Irrigation Companies 101: Everything You Need to Know Before You Hire One
The weather’s getting warmer, the days are getting longer, and you’re starting to worry about keeping your lawn nice all spring and summer long. A super green, lush lawn is going to take a lot of your time: Feeding it, mowing it, and most of all, watering it. And if you don’t want to be out there every other day with a hose, you’re going to want to look into other solutions from irrigation companies.
Installing an irrigation system in your yard is one surefire way to get the results you want. Before you jump into anything like that, though, you’ll probably have a lot of questions. You don’t want just anybody tearing up your yard, so you’ll sift through several irrigation system companies to make sure you’ve found the right, trustworthy partner to take your lawn to the next level.
Here, we’ve compiled some commonly asked questions about the whole irrigation system process, and we’ve thrown in some questions you should ask of any irrigation system companies you talk to, as well. By the end, you’ll have all the information you need to make your lawn the best it can be.
Who needs irrigation companies?
The need for an irrigation system depends a lot on the environment where you live. If it’s hot and dry much of the year, an irrigation system is a no brainer. However, if you get a lot of rain, you might not be so eager to have any irrigation companies dig up your yard for some pipes. Overwatering your grass is a real concern, and you want to avoid it if possible. Even still, it might be a good idea. You’ll need the artificial rain when the days get hot, dry, and long.
Of course, you’ll be best served by irrigation companies if you have some kind of problem you’re hoping they can fix. Some common examples are dry patches, wilted spots, and turf yellowing. Explaining the things you’re displeased with will help irrigation companies know where to start.
Also consider the size of your lawn. If you’ve only got a small patch of grass, a DIY sprinkler and hose set up might suit you just fine. It gets more difficult to manage the larger your yard is, so those bigger plots of land are often better suited to a full irrigation system. But, of course, irrigation system companies are experts in what solutions are best for each specific yard. Don’t be afraid to ask questions specific to your own needs. They should be able to recommend something exactly tailored to your situation.
What if I want to install my irrigation system on my own? Do I really need an irrigation company’s help?
Unless you have chosen irrigation systems as your freetime hobby of choice, we’re going to guess you’re no expert in the field. Without the right knowledge, you might tear up your yard unnecessarily, make mistakes, struggle through it with tools that don’t serve you, and take forever to not even get the job done very well. And even if you manage to get the irrigation system installed on your own, you’ll encounter all these same problems with any maintenance that needs to be done to the system.
However, you can avoid all this with irrigation system companies. One of them can come out and install your system with no mistakes and less disruption. That means your yard will heal faster. Irrigation companies do this all the time, every day, so they have a wealth of knowledge you’re just not going to get from a few internet searches. Also, they will already have all the right tools on hand, meaning you won’t need to invest in a tool you’ll use once to install an irrigation system and then let sit in the garage for the next sixteen years.
Plus, if you’re a little lost amidst all the options on the market, irrigation companies will know what you need. They’ll be based in your area, so they’ll know exactly what sorts of conditions to plan for.
What does an irrigation system entail?
Any irrigation system is going to have a lot of different parts. One of the most common is the fixed spray sprinkler head, which is a great solution for many lawns. This kind of sprinkler head is super versatile because it can use a lot of different spray patterns, making it ideal for oddly-shaped areas. Rotor sprinklers are another option; this kind turns as it sprays one stream of water, meaning it can reach farther than a fixed spray sprinkler. Another option is multi-stream rotors, which are exactly what they sound like. They’re good for slopes.
These are only some of the most basic sprinkler options out there, and irrigation system companies are going to be the ones to walk you through any more complicated elements your yard might benefit from.
No matter what type of sprinkler you get, you’re going to need a controller to handle all the different elements. They can be scheduled to run at a certain time, but newer versions can do a whole lot more than that. These controllers can access real-time weather data to customize the flow of water based on current conditions. That’ll keep you from overwatering your lawn in the rainy season, thus helping to save water. With any controller, whether it’s high tech or not, you can separate out the different zones in your irrigation system and put them on separate watering plans.
Finding the right controller for your irrigation system can be a great benefit of using irrigation companies. They’ll have products to recommend, and they can set it up for you, avoiding that potential headache.
We’ve covered sprinkler systems pretty well so far, but that’s not your only irrigation option. If your lawn isn’t your main concern, or you’re just looking for a more precise solution for watering the plants in your backyard, it might be worthwhile to look into drip irrigation. That’s a type of system where the water is very targeted. Irrigation companies could explain it to you in more detail, but here are the basics: The water goes straight to the individual plant that needs it, and it’s applied very slowly over a long period of time.
This approach can be even more water efficient than its sprinkler counterparts, and it tends to be very simple to install. A side benefit is that because the water is more targeted, you might see a decrease in weeds in the surrounding areas. There are also certain pests and fungi that are spread through water, so getting the water directly to the roots of the plants that need it can cut down on those types of nuisances.
In a lot of ways — cost, ease of installation, and necessary maintenance — drip irrigation systems can be more accessible than a traditional sprinkler system. Of course, your yard’s specific needs will need to be taken into consideration to find the best solution. You’re not going to get a huge lawn bright green through a few drips of water. But any of the irrigation system companies in your area will be able to design the right system for your yard.
What are the benefits of getting an irrigation system?
The main benefit of having one of the many irrigation companies out there come out and install an irrigation system is that it’ll save you boatloads of time. You won’t have to put out your rinky dink little garage sale sprinkler and move it around every thirty minutes. You won’t have to get the hose out every evening and stand there staring off into space until all the plants are sufficiently hydrated.
There are also reasons bigger than yourself to get an irrigation system, though. You can actually save water over time. With those super smart controllers we talked about earlier, many data points can be pulled in to get the exact right amount of water. That means even if you contacted irrigation system companies years ago and had them install a system, you might need to upgrade to get the best water-saving benefits. It doesn’t hurt to give them a call.
Having a relationship with one of the irrigation companies in your area also means you’ll have access to maintenance services on your system. Not having to do it all yourself will sound pretty good when there’s a major problem you can’t quite figure out.
What qualities do good irrigation companies have? What should I look for?
So, let’s say you’ve reached out to several irrigation system companies at this point, and you’re not sure how to pick one over the others. It’s tempting to just go with the cheapest option, but you do want to make sure you’re getting a quality system for your money. How do you choose?
One red flag to look out for is if irrigation system companies want to give you a bid before they’ve seen your yard. They should want to meet with you and see exactly what they’d be working with before telling you how much it would cost.
You’ll also want to examine how much experience these irrigation system companies have. When did they start their business? If they’re brand new, that might be one to avoid. Of course, not all new businesses are bad, but it’s definitely something to watch out for.
Another thing you can ask irrigation system companies for is their references. You can also look at any reviews they have online. Irrigation companies that have a depth of experience and happy customers are the ones you want to do business with, even if they might be a little more expensive. Of course, don’t ruin yourself financially for an irrigation system, but it’s all about balance.
After the installation, what can I expect from irrigation companies?
This will depend on where you live. If it’s warm all year round, you might not need much maintenance from irrigation system companies. However, if you live somewhere with a harsh winter, you’ll need to have your system winterized. Sometimes you can do this yourself, but irrigation system companies would be happy to do it for you, too.
Winterizing a sprinkler system entails turning off the water and timer, draining the water already in the system, and insulating any exposed pipes. The most time consuming part of that process is draining the water, and depending on what type of sprinklers you have, that’s where you’d most need the help of irrigation system companies. They’ll have the right tools and knowledge to do the job efficiently. However, you should be provided with a user manual for your irrigation system, and that will have more specific steps on how to prepare your system for the winter.
In addition to winterizing your system, irrigation companies can provide any upkeep your system needs. Just reach out, and they should be able to work you into their schedule and fix your problem.
Don’t let your lawn suffer.
So, long story short, irrigation system companies can work wonders in your yard. Especially if you’ve got a large plot of land in a warm, dry climate, an irrigation system can completely change the game. You could try to do it on your own, of course, but if you don’t have the support of irrigation companies, you might struggle to get the system installed with the wrong tools. You also won’t have access to the depth of knowledge good, reputable, long-standing irrigation companies have. They’ll recommend the right mix of products for your specific needs. These products can range from the multitude of sprinklers on the market to drip irrigation products.
To make sure you’re getting the right irrigation company, ask for references and seek out reviews. Never commit to a company before they’ve seen your yard. Also ask what kind of maintenance they would do or would recommend for your system. If you live somewhere that gets really cold in the winter, you might need them to come out once a year and winterize your system.
All that said, it might sound like a daunting process. But it doesn’t have to be. You can have a bright, healthy, green lawn with the right irrigation system, and experts can do all the work for you. Irrigation companies would be happy to make that happen for you — just ask.