When you’re looking for long-lasting soil stabilization, Perma-Zyme is the way to go. This unique enzyme formula is 100% natural and non-hazardous, and one application lasts 10 years in most settings (or up to five years in heavy industrial settings). 

Of course, it’s a good idea to find out how your soil will work with Perma-Zyme before you apply it. At Substrata, we offer complimentary soil evaluations to check your soil’s level of compatibility with Perma-Zyme. With this evaluation, you’ll find out what type of soil you have, how it will work with Perma-Zyme, and whether it needs any amendments to achieve optimal results. 

In this article, we’ll teach you the top three reasons we recommend taking advantage of our #200 Finder Soil Evaluation and how it works. 

Why Soil Evaluations Matter 

Soil evaluations are crucial to construction regardless of whether you’re using Perma-Zyme or another soil stabilizer. Almost every project needs soil stabilization to make sure the earth is strong enough to support the structure you’re building. Otherwise, you run the risk of structural failures. Soil evaluations reveal what type of soil you have and how it will perform, so you’re set up for success from the get-go.

Why Evaluate My Soil With Substrata?  

Before using Perma-Zyme, we recommend evaluating your soil with our Substrata lab for three reasons: 

  1. Soil requirements
  2. Savings
  3. Success rate 

1. Soil Requirements

Like most soil stabilizers, Perma-Zyme works better on certain types of soils than on others. It works best on soils that contain 15-80% fine particles, usually clay. It also works well on soils that contain almost any amount of limestone or decomposed granite. 

For optimal results, Perma-Zyme also requires soil that contains some larger rocks and coarse material, as these provide adequate shear strength. 

It's almost impossible to tell your soil’s composition just by looking at it since most soil particles are too small to identify with the naked eye. Additionally, soil content can vary drastically from one location to the next—even within the same county or jobsite. So, for a successful Perma-Zyme application, it’s important to do a soil evaluation so you know your soil type, particle size distribution, and compatibility. 

2. Cost Savings

You can hire a geotechnical engineering firm to conduct sieve analysis and Atterberg tests that reveal your soil’s clay content, particle size distribution, and plasticity. But, those tests can be expensive and time-consuming. (Not to mention that many rural areas don’t have labs close by.) But when you do a soil evaluation with Substrata, it's completely free. We even pay for shipping to our lab. 

Doing a soil evaluation at the start of your project also saves time and money during construction. If you forge ahead without a soil analysis, you may unintentionally waste time and money by applying Perma-Zyme to incompatible soil; then, you’ll have to repurchase and reapply it, costing you more in material and labor. When you know what type of soil you’re working with and what—if any—amendments it needs from the start, you can achieve a successful application the first time around. 

3. Success Rate

Customers who take advantage of their free soil evaluation are more likely to have smooth, successful Perma-Zyme applications and long-lasting results. Why? Because they know what they’re getting into before they start! That helps them set up for success and prevent problems before they arise. It also helps them choose the most effective, affordable soil amendment if they need one, making purchase approvals easier and faster.  

Now that you know why you should do a soil evaluation, let’s talk about how we do it!

The #200 Finder Soil Evaluation 

Here at Substrata, we conduct a free #200 Finder Soil Evaluation before you use Perma-Zyme. This evaluation is a sieve analysis that determines your soil type and particle size distribution. With this information, we can check your soil’s level of compatibility with Perma-Zyme and make recommendations to help you apply it successfully. 

Definition of a Sieve Analysis

A sieve analysis is a type of soil evaluation that uses different sized mesh screens—called sieves—to sift soil and identify the type and size of its particles. 

How a Sieve Analysis Works 

Lab technicians arrange the sieves in a stacked tower. The sieves with the largest mesh go on top, and the sieves with the smallest mesh go on the bottom. 

Next, they put the stacked sieves into a machine called a sieve shaker and add the soil at the top. The sieve shaker vibrates vigorously for several minutes, making the smaller soil particles fall through the mesh to the lower sieves, while the larger particles stay closer to the top. 

This soil analysis tells you the particle size distribution—in other words, what percentage of the soil is what size. And since you can generally identify soil types by size, this also helps you know how much rock, sand, silt, and clay your soil contains. (Rocks are largest, then sand, then silt, and finally clay.) 

Why We Use the #200 Sieve 

The #200 sieve size is the smallest one we use because it has extremely fine mesh spaced just 0.075 millimeters apart (that’s three one-thousandths of an inch). That means only very tiny soil particles can pass through the mesh. Since clay has the smallest particles of any soil at less than 0.002 millimeters, it’s one of the only soils that can fit through the #200 sieve. 

So, if 15-80% of your soil can pass through the #200 sieve, we know your soil has sufficient clay content to work well with Perma-Zyme. 

Checking for Limestone and Decomposed Granite

Limestone and decomposed granite are rock particles that can vary in size, so they may not always be small enough to pass the #200 sieve. So, we’ll also treat a small amount of your soil with Perma-Zyme to make a “puck.” If the soil contains clay, limestone, or decomposed granite, the puck will harden and won’t be easy to break. 

If you’ve ever treated your road with limestone gravel or other similar products, tell your soil stabilization expert. Those past treatments can enhance Perma-Zyme compatibility, so they may change which—if any—soil amendments we recommend for your specific project.  

How the #200 Finder Soil Evaluation Works 

The #200 Finder Soil Evaluation is super easy, and we’ll perform it at no cost to you. Here’s how it works: 

  1. Let us know you want your free soil evaluation.
  2. We’ll send you instructions and a prepaid shipping label. 
  3. Collect the soil samples in large, sealable bags. Choose samples from various locations on your jobsite and dig a few inches into the earth to ensure an accurate representation of the soil.
  4. Send them to the Substrata lab.
  5. Our expert team will conduct a sieve analysis.
  6. We’ll treat some of your soil with Perma-Zyme to make a puck and break-test it by hand. If it remains intact, we’ll ship the puck to you so you can see and feel the difference Perma-Zyme makes.
  7. We’ll send you an in-depth report on your soil’s exact specs, with tailored recommendations for any soil amendments your project may need.
  8. Your soil stabilization expert will set up a meeting to discuss your results.

Why Our Soil Evaluation Doesn’t Include an Atterberg Test

You may have noticed our soil evaluation doesn’t include an Atterberg test, which many geotechnical firms pair with sieve analyses to check soil’s plasticity. However, if your soil contains enough clay to pass the sieve test, we can predict its minimum plasticity. We will also perform a hand-test to check that your soil can hold its shape and stretch when we manipulate it. While not exact, this will be sufficient to determine if your soil’s plasticity is Perma-Zyme compatible.

Soil Evaluations for International Customers and Homeowners

Our soil evaluation is only available for U.S.-based public and commercial customers. While we’d love to perform a soil analysis for every customer from around the world (and there are a lot of you!), U.S. law won’t allow us to import soil from other countries. 

But don’t worry! 

We’ve made a soil assessment kit for our international customers and U.S.-based homeowners. It contains all the materials and instructions you need to evaluate your soil. Just let us know you'd like your soil evaluation kit, and we’ll ship it to you free of charge. Once you complete the evaluation, one of our soil stabilization experts will walk you through your results and any soil amendments you may need. 

What If My Evaluation Says My Soil Is Incompatible With Perma-Zyme? 

Some soils in their natural state are incompatible with Perma-Zyme, but you can still use it! You’ll just need to make a few amendments first. Your soil analysis report will include our recommendations for soil amendments that are tailored to your project. You’ll also be able to talk through your options with a soil stabilization expert to find the most effective and affordable option in your area. 


The #200 Finder Soil Evaluation is a sieve analysis that we use to determine your soil type, particle size distribution, and compatibility with our Perma-Zyme soil stabilizer. It’s completely free of charge and available to all public and commercial U.S. customers. Take advantage of this evaluation to help ensure that your Perma-Zyme application goes smoothly and delivers the long-lasting soil stabilization you need.

Are you an international customer or U.S.-based homeowner? Contact us here to request your free soil assessment kit. 

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