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Old 03-09-2010, 12:26 PM   #1
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tools needed and best way to dig trench


I have to dig a trench next to my exterior wall (stucco) about 2' deep 1' wide and 7' long. I have water leaking into my house and need to seal the area. What tools should I get and what is the best way to dig a trench. I'm not sure if there are any pipes (sprinklers) in the way. Also, what do you do if you come across tree roots?

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Old 03-09-2010, 01:08 PM   #2
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tools needed and best way to dig trench


Call your local "Call before you dig" organization so they can come out and mark all utilities (pipes, wire, etc) in the area you are to dig.

Remember that water leaks are tricky to locate, so be prepared to dig more than you originally planned.

As far as digging tools, are you looking for more alternatives to the fairly obvious shovel and pickaxe?

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Old 03-09-2010, 02:23 PM   #3
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tools needed and best way to dig trench


Bill,

I was wondering if there are certain types of shovels or other tools to make it easier to dig a trench. Also, if there is a pattern or way to dig.
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Old 03-09-2010, 03:32 PM   #4
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tools needed and best way to dig trench


I'm not aware of any shovels that would be better at this type of digging. I would just grab a garden spade and go at it. Of course only after calling the utility "call before you dig" people.

The only other suggestion I would make is to perhaps put a piece of thick plastic or a tarp on the ground to put the dirt on as you dig. Makes less of a mess on the grass/driveway, although if the dirt is there for a long period of time, it could also kill your grass.

Maybe there are some more qualifed experts in here who have some suggestions.
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Old 03-09-2010, 04:43 PM   #5
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tools needed and best way to dig trench


Are you sure that's all you have to dig? Usually you would dig to the footer, install a perimeter drain tile, apply a sealer coating or membrane and attach drain board.

If it's only a minor leak, be sure to check that your gutters are clear and flowing properly and the dirt is graded away from the house.


In case you just wanted an answer to your question, A pick axe is great for getting the dirt loosened so you can shovel it out. Note that there are different kinds of shovels. You'll probably want a curved garden shovel and a flat transfer shovel. I have a demolition hammer with a clay shovel bit that is very nice for getting the dirt loose & busting some rocks.
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Old 03-09-2010, 06:34 PM   #6
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tools needed and best way to dig trench


Search "trenching shovel" online.
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Old 03-10-2010, 12:07 PM   #7
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tools needed and best way to dig trench


I was told that I need to dig the trench, clean the dirt from the wall, coat it with elastodeck bt, add filter fabric, add about 12 cubic feet of gravel, put back the dirt. That this would seal the leak coming into the house. They said the hardest part is digging the trench. I will look into the curved garden and flat transfer shovel. Also the pick axe. I will look into the trenching shovel online too. Any other suggestions?
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Old 03-10-2010, 01:57 PM   #8
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tools needed and best way to dig trench


You could rent an excavator that does offset digging and dig it out in a day.

It does require some knowledge on how to run one properly without damaging the foundation.

There are several brands of these units.

http://www.bobcat.com/excavators/
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Old 03-11-2010, 02:16 AM   #9
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tools needed and best way to dig trench


Trenching shovel (typically 4" - 5" wide) if you need a narrow trench - and a pickaxe.

Some people make the distinction that a pickaxe has a head with a pointed end and a flat end, and a pick has both ends pointed, or only one end; but most people use the words to mean the same thing.
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