Hiring a stump grinding service is a much better option than trying to do it yourself, in terms of safety and quality. The following will help you decide if grinding out old stumps is the best option for your yard.
Stump grinders come in a variety of sizes to deal with stumps of varying sizes, but accessibility to the stump can also impact which grinder is used. For example, a smaller grinder may be necessary even for large stumps if they are located near a structure or in a narrowly accessible place. It may also be necessary to use a smaller grinder if there is concern about damaging nearby shrubs or plants.
It takes more skill and maneuvering to safely operate a stump grinder in an area with limited accessibility, and the danger of causing damage to a nearby structure or injury to the operator is greater. DIY stump grinding should not be attempted if accessibility isn't open and free of obstructions.
There are a few risks involved when using any type of heavy equipment. The most obvious risk is that of injury. Operators wear personal protective equipment to protect themselves from both the flying sawdust and wood chips, as well as from the dangers of operating the heavy machinery itself. Being trained and skilled at using the heavy equipment also helps mitigate risks.
Structural risks must also be considered. There is the aforementioned risk of using heavy machinery near structures such as home foundations and sidewalks to keep in mind. Another hidden risk is the location of any buried gas, water, or electrical lines near the stump. Your grinding service should call to have the location of such lines marked before removal begins.
After grinding, all that is left is a hole in the yard and copious amounts of sawdust and shredded wood. The stump removal service will rake up the sawdust and wood chips that remain after grinding. You will have the option of having this debris left in the stump's hole or having it removed so you can bring in your own soil to begin the new landscaping process.
Keep in mind that the debris left over after grinding is often insufficient for filling the hole on its own. Further, the remaining wood debris will decompose relatively quickly, leaving behind a depression in the yard where the stump once was. Mixing in soil with the remaining sawdust and adding fresh soil annually for a few years can mitigate this.
Contact a tree stump removal service if you are ready to schedule stump grinding today.