[This article was written by Brooke Chaplan.]
As advanced as modern commercial buildings can be, the fact is that they still all rest on the same substance: soil. Unfortunately, soil, by itself, can be quite an unpredictable substance that can lead to issues with your buildings. To help make the future behavior of the soil more predictable, soil stabilization should be an important part of any construction or improvement project that you undertake.
Get Started Early
When it comes to constructing a new building, soil stabilization should not be an afterthought. Some of the techniques for stabilizing soil are much more easily done before grading and leveling have taken place. Therefore, it’s important to bring in experienced soil stabilization contractors right from the start so that you don’t have to go back later and undo what other contractors have done to properly stabilize the soil.
Soil Stabilization Depends on the Soil Composition
Just as no two commercial buildings are exactly alike, no two soil stabilization projects are exactly alike, either. The exact techniques to be used for soil stabilization depend largely on the composition of the soil at a specific location. GPS-enabled leveling, hydrated lime infusion, and cement slab installation are just a few of the many techniques that can be used to secure and stabilize a plot of land. Which of these techniques will be used, though, will be determined after the composition of the soil has been thoroughly tested.
Increased Weight Affects Your Construction
One of the most important uses of soil stabilization is to increase the amount of weight that a specific plot of land can bear. Therefore, if you’re looking to utilize a piece of property for heavy industrial uses, soil stabilization is an absolute must. If you don’t do any soil stabilization before you begin vertical construction, you could end up with low points in your facility in areas where the highest concentrations of weight reside.
Stabilization is Not Just for Settling
To be sure, soil stabilization does an outstanding job of protecting against the future settling of a piece of property. However, the soil in some areas can suffer from another issue: swelling. Due to changes in moisture content and releases of gas from underground, some soil can swell to the point that it can have an effect on anything that’s built on top of it. Fortunately, a good stabilization contractor can analyze the soil and detect any risk for this condition and take action to counteract swelling.
Stabilization is an Ongoing Conversation
Once the soil stabilization at a particular site has been completed, that doesn’t mean your conversation with the soil stabilization contractor has to end. As other contractors move in to work on other parts of the project, it’s important that you continue to monitor for any issues with the soil so that further stabilization efforts can be performed if necessary. By having this ongoing conversation, you can ensure that your site will be stable and the buildings on the site will be solid for years to come.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She recommends looking into soil stabilization for your commercial property. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan