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6 Key Things Your Denver Sprinkler Repair Team Wants You to Think About When Designing an Outdoor Kitchen


January 16, 2019

Winter often puts an end to your gardening and landscaping tasks. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start planning for new improvements in spring. For most homeowners, making their outdoor living space a more inviting place is a great place to start. While adding a patio can help add to the space, nothing makes your yard more functional and fun like an outdoor kitchen. Before you start planning out a design, there are a few things your Denver sprinkler installation and repair pros want you to know to reduce the risk of damage to your landscaping. Here are a few of the most important things to think about when creating your designs this winter.

Think About Your Landscaping
Outdoor kitchens are a wonderful way to increase the usability of your yard, but they can take a toll on your existing landscaping. Depending on the footprint of your kitchen, you may need to remove garden beds, take out established plants, and even reroute your irrigation system. This is all doable, but it can make your project more expensive. 

Ideally, you’ll be able to create a design that works around your existing landscaping without sacrificing the amenities and features you need in your outdoor kitchen. Think about how the garden beds and plants can add to your design instead of removing them. This can make the design feel more integrated into your yard instead of making it look like a haphazard addition. 

Consider Your Sprinkler System
Your sprinkler system was laid out and designed to work with your landscaping as it is. Adding any large feature, like an outdoor kitchen, can change how your irrigation system needs to work. When picking the ideal location and size for your design, you’ll want to look at where the sprinkler heads are placed. 

If there are heads right where you plan on laying the foundation for your outdoor patio and kitchen, you’ll want to have them moved by a professional. If the weather is mild enough during the winter, your sprinkler installation team may be able to take care of the project. However, if you’re worried about disturbing your soil during winter or aren’t completely sure about where the kitchen will go, wait until spring. Keep in mind, you’ll need to take care of the irrigations system before any work can begin. 

Understand What Types of Prep Work Needs to Be Done
Moving sprinkler heads is only one part of the preparation process. You may need to bring additional dirt in to fill holes and keep the foundation level. Once the ground is built back up, you’ll need to level the dirt thoroughly. You’ll also need to make plans to have gas lines run for the appliances and could need additional electrical connections installed to provide power to the space. 

Create a checklist of things you need to accomplish before the kitchen can be installed. This will help you stay on track and keep your project from running well into summer. After all, you’ll want that kitchen and outdoor living area to entertain friends and family once the weather warms up!

Pick the Right Appliances
Every outdoor living space is unique and that means you get to choose the types of appliances you install. For most people, a built-in grill and outdoor sink are absolute musts. But the only limit is your imagination (and maybe your budget). 

If you want to create a full outdoor living area, consider incorporating a firepit into the design. If you’re building a gas grill area, you can install gas lines to power a fireplace at the same time. If you want to have cold drinks on hand at all times, a mini-fridge is a no-brainer. Best of all, you’ll be able to keep your food at safe temperatures without having to run back and forth between your guests and your indoor kitchen.  

Don’t Neglect Outdoor Lighting
Lighting is one of the most important components of any outdoor living space, but it’s also the most neglected. When thinking about your design, start considering your lighting options. You’ll want to install task lighting around the food preparation areas. If you’re also building an outdoor seating area, you’ll want to include lighting for that space. 

If you don’t have landscape lighting installed already, you may also want to install features throughout your yard. If you’re entertaining outdoors, your backyard will be noticed by more people. Why not highlight the landscaping elements you love? This can help accentuate the impact of your existing landscaping and make the yard appear more unified after the outdoor kitchen is complete.

Focus on Seating
Seating is just as important as the kitchen space, especially if you’re planning on entertaining guests. But with seating, you have several options. You can choose freestanding and movable seating options or incorporate built-in seating into the design of your outdoor kitchen. 

When choosing movable seating, make sure the furniture is rated for outdoor use. Bringing indoor furniture outside is a recipe for mold, mildew, and damage. Outdoor furniture, on the other hand, is made to withstand the elements and stay in good condition even when exposed to rain, snow, and ice. 

If you’re installing built-in seating, make sure the seating platform is deep enough to be comfortable. The last thing you want is to feel like you’re perching on a wall. Additionally, make sure there’s room to install cushions. Asking anyone to sit on solid stone or hardwood for more than a few minutes can quickly ruin their enjoyment of your outdoor living area. 

Designing an outdoor kitchen and living space is the perfect way to keep your mind focused on your yard during the winter. Come spring, you’ll have everything you need to gather estimates, find an experienced contractor, and get the project finished in time for all those summer barbecues. 

Once you’re ready to start the prep work process, schedule a consultation with Water Solutions Sprinkler Service. We’ll take care of your sprinkler placement and make sure your yard is properly hydrated no matter where you decide to build your outdoor kitchen. 

 

 

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6 Signs It’s Time to Get a New System from Your Denver Sprinkler Service


January 3, 2019

Your sprinkler system is designed to keep your yard and landscaping looking great without forcing you to hand-water each plant. This saves time and makes sure your garden gets the right amount of water at the right time each week. Though your system is durable and can last for many years, it will eventually need to be replaced by your trusted Denver sprinkler installation team. For most homeowners, identifying the signs that it’s time for a replacement can be difficult at best. But the signs are always visible if you know what to look for. Here are a few telltale signs that it’s time to get rid of your old irrigation system and replace it with a new sprinkler system. 

The Tech is Outdated 

Believe it or not, sprinkler systems have come a long way over the years. They’re more efficient, draw less power, and are easier to use than they ever used to be. If your system is more than 15 years old, it’s worth scheduling an estimate for a full replacement. It’s only a matter of time until the system starts breaking frequently and, while older technology can often still be repaired, those frequent repair appointments add up. The last thing you want to do is spend more on repairs each year than you would on a full system replacement. Remember, if the system keeps failing, it will keep on failing no matter how many repairs are made each growing season. 

There Are Puddles and Leaks Around the Yard

Immediately after watering, your yard will likely be full of puddles and wet patches. This is normal and will go away after an hour or so once the excess water drains off or gets absorbed into the soil. If the puddles last for days or appear even when you haven’t run the sprinkler system, you have a problem. As the system starts to fail, underground leaks and issues with the connections can become more common and more frequent. 

Repairing the damage can help, but it probably won’t solve the problem entirely. Instead, you’ll want to lay new lines and pipes with more secure fittings. If you’re already going to the trouble of laying new lines, go ahead and replace the whole system. This will reduce the amount of damage and disruption done to your landscaping and helps your plants recover more quickly than they would with multiple appointments. 

Sputtering Sprinkler Heads Are the Norm

When your system is in good condition, the sprinkler heads should spray a steady stream of water across your landscaping. The pressure should be consistent and reach the full distance your installation team programmed it to. If you notice that your sprinkler heads are sputtering or spurting water instead of spraying it consistently, it’s time to replace the system. Before you make the call, inspect each head for signs of damage. If only one sprinkler head is sputtering, you’ll probably be able to get away with replacing the single unit. If all of them are making the same inconsistent spray pattern, it’s time to replace the whole system.

You Notice Changing Water Pressure

As we said before, your sprinkler heads should deliver a consistent spray every time they turn on. Over time, the seals inside your system can start to wear down. This often leads to changing water pressure in your sprinkler heads. While your plants may still get a decent amount of water during each cycle, the changing pressure can put strain on your system’s components. Low pressure means parts of your yard may go without water. If the pressure changes and is too high, your system will start to see premature wear and tear, increasing the likelihood of breakdowns and extensive damage. The best course of action is to work with a sprinkler service and install a new system altogether. This will ensure that your yard gets the right amount of water during the growing season without putting you at risk for unexpected breakdowns right in the middle of summer.

Your Control Valves are Constantly Dripping

The control valves are what tell your sprinkler system how much water to put out and when the system needs to turn on. Since they regulate the water supply, they’re also responsible for keeping your water bills as low as possible. Leaks and drips around the valves are a sure sign that you have damage in the system. Leaving the drips unaddressed will leave you paying far more for water than you should. After all, if you’re going to pay for water, you should make sure it’s water you actually get to use. 

You’ve Moved to a New House

The average sprinkler system only lasts for about 15 years before it starts developing issues that can damage your landscaping. Unless the previous owner of the home knows when the system was installed, you might be buying a house with an ancient system in place. Before you give into the temptation to update the landscaping and get your hands dirty in the garden, you’ll want to replace those old irrigation components with a new sprinkler system. Otherwise, you risk having to tear up portions of the yard to fix damage you didn’t know was there in the first place.  

How to Go About Getting Your New System Installed

There are some DIY sprinkler systems you can use in a pinch, but they’re not meant for long-term use. Instead, you’ll want to call an experienced sprinkler system installation team to assess the needs of your property. They’ll look at the yard, the placement of your garden beds, and the relative water pressure for the house to help determine the perfect placement for your new system.

If you’re ready to upgrade your home’s irrigation system, contact the team at Water Solutions Sprinkler Service today. We’ll come to your property and provide you with a free no-obligation estimate for installation or repairs. Whether you’re upgrading from an older system or installing the first irrigation lines for your growing lawn, we’ll make sure your home has everything it needs to keep your landscaping looking its best for years to come.
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Denver Sprinkler Service Explains How to Get Your Landscaping Ready for Winter


December 12, 2018

Winter will be here before you know it. While it may be the perfect season to enjoy hot chocolate, fires in the fireplace, and festive holiday cheer, it can wreak havoc on your landscaping. Most homeowners know that scheduling a blowout with their Denver sprinkler repair company is the first step towards getting the landscaping ready for colder weather, but it’s not the only step you need to take. 

It should come as no surprise that some of your plants will die during the winter. Others, however, simply lie dormant. When they’re properly cared for, those plants will rebound during the spring, creating beautiful new growth. When they’re neglected during the winter, your yard will require extensive care and attention before the growing season begins in earnest. Here are a few ways to give those perennial plants and shrubs a leg up during the winter. 

Invest in Tarps

Heavy snowfall and ice storms can kill even the hardiest shrubs and bushes. The added weight of ice and snow breaks branches and limbs quickly and improper snow removal can do just as much damage. The best way to protect your shrubs and bushes from heavy snowfall and ice storms is to cover them. Invest in several high-quality and durable tarps large enough to cover the plants in question. Remember, you don’t have to wrap them completely—just cover the tops and sides enough to protect the plants from the worst of the storm. Once the storm is over, all you need to do is head outside and shake off the tarps. The bushes will be free of ice and snow and you won’t have to worry about removing snow from the branches safely.

Be Aware of Which Deicing Products You Use and Where You Use Them

Nothing is more hazardous and annoying than an iced over driveway. Using a deicing agent or salt on the pavement will help get rid of those slick spots so you and your family can make it in and out of the house safely. However, that deicing solution can be harmful to your landscaping. Salt and chemical deicers can scald your lawn and ruin the pH of the soil. Though you might not see any damage until spring, once you notice it, it’s too late to repair. 

Instead of being surprised by underperforming garden beds and brown patches on your lawn, just be cautious of where you use the deicer. Take care not to get ice melt on your grass or in your landscaping. Once the ice has melted, sweep away any remaining crystals from the edge of the driveway. If you notice any crystals on the lawn or in your garden bed, flush the area with water thoroughly during the warmest part of the day. 

Wrap Your Trees

In Denver, winter afternoons can easily reach 50 degrees in the sun. This means any ice, snow, and moisture starts to melt and the process can be hazardous for your trees. When ice melts in the afternoon, it freezes again at night. While this is typically a harmless process for much of your landscaping, it can be damaging to your trees. The moisture inside the trunk freezes when the temperatures drop. 

Once frozen, the water expands inside the wood, pushing the fibers apart. Over time and after repeated freeze and thaw cycles, it’s not uncommon for trees to develop cracks in the trunk. The easiest way to prevent cracking and damage is to wrap your trees. Use burlap wrapping or a purpose-made tree wrap available at most hardware stores. The wrap will still allow the trees to breathe and grow, but will insulate the wood from the worst of the cold.

Protect Your Trees From Wildlife

Even in the heart of downtown Denver, it’s not uncommon to see rodents active in the wintertime. Rabbits, mice, and rats are often the most problematic, especially for young trees and shrubs. Believe it or not, these critters see your trees as a wintertime food source. During periods of heavy snowfall or when their normal food supply is running low, these critters tend to make a meal out of the bark and roots of your trees. Over time, this can kill the plants or cause disease and encourage insect infestations which can spread throughout the rest of your yard. The best way to protect your trees is to wrap the trunk in wire mesh or screen material. This keeps pests from being able to reach the bark. If the pests do try to reach the bark, the mesh will keep their teeth from doing any damage. 

Be Cautious When Decorating

Holiday decorations are a wonderful way to add cheer to your home and make a statement for others to enjoy throughout the neighborhood. However, it is possible to accidentally damage your landscaping with your decorations. If you want to string lights, make sure the strands are not too heavy for the trees. Before stringing the lights, make sure the wires are properly insulated and covered to protect the trees from sparks and damage. If you notice that parts of the rubber coating are missing or cracked, throw the lights away and replace them with a new set. Even a single exposed wire can spark, putting both your landscaping and your house at risk for fires.

Consider Building a Snow Fence

Along the Front Range, windy days are more common than still afternoons. All that wind often causes massive drifts of snow that can cover landscaping and garden beds in a matter of hours. To protect your plants from the wind, consider building a snow fence in areas where snow tends to pile up around your house. All you need are a few metal stakes and some plastic snow netting. Click here for detailed instructions on how to build and install a snow fence on your own.  

Getting your yard ready for winter doesn’t have to be a major challenge. Schedule a sprinkler system blowout and landscape consultation with us today and your landscaping will be in great shape no matter what winter throws its way.
 
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Denver Sprinkler Repair Pros Share a Few Holiday Decorating Mistakes to Avoid


November 28, 2018

Nothing gets your home into the holiday spirit like decorations. Twinkle lights, ornaments, wreaths and lawn decorations all set the tone and give passersby a sense of your passion and personality. While there’s no such thing as going overboard with the holiday cheer, there are a few things that homeowners do that can do more harm than good, both for their homes and their landscaping. Even if the damage isn’t visible immediately, it can force you to call a Denver sprinkler service to repair the damage as soon as spring comes around. Here are a few of the most common mistakes and ways to avoid them without sacrificing your holiday cheer.

Using Heavy Lawn Ornaments

You know not to put heavy loads on your grass when it’s actively growing, but doing so in the winter can be just as damaging. Heavy weights compress the soil and the remaining roots of your lawn. Come spring, those roots will be unable to spread through the compacted soil, leaving you with an underperforming part of the lawn at best and a big brown spot at worst. The easiest way to prevent this type of damage is to avoid using heavy lawn ornaments whenever possible. 

If you already have the ornaments and are determined to use them, plan to only leave them out for a week or two at most. This will still damage your lawn, but the turf will be less compacted by the time you take the ornaments down. Alternatively, you could put these ornaments on the porch or in the driveway where they’ll sit on a solid surface as long as they’re out. 

Putting Too Much Strain on Smaller Trees

When you have trees in your yard, decorating them seems like a no-brainer. While it’s fine to load up your established trees, it’s a bad idea with newer saplings and less-established trees. Hanging heavy ornaments or overburdening the limbs can cause the tree branches to crack or snap under the weight. Luckily, your trees will tell you when something is too heavy. Hang the ornaments one by one and watch how the limbs behave. If they start bending or creaking under the weight, take some of the ornaments off. Ideally, the branches should maintain their natural shape even when the tree is decorated. When in doubt, leave the ornaments off the tree. 

Using Damaged Lights

Twinkle lights add festive cheer to any yard, but when they’re wrapped around trees or near landscaping, it’s incredibly important to make sure they’re in good condition. Damaged wires and lights can spark and, since much of the landscaping is dry during the winter, it poses a major fire risk. Before hanging any lights or using any electronic decoration, make sure all cords and wires are properly coated and in good condition. If they’re damaged, it’s time to throw the decorations away or find an electrician to repair them. The last thing anyone wants is to watch your yard go up in flames. Remember, twinkle lights are relatively cheap and it’s far better to replace a questionable light strand with a new one than to put your house at risk for fire. 

Plugging Too Much into a Power Strip

Outdoor extension cords are wonderful for running power away from the house, but when you have tons of decorations that require electricity, it’s easy to overload the plug. Many homeowners choose to use power strips to run more decorations off of a single outlet. Though effective, this is dangerous. Electric decorations draw a lot of power. This constant load can put strain on the power strip and cause the device to overheat, melt, and spark. Since the power strips are most often kept indoors, this puts your entire house at risk. Instead of relying on power strips to electrify dozens of decorations, only display the ones that bring you the most joy. Make sure these decorations are powered by external outlets and use only outdoor-rated extension cords for the yard decorations. 

Not Looking Where You Drive Stakes

Holiday yard art comes in many forms. If you’re using inflatable decorations that require staking down or even simple signs, you may end up doing damage to the sprinkler system beneath the grass. Before hammering in the stakes, take a look at where you’re planning on installing the decoration. If it’s close the sprinkler head, use caution. Make sure the stake doesn’t accidentally tap the sprinkler line or damage the sprinkler head. As long as you’re careful and aware of where the lawn art is going, you should be fine and your sprinkler system should be ready for spring without any issues. 

Not Making Use of the House

The easiest way to protect your landscaping is to install decorations on the house itself. Hire a professional to hang lights around the roof. Mount a wreath on the door and put colored lightbulbs in your outdoor light fixtures. This will show off your festive side without ever having to risk damaging the lawn, your trees and bushes, or the flower beds. 

Going Against the HOA

Unfortunately, not all neighborhoods are welcoming of holiday decorations. Adding ones that are not approved by the homeowners or neighborhood association can result in hefty fines and fees. Worse, the homeowners association is allowed to ask you to take the decorations down entirely. Before displaying anything in the yard, check with the HOA to determine if any of your planned decorations might go against their restrictions. If you don’t have an HOA, you’re free to display whatever you like as long as it’s in compliance with county or city ordinances. For example, if you use decorations that include audio effects or music, you may be required to lower the volume or turn them off by a particular time. 

Decorating for the holidays is fun and the perfect way to show your festive side during the winter months. Follow these tips and your landscaping should be A-Okay. If you’re worried about your yard prior to decorating or accidentally damaged a sprinkler head while decorating, our sprinkler repair experts are ready to help. Contact us today to schedule an inspection. 
 
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Denver Sprinkler Repair Pros Share 7 Easy Winter Gardening Tips


November 14, 2018

For most homeowners, taking care of their garden is the last thing on their mind in the winter. Instead, they’re focused on staying warm, saving money on heating bills, and making sure their driveways are free of ice and snow when those unexpected storms hit. Once their Denver sprinkler service blows out the lines, there’s not much to worry about until spring, right? While you might not have to worry about your garden once the snows start to fall, that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything with it until spring. Here are a few simple things you can do to get a jumpstart on your spring gardening tasks, even when it’s freezing outside.

Start Planning New Garden Beds

Winter is the perfect time to start thinking about how you want your landscape to look come spring and summer. Grab a piece of paper and sketch out your ideal bed shape and design. Make a note of which plants you want to incorporate and where. This will serve as a point of reference when you’re ready to start planting. 

Not sure where to start? Pick up a gardening magazine at the grocery store, browse pictures online, and even consider what your neighbors have done with their yards. The only limit is your imagination and once you see a few beautiful examples, the ideas will start coming more quickly. Don’t be afraid to get creative—your garden beds can be as orderly or as varied as you want and you don’t have to stick to the same plants as you’ve had for the last few years. 

Order Seeds Ahead of Time

Once you plan out your garden bed and have an idea of what you want to plant, start ordering seeds. It may be tempting to use starter plants from your local nursery to save on work, but doing so can ruin your gardening budget. Starter plants are expensive and for the cost of one plant, you can often purchase several seed packets. Make a list of the must-have plants in your garden and start ordering those seeds as soon as possible. This way, you’ll be prepared as soon as the weather starts to get warmer.

Get Tools in Order

Winter is the best time to start looking for deals on new gardening tools or taking care of repairs. Fewer people are thinking about gardening which means stores may offer sales and clearance pricing on gardening equipment every few weeks. Stock up on the materials you need now when prices are at their lowest. Remember, it never hurts to pick up a few extra pairs of gardening gloves. For old tools, use steel wool to get rid of rust and a good mineral oil to keep the rust from coming back. This way, you’ll get decades more use out of each tool in your shed.

If you have electronic gardening tools, consider having them serviced during the winter as well. With fewer people worrying about their gardens, technicians have more availability and will be able to tune up your machines or take care of repairs more quickly. Best of all, you’ll have your equipment back in good condition before the first spring thaw. While everyone else is worrying about getting their lawnmower repaired, you’ll be ready and able to start mowing as soon as the grass starts growing. 

Clean Up Overgrowth and Dead Plants

Just because the ground is frozen doesn’t mean you can’t show your garden a bit of love. Take a look at the garden beds and see if there’s an abundance of dead growth or overgrowth left from the summer. If so, get rid of it. Most dead growth can be removed easily with a pair of gardening gloves and a small trowel. Keep in mind that for larger plants, shrubs, bushes, and trees, you may need to call a professional landscaping team to haul the materials away. 

Repurpose That Christmas Tree

In Colorado, a fresh layer of mulch can help keep the perennial plants in your garden beds in good shape, protecting them from frost damage. However, mulch isn’t the only thing you can use. Once the holiday season is over, chop some of the boughs off the Christmas tree before having the trash company haul it away. 

Lay the boughs over the garden beds—just make sure that the branches are cut into small pieces so they won’t crush the root systems beneath the soil. Come spring, you can discard the makeshift mulch or toss it into your compost pile. 

Start Your Seeds

About six weeks before the end of winter, you can start thinking about preparing those seeds you bought earlier in the season. Before you plant the seeds in a good starter mix, make sure your trays and equipment are clean, dry, and free of remnants from the previous year’s seedlings. Any moisture, mold spores, or remaining material on the trays puts your new seeds at risk and could lead to a disease-ridden garden bed once the starter plants are transferred outside. When in doubt, soak the trays in a diluted bleach solution or use white vinegar and water for a more eco-friendly alternative. Rinse the trays thoroughly and allow them to dry completely before starting new seeds. 

Build Your Beds

While you may not be able to plant during the winter, you can still start mapping out and building new garden beds, even when the ground is frozen. Frame out raised beds in the garage where you can stay warm while you work. If you’re planning on using stones or other hardscape elements in the garden, start compiling the materials ahead of time. Once the weather is warm enough to work outside, you’ll be able to start building immediately. 

Winter doesn’t have to put an end to your gardening  and landscaping tasks. Use the season as an opportunity to get everything ready for spring so you can be ready to start planting as soon as the weather improves. If you’re looking for help creating the perfect landscape design, don’t hesitate to get help. Contact us today to schedule a free estimate and consultation. 
 
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