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.