Stump grinding isn't a terribly complicated job, but you'll want to know just how it works before you start moving forward with scheduling and hiring. Here are some basics steps of the process from a homeowner's point of view.
1. Booking a Contractor
The stump grinding contractor should have a great local reputation, have professional-level equipment for the fastest grinding process, and offer competitive pricing. Once you've chosen your stump grinding contractor, discuss with them how to schedule the appointment with the best weather and best time of day.
2. Protecting Grass
This step will only apply if your stump is in the middle of your lawn or another area of grass or landscaping that you'd like to preserve. Ask your contractor in advance if they take any measures to protect the grass from machinery and foot traffic. Grass protection mats can be one way to protect the grass; your contractor may use sheets of plywood or particleboard. In addition, laying a tarp, drop cloth, or similar items around the stump area can help to catch flying chips that could otherwise litter the landscape and be a nuisance to pick up.
3. Grinding the Stump
When the contractor begins their work, you should know that the process will likely be over quickly. The grinding time can depend on things like the size of the tree stump, the density of the wood, and the size and strength of the equipment.
The process could take up to several hours if the stump is large and the grinding machine is small. One of the benefits of choosing professional grinding is that you can ask the contractor for an estimate of the job length before they even begin.
4. Cleaning up the Area
Your stump grinding contractor may or may not provide hauling-away services for the resulting wood chips produced by the grinding process. If they do, be sure to stipulate whether or not you want the wood chips hauled away. Many homeowners want the chips removed as soon as possible; however, others may wish to use the chips as landscaping mulch. So you need to be very specific about your desired outcomes when planning the process with your contractor.
Stump grinding can be a relatively quick and easy way to get rid of your tree stump, but if you've never had a stump ground before you may not know what to expect. These basics will help you to become familiar with how the process works so you don't get any surprises along the way.