Most people believe that dirt is just simply dirt. However, any construction worker or gardener knows that the quality of the dirt and what the dirt is composed of makes a massive difference in how the dirt can be used. The two main categories of dirt that used when working on a landscaping project are fill dirt and topsoil. Knowing the compositional differences between the two types of dirt can help you make the right decision for which one is best for your project. You may even find that you have to combine the two kinds of dirt together to get your desired result. Once you’ve determined what kind of dirt you’re going to need for your project, you want to make sure that you’re obtaining clean fill dirt.
Where Does Fill Dirt Come From?
Fill dirt is most often used to change the grade or elevation of a property to make it more ideal for its intended use. Fill dirt is known as subsoil because it is taken from below the topsoil. Depending on where the dirt is being taken from, this is usually about six inches below the ground. Taking the dirt from this deep is intentional because it does not contain any organic matter. Organic matter breaks down over time, and as it does so, it enriches the dirt with plenty of nutrients to help support plant life. However, this organic matter is what also makes topsoil very unstable. As the organic matter breaks down, the dirt around it begins to shift, which is why topsoil cannot be used for construction purposes. Fill dirt lack of organic matter is what makes it a terrible choice of dirt if you’re looking to start a garden.
Fill Dirt For Construction & Landscaping
Fill dirt is mostly used for construction purposes. This can be for land grading, highway maintenance, creating foundations, excavation, acting as backfill, etc. It can also be used for landscaping projects that require elevation changes, such as the addition of a swimming pool, the removal of a swimming pool, or the addition of a waterfall. With all of these projects the dirt will likely go unseen when the project is completed. However, just because it’s not obvious at first glance, doesn’t mean the fill dirt isn’t playing a major role in the structure and stability of the completed project. Because fill dirt is such a big part of the overall success of your project, you need to make sure that you’re only obtaining and working with clean fill dirt.
What Distinguishes Clean Fill Dirt?
The words “clean” and “dirt” sound like they shouldn’t go together, but in this case, it’s very important that they do. Clean fill dirt is fill dirt that does not contain toxins, organic matter, or large debris. If any of those things are found within your fill dirt it could compromise the stability of your fill dirt and could potentially ruin the final outcome of your project. To avoid this, you should always make sure that you are ordering your fill dirt from a certified Virginia fill dirt contractor that screens their fill dirt.
While the idea of fill dirt may bring to mind the ease of just simply digging it up from your backyard and getting to work immediately, it actually isn’t that simple to obtain. The optimum, clean fill dirt has to go through some processing first in order to work as well as it does. It must be checked for any large chunks of debris that could be hidden inside of it. It also must be tested and cleaned to ensure that it does not contain any chemicals, toxins, or other manufactured byproducts. Finally for the dirt to be considered clean fill dirt, it must be screened to make sure that it contains no organic matter. Because these processes are necessary, fill dirt has to meet certain local regulations to be used. So, when you’re searching for fill dirt for your project, make sure to find a local fill dirt company that provides only certified, clean fill dirt.
Clean Fill Dirt For Land Grading & Landscaping
Sometimes your property can have dips and low points that you would rather not have to deal with in your yard. You may want them filled in for aesthetic purposes, or it may be for more practical purposes such as filling in low points to prevent flooding after rain or snow. You may also find these low points cause unwanted challenges when mowing your lawn. The solution to this problem is to perform land grading, which is the process of leveling out the land. Land grading is very common in construction projects because it makes the land much more suitable to build on top of. To do some land grading, you just need some clean fill dirt to fill in the low points in your yard to make the area more level.
On the other hand, you may find that your landscape is too boring and flat. In this situation, you can use fill dirt to do some landscaping to shape the terrain to your desired appearance. This could include creating dimension by adding hilly areas or creating multi-level terraces.
Fill Dirt Used For A Strong Foundation
The most important part of any construction project is a strong, firm foundation. Fill dirt is so valuable for the creation of foundations because its composition of clay, sand, and rock, won’t move or shift over time. This means your project is guaranteed to have a strong foundation that lasts. Fill dirt is great for creating the foundation of houses, driveways, and roads. Clean fill dirt is also often used for highway maintenance.
Fill Dirt Supports Topsoil
An example of when you can use fill dirt and topsoil together is if you have a low point in your yard, you can fill it with fill dirt and then lay down topsoil over it so grass or other plants can grow. You could also use fill dirt to create a terrace in your backyard that you can lay topsoil down on so that you can create a residential garden. Using both types of dirt together can help you create your ideal backyard.
Fill dirt can give your backyard the shape and slope you desire, while topsoil will help support healthy plants. Reach out to a Virginia fill dirt contractor for more information and to schedule your fill dirt or topsoil delivery.