Excavating land is an often necessary procedure for landscaping and construction projects in Dana Point, CA. Whether it’s installing a new pool or trenching to improve the drainage of a yard, shifting large volumes of land is a job fraught with hazards. Despite this, there is a lot of ambiguity that we attempt to address in this guide:
Is excavation a DIY job?
Excavation should undoubtedly be left to the professionals and avoided as a DIY job. While this may seem obvious for larger projects such as excavation for a swimming pool, even minor excavation can require specialized knowledge about utility mains, soil composition, and in some cases, permits from the local government. Leaving it to professionals ensures the job gets done safely, legally, and with minimal hassle for the homeowners.
What are the dangers associated with excavation?
The primary danger associated with excavation projects are cave-ins. Cave-ins occur when a wall of soil or dirt collapses, potentially trapping workers, leading to injury and even death. To prevent this, it is important to use the correct support systems such as trench boxes as well as to gauge the level of stability of the soil, determined by its texture and the water content of the surrounding land. This is the primary reason why excavation should be left to the professionals as the dangers are all too real.
Another common danger is associated with working in close proximity to underground utility lines. Electrical lines can potentially cause electrocution while gas mains are a fire-hazard. Rupturing either of these, especially when heavy equipment is involved in the digging, is quite possible if you don’t know what you're doing. Professionals map out all the utility lines beforehand and consult the local utility companies to ensure that the chance of accidents is minimized.
Lastly, working with heavy equipment is a hazard in itself, especially in the constricted space of a backyard. Heavy equipment is loud. Nonetheless, it is important for workers to maintain constant communication and be well aware of their surroundings while they work to ensure that mishaps are avoided.
Is insurance important?
Given the hazards associated with excavation projects, insurance is a must. It is important to check a contractor’s insurance certificates for liability insurance as well as workers’ compensation. Moreover, it is also important that the contractor is certified to work with heavy equipment and acquires the necessary permits beforehand. A subtle detail is to make sure any subcontractors that the contractor employs are also insured.
Is specialized equipment necessary?
This depends on the nature of the project, but in general, specialized excavation equipment such as bulldozers and diggers radically speed up the excavation time. For larger projects, such as digging out large trenches or excavating for a swimming pool, such equipment is practically a necessity to keep the project within feasible timelines.
Is the contractor responsible for clearing up afterwards?
In general, yes. However, it is important to go over the details and make sure they are explicitly stated in the final paperwork before the project starts to avoid any problems.