What Is Soil Stabilization and Why Does It Matter?
If you know much about the foundation of your home, you’ve probably read about foundational soil, how to protect it from becoming too dry or too moist. It’s for this exact problem that soil stabilization injection techniques were invented, to both repair and protect your home’s foundation. But terms like “ soil stabilization injection techniques” can be quite a mouthful and overwhelming without the right context. What exactly is soil stabilization. Why does it matter for your home’s foundation?
The Problem With Soil Expansion
Soil expansion occurs when the foundational soil becomes too moist. When it retains moisture, it swells and expands — much like too-dry soil can contract and shrink. Soil expansion can cause foundation upheaval, as the expanded soil pushes on the foundation and lifts it. This can lead to issues with your door and window frames, causing stuck windows and doors. It might lead to cracks in the floor or the walls or cause window cracks. If left unattended, soil expansion can cause costly and time-consuming damage to your home.
What Is Soil Stabilization?
Soil stabilization involves soil treatment designed to keep the soil from expanding or contracting, thus protecting your home’s foundation. It is administered through soil stabilization injection techniques to alter the soil on a molecular level. The use of this technique not only stabilizes your soil, but your foundation itself, keeping it from settling or being upheaved, and protecting the structure of your home from the damage that can follow as a result.
Benefits of Soil Stabilization
The main benefit of soil stabilization is its very purpose: protecting the very foundation of your home. However, there are other benefits that come as a result of that.
- Soil stabilization saves money. Repairs to your foundation, as well as repairs to the rest of your house as a result of a damaged foundation, can be massively costly. By keeping your foundation from upheaval, you also protect your wallet.
- Soil stabilization saves time. It’s much less hassle to use soil stabilization injection techniques to protect your soil in the first place than to have to raise or lower the foundation later.
- Soil stabilization strengthens roads. Because the soil beneath the roads is stable, less asphalt needs to be poured to strengthen roads, which can save the city money, as well.
- Soil stabilization protects the environment. Because less asphalt and construction material has to be used over soil that’s been stabilized, soil stabilization also helps to protect the environment. Additionally, it allows construction workers to better use the site materials already available.
Soil Stabilization Injection Techniques
Soil stabilizer has to be installed with precise and minimally invasive machinery in order to be effective without destroying your yard. In some cases — especially residential cases — this is done with a handheld tool. In larger projects, such as roads, a vehicle moves into place and lowers the injection pipe into the treatment site. The soil is injected around the perimeter and the injection typically ranges between 7 and 10 feet. The soil stabilizer is non-toxic, water soluble, and quickly absorbed into the soil.
There are a variety of soil stabilizers available, but they can vary in quality. Using the wrong soil stabilizer or soil stabilization injection techniques can harm your foundation in a few different ways. Here are a few things to watch out for:
Poor Soil Stabilization Injection Techniques
If your soil stabilizer is not a proven effective solution, the results could be counteractive to the problem you have. Here are a few soil stabilizers that have been shown to be ineffective at best and harmful at worst.
- Cut-Off Walls and Aprons. Rather than a chemical injection, this simply puts a barrier between the soil and any potential water damage. However, this is an expensive solution that essentially “puts a bandaid on the problem” rather than fixing the soil itself.
- Lime Slurry. Lime soil stabilizer works by encapsulating the soil. However, over time it can wash away and leave the soil as vulnerable as ever.
- Potassium Chloride. Potassium was an experimental soil stabilization method tested by universities for its effectiveness. Unfortunately, though it was proven not to be very effective, it’s still used in some projects.
- Pre-Swelling. Some soil stabilization injection techniques involve injecting the stabilizer pre-swelling. However, this can lead to issues of contracting or dry soil, which can cause issues of foundation settlement.
Why We Use EcSS 3000TM Soil Stabilizer
At Childers Brothers, Inc., we use EcSS 3000TM (or Environmental Soil Stabilizer) because it’s the only scientifically proven soil stabilizer. It’s not just used on residential homes: it’s been used by the D/FW International Airport, the US Forest Service, Texas Department of Transportation, North Texas Tollway Authority, JPI Construction, and so much more. EcSS 3000TM attacks aluminum atoms in the soil to permanently keep it from expanding and contracting, so it won’t wash off or wear down.