Justin White, Landscaping Lessons | Don’t delay when it comes to drainage – Santa Cruz Sentinel
Drainage seems like the least of your landscaping worries as we face drought restrictions in California, but winter will come before we know it! Is your property ready? Now is the time to address those drainage issues that you have been putting off since the last rainy season. Below are a few key things to look out for when evaluating your property’s drainage system. My goal is to raise awareness of the issue of drainage and remind us all of the importance of planning ahead.
We are in the midst of a labor shortage in the landscape industry and with the resurgence of COVID-19, this problem only seems to get worse. This winter is turning out to be one of the toughest times in history to get contractors to bid and execute on your projects. Many local businesses are more than 3 months behind schedule and some are booking work until next summer. If you have a large or even a small drainage project, the chances of getting a reputable contractor to finish the work by the end of the year are slim. If you had flooding or drainage issues last winter and it was on your to-do list all summer, call today and give your local drainage company a call. Because of these unusual circumstances, it is important that you plan well in advance.
Unlike the contractor route, many of the drainage problems can be solved by the average weekend warrior and some simple old-fashioned hard work. When you have a good idea of what needs to be accomplished and you have a little extra time to spare, you can just put that time aside to complete your project before it rains. After a rain, your drainage system is always harder to work on, everything is wet and sometimes a poor drainage system can cause flooding or property damage.
What to look for:
Your gutters and downspouts. We were referred to as “Tree City” USA here in Santa Cruz and while we appreciate the wonderful redwoods and other species of trees, they can upset your gutters, clog them, and create overflow problems. Be sure to clean your gutters and downspouts before it rains.
Check your collection boxes for soil drainage. While not all properties have drainage boxes or pipes, you should make sure they are clear of dirt, animals, or other obstructions that can reduce water flow. Take a moment to think back to last year during one of our few rainy events. Did the drains work properly? Did you have overflow or flood problems? Chances are if it happened last year, it will happen again this year. If you have a sump pump on your property, now is a good time to test it and make sure it is still working. Sometimes sump pumps can blow a fuse or pull the plug in the summer.
Erosion control is an important step if you live in an area with steep slopes or a slope that is disturbed in the summer. You want to make sure that the bare ground is covered by either landscaping or some sort of anti-erosion mat. There are many options depending on the severity of your situation. If you feel that a landslide is possible, work on preventing it before the rain returns.
If you own a commercial or residential property that was part of a LID project that included a biosewhale, an annual report will likely need to be completed and submitted to your local agency. Stay up to date with these inspections and reports to avoid potential fines. If there is a flood situation that is causing damage and it is due to improper maintenance of your biosewhale, you can count on the cost of repair. Make sure your bioswales are clean and free of any debris that can prevent proper water flow.
That summer was a house buying and selling frenzy. If you’ve bought a home in the past six months, you may not be aware of any existing drainage problems. Take a close look at your property and check out any drainage systems it may have. If you are not sure what to look for, contact a professional for advice. It can be worth the money to feel safe when the rain starts.
The entire state is hoping for a wet year as the drought dominates the headlines. So when it rains we want to make sure you are covered. Don’t hesitate, check out your drainage systems this weekend!
Justin White is the CEO of K&D Landscaping, headquartered in Watsonville, California, and was named Business of the Year 2020 by the Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce. White is also the current president of the local California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA) on the central coast. He is involved in several nonprofit organizations across the community. For more information on landscaping, outdoor and gardening needs, please contact K&D Landscaping at kndlandscaping.com.