Utility location experts provide utility and site mapping services that are essential whenever a remodeling or construction project involves excavation. While the maps that record underground utilities in a specific area are available for the public, the safest way to locate buried utilities is by means of on-site inspections performed by professionals.
The inspections performed by a utility locator company will involve the analysis of visible features that indicate the presence of utilities, such as trenches, valves, hydrants and manholes as well as the use of special devices that can identify buried pipes and lines that do not appear on maps.
The technologies used for locating underground utilities include ground penetrating radars, electronic utility locators and aerial photography – methods that can be relied on create a detailed and complete image of what lies beneath without digging. The underground utilities identified during the process will be visibly marked to inform the machine operators who maneuver the excavators and other power-tools on the job site about the areas to avoid.
Hiring a damage protection underground cable locator company before starting any kind of construction project is a small investment into project security and something that you must definitely do to make sure your excavation project is completed in a safe and timely manner.
Trees are important components in any garden or yard – they give shade, they are pleasing to the eye, they reduce noise and dust and they serve as home for songbirds. If you are currently planning to start a construction project in your backyard, you surely want to make sure your precious, beautiful trees will not suffer during or after the construction – here are a few tips how to protect them:
- Determining the size of the root – tree roots, especially if they belong to large, old trees, can extend for yards beyond the longest branch. Root damage is among the major causes of tree death, so the best way to protect your tree during the excavation is to call a tree specialist who will calculate the size of the root based on tree’s age and the species.
- Markings – you will have to mark the root perimeter with bright-colored tape to tell the excavation technician where not to dig.
- Prepare the trees – try to make sure your trees are as healthy as they can be before the digging and the construction starts. Prune the branches that are dead or show signs of an illness and fertilize the soil regularly for a while before the construction commences.
- Apply a thick layer of wood chips in the root area to prevent the soil from getting too compacted during the construction.
As in any construction project involving digging, call public safety utility location services first before you start to make sure you do not dig into buried electrical or plumbing wires or pipes.
When considering the most important aspects to pay attention to during an excavation project is fast completion and cost-efficiency, but there is another aspect that is perhaps even more important than the previous two and that is safety. To prevent accidents, such as excavating into buried utility lines that you did not know about as well as damage to the other components on the site, such as trees, you need to follow underground wire location best practices strict security guidelines – here are a few of the most important rules:
- Knowing the type of the soil – the most suitable digging method and the safety measures should be determined based on the type of the soil to be excavated – the best strategy for soft soil is not the same as the most suitable method for rocky soil.
- Locate underground utilities, both used and unused lines, prior to commencing the excavation project – the safest way to do this is by hiring a utility locator company that will identify all the cables and pipes that run underground with the help of special tools and machines.
- Mark the location of the utilities clearly to inform machine operators about the areas should not excavate in.
- Inform utility companies before you start – a very important safety measure that can prevent utility damage in the area surrounding the job site as well.
There are millions of miles of unused utility pipes buried underneath the surface – some of them are marked and recorded on maps, but others are hiding deep in the ground without any marking. While unknown utilities might not cause any problems to you if you dig in your yard or in your garden to plant some flowers, the pipes may cause serious issues if you need to excavate deeper for a construction or for planting larger trees and you also need to be very careful with the utilities that are in use around the house.
To find out whether it is safe to dig deep in your yard or in your garden or not, you first of all need to find out whether there are any unpleasant surprises buried in your yard and you also need to know the exact location of telecommunication cables and the pipes that supply your home with energy and water. The easiest way to assess your land is to turn to a Colorado utility locate compliance company – these companies use high-tech locator devices that identify utility pipes of all types and they will also provide you guidance on how you can avoid the utilities during the excavation process.
If you are tired of struggling to make your lawn stay lush and green or if your garden looks barren, here are a few low-maintenance landscaping ideas that will give you the attractive garden that you want:
- Use stone to create a dramatic appearance – pick a few rocks and stones whenever you go hiking or buy some attractive or oddly shaped pieces from the nearby gardening store and group them in a corner of the garden to create a decorative stone garden or a pond.
- Plant decorative grass – there are lots of attractive and hardy varieties to choose from and they have one great quality to convince you: they don’t need any mowing at all.
- Choose plants that are attractive, but require little maintenance – most perennials, succulents and evergreens thrive very well even in periods of drought and they can survive forgetful gardeners as well.
- Create a rustic design – little, randomly placed beds of flowering or non-flowering alongside narrow pathways made from natural stone look spectacular.
- Get an underground sprinkler system – it requires a modest investment to buy the pipes and the sprinkler heads, but once installed, the underground irrigation system will make sure your low-maintenance garden stays low-maintenance as long as you want it to be that way. Ensure that Colorado 811 is called and scheduled before you do any digging. This will prevent any digging from breaking buried electrical or plumbing cables.
Outdoor parties are great fun – whether it is a dinner party, a barbeque, a picnic in the backyard, a potluck party or some other event, here are a few ideas that guarantee success:
- Skip the tablecloth for casual atmosphere – tablecloths are too formal, they are difficult to clean and cause trouble if the weather gets windy, so get rid of them and put the plates and the cutlery either on a bare table or use brown craft paper to replace the cloth.
- Use disposable tableware and melamine plates – disposable plates are cheap and nowadays they come in very many different sizes and designs and the same is true for melamine serving accessories. Combine different colors and patterns for a rustic and relaxed arrangement.
- Keep flies away from the dinner table with a simple trick – cut a lemon in half, stick cloves into it – it will not only exude a fresh and pleasant lemon smell, but will also drive away the flies.
- Stock up on ice – make sure you have enough for the entire evening, especially if the night is hot.
- Decorate the trees with string lights – trees wrapped in hundreds of tiny lights create a special atmosphere and will also provide sufficient illumination to make moving around in the garden safe after dark.
We hope you have found these entertaining tips helpful! As always, before digging anywhere on your property, contact Colorado call before you dig prevention services to ensure your property electrical and plumbing wires and cables are kept in tact and secure!
A rock garden, also known as an alpine garden or a rockery is a small plot of land that is decorated with stones, boulders and rocks, arranged in a way that allows for small plants to be planted among the rocks. Rock gardens are easy and fun to set up and they can provide an attractive, low-maintenance alternative to costly lawn that needs the gardener’s almost permanent attention. If you are in the process of creating a rock garden, here are a few tips that you can use:
- Before you do any digging and planting, obtain a specialized underground cable locator service to make sure that your landscaping does not cause damage to cables or pipes that may be buried in your yard.
- Pay attention to soil drainage and layering – clean the area where you want to set up the rockery from weeds and debris, then add a layer of rubble to hold up the stones and to improve drainage, followed by a layer of permeable landscape fabric to keep the rubble in place, then by some fertile soil or compost.
- Water the rockery and place the larger rocks and stones into wet soil to allow them to settle.
- Choose your plants carefully – alpine plants, succulents, small evergreens are great for rockeries and some flowering plants also thrive well in their rocky beds. If you choose your plants right, you can have at least one species that is in full bloom each month from spring to fall.
Winter can be harsh on all parts of your property, on the building that you live in as much as on the grass of your lawn that you watered and trimmed with so much loving care during the previous year.
However, when the cold weather is over, your lawn can come back to life quickly, especially if you take the time to prepare it for the upcoming period of growth – here is what you need to do:
- Cleaning – the first step of preparing your lawn is the removal of dry leaves, twigs, branches and other debris that have fallen on the ground. You can use a rake, but if you want to be not only thorough, but quick as well, use an air blower.
- Use fertilizer and herbicide – choose a fertilizer that starts nourishing your grass before the first leaves emerge and apply a herbicide as well to prevent the growth of crabgrass. Repeat both procedures 6-8 weeks after the first treatment.
- Start mowing early – mowing at least once a week from the beginning of spring until the grass is strong and thick is important because frequent mowing can strengthen the roots and make the lawn more resistant later, in summer.
Remember, that should you decide to do any digging and planting, to call underground wire location experts to make sure you do not displace or damage buried cables and plumbing.
In the hot summer days, the last thing you want is to start the oven; the heat will be too difficult to bear, not to mention the smell of the food, which will stay in the air long after you have finished cooking.
A clever alternative is to build an outdoor kitchen.
The advantages are multiple, but at the same time you must know that such a project requires a fairly large investment. If it worth the cost or not, this is up to you to decide, after you weigh the pros and the cons in your case.
Many of us want, but few manage to create an optimal space in the yard, for preparing and serving meals. Beyond the practical advantage, such as space can also be a piece of resistance in the exterior design.
A first step in building and arranging an outdoor kitchen would be to analyze the resources and the situations in which this space will be used. The number of people to host, the frequency and diversity of cooking, or its interior are only a few details that outline how the future outdoor kitchen will look. Of course, a conversation with a specialist can save you the time for finding an optimal solution for your available space and resources and it will help you estimate the costs as well.
Remember to schedule utility location services prior to starting any landscaping work on your property. They will inspect your property for buried electrical wires and cables. With that information, you can make sure NOT to dig in those areas. This will ensure utility services are uninterrupted, and your safety is secure.
As a trend this year, we are experiencing an expansion of the creative area and more attention to the context in which various landscape interventions are made. It is a big step forward, because gardens now seem to take into account rules of composition, aesthetic principles and elementary principles of functional organization of the space.
In addition to this, perhaps less evident, we notice an increasing interest in exotic elements, borrowed from Asian or Mediterranean gardens. However, they present the risk of becoming obsolete, as the rustic style. Japanese gates, garden stone lamps, mini-ponds with Asian wood floorboards and fountains, Mediterranean amphorae and mosaics are all much appreciated these days. But without being placed and valued properly, they will look like forced insertions, being associated with poor taste and kitsch.
Another noticeable tendency is the courage to approach modern, minimalist interventions. Minimalist style is often viewed with skepticism, but it becomes increasingly popular due to its elegance and simplicity. It is based on robust plants, with silhouettes and / or decorative foliage, geometric volumetry and monochrome finishes, or at most bi-chrome, without drawings or arabesques.
Finally, another trend that more and more people talk about consists in roof gardens, and we will surely speak more about it in the future.
Regardless of your landscaping and gardening preferences, Colorado utility locate specialists will review your property to locate buried cables/wires prior to your project. This will prevent damages to electrical and irrigation services during the landscaping project.