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Air vs. Hydro Excavation: What's Best for Your Property?

Posted on 19 September 2018
Air vs. Hydro Excavation: What's Best for Your Property?

Once upon a time, every excavator company lived in fear of their backhoe hitting a utility line and having to pay to replace it (as well as shutting down a whole community's power.)

However, with the introduction of air excavation and hydro excavation, tasks like sewer cleaning, catch basin cleaning and high pressure washing have become safer and easier than ever.

However, which method is better for your property? Let us break down whether you should invest in air or hydro excavation services.

Air and Hydrovac: Pros and Cons

With both air and hydro excavation, focused air or water is used to break down soil, which is then sucked up into vacuum trucks without damaging underground power lines or cables. The primary difference between air and hydro excavation is speed; hydrovac tends to be much faster than airvac for tasks like sewer cleaning and catch basin cleaning.

However, the advantages that airvac holds over hydrovac is that whereas the material a hydro excavator sucks up can't be reused and trucks have to bring in new soil to fill in, an air excavator can just fill up the hole with the same debris. Additionally, costs and time can be taken up significantly when vacuum trucks have to travel a long distance to dump their loads of hydro excavator muck.

How Climate Affects Air and Hydro Excavation

One large factor that should affect your choice between air and hydro excavation is where your property is located. While both perform well in warmer climes, hydrovac excels in colder temperatures where the water can thaw and soften hardened, chilled ground.

By the same token, air excavation is better in very wet areas where frequent rain results in mud that hydrovac can't adequately process. That being said, we recommend hydro excavation in the Greater Toronto Area for its year-round applications and more efficient usage.


When you need a hydro excavator and vacuum trucks for tasks like sewer cleaning, catch basin cleaning, and high pressure washing, come to A&G: The Road Cleaners for the best hydrovac services in Toronto! Contact us today.


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