When the subgrade soil on which you intend to lay a pavement is believed to be unstable, you will need to stabilise the soil before you can embark on any construction work. One of the innovative and most popular methods of stabilising unstable sites is by using lime. This practice is commonly referred to as lime stabilisation.
If you intend to install a new pavement on subgrade soil that needs lime treatment, here are a number of significant benefits you stand to gain by stabilising the site using lime.
Improves freeze-thaw resistance
Severe environmental conditions can cause a lot of destruction to your paving. If you live in a region that experiences cold climatic conditions for the most part of the year, the freeze-thaw cycles can impact deleteriously on the subgrade soil of your paving. Lime reacts with the soil to form strong but stable structural layers in the paving. The layers are held together by frost-resistant bonds, which offers great resistance to damage that may be caused due to the freeze-thaw action. For example, you can be sure to reduce the extent of damage caused by cracking that may occur on your pavement during and following the cold winter days.
Saves on overlying material costs
The pozzolanic reactivity that takes place between lime and compounds present in the subgrade soil improves the structural strength of the pavement. Because lime-stabilised subgrade increases the ability of the pavement to bear up to structural loads (human or vehicular traffic), the lime treatment decreases the thickness requirement for overlying paving materials. What this means is that you will be able to cut the cost of construction materials, and thus save on the total cost of the pavement.
Reduces machine hours
The higher the number of heavy construction equipment, like excavators and dumper trucks, you require to run onsite, the more your project costs escalate. A great advantage of lime stabilisation is that it eliminates the need to remove the unsuitable subgrade soil (clay) from the construction site. In essence, the strength of the available clay material is improved onsite without stripping of subgrade soil and the hauling of the material away. This reduces the number of machine hours required to complete the job, thus saving you both project time and money.
In the long run, lime stabilisation leads to performance benefits, which drive down maintenance costs and increase the life expectancy of your pavement.