Poor infrastructure packs a significant negative punch.
Almost everyone is worse off when a country’s infrastructure is substandard.
For example, potholed and icy highways contribute to over 42,000 deaths every year.
This is just one instance where damaged infrastructure has a hugely deleterious effect. It’s also a prime example of how the ground beneath our feet (and wheels) is of utmost importance.
Clearly, solid ground and stable infrastructure are both crucial components of a safe and well-functioning society. One vital means of facilitating both is by stabilizing the soil prior to construction.
However, what do we mean by that, and how exactly does it help?
Keep reading to discover all about soil stabilization and why it matters.
What is Soil Stabilization?
First off, let’s start with a definition.
After all, soil stabilization is a novel concept for most people. Understanding what it is will help explain why it’s so important.
In simple terms, soil stabilization is exactly what it sounds like:
It’s a process of enhancing or sustaining soil stability.
However, you can go about it in different ways. The two primary approaches include chemical and physical treatments. These involve combining soils of different qualities and adding chemical ingredients to the soil, respectively.
You might be wondering why the stability of soil is so important.
Well, most people know the biblical story of building on sand versus stone. Constructing almost anything on unstable soil is as foolish as building upon the sand. It simply won’t withstand the rigors of the task.
On that note, let’s move on to the specific benefits of this vital process.
What Are the Benefits of Soil Stabilization?
With a definition behind us, let’s turn to the reasons soil stabilization matters. Here is a selection of the primary benefits this process provides.
1. Fitness for Purpose
As we just noted, building upon the loose and unstable ground is rarely sensible.
Imagine a 5-ton truck driving down a road constructed over loose, permeable soil. The road would crumble in a flash. Constant use would render that road useless in no time.
In areas of poor quality soil/land, it’s vital to take steps to improve the situation. Before construction begins, stabilizing the land ensure the product to come will be entirely fit for purpose.
This, in turns, enhances levels of safety and utility.
Populations are increasing. Traffic levels are growing at the same rate. Trucks and vehicles of greater sizes and powers are hitting the roads. The physical demands of the modern world call for stable infrastructure.
For that to happen, the quality and stability of the soil underneath are of utmost importance.
2. Cost Reductions
An alternative to soil stabilization process is shifting the soil that’s already there. In its place, you put higher quality aggregate material.
This is an effective solution that’s been favored for years. However, it’s highly inefficient and financially cost-ineffective.
First off, it requires moving the soil that’s already in place. That means manpower and machinery. Both cost money. Next up, you have to pay for the new material. More money. Oh, and transport it to the location. That isn’t free either. Then there’s the need to get that new material in position.
Guess what? More machinery, manpower, and, yep, you guessed it: money.
Soil stabilization works with what’s already there. In one fell swoop, you dramatically cut your overheads.
3. Time Savings
The traditional approach to improving ground quality is expensive.
However, it doesn’t just set you back in terms of money. No, the true cost is to your time and energy. Think about it, every single step we outlined in the aforementioned benefit also takes time.
Everything from the preparation of the land, to the import and addition of the new material. Projects run for weeks longer than they need to.
Using what’s already there is a sure-fire way to save time.
4. Saves the Environment
Environmental considerations are now front and center of government agendas around the world.
It’s more important than ever before to take steps to reduce our carbon footprint. Any option to limit emissions and reduce the use of natural resources is key.
Soil stabilization plays a role here too. Think back to the processes we’ve just described. Each element that costs time and money has another environmental knock-on effect. It’s a triple whammy of negativity!
Supplies of high-quality soil are running low. Digging new soil depletes them even further. The excavation also requires heavy machinery. That amounts to more emissions. Next up, you have to transport it (sometimes huge distances) to be brought to the site.
Likewise, removing the soil in the first place and taking it elsewhere requires a similar level of transport. Trucks full of material are heading up and down the country. Emissions are being released all the time.
Using a binder to transform the soil that’s already there helps render all of this unnecessary.
Find out more about geo-products by following this link.
5. Reduces Additional Materials
Wait, there are more savings to be had!
This time it’s to do with the materials that usually sit upon the new soil. For instance, weaker soil requires more asphalt and concrete. The additional thickness caters for the inadequate soil foundation.
When the soil is stabilized (and the quality improved), there’s no longer the need for that extra material. That’s good news all around. Projects are easier to complete, cheaper to complete, and require less material to attain the same standards.
Time to Get Stabilizing
There you have it: everything to know about soil stabilization and why it matters.
A country’s infrastructure is intrinsically tied to the quality of its foundations. The ground upon which towns and cities are built play a vital role in promoting affluence and growth. Roads, highways, sidewalks, buildings, runways, and so on…they all rely on solid ground to operate.
That’s where soil stabilization comes into play. In a world of increasing infrastructural demands, there’s a growing need for cheaper, faster and better solutions to common problems. As we’ve seen, stabilizing the soil does all of that and more.
Hopefully, this post has highlighted exactly why this process is so beneficial.