In many construction projects, underground utility infrastructure can prove to be a significant obstacle. Pipes and cables for natural gas, water, electricity, and more must be adequately mapped out to prevent costly and dangerous accidents. These accidents can stop work and make deadlines just that much more challenging to meet. Underground utility contractors work to make sure that construction crews know the correct location of every pipe and cable so that they do not accidentally puncture or damage them. Here are a few things to keep in mind when hiring underground utility contractors for your next project.
Underground Utility Contractors are a Wise Investment
While hiring an underground utility contractor may seem like just another expense for your project, cutting corners with utilities can present some serious risks. Aside from the fact that a simple call to 811 might not uncover every utility in the area, an incomplete assessment of the worksite’s underground utilities can lead to expensive damage, lost time, and bodily harm for the workers involved. Locating underground utilities is an area in which you should not cut corners — it might cost you more money in the long run.
Look for Companies With Excellent References
When hiring underground utility contractors, it can be tempting to go with the lowest bid. While this may seem like an easy way to save money, an unqualified contractor can cost your company thousands with an incorrect or incomplete assessment of the site’s utilities. You should look for a contractor that has experience with several projects similar to yours that are in the same area, as this is a fairly good indicator of a job well done.
Provide as Much Information as Possible
Once you have decided on a contractor, you must give them as much information about the site as possible. While technology such as ground-penetrating radar and cable locators can certainly help, every instrument has its limitations. One way to help your underground utility contractor complete a comprehensive analysis is to provide them with any historical records or blueprints that you have for the site. While they might not be terribly accurate, these documents can help your contractor track down hidden infrastructure.
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