5 Signs You Need To Stabilize Soil At A Location

Unstable soil presents a major hazard to property, landscaping, infrastructure, and even people. Soil stabilization, though, can make a huge difference. You might wonder what the signs are that soil is unstable so let's examine 5 common indicators.


One of the earliest signs of soil instability is water running off at the site. This tends to be more frequent during rainstorms or snow melts, but it can happen on relatively dry days, too. For example, you might see run-off if a natural spring is on the property and creating problems.

You should have a professional assess the engineering state of the site. In some cases, you might need to use a lime stabilization process to encourage the soil to solidify a bit. Lime also generally discourages water retention, ultimately encouraging faster drying.

Heaves and Collapses

The soil can also heave or collapse at spots where it is unstable. Up and down temperatures can encourage heaving. Likewise, the soil may settle and cause a collapse.

Soil stabilization is especially a good idea if you're seeing damage to structures from heaves and collapses. The worst-case scenario could be damage to a house's foundation. You could also see damage to buried pipes and utility lines, parking spaces, sidewalks, roads, and driveways on the property.

Pooling Water

As previously noted, unstable often doesn't drain well. Consequently, you may notice areas on the property that don't drain well. This is particularly common after storms, and you should note how long it takes for the pool to disappear.

Equipment Trapped in Mud

If you move equipment across the ground, there's a good chance you'll discover the unstable spots quickly. Disturbing the soil, especially with tracked or heavy machines, may reveal spots that looked stable but were only solid a few inches down. If you're regularly hooking vehicles up with chains to rescue them from the mud, there are likely some soil stabilization needs in the area.

Grass Is Struggling

Soil stability issues also frequently affect the grass at a location. The retention of water isn't great for many breeds of grass, and run-off can deprive the soil of nutrients. You may notice the grass dies quickly during dry periods or simply struggles to grow. Similarly, you might see weeds thriving because they can out-compete the grass.

In some spots, the grass may start to get mossy or even begin to become a bog. If it feels soft to the foot whenever you walk through the area, that's not a good sign. 

For more information about soil stabilization, contact a local landscaper.