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Concrete Hole Under Patio, How to Fill

Q. A gopher dug a burrow under the corner of my concrete slab patio. The patio is about 12X24 foot and about 6-8 inches thick.

The gopher has been captured. The underlying soil is a sandy/clay mix, and the hole is approximately 6-8 inches in diameter. I need to know the best way to fill it in. The patio is already cracked due to some subsidence and I do not want it to worsen.

Should I backfill with the excavated dirt, or should I fill with gravel first and then the dirt?

A. Use the old soil, put it loosely in the hole and ram compact it with the end of a 2x4. This allows the soil to be compacted through the hole with an inexpensive tool. The end of the 2x4 can really pack the soil.

If you have difficulty ramming the 2x4, use a sledge hammer to hit the end of the 2x4 board. After you are finished compacting the soil, then soak water into the hole to wet the new dirt.

Using gravel in the hole will create a sump and collect water in the gravel cavity below the patio. Dirt is the better answer.

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