If you have a serious contender in mind for your next property acquisition, you’re probably in the middle of scheduling inspections. Commercial air conditioning, plumbing systems, and foundations are a huge part of the value of what you’re buying, so internal systems are probably high on your checklist. But don’t forget to keep the exterior in mind, too. Everything from the soil quality to the parking lot maintenance can factor into the final selling price, as well as your first-year maintenance costs. If your potential property has a pre-installed irrigation system, have an expert take a look. They can check for these potential problems:
Long-term dry patches in the grass.
Grass doesn’t always grow an even shade of green. If you live in the south or in water-affected areas, patchy grass is almost inevitable. But experienced landscapers and commercial irrigation experts can tell the difference between a landscape that’s been subject to a drought and gaps in an irrigation system. Gaps happen when:
- the original system wasn’t installed by an expert. This results in inaccurate spacing and too much space between the sprinkler heads.
- the landscaping has been renovated since the initial installation. Hedges may have been removed or trees may have been cut down, leaving a new gap in the sprinklers’ organization.
- there are mixed sprinklers. Not every sprinkler head is the same. Some are the high-shooting sprinklers you expect. Others focus on drip irrigation and still others are rotary sprinkler heads. But if these variations weren’t designed correctly, some areas of the grass won’t receive water. The problem can be even worse if new water-efficient heads were installed after placement.
It’s not always easy to tell when there’s an underground leak. But experts can use a combination of clues to make sure you’re not overpaying for a broken system. Some of the signs include marshy grass, depressions in the soil, a history of overly high water bills, or too much variation in the system’s water pressure.