September 22, 2022
If you have a lawn irrigation system, you no doubt take pride in your property and your curb appeal. Having a beautiful lawn makes your home stand out, and a lawn irrigation system helps maintain that lush, green beauty. An irrigation system works hard to maintain your lawn. However, winter can be hard on your lawn irrigation system, and you will need to winterize your system before the cold weather sets in, or your investment can quickly be damaged.
Why Does a Lawn Irrigation System Need to be Winterized?
Beneath the surface, your lawn irrigation system is an intricate network of parts. Valves, pipes, fittings, and other components work together to keep your system working well. Icy weather can cause serious damage to the system if it is not prepared for a cold winter. Frozen water that remains in the system can cause serious issues. When the pipes aren’t cleared, the water remaining inside will freeze, and with no room for that frozen water to expand, the pipes will crack and burst. Underground pipes are very costly to repair and will require digging out and re-piping – sometimes doing this for the entire sprinkler irrigation system. If water is trapped in the sprinkler heads themselves, the pressure of freezing water can cause the heads to pop off and break. If water freezes in the body of the sprinkler, the sprinkler itself can burst. All this damage is extremely expensive to repair and will require digging up the lawn you’ve invested so much into maintaining.
When Should We Winterize A Lawn Sprinkler System?
You’ll want to fully winterize your lawn irrigation system before the first hard freeze. Ideally, you should winterize your system in the early fall, a week or more before the first hard freeze. Winterizing means draining all your lines to the lawn irrigation system and blowing them out using an air compressor to ensure that no water remains. The water supply will need to be shut off, and any necessary irrigation system repairs will be dealt with right away. By the end of September or beginning of October, you should have talked to a landscape contractor about scheduling winterization to ensure it is done before the first hard freeze.
How to Winterize a Sprinkler System
The first step to winterizing your sprinkler system is to turn off the water to the system. After turning off the water, all the water will need to be drained from the underground pipes and vacuum breaker. Using an air compressor that has the proper PSI is very important, not enough pressure will result in insufficient clearing of the water. Also, this can be dangerous if the air compressor is not hooked up properly to the vacuum breaker, causing you and surroundings possible harm or damage. If you are unsure, it is best to contact a professional.
What are the Benefits of Hiring a Professional?
While it may be possible to winterize your system yourself with an air compressor, it may not be the easiest solution. Winterizing correctly can be time consuming, and many homeowners tend to put off the chore until it is too late and damage has been done. In addition, doing it yourself may put you or your system at risk. Compressed air can cause injury from flying debris, and it is easy to miss a step in the winterization process or cause damage to the system with a mistake if you are not a lawn care professional. Winterizing a system incorrectly can damage your lawn irrigation system irreparably. Landscape companies are familiar with lawn irrigation systems, the process of winterization, and can get the job done efficiently and thoroughly before freezing is a concern.
Hiring a licensed and experienced landscape contractor to winterize your lawn irrigation system is the best choice to keep your system working well and your property looking great. If you’re interested in learning more about winterizing your system, contact Twin Oaks Landscape today.
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