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When looking for erosion control solutions for commercial, residential, or industrial sites, there are a variety of options available. One common option is to use erosion control blankets, also called straw blankets or straw mats. They are laid over an area to help hold seeds and soil in place when facing rain and wind.

Another common and highly effective choice is to use hydroseeding. In hydroseeding, a slurry of seeds, fertilizer and water is sprayed onto the soil and helps healthy grass take root quickly and effectively. This healthy grass helps hold the soil in place and control erosion. Let’s compare these two common options, and break down some of the factors that could help you choose which erosion control method to use for your own projects.


Preparation Comparison

When preparing to hydroseed or to lay erosion control blankets on a designated area, there are certain distinguishable steps that are taken. 


Hydroseeding requires less preparation work for use. To prepare for hydroseeding, weeds should be removed from the area, and the soil should be tilled. It is important for the top layer of soil to be loosened for hydroseeding to be effective. For difficult to reach places, using rakes to loosen topsoil is an effective way to prepare the soil for hydroseeding. After this has been done, your soil is ready for hydroseeding.

Erosion Control Blankets:  

Preparing soil for the laying of erosion control blankets, whether made of straw, wood excelsior, or coconut, requires a bit of work. First, the designated area needs to be cleared of debris including branches, rocks, or any other obstruction that would prevent the mat from being laid evenly and flat. Tilling and softening the topsoil also needs to be done before erosion control blankets can be installed.

It is very important for the designated area to be as smooth and even surfaced as possible. While being perfectly smooth is not required, it makes erosion control blankets more effective and prevents them from bulging and preventing seeds to sprout through them. Then, once the designated area has been cleared and tilled, the area must be seeded and fertilized before the erosion control blanket can be installed over the seeded area.


Installation Comparison

The processes of applying hydroseed and erosion control mats also look very different. While the installation of hydroseed is quite straightforward, installing erosion control mats will require a bit more labor.


Once the designated area has been prepared for hydroseed application, the process is relatively straightforward. The hydroseed slurry, a mix of native grass seeds, fertilizer and water, is applied to the designated area. With proper application from an experienced hydroseeding company, the seeds will germinate quickly and with maintenance will grow successfully into healthy grass. 

Erosion Control Blankets:

Once the area designated for application of erosion control blankets has been properly prepared, application looks a bit different from hydroseeding. A trench may need to be dug to help with anchoring the erosion control blanket into the ground, keeping it from moving.

After the blanket has been laid in rows over the designated area properly, staples need to be applied throughout the area to anchor the matting into the ground. This is absolutely crucial, and without being done properly can lead to uprooting, shifting, rolling, or otherwise failing. This process is more labor intensive than the hydroseeding process.


Maintenance Comparison

Both hydroseeding and erosion control blankets require some level of maintenance for them to work as intended. However, the requirements for each vary. 


For hydroseeding, maintenance mostly looks like watering the designated area the proper amount. If left without supplemental watering, hydroseeding won’t be able to work as intended. Seeds can dry up and not take root without being watered routinely. Establishing a recommended watering schedule with a hydroseeding expert is a great way to guarantee that the seeds won’t dry up.

Erosion Control Blankets:

Maintaining erosion control blankets requires you to inspect them regularly. Looking for humps where the blanket has loosened and then stapling it down is one of the most important tasks when maintaining erosion control blankets. Also, check for areas where the blanket strips have pulled up or folded over, and then re-staple those areas as necessary. This could be due to high winds, heavy rain, the slope of a hill, animals walking over the blanket, or any number of other reasons. This process is also more labor intensive than hydroseeding.  


Cost Comparison

The cost of hydroseeding and laying erosion control blankets naturally vary. The price for both varies depending on the size of the project and labor required, so it is important to take those factors into account when deciding which erosion control service to employ.


Because hydroseeding is a less labor intensive method of erosion control, it costs less on large projects. Both labor costs and material costs for hydroseeding are cheaper than those of erosion control blankets. Customers save time and money by choosing hydroseeding, which is also proven to grow quality grass on any job site, even in those hard to reach areas.

Erosion Control Blankets:

The nature of using erosion control blankets makes their application more labor intensive. Because of this, labor costs go up. Also, material costs are higher for erosion control blankets than for hydroseeding, driving the price up further. For very small jobs, it is possible for using blankets to be cheaper, but will not always be as high quality of an erosion control solution as hydroseeding. 


Hydroseeding From Burns Environmental

If you are looking for the highest quality and most cost effective erosion control solution for worksites, personal property management, or commercial purposes in Alabama, look no further than the expert service provided by Burns Environmental. Since 2013, Burns Environmental has been serving the state of Alabama’s erosion control needs with the utmost quality. We accept all projects, even those hard to reach areas, and are committed to delivering environmentally friendly and effective solutions for all. 


Along with hydroseeding services, we offer environmental consulting, safety auditing, NPDES permitting services, stormwater inspection, erosion control & more. Click here to see all of the services offered by Burns Environmental. Contact us today for more information on hydroseeding, or to receive a free quote on your project!

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