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Tips On How To Excavate A Trench
Excavating a trench is a tough and hazardous procedure that anyone ought to be really careful about. A trench is simply narrow excavation under the ground that is extremely deep and wide but not as wide as it is deep. When people are making minor trenches, they can even use a shovel but when it comes to the big projects, you can’t go in for just any tool that is available, you need something more powerful. Big trenches are excavated for many different purposes therefore if you will need one in your home any time soon, here is a very simple set of steps that you can follow in order to perfectly excavate a trench.
- Plan well for the process; excavation is a long process that you will have to pay great attention so before you do anything, you need to make a perfect plan for how to go about it. This is when you figure out how deep you want your trench to be, how wide, its route and the materials that you will need for the whole process.
- Select an appropriate route; by appropriate I simply mean you have to choose a route which when used will not cause any kind of damage to important plantations, trees, buildings, sidewalks and driveways. If any of the mentioned items are tampered with during excavation, they will greatly be damaged for example, trees could stop growing and building could collapse.
- Research about the type of soil you are about to dig into; some soil types will make your excavation process easy while others will make it one hell of a procedure therefore you have to find out and improvise earlier if need be. Soils like sandy, wet mucky soils and loose stony soils tend to be very problematic. In cases of such poor excavating soils you can resort to techniques such as de-watering, benching the excavation and shoring in order to make your session a bit easier.
- Decide on how deep you want your trench to be; the purpose for which you need the trench should help you in determining how deep you want your trench. Some functions don’t require a very deep trench while others really do so it will all depend on you as an individual and what you think will work best for the project that you will be using it for.
- Call for help on underground inspection; the best you can call should utility location services whether government or local, they will help investigate underground to find out if there exists any water, electric or gas wires under. This is to prevent you from suffering any horrible accidents or any other kinds of danger.
- Have all your equipment ready; after making sure that your ground is very safe for excavation then you can go ahead and start the procedure, find all the necessary equipment. In case you are going to work on those really large excavation jobs the best thing you can do is hire a mini excavator, it will make your job extremely easy, other tools that you can use include pickaxes, shovels, track hoes and back hoes among so many others.
- Eliminate any obstacles; any obstacles that will be in your way should be removed first and then put back later when excavating the trench is done. Any vegetation including plants, rough grass and trees should be eliminated before the procedure.
- Take away 3.9-7.9inches of the top soil; different have top soils with different depths so it is what you will depend on when removing the top soil. Remove the pile of top soil and put it away to some place where it will not be able to contaminate other materials.
- Start excavating; get your tools ready right at the ditch line or your workers in case you have some people helping you out and get started on the job. As soon as you start digging be very observant to notice no condition will cause soil to yield and get stuck in the trench. Make your very first cut to as deep as you had decided you want your trench to be. As you dig deeper and deeper be very observant on each and every level so that you don’t make any mistakes no matter how deep you dig.
- Dispose the removed soil a distance away from the excavation; if you want to keep the soil for any other functions you need to put a distance away from the trench excavation because it could easily create blockage to the trench’s edges. Much as it may not be that easy, it is very important that you keep the dugout material quite far.
- Check if the trench is all excavated to the concluded depth; you must walk through the trench checking out each and every section to make sure that it is all excavated to the same agreed depth. You can use a builder’s level or laser level to ensure accuracy and precision, and thereafter you will have the confidence that your excavation results will be perfect. This will also save you the trouble to correcting any mistakes that you may not have noticed before.
- Do the final touches; check the edges of your trench and smooth out any rough areas of the trench in order to make installation of all materials that should be put in the trench very easy. Clear out any spots that you find not smooth enough at this stage.
- Add the materials meant to used in the trench; you excavated the trench for a reason and this is the time when you need to place whichever materials you intended to put there. It might be for sanitary sewer installation, drainage system installation and many others.
- Refill the trench; it is best to back fill the trench in layers most especially if you excavated a very deep one. This way you will have you prevent creating any messes or covering up the materials you wanted to use.
- Put the top soil back; after filling up the trench with other soil materials the very last thing you have to do is replace the top soil as well. At this stage you are completely done with excavating the trench.