Inclement Weather - Skagit County Excavation Service - CF Excavation

How Inclement Weather Impacts Excavation Projects

Extreme weather conditions have the ability to curveball events of various kinds. Poor weather may be a reason to cancel any outdoor event. However, the stakes are much greater when it comes to construction plans.

Excavation delays as a result of unforeseen conditions have an effect on critical paths and the budget of a project. Thorough planning forms the backbone of a successful project. As such, the impact of inclement weather on these plans is vital to consider.

The Impact Of Inclement Weather On Excavation Projects

Inclement weather refers to extreme, tumultuous and severe conditions that generally surpass your average rainy day. These abnormal conditions may include:

  • Hail
  • Snow
  • Severe wind
  • Dust storms
  • Or extreme temperatures

Conditions like these make the environment unsuitable for working. Extreme weather conditions typically make it unsafe for workers to execute the work onsite. It also makes the work itself impractical as it can affect the ground and surroundings of a site.

Construction projects involve extensive site work and earthworks that can last up to months. These activities are extremely dependent on outside weather events as inclement weather can cause delays due to unsafe working conditions.

Here is how some of the most common inclement weather conditions can impact excavation projects.


Rain has the potential to shut down project sites for weeks at a time! This is particularly true when it comes to heavy or consistent rain during rainy seasons. In times where there is significant rainfall in a short period of time, flooding may occur. This creates impossible conditions for excavation work.

The biggest threats include lost time, which can cost money. Severe rainfall also affects the equipment and the workers. When working in muddy conditions, the workers need to clean out the tracks and clear paths and entrances regularly.

Despite plans, rainfall can be extremely unpredictable and vary between years. Wet years are challenging, but you can prepare for inclement weather. It’s always a good idea to expect the best and plan for the worst.


Severe winds can dismount machinery and lift debris, which can cause significant damage to construction sites. If extreme winds occur over a long period, they can make working conditions a challenge and impede progress.

Weather planning should include specific measures for the event of high winds. In particular, these interventions should prevent the blowing and relocating of dust and earth around the site.

Other interventions include avoiding certain tasks. To ensure the safety of workers, managers should postpone certain activities that are dangerous in windy conditions. In addition, workers should only use equipment with extreme caution (or not at all) when the equipment is susceptible to dimounting by wind.

To prevent drastically influencing the critical path, the postponed activities should be revised and rescheduled. This way, all excavating activities can return to normal when acceptable weather conditions are present.

Extreme Temperatures

Hot and cold weather, in their extremes, can have major impacts on excavation projects. The conditions can be dangerous for workers if they do not have the correct gear or do not follow the applicable safety precautions. Although experienced workers are resilient in working in extreme conditions, it is still important to take all the necessary safety precautions.

During very hot conditions, workers may get tired and dehydrated easily. In such environments, it is important to regularly hydrate and perhaps work at a slower pace to prevent overexertion. In very cold weather, workers should dress in sufficiently warm attire.

The weather also presents challenges to the way in which workers execute tasks. In hot weather, workers may face exhaustion from the heat and be slothful and potentially negligent in their work. In cold weather, the multiple layers may weigh down and inhibit the comfort of workers. This can cause them to work less efficiently.

Another consideration is the effect of cold weather on machinery. The clearing of snow may be necessary for any machinery and personnel to move across the site. The cold may also damage pipes or equipment that is vulnerable to low temperatures. 

Final Thoughts

You may not be able to control the uncontrollable influence that weather can have on the activities of your project. However, you can have influence over the response to planning and troubleshooting changes in your schedule due to the weather.

At CF Excavating, we always prepare for weather delays and make sure that we have plans in place should bad weather affect the site. Despite any curve balls thrown by weather events, we will ensure that we complete your excavating project safely and timeously.

At the end of the day, it comes down to choosing excavators who you can trust. At CF Excavating, we have a team with a wealth of experience. This will go towards providing quality and resilient planning for inclement weather during any excavation project.  

Similar Posts