Seasonality of Drainage

At Central, we sell a variety of products that are dependent on the season.  Turf and fertilizer applications are dictated by the temperature, amount of sunlight and time of year.  Putting down a pre-emergent in the fall would have no effect and leave your customers wondering why you would ever apply this at a time of year when you will get no results.  For reasons ranging from necessity to preference, warmer weather is when contractors often prefer to get more done.  Drainage sets itself apart since there is no true season to get projects into the ground.  When asked when drainage season is, the answer is NOW.

We understand that this article will be read by contractors all over the country and that winter in Southern Georgia looks a lot different than winter in Minnesota.  A few things that can change the “now” to “later” are deep snow cover and heavy freezing of the ground.  Digging through feet of snow or into soil that is frozen solid 30 inches deep is not an ideal time to put inlets, pipes and underground storage into someone’s property.  If you live in a climate like this, here are some of the things you should be looking to do:

  • Explore marketing opportunities to let customers know you offer drainage solutions as a part of your portfolio.
  • Capitalize on training and education opportunities in your area. Both online and in person education are available for drainage and slow points in the winter are a great time to talk to your branch on what you can do to increase your education in the category.
  • Pursue opportunities with customers onsite. Consultation and recommendations can easily lead to new jobs and indicators of drainage problems are still visible and easy to identify as long as they are not buried under snow.   Erosion throughout the site, wet basements and constantly running sump pumps will still be visible in the winter.

When scouting a property for issues, the below sheet gives some helpful things to look for:

Having this sheet available when walking a site is a great tool when scouting for potential issues and being able to identify what that issue is when you see it.  This is something you should have regardless of season as some of these issues are evident regardless of the season.

If you do not work in a region that deals with extreme winters, the slower winter months may be the best time to install drainage whenever the weather allows.  Some reasons for this are below.

  • Dormant grass means less contractors. No need to coordinate when the lawn will be cut or having to dance around other contractors.
  • Seeding impacted areas will green up and fill in at the same rate as the rest of the lawn.
  • Colder temps can keep mud to a minimum. Some frost in the ground can work to your advantage as it will reduce the among to sliding through muck you will have to deal with.
  • Creates a highly profitable activity for your company and crews at a time of the year when income can be sporadic. Drainage is a great winter activity for contractors who plow snow in the winter to keep income flowing at a steadier rate.

I once read that the best time to prune plants is when the shears are sharp.  I look at drainage in much the same way.  Outside of the true extremes of winter, you can utilize any time of year to search for, design, install or maintain a drainage project.   The same can be said about education and training.  While a slower winter is a great time to further your knowledge, any time of the year is a great time to keep up with new information.

At Central, we carry a full line of drainage products.  We pride ourselves on being your trusted partner in all types of drainage projects.  We are available at any time of the year to help in prospecting, design, education and products needed for full job site installations.