Bio Green is pleased to provide our compiled list of FAQs for your convenience. Please click on the links below to jump to your desired FAQ sections.
How long has Bio Green been in the lawn/turf care business and are you insured?
Recognized as the area leaders in lawn care, Bio Green Inc. was founded in 1987. We're a locally owned company servicing the Northern Virginia area. We're not part of a national chain or franchise operation, so we can do what's 'right' for your lawn, rather than what the manual tells us to do, and with an Agronomist on staff, we have more resident expertise than just about any other service provider. We currently provide lawn care service programs of various kinds to over 3000 annual lawn care customers. We're insured for up to 2 million dollars.
Are your programs tailored to the specific needs of my lawn?
Before we'll give you an estimate for your unique property, we'll want to meet with you and walk your property together. This way we can identify specifically what your lawn needs, as well as your expectations (cost, frequency of treatments, what the process consists of, etc.). Unlike most of the others, we avoid the 'one size fits all, cookie-cutter' approach where chemicals are pre-mixed in a tanker-like truck, and every lawn gets the same treatment. Since we tailor our services to your property, each application in every Bio Green program involves making a separate trip over your lawn. To identify and pre-empt unseen problems, we recommend soil testing to all new customers.
How can I be sure your program will work on my lawn? (What's your guarantee?)
We guarantee our results in two ways. First, we offer unlimited service calls to each annual customer. If problems arise between scheduled services we'll come back to solve it, free of charge. Our programs also include 'Lawn Insurance.' So, if any problem covered under your program (ex. grubs or disease), does damage to your lawn, we'll repair it again, free of charge.
Are your service technicians trained & certified?
Our service technicians are the best trained in the business as Bio Green believes that proper training is a core ingredient in developing beautiful, healthy lawns for our customers. Other lawn care companies use a single pre-mixed application that they make on all the lawns they service each season. Our proprietary programs require many separate applications, depending on: the weather, the condition of your lawn, the amount of shade, the level of service you selected, etc. Obviously, these vary from lawn-to-lawn. You'll have a specific technician assigned to your lawn, and each holds a registered pesticide technician certification as required by the Virginia Pesticide Control Act.
Will any of your proposed lawn applications be harmful to our pets, our kids, or the environment?
Let's face it, almost anything can be harmful in large amounts. At Bio Green, we employ an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in all of our programs. This limits the amounts of chemicals we'll apply to your lawn (in other words, no "blanket" applications). According to the Prince William Agricultural Extension Service, Bio Green is the only lawn care company to follow all of the Virginia Tech Water Quality Program guidelines. We recommend watering your lawn well after each service, since with extended contact, even fertilizer can irritate your skin.
Will your proposed program include everything my lawn will need or could there be extra costs?
By custom-designing your program to fit the your needs and those of your lawn we try to include everything your lawn needs. That said, some of those needs can only be identified and then treated by testing your soil. Occasionally that may require additional services, for example a lime treatment.
Will the price for my lawn care program go up each year?
As your lawn improves in the second or third year, the annual cost of your lawn care goes down in most cases.
With your lawn care program, will I have to water and mow my lawn more often?
A well rooted, properly maintained lawn typically requires less water. Of course, any lawn will do better if watered correctly (whether it's being treated or not). All Bio Green lawn care programs stress quality root growth. One way we do this is with balanced, slow-release feedings. This eliminates the 'surge growth' seen when large amounts of fast-release nitrogen is used, then it would require more frequent mowing. That said, an important aspect of maintaining a nice, thick, healthy lawn is appropriate watering and timely mowing, and always to the right height.
How do your lawn care program prices compare with other lawn services providers?
The way we service your lawn and the resulting need for high-quality, knowledgeable, conscientious technicians means our labor costs are higher than most of our competitors. And while we're rarely the cheapest, we do provide the very best, most comprehensive service programs.
Our prices are very competitive though (see estimate comparison chart). In fact because we do so many, we're often less expensive for lawn renovations and seeding.
Will you provide the names of some of your customers as references?
Of course we will, and in addition to servicing your neighbors, the Bio Green team has been recognized for our high-quality, 'no-excuses' lawn care programs and unflinching customer service including
- Rated top 5 area lawn companies by Washingtonian Magazine
- Highest rating by a local consumer magazine (name?)
- Ranked one of the top 25 US lawn companies by Landscape Management Magazine
- Recommended by Prince William Agriculture Extension Service Water Quality Program
How long have you been in business, and are your adequately insured?
A locally owned company, Bio Green Inc. was founded in 1987, and services all of Northern Virginia. We're insured up to 2 million dollars, and service nearly 5,000 annual customers for lawn & garden sprinkler systems, landscape & outdoor lighting systems, lawn care, and drainage solutions.
We're licensed and pay local taxes, so we're committed to the communities we serve.
How much sprinkler system experience will the crew installing my sprinkler system have?
We believe our Bio Green team gives us our biggest competitive sprinkler systems advantage.
How can we say that? Well, we have a training regimen that consists of sprinkler system manufacturer certification, manufacturer-led seminars, and safety training, coupled with membership in the Irrigation Association (Steve Schrader), thousands of sprinkler systems installed, and decades of hands-on installation and after-the-installation sprinkler system experience.
We're keep quality employees by offering year-round employment, better benefits and working conditions, etc. which add up to Bio Green having the best sprinkler system installation and service crews in the business.
What sprinkler system parts & labor warranty do you offer?
Bio Green, Inc. warrants all materials against defects for a period of 5 years from the date it is made operational (except boost pumps and above ground back flow devices). The labor to replace or repair warranted materials shall be no charge for 2 years as long as Bio Green, Inc. is the only company maintaining and servicing the sprinkler system. This is accomplished by a Service Policy (see below) which the client purchases each year.
Vandalism, physical damage (accidental or deliberate breakage of pipes, heads, valves or any other component of the system, power surges, etc.) and acts of God (lightning, freezing, fire, etc.) are not covered by any warranty. Any repairs, tampering of the system, winterizations and/or recharging of the system by anyone other than Bio Green, Inc., will render this warranty null and void.
Adjustments to controller, sprinkler heads, or any other components are not covered by any warranty. All adjustments to the system will be done at the turn-on each spring provided the technician has access to all components on the date on service. Sprinkler system pumps and aboveground, outdoor back flow prevention devices are only covered by the original manufacturer's warranty.
What is Bio Green's service policy?
Winter: Scheduled by Bio Green
- Evacuation of water from the system with compressed air
- Inspection of the system for leaks
Spring: Scheduled by Bio Green
- Refill the system with water
- Inspection of the system for leaks
- Adjust heads for proper coverage
- Check controller and program if necessary (if made available)
Labor: Reduced labor rate for any non-warranty repairs or service.
Do you use only quality, brand name parts throughout the sprinkler system?
All of the sprinkler system parts and components we use are name brand, commercial grade from the best irrigation/sprinkler system manufacturers in the country, including Hunter™ and Rain Bird.
But quality parts are just the first step in achieving a quality installation result, the real key to a dependable, trouble-free sprinkler system is in the hands of the installation crew. And the Bio Green sprinkler systems team is – quite simply – the best around.
Will a plumbing permit be required, and who's responsible to get it?
Yes, since we'll be cutting into the potable water supply, to install your sprinkler system, you will need a plumbing permit, but we'll take care of getting it for you.
Will the necessary sprinkler system plumbing work be done according to all applicable plumbing code(s)?
Typically, our sprinkler system plumbing work actually exceeds all local jurisdictional plumbing codes. In addition to proper back flow prevention devices, we install shut-off valves inside.
Will the sprinkler system installation make a mess of my lawn?
We don't dig open trenches to install our sprinkler systems, rather we use a state-of-the-art vibratory plow, which 'pulls' the pipe (similar to cable TV) to minimize the risk of damage to your lawn.
If your soil is extremely hard or rocky, or there are unexpected objects buried in your yard, there may be some minor damage, in which case our top 5-rated (by Washingtonian Magazine) lawn crew will repair such sprinkler system installation damage.
Do you sub-contract any of your sprinkler system work?
Not one part of the sprinkler system installation is sub-contracted, every phase of our sprinkler system installation work is done in-house by Bio Green employees.
Will you install the valves on a manifold assembly in one valve box, or bury them individually around my yard?
This is an important question, because to lower costs, many contractors will bury sprinkler system valves in various places around your yard. Not only can this prove to be unsightly, but it can cause a lot of unnecessary damage to your lawn, and make servicing your sprinkler system much more difficult going forward.
At Bio Green, wherever possible, we always install our sprinkler system valves together on a manifold assembly in one large valve box buried in an inconspicuous, yet readily accessible place, usually along your foundation or in a shrub bed. This helps you control your sprinkler system service and maintenance costs.
What type of pipe do you use for the sprinkler system?
Primarily we use drinking water-quality, SDR 200 PVC pipe throughout our sprinkler systems. To make it easier to move sprinkler heads in the future, we use a 1' - 5' section of flexible pipe (called a swing joint) to join each head to the main PVC pipe.
Will you design my sprinkler system to deal with the specific needs of my property (shrubs, slopes, full sun, cost, poorly-drained areas, etc.)?
Before we give you an estimate for your sprinkler system, we'll want to meet with you, on your property. This is the only way we can design a sprinkler system to meet your specific needs and those of your landscape.
Understandably, the cost of your sprinkler can vary greatly, depending on the many unique variables of your property, and how you want to deal with them. As part of our process, we take into account things like the way you use your yard, your gardens and types of plantings, soil type(s), shrub beds, shade, slopes, etc., as well as your budget. Then we'll design a sprinkler system to satisfy all of those conditions.
Will it be difficult to alter the sprinkler system in the future (to add new shrubs, a new deck, expand our flower beds, etc.)?
Because of the way we design and build our sprinkler systems, adding to or modifying your system won't generally be a problem. Things like putting your sprinkler system valves together on a manifold assembly in one large valve box, using swing joints on each head, etc., are all done with this in mind. It's important to allow for expansion or modification in the initial installation plan so it won't be a big expense when the time does come to change something.
How long has Bio Green been in business, and are they insured?
A locally owned company, Bio Green Inc. was founded in 1987, and services all of Northern Virginia. We're insured up to 2 million dollars, and service over 5000 annual customers for landscape lighting, lawn care, lawn & garden sprinkler systems, and drainage solutions.
We're licensed and pay local taxes, so we're committed to the communities we serve.
Why are all these new landscape lighting systems low voltage systems (12 volt)?
We install Underwriters Lab (UL) listed landscape lighting transformers, which convert 120-volt outlets into 12-volt taps. This source of power provides as much illumination as 120-volts, but at a fraction of the electrical cost, and the bulbs last way longer too. The lower voltage is safer to use, in that anything less then 15 volts is considered 'safe voltage' and exposure to such safe voltage won't cause physical injury.
Why should I consider adding low-voltage landscape lighting to my home?
There are probably more reasons to invest in outdoor/landscape lighting then you might think. By bringing the beauty of your home and landscape to life at night, landscape/outdoor lighting
• Improves security and safety by illuminating steps and removing dark shadow areas around your home
• Increases the usability of your outdoor living space
• All of which results in higher property value
• And you'll become the 'envy of your neighborhood.
How much does a low-voltage landscape/outdoor lighting system cost?
Obviously the cost of a landscape lighting system will vary from job-to-job. Give us a call at 703.450.0034 and one of our lighting designers can arrange to meet you at your home for a FREE, no-obligation consultation.
Landscape lighting systems can range from $1,000 to $10,000, and even more – depending on what you want to accomplish. In most cases though, we recommend that you start with a few simple, dramatic effects. And because of the way we install our landscape lighting systems, it's easy to add to them and scale them up over time.
What warranty do you offer for landscape lighting?
We cover both parts and the labor to replace landscape lighting system parts/fixtures for one year. Because they offer excellent, additional hassle-free parts warranties that range from 10 years for the finish on their landscape lighting fixtures, to lifetime on their transformers, we use Vista Professional outdoor lighting products.
Why does you use Vista Pro landscape lighting products?
In addition to their extensive warranty, Vista Pro custom manufactures all of their landscape lighting fixtures to order. This gives our lighting designers a free and creative hand (to match color, size, light intensity, etc.), to best fit each home/landscape. An added bonus is all Vista products are made in the United States.
What type of cable do you use, and how do you install it?
Depending on how extensive your landscape lighting project is we'll use 8AWG/2, 10AWG/2 or 12AWG/2 Underwriters Lab (UL) listed, outdoor, direct burial cable. Unlike many contractors, we always bury our landscape lighting to a depth of 4-5 inches for mulch beds, and 6-8 inches for lawn areas, which lets you core aerate your lawn without fear of hitting the power cables.
What method of wiring do you use?
There are 3 primary ways to wire a landscape lighting system
• Straight run or 'Daisy Chain'
• Spoke or 'Hub'
• Center feed or 'T'
We always use the 'T' method, because it
• Is the most effective
• Equalizes voltage
• Eliminates many of the problems inherent in other methods.
Problems such as...
• Uneven voltage
• Difficulty in servicing
• Attracting pests, etc.
In addition, we always 'home run' all our cable runs back to the transformer.
How do you make your connections?
To maintain a solid, long-lasting, and reliable connection, we only ever use silicone filled, waterproof wire nuts for all connections. They're specifically designed for outdoor use. In addition, before we bury the cable (to insure uniform voltage throughout the system) we test voltage at all splices and connections.
Will you be able to service these landscape lighting systems?
We currently service over 5,000 residential customers in Northern Virginia through our lawn care, irrigation, landscape lighting, and drainage solutions divisions, and we pride ourselves on offering the highest quality service in a timely manor.
We tag the cables of any landscape lighting system we install for base of service. In addition, we'll service any lighting system regardless of who may have installed it.
What constitutes a drainage problem?
If your property has visible erosion and/or standing water for an extended period of time after rainfall...you have a drainage problem. In addition to these glaring problems, there are several more subtle situations that may be caused by excessive surface water... plants dying from root rot, mulch getting washed out of planting beds, algae and moss thriving, a sump pump running hours or days after it stopped raining, wet basements. If you are experiencing any of these problems a professional should be consulted for possible solutions.
What sort of results can I expect?
Over the 25+ years Bio Green has been in business, we find the key to a successful drainage solution is meeting with the customer. We will assess the severity of the problem, explain in detail the options for correcting the problem and settle on a strategy that will sufficiently reduce the excess water while remaining within budget. The solutions to drainage problems rarely require the total elimination of all excess water. Our objective is to reduce the problem to the point that our customers are satisfied. That point will differ by customer and situation.
What type of pipe is used?
Bio Green uses two types of pipe to move excess water: Corrugated pipe and Sewer and Drain (smooth wall PVC) pipe. The black corrugated pipe that most people are familiar with is less expensive but in some cases is preferred (steep runs to slow water flow, multiple turns where pipe needs to be laid). The drawback is the difficulty of removing debris if the drainage system ever gets clogged. PVC can be 'snaked out' due to its smooth interior walls and higher rigidity. A third type of pipe is the revolutionary EZ Flow drainage system. This replaces the traditional 'French Drain' with a less expensive, longer lived, more reliable system made from recycled materials that has the added benefit of improving the percolation of excess water through the soil profile instead of just moving it from point 'A' to point 'B'.
What is a ‘French Drain’?
Despite popular belief, a French Drain has nothing to do with the country of France. It is a drainage system developed by Henry French in the 1800's. A typical French drainage system involves trenching through a saturated area, lining the trench with filter fabric to keep soil particles out, laying perforated drainage pipe and filling the trench with gravel to within a few inches of the surface. Finish filling the trench with soil and then replace turf (lawn area) or cover with mulch (shrub bed). Surface water is drawn down to the large pore space in the gravel bed below grade effectively drying out the area. The big disadvantages even in a properly installed French Drain are the high cost of installation and the short life span (5-7 years because eventually the filter fabric gets compromised and it fills with sediment). The EZ Flow system has the filter fabric factory sealed and is lightweight which drastically increases the effective life and decreases the installation cost.
Will the installation of a drainage system mess up my lawn?
Yes and no. Unlike most contractors, Bio Green will take the time to cut and remove any viable sod in lawn areas we will be trenching which is replaced upon completion. This will limit damage to areas of quality turf due to installation of your drainage system. To limit labor, many contractors will trench through your lawn and throw seed and straw on the scar which will take years to blend into the rest of the lawn. That being said, you can not wish a drainage system into the ground and there will be some disturbance from the installation.
How does Bio Green differ from other companies I am getting estimates from?
While Bio Green stresses the quality of their installations (depth of piping, neatness of install, variety of solutions tailored to the job, quality materials), the niche we look to fill with all of our services is to offer environmentally friendly solutions to our customers problems. One of the biggest problems facing the Chesapeake Bay is storm water runoff. The best way to limit this is to (where ever possible) retain the water on site and improve the infiltration to ground water. Your Bio Green representative will be able to offer you options and explain them all so you can make an informed decision on which is best for you.
Is any of the work sub-contracted?
All the drainage work is done by Bio Green. No sub-contractors are used.
Are permits required?
No permits are required for installation of drainage unless your property is located on a designated wetland. In addition, because drainage systems are underground, they are not considered a 'visible improvement'. This is the criteria HOA's use to determine whether you need to seek approval from them before installation.
Do I have to worry about damage to anything already buried in my lawn?
Bio Green will call Miss Utility to get all underground utilities marked before we begin installation. If you have a sprinkler or landscape lighting system installed by Bio Green (in addition to receiving a discount for being a dual customer), we will guarantee against any damage to your system. If however, Bio Green did not do the installation or there is anything else buried in your lawn that would not be marked by Miss Utility, you will need to mark it prior to installation to avoid damage. If an existing sprinkler or low voltage lighting system can not be marked and is damaged during installation of your new drainage system, Bio Green's technicians will be able to repair it on site for a nominal cost.
Can I store this excess water and use it to irrigate my lawn?
Yes. Recovered water is an excellent source for irrigation. The technology for storage and pumping has improved dramatically in the last few years. While it is still relatively expensive, it is the wave of the future as more and more people become concerned about conserving our most precious resource: water.