What Is Fill Dirt? How To Identify Types Of Fill Dirt?
What Is Fill Dirt?
Fill dirt is a type of soil used to change the elevation or level of a property by filling in holes or creating mounds.
It is mostly made up of subsoil with little organic matter and typically taken from a location where soil is removed during construction.
Fill dirt should have little organic matter to prevent decomposition and settling. Common uses include highway maintenance and raising building foundations to prevent flooding.
Fill dirt is usually imported from commercial sand and gravel mines to meet specifications set by the project’s geotechnical engineer.
The scarcity of fill dirt resources is causing logistical challenges and increasing construction costs.
How To Identify Types Of Fill Dirt?
During construction, topsoil is removed from a building site to ensure a stable foundation.
The subsoil removed may be sold as fill dirt at landscape supply yards, but its composition varies based on its origin.
To determine the type of fill dirt, one can perform a shake test. The test involves filling a jar with water and soil, shaking it, and observing how the soil particles settle.
Clay settles on top, sand on the bottom, and silt in between. The proportion of each determines the type of fill dirt.
Clay is important for soil moisture and nutrient retention, but too much limits drainage and root growth.
Sand provides good drainage but poor nutrient retention. Fill dirt with more than 50% sand or clay should be used carefully in planting areas.
Screened fill dirt, which is free of debris, is more expensive but easier to work with and preferred for filling areas.
What Color Is Fill Dirt?
Beware of contractors offering cheap fill dirt, as it may not be suitable for construction. Clean and compactable Deep Earth sub-soil, with its tan and brown color, is a mined soil free of organic matter or rocks.
However, over time, organic material in the fill can lead to settling and damage to structures due to weight from construction. If a deal seems too good to be true, it’s likely not worth it.
What Is Fill Dirt Made Of?
Fill dirt refers to a blend of various natural substances (such as subsoil, rock, sand, clay, etc.) utilized for leveling a hole or altering the ground’s height/slope.
Typically obtained from excavation sites like construction sites or road projects.
Is Fill Dirt Good For Foundation?
Construction sites utilize fill dirt to backfill trenches or establish a solid base for structures.
Fill dirt is a sustainable choice for construction and landscaping, as it is sourced from excavation and minimizes the impact of mining or other harmful environmental practices.
It also helps preserve topsoil, a crucial component for flourishing vegetation.