A.Jay Meunier responds: The only positive way is to have a Proctor test done. A Proctor test uses special equipment, which a soils engineering firm would have, to measure the percentage of compaction. Typically, though, if the compaction has been done using mechanical compactors in 8- to 12-inch lifts, the compaction should be adequate, as long as the soils underneath are good quality.

Jay Meunier is an estimator for Pizzagalli Construction in Burlington, Vt.

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