7 Causes of Ground Stabilisation Problems


Soil stabilisation is a term to describe the treatments implemented to make the soil strong enough to bear weight on it without collapsing.

This treatment is crucial for building permits, developing roads, parking roads and any other structures.

However, there are times when stabilised soil can have issues, leading to it being unstable and dangerous for any loads on it.

Soil Erosion

Soil erosion refers to the process in which the materials from the soil, such as rocks or other ground components, move from one location to another due to external elements.

These movements are usually due to the changes in weather such as rain, wind, and more. Soil erosion can also result from human activity.

In some scenarios, the eroded soil can cause a landslide or create a sinkhole, causing damage and downhill erosion to your home.

This means that soil would erode into the side of your house and cause it to slide away. Invest in a retaining wall system to prevent this from happening.

Heavy Rain

If you live in an area with heavy rains and spring thaws, the running water can give you a flooded basement, damaging your belongings and property in the process.

In worst-case scenarios, this water runoff can loosen up the layers of soil, carrying off your entire property along with the water flow if you do not manage the issue properly early on.

Ensure that there are drainage systems available to direct the heavy water flow elsewhere to minimise the effect of water runoff.

High Winds

Areas with high winds are more prone to having the topsoil layer eroded. If you are living in an area with a dry climate, your topsoil area is more prone to topsoil erosion.

This would expose the soil layers underneath, which would, in turn, expose the stabilised soil to weather damage and other changes.

Poor Compaction

Some types of soil are very loose, due to an imbalance of mineral pieces, organic matter, air, and water.

Clay soil, for one, when paired with high moisture would be unstable and difficult to compact. Another type of soil with poor compaction issues would be soils with high sand content.

With just enough sand or solid materials in the composition mix, your soil could be very stable since they drain well, and usually tolerate moisture.

Too much, however, could cause them to become unstable quickly since there are not enough different soil types to hold them in place.

Improper Moisture Management

The ability or lack of water drainage options highly affect the soil composition and how stable it

would be once compacted.

As mentioned above, clay with high moisture content would most certainly not bode well for any structures on it.

Still, with the appropriate water drainage system to keep the clay at its optimal moisture level, clay can be a very stable soil to use – almost comparable to concrete.

Freezing and Thawing

Soil erosion is hard to avoid entirely but freezing and thawing would further

exacerbate this process.

When winter comes, and the cold weather arrives, any moisture trapped in the tiny cracks in the ground is trapped.

This moisture would then freeze, expanding and pushing on the rocks to break them into smaller pieces.

Repeated processes of freezing and thawing would cause the rock and sediments to break down continually.


Topsoil and plants are both organic, which means that they will decompose over time. Organic matters change forms and mass quickly as they decompose in the soil, to the point where up to 90% of the organic material will disappear throughout this process.

If you have plenty of organic matter within the earth that you work on, you can expect ground stabilisation problems soon due to the changes in your soil density, form, and mass.

Image source Pixabay

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