Many different construction projects require fill dirt. In short, fill dirt is any dirt-like material that is used to “fill in” holes or low spots in the ground. It can be made of sand, gravel, clay, and more, and it’s commonly used to fill in the spaces in the ground around foundations, walkways, underground utilities, roadways, and landscaping features. Fill dirt is generally sourced from subsoils, so it is usually devoid of the organic materials found in topsoil. These organic components can degrade and allow the topsoil to settle; it would be undesirable for fill dirt to settle as it creates a base for topsoil and keeps water from pooling or settling. Tucker Paving offers Earthworks, including , so we know all about the many different types of fill dirt.

Types of Fill Dirt

  • Clean Fill. This term indicates that the dirt is free of contaminants. If your fill dirt is made of natural subsoils, then the term “clean” indicates the fill dirt is free of rocks, organic materials like roots and other plant matter, and contaminants such as motor oil. If your fill dirt is not a natural subsoil, such as broken concrete, gravel, crushed asphalt pavement, or bricks, then the term “clean” indicates the fill dirt is an inert solid material that contains no fire hazards or dangers to groundwater. You must have your supplier certify that it is clean fill dirt to be ensured the fill is truly clean.
  • Topsoil. Like its name indicates, topsoil comes from approximately the top twelve inches of soil, and it’s filled with organic matter that supports everything from microorganisms to trees. Topsoil fill dirt is the fill used to finish a fill job if grass and plants will be installed, and it can also be used to fill in low spots in landscaping.
  • Fill Sand. Fill sand is made of sand rather than dirt, and it is not as stable as fill dirt. It is a good choice to use in places where water, moisture, and drainage are concerns, such as around water features, septic tanks, and areas that will host plants.
  • Rock Fill. Rock fill is used to fill in large, deep openings because it is comprised of large rocks—rocks larger than a shoebox—that are sourced in excavations and blast sites. Rock fill is generally paired with other fill dirt and topsoil.
  • Landscaping Rock Fill. This type of fill is generally used at surface level in areas where erosion is a concern or where something is needed for aesthetic reasons, such as driveways, paths, garden beds, drip lines, and more. The rocks are smaller in size than rock fill and include pea gravel, volcanic rock, road gravel, and river rock.