Five Qualifications For Your Irrigation Company
Your irrigation system is mostly out of view and it may seem like it’s a small piece of your landscape and maintenance. On the contrary, your irrigation system is the hidden workhorse of your landscape. Without it, your property wouldn’t look as lush and vibrant as it does. Currently, who maintains your system? Is it your landscape company? There are advantages to having the company that mows your lawns and maintains your grounds to maintain your irrigation system as well, but if they’re not expert irrigationists, you could end up with costly repairs to your system and a dying landscape.
Experience matters. Whether you’re interested in installing an irrigation system, upgrading your current system, or just maintaining it, it’s important that your irrigation company has trained and experienced irrigation specialists. Installing a sprinkler system is more than sticking some pipes in the ground and turning on the water. Every property is different with its own unique topography. An irrigation specialist will not only consider coverage but runoff as well. There are plumbing and electrical codes and backflow laws to follow. They must be able to accurately assess the watering needs of your property and come up with a plan that will use the right amount of water for your landscape. Too much water and plants begin to die and money is wasted on water. Too little water and you save money on watering, but your plants die.
In spring, the main valve needs to be opened gradually so a sudden burst of water doesn’t do any damage. Before winter, your system must be winterized, which is when all water from the system is removed to prevent it from freezing and cracking the pipes or damaging the pumps. This is done with high pressure air. An experienced irrigation specialist will know exactly how much pressure to use in order to do the job completely without causing harm.
As a demonstration of their experience, they should be able to provide you with a list of properties where they have installed or currently maintain irrigation systems. Take the time to check them out and see not only how the properties look, but also speak with the property managers to get their opinion of the work and workers.
Your prospective irrigation specialist should be happy to give you a list of all training and certifications they have obtained. Their training should include all applicable codes and ordinances involving sprinkler system work as well as all construction and safety codes. Are they a certified State and County backflow tester? Are all installers certified? Remember, when someone is certified, they’ve not only taken a training course, but they’ve been tested on it too.
As with any person or business doing work on your property, it’s vital that they carry liability insurance as well as workers’ compensation coverage. A work accident or inferior installation could ultimately cost your business a lot of money. If you’re having an irrigation system installed, the ground will obviously have to be damaged in order to do the installation, but a professional irrigation installer will be able to do this with little damage which they will smooth out and fix and in a few weeks, you’ll never know the ground was touched. For any damage that goes beyond that, you’ll need to make sure they’ll repair it or insurance will have to pay for repairs.
Using a company with solid water conservation practices will save you money. Make sure they’re using quality products that take advantage of the latest water saving technologies. Water can be wasted from leaks, improperly placed sprinklers, and watering in rainy weather. New systems will carefully measure and control water usage, and rain sensors will cause the system to refrain from watering for a specified amount of time after the rain has stopped. They can be programmed with all of the specifics of the property―the soil, types of plants, sun or shade density, slopes―so that the system can water different areas appropriately. No wasted water.
Your irrigation company should always have water conservation in mind as they design and maintain your system. Their goal should be to use the right amount of water to make your property beautiful, not to sell you the most expensive and complex irrigation system in all of St. Louis.
Maintenance procedures should include winterization where water is blown out of the lines and pumps, spring startup, and regular checks of the sprinkler heads to ensure they haven’t been damaged in any way and that they have the correct coverage. St. Louis winters can be hard on sprinkler heads and they should be checked before your spring startup to make sure that none of them need to be replaced.
Having your landscape company do your irrigation maintenance does give you an advantage. Whenever maintenance crews are on the property, they can be on the lookout for any issues that may have cropped up with your sprinkler system. Leaks, puddling, broken sprinkler heads can all be repaired quickly before they become a bigger problem.
At Bluegrass Landscaping and Maintenance, our irrigation specialists are highly trained in the installation and maintenance of irrigation systems for large or for small commercial properties. They are certified State & County Licensed Backflow Testers, certified installers, and can pass background checks for work in secure areas. They are highly trained in large campus irrigation installation and maintenance, perform 2-wire diagnostics and repairs, and are trained in proper irrigation strategy and recommendations.
When we first obtain a property, we map the backflow and clock locations and maintain records of all components which allows us to truly get to know your property so that we can provide quick response during diagnostics and continued excellent service. Our thorough record keeping means that the longer you work with Bluegrass, the better we know your property. We can even perform annual or biannual irrigation audits to make sure you’re not wasting water and money.
To find out more about our stellar irrigation services, contact Bluegrass today at (314)770-2828.