Customer Support

Yard Restoration

Yard Restoration is the process of restoring impacted customer property such as excavated holes in your lawn, replacing shrubbery, sidewalk panel replacement, and repairing holes cut in blacktop or concrete driveways. Yard Restoration is the final step of planned construction or emergency repairs to our utility equipment.

Contact our Call Center at 800-895-4999 to inquire if your address is scheduled for Yard Restoration.

Our Yard Restoration Objectives

  1. Respect your property as if it was our own property.
  2. Use appropriate Stormwater Management Best Management Practices (BMPs) to prevent soil erosion and sediment from leaving the project area.
  3. Complete permanent restoration on your property as soon as conditions allow.
  4. Use appropriate restoration measures that deliver the best long-term results to restore your property to its condition before the utility work began.

Four Types of Yard Restoration

1. Soft Surface Restoration refers to restoration of landscape items such as grass, bushes, and flowers. We restore only the impacted area of the project.

2. Hard Surface Restoration refers to restoration of constructed objects such as a retaining wall, sidewalk panel, inground water sprinkler or pet fencing, driveway/street, house siding, and fencing. We restore only the impacted area of the project.

3. Temporary Restoration refers to partial restoration of impacted areas until permanent restoration is possible. We restore only the impacted area of the project. Some factors that influence temporary restoration include:

  • unstable weather or ground conditions prevent proper germination or curing
  • a lack of quality restoration materials
  • the impacted area is part of a larger project still under construction

4. Permanent Restoration refers to the normal restoration process. Permanent restoration occurs when ground weather conditions are favorable to achieve final stabilization of the impacted area. When converting Temporary Restoration to Permanent Restoration, we remove materials that temporarily stabilized the impacted area and complete permanent restoration. We restore only the impacted area of the project. Some factors that influence permanent restoration include:

  • favorable weather and ground conditions
  • availability of restoration materials
  • lifting of road restrictions
  • project completion

Four Elements of Yard Restoration

The four elements of a successful Yard Restoration process include: good restoration material, good installation of the restoration material, consistent good maintenance, and favorable weather. Learn more about each element below.

Good Restoration Material - Our Responsibilities

We use good quality black dirt, weed-free seed, and appropriate erosion prevention and sediment control measures. A lawn grown from seed develops a strong root system and a healthy turf. Stormwater Management BMPs are used to keep the restored area moist, hold the seed in the soil, and enhance seed germination.

In our northern territory (Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin), weather and ground conditions are more favorable for turf growth with seed which provides a better long term product.

In our southern territory (Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas), sod is the preferred BMP based on soil and climate conditions. 

Sod is a high maintenance BMP and experience has shown the mortality rate of sod approaches 70 percent even if an underground sprinkler system is in place. We only use sod in our northern territory under extenuating conditions.

Good Application of the Restoration Material - Xcel Energy Responsibilities

As soil conditions affect restoration, the impacted area is prepped by removing any temporary fill and spreading a minimum of 2-3 inches of quality composted black dirt and weed-free seed. We apply a starter fertilizer with the grass seed to stimulate germination and control weeds that are always present in the soil. Typically, an erosion prevention blanket is used when seeding and is properly secured in place with staples. The erosion prevention blanket used by Xcel Energy consists of a wood fiber mesh that completely disintegrates and does not damage lawn mowers.

Areas receiving hard surface restoration are prepped by removing fill, digging and leveling the area to the appropriate depth, framing, backfilling, tamping, pouring concrete or laying asphalt, and allowing time to cure.  Once the curing process is complete, framing materials are removed and soft surface restoration is performed.

Good Consistent Maintenance of the Restored Area - Customer Responsibilities

After restoration is complete, all ongoing maintenance is the responsibility of the property owner. This includes watering, weeding, mowing, fertilizing, and sealing hard surface restoration. Each customer has an individual maintenance strategy, influenced by weather conditions, soil conditions, season of the year, and personal interest. Restored impacted sites in Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin receive a green door hanger with Yard Restoration maintenance instructions when restoration is complete.

Watering: The objective is to maintain adequate moisture in the soil for germination to take place. The restored area should receive about 1 inch of water each week. Based on weather conditions, local municipal watering restrictions, sprinkler type, and soil condition, the restored area should be watered at least 10 minutes, two to three times daily for the first three weeks. During weeks four through six, decrease the frequency and increase the length of watering to maintain adequate soil moisture. Water the area as needed to maintain adequate soil moisture.

It is best to water early morning or late evening when the air is still so water will seep into the soil. Do not let puddles form and minimize foot traffic until the first mowing. Inconsistent watering will cause spotty seed germination and poor stabilization and most likely will result in healthy weed growth. Grass seed does not all sprout at the same time, however, if the area is consistently watered and weeds removed, grass will fill in the bare spots. Complete coverage may take up to two growing seasons depending on owner maintenance, timing, and winter salt kill.

Weed Control: The weed-free quality of our restoration materials and restoration application should minimize the presence of new weeds. However, the struggle between grass and weeds is never ending and your new grass needs help to develop a strong root system. Even if your lawn did not have any obvious weeds before the utility project, weed seed is always present in soil. Weed seed can remain dormant in soil for up to 50 years. If you do not consistently water, mow, and pull weeds, the weeds will take over and stunt new grass growth. Limit the use of weed fertilizer during the first growing season to avoid killing new grass.

Mowing: Weather conditions and watering schedules affect mowing frequency. You may need to adjust the height of your lawnmower to compensate for the new growth. The first mowing should take place usually after 14 days or once the lawn reaches at least three inches in height. Frequent mowing will thicken the turf, minimize weed growth, and minimize grass clippings. Infrequent mowing may result in heavy grass clippings that can suffocate the new grass and create dead spots. If an erosion blanket was part of the restoration, remove any loose blanket staples prior to mowing.

Favorable Weather – Xcel Energy and Customer Responsibilities

Weather conditions greatly influence the type of restoration, restoration timing, and ongoing owner maintenance. Xcel Energy and its customers anticipate and respond to changing weather conditions to ensure a successful restoration. Generally, rstoration is most effective when nights are cool and soil is warm. While weather affects the frequency of watering and mowing, weed control continues as needed regardless of weather conditions. It is everyone's responsibility to prevent erosion and control sediment from polluting the waters of the state.

Guarantee

Soft Surface Restoration: Grass seed germinates within 12 to 14 days. If grass seed has not germinated within 14 days because of product, workmanship, or seed was washed away due to inclement weather, Xcel Energy will reseed or overseed the impacted area. Complete coverage may take up to two growing seasons depending on owner maintenance, timing, and winter salt kill.

Hard Surface Restoration: There is no industry guarantee against cracking of asphalt or concrete. Due to extreme weather conditions, salt and chemicals, and customer use and maintenance, hard surface restoration is generally guaranteed one year from installation.

Yard Restoration Policy Clarifications

  • Yard Restoration is limited to Xcel Energy impacted areas.
  • Xcel Energy does not reimburse or issue bill credits if a property owner restores the impacted area or hires a contractor to restore the impacted area. Watering, fertilizing, weeding, and mowing of the restored area are considered normal property owner maintenance issues.
  • Superficial cracks and scrapes that do not impact the integrity of the existing or restored hard surface are not restored.
  • Damage to unmarked private utilities will not be restored by the Company.
  • When an owner initiates and pays for a Gas or Electric project, Xcel Energy will not restore the impacted area.

Yard Restoration FAQ

What is the difference between Service Restoration and Yard Restoration? What is the difference between Service Restoration and Yard Restoration?
What happens before construction or emergency repairs? What happens before construction or emergency repairs?
Is Yard Restoration the same as Stabilization? Is Yard Restoration the same as Stabilization?
How do I know if I'm scheduled for Yard Restoration? How do I know if I'm scheduled for Yard Restoration?
Do you charge for Yard Restoration? Do you charge for Yard Restoration?
Can I pay you to do additional Yard Restoration or Stabilization? Can I pay you to do additional Yard Restoration or Stabilization?
Will you reimburse me to water and fertilize the restored area? Will you reimburse me to water and fertilize the restored area?
Will you reimburse me for my time and materials if I restore my own property? Will you reimburse me for my time and materials if I restore my own property?
Is there a Yard Restoration guarantee? Is there a Yard Restoration guarantee?
Energy Saving Tip Icon

Energy Saving Tip

Set your hot water heater to no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This isn't just energy smart—it's also safer, since it reduces the likelihood of accidental burns.

chat bubble logo

Break Ground, Not the Law

Always call 811 before digging in your yard to avoid hitting buried gas or electric lines. Not only is it the safe thing to do, but it's the law.