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Hitting Ground Water When Excavating: Problems It Causes And How To Combat It

When excavating your property in order to build a foundation for your new home, you are most likely not thinking about potential problems that could arise. After all, how hard could it be to dig a hole? Unfortunately, there are a number of issues you can run into when you are excavating your property, one of which is hitting ground water. High water tables plus excavation can equal disaster. There are a number of reasons why water entering your excavated area can equal disaster for your foundation, as well as a few ways to combat hitting water. 

What Water Means For Your Excavated Area 

Water not only makes your construction area messy, but it can be dangerous. When the water starts to seep into the area you have excavated, it starts to weaken the sides of the hole dug. The weak sides can collapse, causing large areas of your yard you didn't want excavated to suddenly join in on the fun. Not only that, but if you are working in the are you excavated when a cave in begins, you can get seriously injured. 

Another problem with water in your excavated area is due to the safety of actually laying the foundation. Water can mix with mud and enter your concrete mixture, weakening it altogether. Water alone is not going to weaken the concrete, but mud will. On top of that, if there is water present and you go ahead and build your foundation anyway, the water will eventually evaporate from the ground. Water-filled soil expands, and as the water leaves, the ground will shrink. This means you run the risk of foundational problems due to shifting and settling when the soil starts to compact and the foundation has to adjust. 

Dealing With Water 

One tricky way to deal with water that has already entered your excavated area is by digging a hole directly next to the large area you are excavating. Dig this hole about 2 feet deeper than the main excavation area. You can then place a water pump in that hole, and it will work to remove the water that has filled in the area you are excavating. You can also cease to work until the water table level drops, although this would mean putting your project on hold for an indefinite amount of time. The best thing you can do is to ensure you won't have to deal with water in your excavated area before you even begin. 

Staying Safe

If you are unsure of whether or not your water table is high, it is better to be safe than sorry. The water table in your area, just like everywhere else, will change throughout the year. If there is a well nearby, you can travel to the well and measure the water level to determine how high the water is in your area before you start to excavate. If you do not have a well nearby, you can look at historical water table levels to determine the depth of the water table, based on measurements from the same time of year with roughly the same precipitation amounts. 

If the idea of excavating your yard yourself and having to potentially deal with water disasters is unattractive, you are most likely best off hiring excavating contractors. Not only do excavating contractors have the ability to more accurately determine the height of the water table, they are better equipped to deal with any water disaster that may occur. 

Excavating can be an easy process, but you can also run into difficulties. Before you start your dig, ensure you determine the height of the water table, as well as ensure you prepare for the possibility of water flooding your excavated area. Knowing the difficulties you might potentially face will make them less stressful in the event you do end up facing them. 

For more information or assistance, contact professionals like Dawson Construction Ltd.