Understanding Soil Stabilisation with Lime: The Ultimate Guide

15 February 2022
 Categories: , Blog


Soil stabilisation is a process that serves to improve soil characteristics. It's usually done on poor quality soils to ensure they meet the required standards for construction work, paving, etc. Generally, cement and lime stabilisation are the primary soil stabilisation techniques you will find. And while each option has its pros and cons, lime soil stabilisation is a popular method because it's cost-effective and time-saving, among other benefits. However, knowing what the process entails can go a long way in helping you understand what to expect and plan accordingly. With that in mind, here are some guidelines on what lime stabilisation for soil entails.

Surface Preparation Is Critical

Soil stabilisation involves introducing additives to the soil to cause a reaction that helps improve the soil's properties. Therefore, surface preparation is a critical part of the process. For instance, the surface may need to be ripped to a certain depth depending on the soil type, among other factors. The process is typically known as pulverising, and excavators usually come in handy here. However, you can also use other similar suitable mixing equipment and machines. Excavation is crucial because it enables you to identify and eliminate unsuitable materials that may be harder to treat or react with lime and other additives.

You may also need to add water, especially if it's too dry or the soil has low moisture content. Water is essential as it facilitates the chemical reactions necessary to improve the soil's properties. During compaction, it will also help ensure the soil maintains its moisture content.

Different Types of Lime Can Be Used

Soil stabilisation using lime may involve different types of lime. However, quicklime and hydraulic lime are the primary types of lime used in soil stabilisation. Quicklime is typically the more popular option because it tends to be more effective. However, proper care must be taken when using quicklime because it can pose risks of skin burns. Therefore, ensure you invest in the proper protective clothing for your workers. On the other hand, hydraulic lime usually comes in powder form and can be mixed with water. Therefore, remember to ask for the type of lime to ensure you select the right one for your project and soil type.

You Must Leave the Soil to Cure

Once the lime has been applied and the soil compacted, it's imperative to allow enough time for the soil to cure. The rate at which the soil cures may vary depending on the soil type and environmental conditions. For instance, the soil will cure faster in warmer temperatures than freezing conditions. Humidity may also affect the curing rate, so remember to ask for a suitable curing period to start your project for your planning.