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Published on March 6, 2016, in Information & Tips.

Ready, Aim, Sprinkle!

Spring is fast approaching as forecasted by the revered groundhog, meaning your lawn may need some much needed attention after the months of winter neglect. A little maintenance up front may save you a significant wad of bills down the road.

Before you kick start your spring watering efforts to get the flawless green carpet you’ve been pining for, first spruce up your irrigation system to save more green—as in your dollars and your environment. If you have a clock timer, you may be using up to 50% more water than if you weren’t using an irrigation system. If it’s programmed incorrectly, a small leak mysteriously appears after the cold winter months, or your sprinkler head is pointed in the wrong direction, you may be wasting even more.

Avoid these small yet costly missteps with these quick steps:

  1. Inspect: Take a preliminary look at your system for sprinkler heads that may be broken, clogged, or missing. Then call a professional to ensure everything is tip-top and ready to relieve your parched lawn in even the worst summer heat.
  2. Connect: Take a careful look at the points where the sprinkler heads connect to pipes or hoses. If you notice large pools or wet areas in your lawn, this could potentially be a leak rather than a drainage issue. Did you know? A leak as small as 1/32 inch (that’s about the size of the tips of a ballpoint pen) could cause you to waste around 6300 gallons of water per month. It wasn’t your tears drowning you, it was your insane water bill!
  3. Direct: Check each sprinkler head to ensure you aren’t watering your driveway or passing cars. The most efficient direction to point your grass is somewhere in the vicinity of the actual grass–don’t cheat it by watering weeds or pinestraw.
  4. Set it: Have you updated your scheduled irrigation controller lately? This isn’t a product where you can “set it and forget it.” Forgetting to change it with the seasons will create big bills later on. Update it to align with the changing seasons or purchase a timer tool that will do this automatically for you.
  5. E: All of the above: You could do all these things by yourself, but your eye is most likely not trained to see the hidden flaws or potential future problems that are not yet so obvious. Hire a professional to maintain your irrigation system to save you the most money long term.


Rainy Days Irrigation, Inc. | 115 Sigma Dr. | Garner, NC
(919) 779-9285 | Irrigation | Drainage | Backflow | Landscape Lighting

 
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Published on July 3, 2015, in Information & Tips.

Disease Overview

No trickery here, this disease gets it name from the silver dollar sized spots found on green lawns. On home lawns, these spots will be from 3-6 inches in diameter and sport a tan color. The size of these spots have a correlation with the mowing height and blade size of the grass; for example, higher mowing height causes larger spots. These spots usually won’t get bigger than 8 inches and are commonly misidentified as animal urine damage. Your lawn will most likely show signs of this disease when it is low in nitrogen. This means that you may be fertilizing infrequently, using an organic fertilizer with low nutrient content, or a soil problem may be blocking the uptake of nutrients. Be careful, though, because using too much fertilizer can predispose the grass to other diseases.

Symptoms

This lawn disease can show up in a few different ways, such as producing an hour-glass lesion bordered by a purple band, or it might start browning from the tip down. When the roots become damaged, the grass will shed the damaged roots and replace them with new ones, to no avail. The new roots will experience the same cycle, essentially starving the grass. It can be spread easily, by mowing or foot traffic. In extreme cases, these spots can grow up to several feet in diameter and form highly irregularly shaped patches.

Stress

Dollar Spot Lawn Disease will not become severe if treated quickly enough, usually with an application of water soluble nitrogen for blade growth. Grass is more susceptible to disease when it is under stress, such as when it is low in nitrogen, resulting in a struggle to produce chlorophyll and carbohydrates. Another factor that can cause stress is over watering and shallow watering. Only water when the grass is in need of it, and water deeply to wet the soil 3-4 inches down. Shallow watering leads to shallow rooting and the grass then becomes stressed during dry, hot weather. A balanced fertility program is necessary, as well as reducing dampness as much as possible. If reseeding becomes necessary, use a more resistant variety to deter such lawn diseases.


Could our services be the answer to your lawn problems? Call Rainy Days Irrigation today at (919) 779-9285 and one of our trained technicians can advise you on the  best solution for your drainage and irrigation issues.


Rainy Days Irrigation, Inc. | 115 Sigma Dr. | Garner, NC | (919) 779-9285
Irrigation | Drainage | Backflow | Landscape Lighting

 
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Published on June 26, 2015, in Information & Tips.

Disease Overview

Brown patch, or Rhizoctonia Blight, is a lawn disease that becomes active in hot and humid weather. These somewhat circular patches can range from several inches in diameter to 3 feet, leaving behind a circle of brown grass. In older patches with this disease, the center of the grass will sometimes grow back, leaving a frog-eye appearance.

These symptoms can appear overnight when environmental conditions are right. On the outer edges of the patch, you might see a “smoke ring,” a blue-grayish ring that shows the reaction of the grass as it progresses outward to new grass. This ring usually looks water-soaked. This grass fungus also produces mycelium, a substance that looks like a cobweb which will show up in early mornings when dew is present.

Your grass will eventually grow out of this disease as long as it only affects the blade. If it spreads to the crown, however, it will die. Younger lawns stand a significantly smaller chance of surviving this disease.

Factors that favor lawn diseases:

  • Overnight temps stay above 70
  • Daytime temps stay above 85
  • Humidity greater than 86%
  • Abundant rainfall
  • Excessive irrigation
  • Soil stays damp 10+ hours/day
  • Over-fertilized lawns
  • Quick release, water-soluble fertilizers (i.e. ammonium nitrate)

Could our services be the answer to your new home drainage and irrigation problems? Call Rainy Days Irrigation today at (919) 779-9285 and one of our trained technicians can advise you on the  best solution for your drainage and irrigation issues.


Rainy Days Irrigation, Inc. | 115 Sigma Dr. | Garner, NC | (919) 779-9285
Irrigation | Drainage | Backflow | Landscape Lighting

 

 
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Published on June 5, 2015, in Information & Tips.

Over the past months, we’ve received several inquiries about how to handle new homes with yard problems such as drainage, irrigation, and installments by previous owners. We’d like to talk about some of these questions and concerns!

Irrigation

  • I recently purchased a home with an irrigation system.  I would like to have someone come out and take a look at it to ensure it is operational.
  • The home I bought has an irrigation system, but it has not been used and I would like an estimate on what it would take to get it up and running.
  • I purchased a new home in July 2014. I have an irrigation system installed as well as an additional meter for the system but cannot find the backflow preventer valve as required by City. I will need an estimate to get this system “up to speed” before I install sod. Can someone please contact me about an onsite consultation?
  • Could you please call me to discuss starting a sprinkler system. I just bought a house and according to the previous owner, the system was winterized. I would like to get it started.

Even if we didn’t install the system, we are still able to repair and service all brands of systems to ensure you have the best lawn care possible. When purchasing a new home, whether it’s new construction or previously owned, it is a good idea to have all existing systems evaluated to determine if maintenance or replacements are necessary. We are happy to provided an estimate on any service.

Drainage

  • We have a new construction home which has drainage problems: particularly about 50 feet of side lawn stays wet, muddy, and has problems with grass developing proper roots. I want to install a French drain but don’t really have the time. I’d like to have you come out, take a look, and give me an estimated price.
  • I would like to discuss potential drainage issues in my backyard.

Drainage problems with new homes aren’t uncommon, even though they are supposed to be fixed before the sale is made. This means that it is up to the buyer to ensure everything will be taken care of to avoid the expense of repairing or installing systems once the closing comes around. The best way to ensure this is by having your agent include a clause in your contract that states:

The seller agrees that water must flow away from the structure, with a slope of at least six inches in the first ten feet, and agrees to correct any areas within the landscaped area where water stands for more than twenty-four hours following a rain.


We even receive some great messages about our customers recommending us to the incoming home owners when they move. Just another reason why we love our clients!

>>> Can you please cancel my account.  We had the tail end of our service completed today and we have sold the house and under contract.  I have provided the new home owners your info for future service.


Rainy Days Irrigation, Inc. | 115 Sigma Dr. | Garner, NC | (919) 779-9285
Irrigation | Drainage | Backflow | Landscape Lighting

 
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Published on June 3, 2015, in Information & Tips.

Standing Water

Over the past months, we’ve received several inquiries about how to fix puddling and ponding during these wet summer months. If you’ve noticed this problem, you’re not alone! The frequent showers and thunderstorms may not last for long, but the ground doesn’t have enough time to soak up the saturation before the next bout of rain, leaving you with frustrating puddles. Of course, the reason your lawn is remaining saturated may be totally different than your neighbor’s. Here’s what some of our clients are saying about their standing water problems:

  • Excessive rain causes water to run under one end of our home, which could take days to day out underneath the house!!
  • Need some help with water getting into crawlspace, etc.
  • I have a drainage issue where I have standing water in the front yard and a slope in the backyard where water runs down is eroding the ground.
  • We have existing water flow and ponding problems and would be interested in discussing with you to see what options are available.
  • Appears our backyard is holding water in several areas. We have pipes connected to all downspouts but possibly clogged going down to small creek in back yard.
  • Need to install catch basins and french drain in low lying area of backyard to reduce standing water.  Roughly 4 catch basins and 100 feet of french drain.
  • We have a new construction home which has drainage problems. Particularly about 50 feet of side lawn stays wet, muddy, and has problems with grass developing proper roots.
  • After rain water accumulates and stands on front sidewalk and step.
  • The 12 x 6 ft. are in front of my son’s house has water ponding up in it and needs a solution before he can plant anything in that area.

Ponding water has several negative effects, including drowning your greenery and creating the perfect breeding ground for insects with infectious diseases. Here are some ways standing water can develop, so you can begin to avoid it in the future.

  • Poor Soil: Soil needs to be porous to breathe and let water pass through. Overly compacted soil will create a barrier, leaving water to stand until it is evaporated. Poor soil, for example soil containing heavy clay, will cause a recurring problem with standing water. The quality of your soil is extremely important to avoid this.
  • Poor Grading: Your property’s grade is vital in determining whether you will have drainage problems. A grade that slopes toward your house or lays completely flat will cause these standing water issues. However, even if you have a sufficient grade, you might run into problems with neighbors having undesirable ones. While you can’t make them change their landscape, you can certainly adapt yours to prevent more problems.
  • Malfunctioning Irrigation System: Gutters and downspouts have a certain job, but they sometimes just end up dumping water onto your lawn if they are old or improperly installed. Preventative maintenance is a great way to ensure this doesn’t happen during the rainy season, but we can also repair, install, and maintain your systems for maximum performance any time of the year.

Since every drainage problem is unique, our services are tailored to your particular situation to produce the best and most effective solution. 


We even receive some great messages about company recommendations as well as customer recommendations to the incoming home owners when they move. Just another reason why we love our clients!

>>> Can you please cancel my account.  We had the tail end of our service completed today and we have sold the house and under contract.  I have provided the new home owners your info for future service.

>>> Our lawn maintenance company recommended you.

>>> I was recommended to you by [Cary drainage company].


Could our services be the answer to your new home drainage and irrigation problems? Call Rainy Days Irrigation today at (919) 779-9285 and one of our trained technicians can advise you on the  best solution for your drainage and irrigation issues.


Rainy Days Irrigation, Inc. | 115 Sigma Dr. | Garner, NC | (919) 779-9285
Irrigation | Drainage | Backflow | Landscape Lighting

 
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Published on May 19, 2015, in Information & Tips.

How It Works

Does your home need gutter down spout piping to improve your landscape drainage? Water collected by a rain gutter is fed usually with a downspout or downpipe from the roof to the base of the structure where it is directed away from the home or building. If you do not have gutters installed, or they are improperly installed, that may be causing or contributing to your landscape drainage issues. Faulty gutters can lead to soil erosion adjacent to buildings and serious water and foundation displacement problems in basements and crawl spaces.

Damage of Clogged Gutters

Clogged gutters can cause:

  • Water leakage into the building as the water backs up
  • Stagnant water build up which allows mosquitoes to breed and also allows grasses and weeds to grow in the gutter.
  • Debris overflow
  • Foundation rot
  • Roof and/or structural damage
  • Damaged paint

Gutters must be maintained regularly to remove leaves and other debris to keep them from clogging. Effective gutter guards that keep debris out but allow water to enter are a good alternative to regular cleaning. However, gutters should be examined and repaired for cleaning twice a year.


Would gutters and down spout piping be the answer to your lawn drainage problems? Call Rainy Days Irrigation today at (919) 779-9285 and one of our trained technicians can advise you on the  best solution for your drainage issue.


Rainy Days Irrigation, Inc. | 115 Sigma Dr. | Garner, NC | (919) 779-9285
Irrigation | Drainage | Backflow | Landscape Lighting

 
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Published on May 15, 2015, in Information & Tips.

The Unsung Hero of Rain-Drenched Lawns

Catch basins are commonly used to manage drainage problems in a landscape area, or even in a parking lot or street. You’ve seen them, now you can learn about what they do.

catch basin, or storm drain, is a drain with the sole function of collecting rainwater from a landscape or street and transporting it to local waterways through a system of underground piping, culverts and drainage ditches. For residential purposes, they are designed to drain excess rain and ground water from lawns and gutters. The basin catches sediment and prevents solids from clogging the drainage pipe or storm sewer. They must be cleaned periodically to maintain their ability to trap sediment and prevent flooding. The periodic cleaning also helps prevent and eliminate bad odors and remove solid matter.

How is it different from other drainage solutions?

Catch basins have drain sections with a wide sloping inlet which collects runoff. If they are working correctly, as large amounts of water are being dumped into the system, there is little overflow. The inlet opens to a pipe that is covered with a grating. The grating traps large debris, keeping it from entering the piping. As water floods the catch basin, small particles that slip through the grate settle to the bottom. Drainage pipes are located above the bottom of this vertical pipe and this is what makes sure the water is without dirt or debris.

The basins must be cleaned periodically to maintain their ability to trap sediment and prevent flooding. The periodic cleaning also helps prevent and eliminate bad odors and remove solid matter.

Is this the solution for your landscape drainage problems? Rainy Days is available to send one of our trained technicians to assess your lawn issue and help fix it!


Learn more about drainage solutions from Rainy Days and contact us today.

Call us directly at (919) 779-9285.


Rainy Days Irrigation, Inc. | 115 Sigma Dr. | Garner, NC | (919) 779-9285
Irrigation | Drainage | Backflow | Landscape Lighting

 
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Published on May 8, 2015, in Information & Tips.

Buying a new home can be an exciting and often exhausting process. If you do your homework, it can be a positive and enjoyable experience. One of the most common areas of concern when purchasing a new home is the lot and proper drainage.

When water collects in a large surface area or flows a great distance, it has the potential to create significant problems.

Remember: Water Flows Downhill!

Make certain you understand how a property drains before you buy it. Visit the site during a heavy rain and observe the water flow. You’ll then be able to discuss your drainage concerns with your builder and get his plan for dealing with potential problems.

Proper New Home Drainage Means:

  • There is a reasonable slope away from your home; six inches of fall within the first ten feet from a structure is the basic requirement.
  • Significant amounts of water coming from other lots should be diverted into drainage swales, well away from the house.
  • Positive flow should be maintained on all disturbed areas of the lot, and water should not be allowed to pond anywhere.
  • All drainage across the lot, except as contained in drainage swales, should be gentle enough to allow grass to grow.

Finally, be aware that drainage is a major cause for conflict between builders and their customers. If you understand the flow of water across your lot prior to closing, and if you and your builder are in agreement about the final grading and landscaping of the property, you are much less likely to have to deal with drainage problems later. Have your agent include a clause in your contract that states:

The seller agrees that water must flow away from the structure, with a slope of at least six inches in the first ten feet, and agrees to correct any areas within the landscaped area where water stands for more than twenty-four hours following a rain.


Rainy Days Irrigation specializes in Landscape Drainage Solutions. We are happy to help you with any concerns you may have and get you on your way to enjoying a beautiful Spring yard.


Rainy Days Irrigation, Inc. | 115 Sigma Dr. | Garner, NC | (919) 779-9285
Irrigation | Drainage | Backflow | Landscape Lighting

 
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Published on May 1, 2015, in Information & Tips.

So, what is a French Drain?

You hear the name as a common drainage solution, but what is it and what does it do to improve your soggy landscape?

For starters, it must be properly installed. That’s where Rainy Days comes in! We bring expert technicians to your problem and leave with a solid solution in place. Our technicians are trained in French Drain installation. Here are some basics:

  • A French drain is a trench filled with gravel or rock or containing a perforated pipe that redirects surface water and groundwater away from an area. A French drain can have perforated hollow pipes along the bottom to quickly vent water that seeps down through the upper gravel or rock.
  • French drains are used to prevent ground and surface water from penetrating or damaging building foundations. They may be used to distribute water, such as a septic drain field at the outlet of a typical septic tank sewage treatment system. French drains are also used behind retaining walls to relieve ground water pressure.
  • French drains can lead to a downhill slope or to dry wells or rain gardens where the extra water is held and absorbed by plants. This is useful when city water systems or other wastewater areas cannot be used.
  • These drains are installed around a home foundation in two different ways: Buried around the foundation wall on the external side of the foundation, or installed underneath the basement floor on the inside perimeter of the basement.
  • External French drains or drain tiles are installed around the foundation walls before the foundation soil is back-filled. It is laid on the bottom of the excavated area, and a layer of stone is laid on top. In many cases, a filter fabric is then laid on top of the stone to keep fine sediments and particles from entering. Once the drain is installed, the area is back-filled and the system is left alone unless it clogs.

Could the popular French drain be the solution to your landscape needs?

You may be saying “Rain, Rain Go Away!” lately as the southeast experiences heavy rain fall. There are some things you can look for. Common signs of lawn drainage problems:

  • Mildew/Mold in Crawlspaces and Basements
  • Settling Foundations
  • Loss of Plant Material
  • Insect Problems
  • Mechanical Damage from Mowing Equipment/Footprints
  • Soil Compaction
  • Standing Water or Puddles
  • Yellow Grass or Plants that Wilt or Appear Unhealthy

Ask our professionals at Rainy Days Irrigation to provide a consultation.

Let our 29 years of service history help you! (919) 779-9285


Rainy Days Irrigation, Inc. | 115 Sigma Dr. | Garner, NC | (919) 779-9285
Irrigation | Drainage | Backflow | Landscape Lighting

 
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Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd each year and was founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970. It was intended to promote ecology and respect for life on the planet as well as to encourage awareness of the growing problems of air, water and soil pollution.

Some people prefer to observe Earth Day around the time of the March equinox. American anthropologist Margaret Mead added her support for the equinox Earth Day in 1978. She supported this particular observance time throwing her support behind John McConnell, another supporter of Earth conservation and whom coined the phrase, “Earth Day.” McConnell was a man with a passion for peace, religion and science throughout his life.

Whenever you chose to observe Earth Day, it’s goal is to inspire awareness of and appreciation for earth’s environment and calls for the protection of our planet. Every day should be Earth Day.

What are you going to do to commemorate Earth Day?

Here are some ideas:

  • Plant a tree, or flowers. Clean air!
  • Reuse and recycle. Re-purpose materials. Conserve!
  • Clean up litter. Adopt a highway. Keep ditches and creeks trash-free.
  • Buy, or make earth-friendly products. Chemical-free products.
  • Ride your bike instead of driving a car. Reduce air pollution.
  • Conserve water. Use sparingly in house and yard.
  • Conserve energy. Update your lighting and appliances to ‘Energy Star.’

Simple changes can make a big difference. Make every day Earth Day. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Save energy, water, and money with Rainy Days on your side. Preventative maintenance services are provided by our skilled technicians. Conservation is important to us! Give us a call today. (919) 779-9285


Rainy Days Irrigation, Inc. | 115 Sigma Dr. | Garner, NC | (919) 779-9285
Irrigation | Drainage | Backflow | Landscape Lighting