Author Archives: admin

Grading and Excavating in Lake County, IL by Behm Enterprises

What Is Grading and Excavating?

Grading and excavation are popular keywords among the most popular jargon in the construction industry. These processes are integral steps of commercial or residential projects. They build the foundation for any building site and ensure structural integrity to prevent premature wear and tear or collapse.

Grading & excavation contractors use these equally important but dissimilar techniques for different purposes at different phases of a construction project.

Therefore, learning the more intricate details about these processes, especially their differences, can help you determine the type of services you need for your project.

What is Excavation?

Excavation is the process of trenching, digging, dredging, and removing debris from a construction site to prepare a strong and stable surface before other processes can begin. The process can be as simple as digging a hole right away or as complicated as removing tree stumps, construction waste, and boulders as well. Contractors employ specialized excavation equipment for the job, including bulldozers, excavators, tractors, and more.

The debris is collected and stored in dirt piles that are hauled away by dump trucks. Excavating can be used for a wide range of applications, including:

  • Landscaping
  • Debris or waste removal
  • Building a swimming pool or underground facility
  • Building a residential or commercial property
  • Building a parking lot
  • Pipeline installation
  • Gravel road construction, etc.

What is Grading?

In contrast, land grading is a surface-leveling engineering process done by pushing soil around a construction site as per its specifications to reduce any holes and bumps on the ground, leaving behind a smooth surface. The process is also used to protect heavy machinery used on the site from damage from incidents caused by steep  slopes.

Contractors grade the job site after the excavation process using specialized  equipment, such as bobcats, blades, tractors, scrapers, and motor graders. Just like excavation, grading can be done for different purposes, including (but not limited to):

  • Drainage line installation
  • Land reconfiguration
  • Surface debris removal (finish grading)
  • Erosion control
  • Sloping (rough grading)

The Differences Between Grading and Excavating

While both grading and excavation involve the use of heavy machinery and complex engineering skills, several differences separate these two processes. For starters, excavating services work during the initial stages of a project to establish a new foundation after acquiring the necessary permits.

Meanwhile, grading is done in the latter stages to remove excess dirt, fix drainage issues, or expand the surface area of a site. Secondly, grading contractors are responsible for ensuring the area looks aesthetically pleasing. In contrast, an excavating project focuses solely on the safe removal of unwanted earth materials and is usually part of a larger project.

Thirdly, grading and excavating employ different machinery and require different types of engineering and construction expertise, even though both projects essentially involve working with large chunks of soil.

An Overview of a Typical Grading and Excavation Project

To better explain how both these processes work, below is an overview of a standard road construction project in three steps:

1.      Land Clearing & Site Preparation

A typical road construction project begins by procuring the required resources (labor, equipment, etc.) along with completing the necessary paperwork. Once everything is ready, contractors clear the project site of trees, old gravel, or other natural/man-made elements. Land clearing is a crucial step in the overall process as it prevents undergrowth and other issues that could affect the timeline or the project’s integrity.

2.      Excavation

Once the land is clear of any debris, the excavation team utilizes heavy equipment to move the debris and slope the land according to the road plan. Depending on the project scope, they may also excavate  for irrigation or utility lines.

3.      Grading

Once the excavation process is complete, the grading team mobilizes  its equipment to the site and commences the process of leveling, sloping, and debris removal. However, instead of digging holes and moving earth materials, the team shapes it according to the site plan.

Looking for Top-Notch Grading & Excavation Services in Illinois?

If you’re in the market for a grading & excavation contractor in Lakemoor, Libertyville, Crystal Lake, and other parts of Cook, McHenry, and Lake County, Illinois, look no further than Behm Enterprises, Inc.

With over 35 years of experience in the construction industry, you can rest assured we have the expertise, skills, resources, and equipment to handle any type of grading and excavation project, from planning to building site preparation, execution, and cleanup.

So, whether you’re looking for foundation repairs or new construction, contact our team right away by calling 815-344-0197.

Storm Sewer Emergency Repair NW Illinois by Behm Enterprises

Finding an Excavating Contractor in Lake County, IL

An excavating contractor is an essential part site development, and the work involves more than just moving dirt. Tasks can range from road construction to material transportation. Whether you are building a house, a business, or even larger projects such as a mine, you will need an excavation contractor.

What is an excavating business?

If you are looking for an excavating contactor, there are several steps you should take to get started. First, you need to find excavating services have the proper equipment for the job. The entire excavation project relies heavily on the excavation equipment and site preparation by the excavation contractors. The best excavation business owners will ensure proper maintenance of their equipment to reduce downtime and complete the excavating project on time for their clients. Excavation contractors use different kinds of heavy equipment as part of the project work. They must be equipped with the proper training, experience, and skill to safely operate these tools. Their work includes a variety of services such as clearing land for building and grading, preparing land for septic tanks, and even digging ponds and sewers.

Excavation contractors are also responsible for land clearing, a common job for this heavy equipment. They clear land by removing unwanted vegetation and other debris. However, it is important to keep topsoil on a site to reduce air pollution, minimize soil erosion, preserve water, and provide habitat for wildlife. Many excavation contractors also perform demolition work, removing old buildings and clearing wooded areas. Demolition work requires a careful inspection of the site before demolition. They can also note any hazards and risks to ensure that the demolition is safe and effective. In addition, excavation companies usually maintain a clean job site.

Excavation contractors also perform a wide range of other tasks, including road construction and lot preparation. They may also be responsible for removing old trees. This type of work involves many complex processes that require expertise. Excavation contractors are considered subcontractors and work under the supervision of a general contractor. The general contractor procures bids for excavation projects and coordinate timelines for all subcontractors. When the excavation work is complete, the general contractor pays the excavation contractors.

Excavation contractors must pass various state requirements to remain in business. This includes being licensed, bonded, and insured in most states. Additionally, excavation contractors must demonstrate their financial stability and ensure compliance with labor and health and safety regulations. When hiring an excavation contractor, it’s important to choose a licensed one with experience in the type of project you’re looking for. These professionals will have the skills and expertise to complete the project on time and within budget. The company will be fully insured, comply with state and local regulations, and will do a thorough clean up afterward. The company will also be licensed to handle these types of projects, which makes it easier for you to trust them.

An excavation company can also help with the entire project from obtaining permits to clearing the construction site for a proper foundation. In addition to moving dirt, they can also help you improve your drainage system and install underground utilities. If you’re looking to build a home or a business, you should consider hiring an excavation company to ensure that the project is completed safely.

Types of Excavation

There are several types of excavation, each with different purposes.

  • Earth excavation involves removing soil underneath the topsoil and on top of rock. This type of excavation is commonly used to create trenches and foundations. It also involves the use of earthmoving equipment to clear land and excavate deeply. Often, this type of excavation involves muck, which is a mixture of soil and water. The resulting material can then be reused or spread out to dry.
  • Material excavation involves the removal of topsoil, vegetation, and decaying materials from the surface. This is necessary because the soil in the top layer is usually saturated with moisture, which can diminish the strength of the surface.
  • Borrow excavation is different from most other types of excavation. It involves the use of materials borrowed from another location. Borrowed materials can be used for grading, fill, or mixing with concrete. Borrow excavations are usually done when material is unavailable in the required excavation. In addition, they require clearing of topsoil and timber.
  • Dredge excavation is related to waterways and removes sediments that create blockages over time. It can remove this debris and allow boats to pass through waterways. Dredge excavation is also used for construction projects.

Why is excavation expensive?

There are many reasons that excavation costs are expensive. The first is that the entire process is often a part of a larger project, and it will require an experienced contractor. The second reason is that the cost of excavation may be based on the environmental conditions in the area. For instance, a project that involves paving parking lots cannot be undertaken in very cold weather.

Excavation involves a variety of processes, including trenching, digging, and dredging. These methods are particularly costly when the ground is steep, hard to work on, or in cold weather. Hard ground can also limit the weight of construction equipment, causing more wear and tear on the machinery. In addition, when soil is loose and difficult to protect, the process can require specialized equipment and techniques for erosion control.

The scope of the project can also play a role in the cost. A major commercial construction project is more complicated than a simple residential excavation. For instance, a large home’s foundations must carry more weight than a small house’s foundation. Additionally, the process may require the dismantling of a solid structure, such as a concrete slab.

The type of soil on which the excavation takes place is also an important factor in the project’s cost.

Excavating Contractor Servicing Lake County, IL

Behm Enterprises has been providing the Lake County area with excavation services since 1992. We play a vital role in the construction process for residential customers and municipal construction contracts. Our service area covers McHenry County, Lake County, and Northern Cook County. Form new buildings to drainage systems, Behm Enterprises has years of experience in underground utility installation and site development including directional drilling/boring, sewer and water main repairs, residential repairs, land grading and excavation. Give our team of experts a call today for your excavation project.

Foundation Drainage Project showing the actual footing drain-tile that Behm installed around the perimeter of the existing basement foundation and the equipment we used for this project.

The Importance of Residential Foundation Drainage

Residential foundation drainage is crucial for the structural integrity of a home. If it is not properly maintained, it can lead to many problems, including cracks in the foundation and other areas of the building. If you live in an area with heavy rains, it’s even more important to install an effective foundation drainage system to prevent water from seeping into the foundation and basement walls.  Improper drainage can also lead to mold growth, which can be hazardous to the health of your family. To prevent these problems, you should seek the assistance of an expert. We will explain what foundation drainage is, why it’s important, and the symptoms that indicate a problem.

Signs of a Foundation Drainage Problem

If you notice puddles on your basement floor or lakes on the front lawn, you may have a drainage problem. But many problems are less obvious. If you spot signs of a drainage problem early, you can avoid expensive repairs. A drainage problem can damage your home’s foundation and may lead to interior flooding. Some symptoms of a drainage problem are fairly obvious, like water stains on the sides of the foundation. Without exterior drainage systems, the entire residential structure could be damaged and could lead to the erosion of surrounding earth. A drainage problem should be fixed as soon as possible because extensive repairs can be costly.

Types of Foundation Drainage

Residential foundation drainage can help prevent expensive and dangerous issues from occurring. Oftentimes, homeowners don’t realize that their homes have foundation damage until the wall of their basement or crawl space starts to swell. However, these problems can be very expensive to repair, so it’s better to protect your home’s foundation walls from the start. There are several types of residential foundation drainage, all of which can help protect your home and prevent expensive repairs in the future.

  • A type of foundation drains is known as French drain or perimeter drains. These are made up of a perforated pipe placed beside the foundation wall. These pipes are sloped away from the structure. As water is collected in the plastic pipe, that water is then carried away from the structure to prevent flooding or residual water damage. This drain pipe is installed alongside the foundation wall and usually surrounded by gravel or rock.
  • A footing drain is installed as an exterior foundation drainage system. It is placed near the wall footing on the outside the foundation wall. This drain is typically covered with gravel or filter fabric and drains to a catch basin or storm drain.
  • Another type of residential foundation drainage is called grading drainage. This is one of the simplest system of drainage. Essentially grading drainage is reshaping the land and removing low spots so that water collects and flows to a lower elevation away from the structure. When it comes to grading drainage, there are certain slope requirements based on the surface type. For example, paved surfaces should have a minimum of a 1% slope and areas with a type of soil should have at least a 2% percent slope.
  • A sump pump is used in the interior of a structure to prevent drainage problems. When the surface water reaches a certain level in the sump pit, the sump pump pumps the excess water out of the basement and away from the structure using a discharge line typically 10 to 20 feet from the property line.

Challenges of Foundation Drainage

Although foundation drainage can be beneficial in reducing dampness, it also carries a significant construction and maintenance cost. Its perforated pipes need to be cleaned and maintained regularly to prevent silt buildup. Installing foundation drainage requires the excavating and removal of soil around the foundation. This work is time-consuming and requires skilled labor. One of the main drawbacks of foundation drainage is that the footing drain system can be difficult to inspect unless it’s dug up.

Solving Residential Drainage Issues

Hiring an expert is the best solution to ensuring your home’s foundation is protected. Behm Enterprises recently completed a foundation drainage solution to a residence that was experiencing poor drainage around their foundation. Here are the steps we took in helping this homeowner fix their foundation drainage issues.

Excavation work around the existing basement foundation

Installation of the footing drain tile around the perimeter of the existing basement foundation. We have the right equipment for each step of excavation.

Once the foundation drainage issues were solved and the area was backfilled, we completed restoration work.  We fine graded and re-seeded the yard.

Behm Enterprises takes pride in helping solve residential foundation drainage problems. We have over 30 years of experience as excavating contractors providing expert grading and utility services. We also offer complete solutions to all residential needs including sewer line repair, water repair, and storm sewer repairs. Give us a call today for solutions to your residential foundation drainage issues.

Directional Drilling to Repair Sewer Main Line in McHenry County, IL by Behm Enterprises

Directional Drilling Near Me – Finding A Service

Directional drilling is a technique that allows you to drill holes at a precise location. It is a great way to improve the efficiency of construction projects. Directional drilling is less invasive than digging trenches for the installation of underground utilities such as pipe, conduit or cable. Because of the potential for underground utility damage, it’s of utmost importance to find a directional drilling company with years of experience in operating drill rigs.

What is directional drilling

Directional drilling is a type of drilling where the drill bit is guided by an experienced crew. The experienced team is trained to drill to specific depths and can adjust the drill bit’s direction up or down, left or right, or even horizontally. This drill technology also allows the crew to see the exact depth of the well and the exact location of the drilling hole.

Directional drilling services, also known as horizontal drilling services, are a cost-effective way to intersect multiple targets within one wellbore, and the process can be completed at high production rates. It is an ideal method to drill multiple targets adjacent to structures.

Applications of Directional Drilling

Another application of directional drilling involves placing a pipeline under a river or locating fiber-optic cables in remote areas. The precise control of directional drilling is required, and specialized tools and equipment are used. The precision of directional drilling is crucial for such projects, as accurate survey data are not reliable enough to accurately intersect wellbores at deep depths. Other HDD projects (horizontal directional drilling projects) include utility installation for residential and commercial construction projects. Directional technologies are used to replace a water line or sewer line, and installing natural gas lines through a trenchless method that minimizes the ground disruption.

Benefits of Directional Drilling

Directional drilling is safe and accurate and has many benefits for construction companies.

  • Directional drilling has also reduced costs in residential and commercial construction.
  • The process is environmentally friendly and does not create as much noise as traditional methods.
  • Since directional drilling requires highly specialized equipment, it has the added advantage of minimizing the impact on the environment.
  • Unlike traditional methods of piping installation, directional drilling allows contractors to drill through the ground horizontally, ensuring that the pipe or utility is installed without creating any major disruption.
  • Another benefit is that it is much less expensive than traditional excavation. Traditional methods of excavation usually require a large amount of time to complete, and the cost of restoring damaged areas can be extremely expensive. This process eliminates the need to restore damaged areas after drilling, saving contractors time and money.
  • Another advantage of directional drilling is its ability to work in areas that are otherwise difficult to access.

Directional drilling also allows operators to control their horizontal direction while in the ground. Because of this, it is possible for operators to reach multiple target zones from a single access point. This can significantly reduce the overall cost of drilling.

Disadvantages of Directional Drilling

Directional drilling does have disadvantages.

  • It can be expensive, and cost depends on several factors. These factors include soil conditions, the length of the bore, and location of the job site.
  • The disadvantages of directional drilling include electromagnetic interference and inadvertent drilling fluid returns.

Nevertheless, these disadvantages can be easily mitigated with a little planning.

Directional Drilling Near Me

Directional drilling has become the industry standard and accepted drilling method for utility service installation. With it’s advantages of minimal impact to the environment and potential cost savings, directional drilling operations at Behm Enterprises offer a full service of repairing and installing water lines, sewer lines, and underground services. We are excavating contractors providing expert grading, utility installation and repair since 1992. Contact our team of experts today for your directional drilling needs!

Storm Sewer Emergency Repair NW Illinois by Behm Enterprises

What Are Excavating Contractors?

When you are considering having a new construction project built, you may be wondering: what do excavating contractors do? After all, this is not a job that you want to attempt on your own. A professional excavation company will have the necessary experience and equipment to complete your job on time and within budget. Licensed, insured, and bonded, they will make sure to protect your property. They will also take care of the clean up afterwards, so you won’t have to worry about any mess left behind.

Excavation contractors work to clear a site so that utilities can be installed. Often, this means digging trenches to lay sewers, water lines, and foundation supports. They also help shape the ground around a building’s foundation. Excavating contractors are responsible for scheduling the equipment and crew, and they often times coordinate with a general contractor on the job. Excavation contractors are indispensable in construction projects, and they play a vital role in many construction site projects.

Aside from moving dirt, excavation contractors also perform a variety of other services for larger projects, including lot preparation and road construction. Their excavation work can include digging drainage trenches or digging up an old tree. The process is complex and requires a deep understanding of the work site. Site preparation will be unique to each project type such as grading parking lots or constructing new buildings. If you have no prior experience in the construction industry, it is best to hire an excavation contractor.

Excavation is essential for building a new home, but it involves much more. Excavation is the process of removing unwanted debris, flattening inclines, and optimizing water drainage. Modern buildings need underground utilities, which require skillful excavation contractors. While excavation contractors do more than just dig up land, they also clear a site before moving in. When the excavation process begins, the excavating contractor must remove debris, grade the land, and prepare it for construction and paving. An important step in excavation is to grade the site area correctly for erosion control and to prevent water damage. The construction process relies on the quality work of excavation services. If grading is done incorrectly or trenching for drain pipes isn’t aligned to the plans, the construction project will be delayed.

Cost of Excavating Services

These services can add up to several thousand dollars because of several factors. Heavy machinery is used on a job site or large project that needs full site development. Due to the type of work, excavation companies carry added insurance to cover property damage that may happen during excavation services. An excavation project can cause serious damage to the community. Not only can excavation projects result in worker injury, but they can also release hazardous gases and electrocution.  Hiring a professional excavation contractor is highly recommended.

Starting an Excavation Project

Before the actual excavation process, an excavating contractor will inspect the existing site and prepare plans for the depth and size of the excavation site. Depending on the project, this will involve preparing drawings to mark the boundaries of the site and to protect sensitive artifacts or habitat. Excavation contractors also work with homeowners and commercial property owners to ensure that everything goes according to plan.

Aside from demolition, excavation contractors can also perform utility removal and repairs to drainage systems. These contractors can disconnect water lines, gas, and sewage connections, as well as electric lines. These utilities should be disconnected before demolition begins, as they pose significant health risks. A licensed excavation contractor can help you with this step. The biggest advantage of hiring an excavation company is the peace of mind it gives you, knowing that you’re in good hands. With years of experience, Behm Enterprises is your local excavation contractor. We offer a variety of services from repairing residential septic systems, installation of site utility services, as well as excavation and grading. Give us a call today to learn more about our excavating contractor services.

Residential sewer line repair in Libertyville, IL by Behm Enterprises

Things To Consider For Sewer Line Repair

You may be wondering whether your homeowner’s insurance policy will cover sewer line repair. The good news is that it usually does, as long as the damage isn’t due to a preventable event, such as a tree root or explosion. However, if you are unsure whether or not your policy covers sewer line repairs, you should check with your home warranty policy. These policies usually cover sewer line repairs, but there are other things to consider as well.

Finding the Sewer Line Issue

The first step is to have an expert diagnose any issues with your sewer lines and sewer system. If your drains are slow, your sinks will gurgle, and your toilet may make noises. These are all indications of a damaged sewer line. An experienced service company will be able to give you an estimate on the time it will take to fix the sewer line problems and how much it will cost. A sewer problem could be as simple as identifying slow drains or more extensive such as needing a new pipe. Understanding the level of complexity of the sewer pipe repair is important because you won’t be able to run water in your home during the repair. Homeowners will need to prepare for the water shut off and may consider storing drinking water beforehand. Depending on the length of the project, you may want to consider staying with relatives or a hotel near your house until the repairs are complete.

Lifespan of Sewer Lines

The lifespan of a sewer line depends on factors such as the age of your house, the material it’s made from, the quality of care you’ve given it over the years, and environmental factors. In general, a sewer line should last 50 years. Some older homes have pipes that even last a century. If you’re unsure of the age of your sewer line, it is a good idea to get it inspected by a professional to know how long it’s been in service. If you’re considering sewer line repair, it’s important to determine the age of your pipes. Home sewer lines made from clay or ductile iron were typically installed more than 50 years ago. Old iron pipes will corrode over time. Old pipes are also made from outdated materials, which make them more likely to fail than new ones. A full sewer line replacement is the best option if the main line is unable to withstand the wear and tear of daily use.

Older homes are especially susceptible to root damage and leaks. Soil shift can also cause problems, and clay and other types of soil are notoriously corrosive. Tree roots are a common cause of sewer line damage. Older trees often have roots that extend underground much further than the trees themselves are above ground. If you notice gurgling or dripping sounds coming from your pipes, it’s likely that a clog or root damage has gotten to the sewer line. Video camera inspection of the drain line is one of the traditional methods that sewer line companies will use to first identify any root issues. To avoid future problems, get rid of any trees in the area where the sewer line runs. Otherwise, you might have to deal with further damage, frequent clogs and a bigger issue requiring replacement of the entire sewer line.

Professional Services for Sewer Line Repair

The best way to avoid these problems is to contact a professional who specializes in sewer line repair. Knowing the causes of sewer line failure will help you determine whether or not it’s time to have the sewer line replaced. A clogged pipe or a sewer leak are easier to fix. There are options such as trenchless sewer line repair that won’t require tearing up your yard. A broken pipe or sewage lines with more extensive damage will probably require full replacement. Main sewer line repair and replacement are both common plumbing problems, but recognizing the causes of these situations will help you decide which route is best for your home.

The age of your sewer line is a key factor in determining whether or not it needs replacement. Older pipes tend to break down more frequently and are prone to sewer backups or a pipe bursting. If your existing line is more than 50 years old, it may be time to replace it. The only option to solve your sewer line issues is to contact a professional service. Companies such as Behm Enterprises offer sewer line repair services. Their experts will identify the specific problem and provide professional help to repair water lines. Behm Enterprises is the right choice! Contact us today.

Sewer Line Repair & Replacement in McHenry County, IL by Behm Enterprises

What are Utility Site Services?

When you need to build a new home, one of the first things that you need to consider are the utilities. While a local authority’s drawings of underground services may be useful for planning your home, you can always find more detailed information by looking at the property information memorandum or certificate of title. Utility site contractors are the best option for helping you with your utility services. A utility site service provider will offer guidance for economic development as well as residential projects. Their services may include wastewater services, electric power, natural gas, and water services.

Understanding a Utility System

The infrastructure to provide utilities may be provided by a network operator or an independent provider and will depend on service areas. It is essential to identify these providers as stakeholders in the project and as third party dependencies. Private companies such as utility site services can manage the project from start to finish. The process of underground utility installation begins with trenching. Trenches are often long, and multiple services may be placed in the same trench. After the trench is dug, the utilities are turned on and made serviceable. Once complete, the underground utility lines are restored to their original location. Utility lines are a great way to eliminate overhead wires and provide a safe and convenient method of connecting different areas of your property. You can find information about underground utility colors on PDFs.

In some cases, contractors need to coordinate with existing utilities on an underground utility installation project. This may involve locating and replacing belowground gas services, solid waste and sanitary sewer or storm water runoffs and even telecommunications services. The process may involve replacing steel gas services with new ones made of plastic pipe. It can be a challenging project, and underground utility installation requires a high level of safety implementation and traffic awareness. Fortunately, with careful planning and coordination, utility site projects can be successful and completed in sufficient time windows.

Coordination with Public Works

Underground utility installation requires coordination among contractors. Contractors must ensure that the location of underground utilities is indicated on the as-built plans. The contractor must follow safety regulations and adhere to service area requirements. Regulatory codes and guidelines are often strict and may impact the quality of the work. Underground utilities should be carefully supervised and tested.

If you’re planning on digging for utilities, it is important to find a contractor who specializes in underground utility installation. Hiring an underground utility installation contractor can help you develop a plan and let them take care of the rest of the work. When digging for new utilities, it is imperative to locate any new water sewer lines that may intersect with existing ones. If the new utility intersects with a sewer line, it will clog, and plumbers will have to cut through another utility to reach it. In addition to posing a safety risk, they run the risk of electrocution or an explosion if they damage a gas or electric line. Fortunately, there are methods to locate buried utilities using ground penetrating radars and inspection camera systems.

Hiring a Utility Site Service

Once installed, utilities must be maintained to prevent damage and maintain the same safety standards as above ground ones. Behm Enterprises offers services for new installation as well as maintenance and repair on existing utilities. For more information about underground utility site services, contact the professionals at Behm Enterprises for your next project.


Installing Underground Utilities

Before breaking ground on a new project, you should locate all underground utilities. Performing this step is important because it can prevent problems such as electrical outages or even injuries and fatalities. You can start by reviewing your utility map. This process can be costly and time-consuming. Fortunately, there are many methods available for this purpose. Listed below are some tips to consider when locating underground utilities before starting your new project.

Identifying Underground Utilities

Calling 811 is a national call-before-you-dig phone number. To locate underground utilities, you can visit the 811 center’s website or call 811 if you live in a state that has this information available. You can then request the marking of the underground utilities. Calling ahead of time is the best way to avoid digging into underground utilities. Each state has its own regulations regarding the amount of time you should give before digging. Before digging, make sure to mark any underground utilities with brightly colored paint. The markings are only effective for 28 days and can fade with time. Furthermore, erosion and root growth can alter the path of buried lines. It is therefore crucial that you complete the excavation project within 28 days of utility line markings to ensure the safety of workers and property.

A well-marked underground utility is a major asset to the construction industry, but you also need to know how to identify it. It is important to call ahead and confirm the location of all underground utilities before horizontal directional drilling. The failure to do so can result in service outages, electrocution, or even a natural gas line rupture. In many jurisdictions, calling ahead is the only way to confirm whether underground utilities are present. Using a utility installation service is a stress-free way to ensure sewer lines and utilities are identified properly before drilling operations begin. In addition to preventing damages to underground utilities, communication lines are also located underground and should be identified before creating a bore plan.

In addition to locating underground utilities, you can use a utility locator to find the location of private underground utilities. The failure to locate a utility can result in significant costs and safety issues. In fact, the Common Ground Alliance’s annual report details how many strikes occur each year with utilities in the U.S. and Canada. Most utility strikes are caused by locating problems. If there are other active utilities in the surrounding area, the signal from a utility locator is interfered with.

Building and maintaining a comprehensive underground utility infrastructure in dense urban settings is not an easy task. Underground utility contractors have special knowledge and experience in burying infrastructure and are responsible for maintaining the safety of construction workers. A qualified underground utility contractor should also be familiar with different types of fill materials and know how to install pipe in them. This way, the risks and hazards are minimized. Further, a contractor will have the best idea of the exact location of underground utilities and can plan work accordingly.

Directional Drilling

After underground utilities are identified, drilling and boring can begin. Horizontal directional boring will have minimal surface disturbance and is a preferred method of trenchless technology. A drilling rig is brought to the location where water lines or utilities need to be installed. With horizontal boring, a small diameter pilot hole is started and the drill head will continue to clear dirt away until it reaches the planned exit point. Drilling fluid is essential to horizontal drilling as it stabilizes the bore hole and cools down the tooling. A drill rod is used to supply drilling fluid through the bore path to the cutting face. Soil conditions and rock formations may require more effort from directional boring machines.

Underground utility drilling is not a simple process. A qualified underground utility service is the better option for large projects including new construction and repairs for residential customers. Trenchless directional boring has it’s benefits of minimal disturbance to yards but has its challenges best left to the experts. For example, during traditional trenching a cross bore may happen as the new utility installation intersects with existing utilities. A utility service contractor will be responsible for protecting existing utilities such as natural gas lines and will repair any damages to surface facilities. When a contractor cannot avoid locating underground utilities, he must work with caution. A well-planned project is a safe one for everyone involved.

NW Chicago Drilling and Boring Specialist

If you are looking for directional boring services in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago, Behm Enterprises can solve all of your sewer, water and storm drain needs. Behm Enterprises uses innovative technology and equipment to provide underground utility services for residential, commercial, and municipal customers. Contact an expert team member of Behm today!


Foundation Drainage Project Excavating Contractors work around the existing basement foundation in Lake County, IL by Behm Enterprises

The Cost of Sewer Line Replacement and Repair

There are many factors to consider when calculating the cost of sewer line replacement and repair. Even simple maintenance can be expensive but can provide home owners with warning signs of a clogged sewer line. The cost of sanitary sewer line replacement is significantly higher than a simple fix and the cost can be significant if sewer lines are not consistently maintained. Routine sewer main inspection can minimize repair costs for a bigger problem like a sewer backup. Here are some of the biggest factors to consider when determining the cost of main sewer line replacement and repair.


PVC and ABS pipes are popular materials used for main line replacement. These materials are lightweight and easy to install, and plumbers prefer them because they don’t require excavation and are usually compatible with non-invasive methods. HDPE (high-density polyethylene) pipes are durable and flexible, but they also have a higher cost. Homeowners insurance doesn’t cover broken sewer pipes due to natural causes like tree roots.

Complete line replacement

This is the most expensive option, because it requires excavation and trenching the yard to reach the city tap. It’s the last option for bad lines, and the average cost is anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 depending on the size of the pipe. However, if you have a cracked sewer line, this may be the most economical solution as well as the only solution. The cost of complete line replacement is around $20,000 which is far more expensive than the sewer line repair cost. There are several types of sewer line repair, so it’s worth getting an estimate to see which one is the best for your particular situation.

The cost of sewer line repair is highly dependent on the severity of the clog and the accessibility of the line. Older homes have old pipes, it may not have a cleanout, which means there are several turns and connection points throughout the house. If the clog is larger, underground utility experts need to spend more time and labor cleaning it, which increases the price. In addition, larger clogs require more effort to remove, so it’s important to call a company with underground utility services. When you contact a service company for your sewer line problem they will use video inspection to look at the sewer system and entire line. This method allows the expert to look at the plumbing system, PVC pipes, and sewer trap to find the clogged drain. Once the drain problem is found, the utility service will work with the property owners to find the best way to fix the sewer line damage.

The length and depth of the sewer line can also increase the overall cost. If you’re replacing a sewer line in your home, the work will likely be easier if you dig a trench. Fortunately, you’ll pay much less for a repair than a full replacement. Some utility services offer directional drilling that does not require trenching and solves installation problems with minimal environmental impact. Trenchless sewer line repair minimizes the damage to your yard. For a long run of existing pipe, directional drilling might be a good option for trenchless sewer repair. Nevertheless, if it’s already too deep or damaged, a professional will use heavy equipment to ensure that the job is done properly.

If you’ve been experiencing any of these problems, you probably need to have your sewer line replaced. There are many symptoms that indicate that you need to have your sewer line repaired, and a trained specialist can determine which one will be the best option for you. Having the sewer line repaired is an expensive project, so it’s best to choose a professional to do the job. A good utility service company will help you determine what type of sewer line replacement is right for you and your home.

Behm Enterprises offers complete solutions to all your sewer line repair, water repair, and storm sewer repair needs. Our services include complete or partial sanitary sewer and water service replacement for residential repairs. Contact us today for a sewer line replacement cost estimate.

Repaired residential underground sewer pipeline in Northern Illinois by Behm Enterprises

Who is Responsible for Sewer Line Replacement?

Sewer lines run from your home to your property line. They connect to a pipe called an upper lateral, which begins at the property line and ends at the upper lateral. Both pipe sections connect to the main sewer system. The upper lateral is a drain pipe that is 12 inches or longer. This is where clogs and other blockages can occur. An underground utility expert is qualified to work on these lines and can help you determine what you are responsible for.

The pipes leading from your property line to your home are your responsibility. The sewer line that connects to the main line is the city’s responsibility. Any pipes that connect to the main line are your responsibility. These pipes include upper and lower laterals. This guide will help you determine who’s responsible for fixing a sewer line. Here are some things to keep in mind when hiring a company to service your sewer line.

Your responsibility to repair a sewer line may be different than the municipality’s. The main sewer line goes through the city, but the lower lateral runs through your property. Tree roots in the lower lateral are typically the responsibility of the property owner. In these cases, you should contact your home insurance company to see if you’re covered for any damage. If you have homeowner’s insurance, you’ll be able to claim the cost of the repair if your policy covers sewer damage.

Preventative Maintenance

Sewer lines should be cleaned regularly. These pipes receive just as much use as the water input lines in your home or business, yet they often get little attention. If you have blocked drains or sinks, your pipes and toilets could be damaged or even backed up. By cleaning your sewer line regularly, you can prevent future problems.

Most underground utility companies will recommend cleaning out your sewer line every 18 to 22 months for newer construction buildings and homes.  If your facility or residence is older, you may need to have your pipes cleaned every six to nine months.   Regardless of the building age, if you notice recurring clogs, you should have it checked out by a professional every six months. This is important for preventing expensive damage to your pipes. If your sewer line becomes clogged, raw sewage can backflow into your home or business, which will be very expensive to clean up.

Behm Enterprises offers sewer line repair and replacement services.  With over 30 years of experience, the knowledgeable staff at Behm Enterprises can help with water and storm water drainage issues.  They serve areas across McHenry County, Lake County, and Northern Cook County. Contact us today for solutions to your sewer line issues.