From raking leaves to cleaning out the gutters, fall is full of tedious tasks that most of us would be more than happy to skip. There is one task that you absolutely can’t skip this fall: sprinkler system winterization. Skipping this task will result in serious damage to your sprinkler lines and heads, costing you time and money to repair. Don’t worry, we’ve put together a few tips for your fall sprinkler system winterization.
Reasons for Fall Sprinkler Winterization
Your sprinkler system is the life of your lawn. It provides your grass, trees, and plants with the water they need to survive and thrive. For most of the year, it operates with very little maintenance. It’s easy to take it for granted, but what if it was suddenly gone? Well, if the necessary fall precautions aren’t taken, then your sprinkler system might as well be gone.
Winters here in Maryland can be cold, really cold. When the temperatures dip below freezing, that’s when you run the risk of catastrophic and costly damage to your sprinkler system and lawn. If your sprinkler system isn’t properly winterized, then the water left in the lines will freeze. As water freezes, it expands, causing your underground lines to rupture and your sprinkler heads to crack and break. Ultimately, you’re looking at replacing a large part of your sprinkler system.
Replacing your sprinkler system in the spring will be time-consuming and costly. On top of that, it’s going to set you back on your spring lawn care, possibly causing problems for your lawn deep into the year. Get ahead of the problem by winterizing your sprinkler system this fall.
When Should I Winterize my Sprinkler System?
Now that you know why it’s important to winterize your sprinkler system before the winter, it’s time to talk timing. Most people seek out this service between October 1 and Thanksgiving. What it really comes down to though, is the weather.
Fall sprinkler winterization should be done before the first hard freeze of the season. A hard freeze is when the air temperatures dip down below 28 degrees fahrenheit for more than a couple hours. Once temperatures reach that low, and for a prolonged period of time, that’s when the ground begins to freeze, not good for your sprinkler system.
The best thing you can do right now is to watch the weather. Last year, our first hard freeze was on November 22. This year, we may not be so lucky.
Protect Your Pipes
We’ve definitely seen our fair share of crazy weather. So, what happens if the first hard freeze comes before you can schedule your sprinkler system winterization service? Don’t worry, there are a few things you can do.
If the temperature is plummeting and you still have water in the line, then turn off the main water valve. It’s also important to turn off any automated settings, you don’t want your system trying to start up when the temperatures are freezing and the main valve is off. Finally, you need to insulate all above-ground pipes. This includes insulating the main shut off valve. You can even protect your pipes with old blankets and sleeping bags, in a pinch.
Schedule Your Service Today
Sprinkler system winterization is the fall service that you mustn’t forget about this year. Lucky for you, On The Green Inc. has the irrigation system services that you’re looking for. Whether it’s yearly maintenance, or winterization, On The Green Inc. has the answer for you.