soil. In addition to strengthening the soil, certain chemicals can be added to increase the permeability of the soil. Some pros of using chemicals include:

  • The setting and curing processes can be controlled with increased accuracy, due to an understanding of the chemicals used
  • This creates the strongest soil of all three stabilising substances
  • It increases the soil condition, making it more workable

Some cons of using chemicals:

  • It's the most expensive option
  • An expert is required to apply the chemicals
  • Some chemicals cause the soil to lose its strength if exposed to water or air

Individual homeowners should consider their own circumstances, such as which type of soil they have, before deciding the best method for their property. For more information, visit a specialist's website, such as