Corporate Headquarters | 2410 Evergreen Road, Suite 200 | Gambrills, MD 21054 | 410-987-0313
get a free estimate

Fill Material Comparison: Sand vs. Fill Dirt

Fill Material Comparison: Sand vs. Fill Dirt
Here are some of the key differences and uses for fill dirt and sand in construction.

When it comes to filling holes, leveling out uneven terrain, and creating a compact foundation for buildings and roads, not all fill materials act the same way. Fill dirt and sand are two popular choices, but each one has its specific benefits and drawbacks. Grading and excavation contractors, asphalt paving experts, and other construction professionals must know how each material behaves and when to use it. Here are some of the key differences and uses for fill dirt and sand in construction.

All About Fill Dirt

The soil you have in your garden likely isn’t what a construction crew would use as fill material; garden soil is full of nutrients and organic matter, while fill dirt is gathered from the layer of earth beneath this fertile topsoil. Fill dirt is typically devoid of most organic matter, which can decompose over time and cause foundations to shift. This is why “clean” backfill is essential: the material must be free of vegetation, decomposing organic matter, pollutants, and debris in order to create a firm, stable foundation.

Sand Offers Better Drainage Than Fill Dirt, But Has Its Drawbacks

Sand comes in many varieties, each with unique grain size, grain shape, color, and consistency. Unlike soil, individual grains of sand do not absorb water or swell when damp. For the most part, sand is prone to displacement to a greater degree than fill dirt, which can be compacted very well. This displacement and tendency to shift and slip means that while sand is ideal for drainage purposes, there are some instances where its presence can be a liability.

Common Projects Using Fill Dirt

Projects that use fill dirt are all around you! The material is a popular choice when leveling out hills and holes in parks, front yards, and fields. Your home’s underground utilities are likely held in place with the substance, and it’s a common feature beneath roads and buildings. 

When Sand is Superior

Soil is inexpensive and abundant, making it a popular choice for fill. However, there are some projects that require sand’s excellent drainage. Sand is common in constructed ponds or lakes, stormwater management systems, and low-lying areas that need drainage. Your septic tank and underground utilities may be held in place with sand, as well. Sand is often used for pipe bedding and to secure underground containers, structures, and plumbing. 

ABOUT RELIABLE CONTRACTING

Reliable is dedicated to delivering quality products, displaying professionalism within the firm, seeking new opportunities for expansion and profitability, and providing an environment for individual success. If you have a commercial or residential construction project that you need taken care of, please contact Anne Arundel County’s largest site-work contractor today by calling 410-987-0313 or visiting our website. You can also follow Reliable Contracting on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter!

Reliable Contracting Company serves the following and surrounding counties: Annapolis, Queen Anne’s, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Baltimore City, Calvert, Caroline, Charles, Howard, Prince George, St. Mary’s, Talbot, and Washington D.C.

Tags: , , ,

Serving Maryland's Commercial & Residential Builders & Developers Since 1928 Reliable Contracting Company, Inc. maintains a reputation as a leader in the construction industry. Our clientele includes builders, developers, individuals and government agencies. With projects ranging in cost from $10,000 to over $10 million, Reliable can be seen working on Maryland's roads, highways, airports, office parks, shopping centers, hospitals, churches, and residential neighborhoods earning our reputation by providing clients with consistent quality and dedication to their projects. Reliable Contracting Co., Inc. is a Proud Member of the following organizations: Associated Builders and Contractors, Chesapeake Chapter - www.abc-chesapeake.org Maryland Asphalt Association - www.mdasphalt.org Maryland Transportation Builders and Materials Association - www.mtbma.org National Asphalt Paving Association (NAPA) - www.asphaltpavement.org West Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce - www.waaccc.org Leadership Anne Arundel - www.leadershipaa.org National Federation of Independent Business - www.nfib.com U.S. Chamber of Commerce - www.uschamber.com Homebuilders Association of MD - www.homebuilders.org
2410 Evergreen Road
Gambrills
MD
21054
USA
Serving Maryland's Commercial & Residential Builders & Developers Since 1928 Introduction Reliable Contracting Company, Inc. maintains a reputation as a leader in the construction industry. Our clientele includes builders, developers, individuals and government agencies. With projects ranging in cost from $10,000 to over $10 million, Reliable can be seen working on Maryland's roads, highways, airports, office parks, shopping centers, hospitals, churches, and residential neighborhoods earning our reputation by providing clients with consistent quality and dedication to their projects.
2410 Evergreen Road, Suite 200
Gambrills
MD
21054
USA