Landscaping, Irrigation, and More - R & R Sprinkler & Lanscape, Inc. of Cape Coral, Florida Blog

Landscaping, Irrigation, and More

R & R Sprinkler & Lanscape, Inc. of Cape Coral, Florida Blog

Archive for August, 2012

Celebrating 40 Years of Installing Sprinklers, Landscaping and Sod in Cape Coral, Florida

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On August 30, 2012

Not very companies can say they have been around for 40 years! The City of Cape Coral became incorporated in 1970 and R & R Sprinkler and Landscape was hot on it’s heels installing the first irrigation systems, landscaping and sod by 1972. We set high standards for our employees and suppliers that when an irrigation or landscaping product is provided or installed that we intend to stand behind our work. That’s why we’ve had our doors open since 1972. We have customer’s that have known one of our owners, Mike, since he was born. Now THAT’s amazing! Thank you to all of our loyal and referring customers that have made us a successful landscape and irrigation company. We couldn’t have done it without you. We will continue to serve you for as long as you will patronize us.

Hurricane Issac Will Bring Unlicensed Contractor Activity to Southwest Florida

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On August 28, 2012

As Tropical Storm Issac passes us and transforms into Hurricane Issac we need to keep the folks in Mississippi and Louisiana in our prayers.

We dodged a bullet with Tropical Storm Issac. It appears there hasn’t been much damage caused from the storm except for some fallen branches and some higher water in canals. However, unlicensed contractors always see any type of storm as an opportunity to take advantage of innocent homeowners for necessary or unnecessary repairs.

A licensed contractors has to be tested and certified in their field, they need to carry workers compensation insurance, they need to carry property, vehicle and liability insurance and much more. An unlicensed contractor doesn’t incur any of these necessary expenses to operate a legitimate business and often they don’t have the right amount of time or experience in the trade they are trying to perform work.

A homeowner often is just trying to get the most in-expensive cost for the job. Did you stop to think that if that person falls on your property they can sue you? A licensed contractor can submit a claim to their insurance company.

An unlicensed contractor often takes short cuts to give you that lower price. If they do it wrong or cause damage to your property what re-course do you think you have? With a licensed contractor you have the backing of State, County and City Municipalities in a mediation type environment.

When a person bidding a project for you says they are licensed in Georgia but cannot produce a Florida License they are considered an unlicensed contractor. To be a legitimate licensed contractor in The State of Florida they must be licensed with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

For a short period of time Southwest Florida may be swarmed by “unlicensed” contractor activity. We urge you to do your due diligence by asking them to produce licenses and proof of insurance. By doing this you will be protecting yourself and the hundreds of small business owners in the Lee County, Charlotte Count and Collier County Areas.

Prepare Your Landscaping At Your Southwest Florida Home For Tropical Storm Issac

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On August 23, 2012

It appears that Southwest Florida will bear the brunt of Tropical Storm Issac by the end of this weekend. Whether we are hit directly or not, we will still have some pretty nasty weather coming our way.

NBC2 has great tips on preparing for a storm.

In addition to preparing your house and family to endure a storm, you should consider some housekeeping with your landscaping and outdoor elements to avoid damage to your plants and trees and property.

If you have large trees or palms take a close look to see if there are already loose branches or palm fronds that you could remove now. The high winds and rains are sure to tug them loose once Tropical Storm Issac gets closer. Falling limbs can cause damage to your roof, windows, screens, vehicles and more. Taking a little bit of time now will save you a lot of trouble over the weekend.

Do you have potted plants in containers. Start moving them into an area they will get less damage. Not only will it save you damage to the plant or tree, it will ensure that your beautiful pots don’t get damaged as well.

Do you have landscaping maintenance equipment stored outside? These would include but not limited to wheel barrels, hoses, shovels, rakes, lawn mowers, etc. Start clearing space out in your garage to house these tools.

If you live on salt water you will be affected by the salt spray. If you have plants along your seawall or edge of the property they may get damaged. The sod along this area too may incur damage as well. Once the storm calms down we recommend that you start adding fresh water from the garden hose to reduce the effects of the salt water.

Do you have an outdoor living area? You will need to consider moving in any items that could go airbourne during the storm like lawn furniture, fire pits, benches, pool toys, etc. You not only want to protect the outdoor furnishings but you want to avoid having any item launch unnecessarily into the air that could cause harm to your property or to a person.

The silver lining to this cloud is that a storm will reveal to the homeowner the areas of their landscaping that are weak or need improved
. Keep your eyes on the weather and start preparing your Southwest Florida Landscaping for Tropical Storm Issac.

Parts of a Lawn Irrigation System – Sprinkler Valve

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On August 22, 2012

If you are like the average homeowner you don’t really know what the specific parts are that make up your irrigation system. You just want it to turn on and water your grass and landscaping. We understand, you might know what the stock market is doing today, you may know the part I need to repair my air conditioner or you may know how to teach my daughter math (all things I may struggle with myself) but you don’t know what an irrigation valve is. That’s OK. We all have gifts and talents. Servicing and educating customers about their irrigation system is ours.

Today we’re going to tell you about irrigation valves. A sprinkler system is made up of many parts. It’s not about just throwing pipes in the ground and your grass is watered. There are rotor heads, spray heads, timers, rain sensors, fittings, pipe and valves. A valve is the part of the sprinkler that determines a sprinkler “zone”. It’s the brain for a specific part (zone) of the entire sprinkler system. The valves talk to the timer so the timer can tell the valves when to open and close to let water flow into the pipes and out of the sprinkler heads and for how long.

Each valve is wired to the sprinkler timer. If valves are not operating there is either not power running from the timer to the valve or one of the electrical wires has been somehow damaged. If valves get stuck open there may be debris stuck in the valve. A common result of this would be a flooded yard. If valves are weeping you may need to replace the seal around the valve. The most important thing you can do is to know where your valves are located for your sprinkler system.

One of the most time consuming tasks we perform during an irrigation repair to locating valves. If you can keep your valves located and clear from your yard growing over top of them you will save a lot of labor for your next sprinkler repair.

R & R Sprinkler and Landscape have expert technicians ready to locate and repair the valves to your sprinkler system today.

Preparing Your Southwest Florida Home for Tropical Storm Issac

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On August 22, 2012

It looks like we are in the line of fire for Tropical Storm Issac to make landfall early Monday morning. If last night’s wind storm in Cape Coral is any indication of the power this storm is going to pack then there are some things we all need to do to prepare.

Hurricanes are powerful and dangerous storms; but if you are prepared, you will survive with the least amount of discomfort!

Here are some things you can do at the beginning of the season, to help make your home and family “hurricane resistant”!

Prepare your survival kit with enough supplies to last you, your family, and pets for at least three days.
As you purchase items on the list, check them off until your kit is complete. Next to the list, write down where the kit and any separate items are stored. Even if you plan to evacuate, you need to have these supplies with you.
Write down your FPL account number for faster service: ________________.
In case of an outage, call 1-800-4-OUTAGE
Update your homeowners insurance; make sure you are covered for wind and flood damage. If you rent, purchase renter’s insurance. Know your deductibles, they may be higher than you think! Get additional tips about your insurance here.
Find out the elevation of your home and how the surrounding area would flood in a hurricane.
Videotape or take a written inventory of all your belongings.
Keep your yard free of debris. Cut down any dead tree limbs. Remove weak, damaged or diseased trees.
If you do not have pre-installed shutters, measure all windows and doors for plywood covers. Pre-cut the plywood and install anchors.
Purchase a kit to brace your garage door, especially if your home was built before 1993.
Drive through your designated hurricane evacuation route. Consider alternative routes as you go.
Locate the nearest public shelters. Not all shelters will be opened during a hurricane. Be aware of several alternatives.
Purchase a battery operated weather radio with the tone alert.
Take a first aid class.
Make sure your street address is clearly marked on your home.
Complete your personal hurricane plan.

NBC2 has a great in-depth preparation plan for all of us to follow.

Southwest Florida Afternoon Thunderstorms May Affect Your Irrigation System Timer

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On August 21, 2012

It’s summer in Southwest Florida and there’s one thing you can count on – afternoon thunderstorms. A lightning strike in your area can trip your ground fault electrical outlets (GFI outlet) which renders them inoperable until you reset them.

Why is this important to the operation of your irrigation system you may wonder? It is required by Florida Law that your the timer to your automatic lawn irrigation system be plugged into a GFI Outlet. Furthermore, if the GFI is outdoors it is required to have an in use cover installed to prevent the water from entering the outlets.

If you sprinkler timer is plugged into a GFI outlet and it trips that means there is no electrical service to the outlet that is supposed to be operating your irrigation system. That means that your sprinkler system is not going to operate.

You can install a battery back up on your automatic irrigation system timer. This will ensure that your timer is still operating even if the GFI outlet has been tripped. However, the battery back up will only work for a couple of months. It’s only meant to be a short term temporary solution. If you are a seasonal resident that lives out of state for many months at a time then you are risking having your sprinkler not operating, your lawn drying out and your landscaping dying because your sprinkler timer didn’t have any electric running to it to tell your system to operate.

So, the moral of the story is to check your GFI outlets often, especially during the summer (thunderstorm) months. R & R Sprinkler and Landscape has many options for irrigation system service contracts to ensure the maintenance and operation of your lawn sprinkler system throughout the year.

Contact us if you’d like to find out how much a monthly, quarterly or bi-annual service contract for your sprinkler system is today.

The Florida Irrigation Society

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On August 19, 2012

MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of the Florida Irrigation Society is to be the recognized leader of Florida’s irrigation industry by promoting the professional interests and business successes of its members through sound environmental stewardship, governmental advocacy, continuing education, and professional certifications.

The Florida Irrigation Society (FIS) is a not-for-profit Society established in 1966. Our goal is to promote sound irrigation practices through awareness and education. The Florida Irrigation Society Membership consists of Irrigation Contractors, Irrigation Designers, Consultants, Educators, Equipment Manufacturers, Equipment Distributors, Municipalities, and Students.

One of our owners, Mike St. Pierre, is the current president of the Southwest Florida Chapter of The Florida Irrigation Society. Just one more way for R & R Sprinkler and Landscape to show we are responsible and concerned irrigation contractors.

Feel free to contact us if you have questions about The Florida Irrigation Society or how R & R Sprinkler and Landscape is involved in our community.

How Will I Maintain My Lawn Sprinkler In Naples, Florida?

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On August 16, 2012

You are blessed enough to be a seasonal resident in Naples Florida. You have spent your snow bird days meticulously manicuring your lawn, updating your landscaping and getting your irrigation system fine tuned to maintain all of the labors of love.

Now, it’s time to go back up north for the summer. You have hopefully hired a trusted lawn and landscape company to maintain your assets while you are gone but have you thought about your lawn sprinkler system?

Most seasonal residents turn off their irrigation systems when they are ready to go back up north. This is soooooo bad for your sprinkler system.

The only lubrication an irrigation system receives is from the water running through the pipes, through the valves and out of the sprinkler heads. No water running means no lubrication. Guess what? When you return to your Naples paradise you may be in for some repairs to your lawn sprinklers due to the lack of operation.

Your timer to your lawn irrigation system should be set to run at least once a week. During the rainy seasons you will only need to have your system run through each zone for a couple of minutes. During the non-rainy seasons it should be set to run through each zone @ 15 minutes depending on the type of landscaping or lawn area you are covering and the type of sprinkler heads that are installed in the areas and current watering restrictions that are in place.

R & R Sprinkler and Landscape offers a variety of service contracts for your lawn irrigation system. We want your sprinklers to run adequately and efficiently throughout the year to maintain your yard, trees and shrubs.

Don’t you want your Naples property to look as beautiful when you return for this season as it did when you left last season. Less time spent on landscaping means more time spent playing golf, fishing or enjoying the gorgeous Florida beaches.

You wouldn’t leave a car sitting for months at a time without letting it run and you shouldn’t let your lawn sprinklers either. See how an irrigation maintenance contract from R & R Sprinkler and Landscape can benefit your Naples home today.

My Sprinkler Head Won’t Pop Up?

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On August 15, 2012

So you have an automatic irrigation system with sprinkler heads that pop up to water your yard. However, you notice that one of your sprinkler heads won’t pop up. Let’s trouble shoot to figure out what’s wrong:

1. Is Water Pressure To Blame?
Each city or municipality will regulate their water pressure however they please. They may lower water pressure to a particular area at a specific time of day due to high demand. They have the best interest of all property owner’s in mind and want to make sure that they have water supply to all in lieu of high water pressure to some. I guess it makes sense unless you are the person trying to get your sprinkler head to pop up, LOL.

2. Is There A Broken Pipe In Your Area?
Look around. Has there been any new trees, shrubs or landscaping installed in your area? Has there been a fence repaired or installed recently? Have there been any repairs to or installs to the utilities in the area? If there is a broken pipe there is an interruption of water flow. There needs to be water flow to make your sprinkler head pop up. R & R Sprinkler and Landscape can make repairs to your irrigation system and fix broken pipes.

3. Is There Debris Caught In The Lines Of Your Irrigation System?
Various forms of debris can get caught in your irrigation lines. If you have turned your system completely off (this is a big no-no) then sediment may have settled in the bottoms of your pipes. When your system is turned back on the sediment gets flushed into your pipes and up through your sprinkler heads. The sediment may exit the sprinkler head or clog it. A clogged sprinkler head usually won’t pop up. If you are on a dual water system there are elements that can clog your sprinkler heads like snails, stickers from fruit and other small elements that have made their way into the reclaimed water system.

4. Does Your Sprinkler Head Need Cleaned or Repaired?
Your sprinkler head may just need cleaned out. Your sprinkler head also has a seal around it that keeps the water from leaking out around the head and spraying out into your grass. If the seal is broken or damaged it may interfere with the sprinkler head popping up. Call a certified sprinkler repair company like R & R Sprinkler to repair or replace the sprinkler head. Your lawn maintenance company may not repair or replace a sprinkler head unless they have a specialty contractors license.

If you have questions or need a sprinkler head repaired please contact us for a free estimate. We do offer a variety of sprinkler system maintenance contracts that will check for all of the above items.

My Dog Is Destroying My Fort Myers Yard!

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On August 14, 2012

We all love fido. He’s our best friend. He provides unconditional love. He’s a member of our family. He also can destroy our yard!

There are two main ways we can identify with as areas that your dog can damage or destroy your Fort Myers yard.

1. Digging
2. Urinating

DIGGING
A digging dog may be bored. Perhaps they need more attention from you. A good walk or some back yard play time may be good for both of you.

A digging dog can also be hiding his valued treasures such as toys or bones in which case we would recommend you not let him take these items into the yard. Perhaps they will be content to just hide them in the couch instead.

A digging dog may also be a phase of their life because they are young. Obedience training and lots of patience will help Fido get past these days. Usually a dog will out grow this by the age of 3 (you hope!).

URINATING
Some dogs are such creatures of habit that they will urinate in the same spot over and over and over again. Moderate urination will actually help the grass by fertilizing it. Over urination in one spot will damage the grass due to the high concentrations of nitrogen.

If your dog has the habit of using the potty in the same spot perhaps you’ll need to follow closely behind them to shuffle them to a different area of your Fort Myers yard. Encourage them to use the whole yard instead of a few choice spots. There are even some over the counter sprays at local pet stores that will help discourage them from using a certain area.

If they just refuse to use another area of your Fort Myers yard then pull the garden hose out and water the area down frequently to dilute the effects of the urine.

If you need us to renovate your landscaping or replace some sod let us know. Just remember, Fido loves you. Don’t let a few holes or yellowed spots in your yard alter your affection for him.