What Causes Unstable Soil?

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4 March 2022 - 15:21, by , in Waterproofing Services, No comments

The term unstable soil refers to soil that is prone to shifting, moving or shrinking due to its composition, environmental conditions or human activities. Adding extra treatment, support, or shoring may be necessary in order to keep unstable soil in place. It can threaten the integrity of structures in a number of ways.

The issue of soil compaction

Structural damages and sinking structures are common symptoms of poor soil compaction. Depending on soil composition and density, permeation grouting and polyjacking may provide solutions to these problems.

Soil Erosion

Environmental factors such as wind, water, temperature changes and human activity contribute to erosion. Erosion destabilizes soil and may lead to undesirable events such as landslides, sinkholes, and structural damage.

Freeze/Thaw Cycles

As a result of freezing and thawing, soil can become more erodible. Ice trapped in the substrate expands to the point that it breaks down even solid structures. Ice and thaw cycles cause soil and mineral expansion and contraction, causing continued breakdown and potential integrity loss.

Organic Decomposition

Soils containing a high concentration of organic materials are subject to decomposing through chemical processes and microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, archaea and protists. Decomposing organic substrates cause the soil volume to shrink and possibly become unstable.


These causes of unstable soil may be mitigated by using the Le Fong Slab Lifting, Polyjacking, and Permeation Grouting System. Soil stability can be restored to soil with adequate polyurethane resin and foam products and structures can be raised. At Le Fong, we focus on sinking slabs, foundations, seawalls and retaining walls in commercial and residential environments

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