Excavation is often the first step in any residential or commercial construction. Whether you’re creating a concrete slab as a foundation for new buildings or repairing utilities, you first need to move the earth.
Unfortunately, traditional excavation tends to be more destructive. The good news is that excavation techniques and technologies have come a long way. Today, more and more construction projects are now relying on vacuum excavations.
Vacuum excavation involves the use of a vacuum with compressed air or high-pressure water to remove unwanted earth material such as mud, dirt, and slurry from an underground area with minimal damage. A vacuum hose is then used to remove the materials and debris from the hold and transfer it to a specially designed tank.
You can check out how vacuum excavation in Sydney works, and then decide what you need for the project you have in mind. You may choose from the following types of vacuum excavation:
Hydro vacuum excavation is a more popular type, using high-pressure water to remove underground utilities. High-pressure water is more aggressive than air vacuum excavation. Thus, it can cut through almost any type of soil.
The water helps loosen and reduce the strength of soil, so it’s easier to vacuum out the area.
An air vacuum excavation uses compressed air to break the soil apart and then vacuum the debris into the tank. This option is safer for uncovering sensitive or old underground utilities that can’t withstand high-water pressure.
With air vacuum excavation, the excavated materials stay dry, allowing you to use the retained material for refilling purposes.
Vacuum excavators are in high demand in the construction industry as well as the mining sector. In fact, according to statistics, global demand for vacuum excavators has grown by 8.5% in 2021, reaching a market valuation of USD$725 million.
Here are the many reasons for the gained popularity of vacuum excavation:
Perhaps the most well-known benefit of using vacuum excavators is that it results in minimum damage and disruption. It’s often called a nondestructive excavation method.
Its digging process is designed not to harm or damage any underground fixtures or utilities such as cable lines, water lines, boring wells, or sewer pipes.
During the excavation process, the excavation truck is parked at a distance from the excavation area so there’s no little disturbance or impact to the ground. There are also no moving parts that will make contact with underground utilities, resulting in minimal to almost no damage to them while ensuring convenient and precise earthmoving every time.
Construction workers are often exposed to numerous health risks, including respiratory issues due to dust and pollutants in the air. Excavation, in particular, can create large quantities of dust that can affect workers’ health.
Vacuum excavation creates far less dust than the traditional excavation methods, regardless of the excavated material.
As its name implies, this excavation process has a high-powered vacuum that sucks all the dust, dirt, and material directly from the excavation area into the excavation truck. Hiring a vacuum excavator can help your site conform to health and safety regulations, reducing dust on-site and keeping your construction workers safe.
With vacuum excavation, the size of excavation areas is reduced by up to a third compared with traditional methods. Thus, it creates a much smaller impact on the entire project site and the off-site environment.
For instance, if your construction project is near the main road, both road traffic and pedestrians can flow more freely. This ensures less disruption and hassle to everyone, from commuters to the neighboring businesses and households.
Traditional digging methods are labor-intensive and time-consuming. Hiring a vacuum excavator means getting the job done quickly, with the mess vacuumed and removed from the site without you even needing to see it. Regardless of the terrain you’re working in (sand, rocky soil, or clay), a vacuum excavator can get the job done with minimal hassle.
Vacuum excavation is also cost-effective due to its efficiency and performance. The minimized risk of job site damage helps reduce the chance of expensive repair costs. Furthermore, with no damage incurred, there’s also no need to temporarily shut down the job site and lose time in the process.
Excavation was once a challenging process. Digging and moving soil using the traditional methods can be slow, risky, and costly.
Today, working with an experienced vacuum excavator has become the preferred option, allowing you to implement an overall better excavation process for your construction project.