Soil Improvement vs Soil Stabilization in Hattiesburg MS
Updated: Oct 4
The foundation of any construction project lies beneath the surface - in the soil. Engineers and builders often encounter the challenges of dealing with different soil types, each with its unique properties. Two common techniques used to enhance the performance of soils are soil improvement and soil stabilization in Hattiesburg.
Let’s explore the distinctions between these two methods and why one has become the preferred choice.
What is Soil Improvement?
Soil improvement refers to a set of techniques aimed at enhancing the engineering properties of soil. The goal is to optimize soil characteristics to better support structures and prevent issues like settling, subsidence and inadequate load-bearing capacity.
Soil improvement methods typically focus on altering the physical properties of the soil. Common techniques include:
Compaction. Compaction involves mechanically increasing the density of the soil particles, reducing pore spaces and improving load-bearing capacity.
Grouting. Grouting is the injection of a material (such as cement grout or chemical grout) into the soil to improve its strength and reduce permeability.
Vibro-compaction. This technique involves using vibrations to densify loose, granular soils by reducing air voids between particles
What is Soil Stabilization?
Soil stabilization, on the other hand, focuses on enhancing the chemical and physical properties of soil to increase its strength, durability and load-bearing capacity. This method is particularly useful for soils with poor cohesion and drainage.
Soil stabilization techniques often involve the addition of stabilizers like cement, lime or other chemical agents to alter the soil's properties. Common techniques include:
Polyurethane Injections. The best way to stabilize soil is with polyurethane foam. It’s quick to install, costs less than other methods and won’t harm the environment. Plus, poly injections are a long-term solution!
Cement Stabilization. Another option is to add cement to soil to create a hardened mixture. However, this is not the best option because the cement can destroy microorganisms and cause cracking.
Lime Stabilization. Lime may also be used to modify soil properties such as plasticity, swelling and moisture sensitivity, improving its overall stability. But, adding too much lime can cause soil deficiencies.
While both soil improvement and soil stabilization aim to enhance soil properties, they are applied in different scenarios:
Soil Improvement. This method is often used to modify loose, granular soils to achieve the desired engineering properties. It's suitable for areas with uneven or variable soil conditions.
Soil Stabilization. Stabilization is typically employed when dealing with soils that lack cohesion and stability, such as clay or silt. It's used to strengthen and solidify the soil for construction purposes.
Soil Stabilization in Hattiesburg MS
Soil improvement and stabilization have similar goals, though one focuses on improving the soil while the other focuses on stabilizing it. Soil stabilization takes the edge because it saves time, money and resources, and there is no reason to exchange all of the soil.
Foremost Foundations and Construction uses polyurethane foam to stabilize soil. It’s fast, affordable and permanent, and it causes minimal disruption. To learn more about our soil stabilization services, contact our team today.