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Denver Sprinkler Experts Share How to De-Winterize Your Sprinkler System This Spring


May 1, 2020

It’s normal to get snow well into May in the Denver area. Some years, there might even be a surprise snowfall into the first few weeks of June. This means you might not quite be ready to start using your Denver sprinkler system at your home. If you did the right thing and winterized your system, you’ll be in good shape for those next few freezing nights. However, once the weather warms up, you’ll want to de-winterize your system so you can start using it immediately. Here’s what you need to do to get your home’s sprinkler system ready for the warmer weather.

Take a Walk Around Your Yard
Before you can really assess the condition of your sprinkler system, you need to take a look at the rest of your yard. Make sure the sprinkler heads are uncovered and remove any leaves or debris that might interfere with their ability to pop up when you turn the system on. 

If you’re not sure where your sprinkler heads are, look for low-lying areas in your yard. Those depressions are often the locations for your sprinkler system heads. Use a thick pair of gardening gloves or leather gloves to remove any debris from around the sprinkler heads. You’ll also want to do this throughout the growing season to give your yard the best chance to produce the growth you love. Keeping those areas clear will help keep your sprinkler system running smoothly and efficiently throughout the warmer months. 

Look at Drainage Areas
When Denver does get rain, all that water may not be able to soak into the soil fast enough. When this happens, you need to make sure there’s a designated place for that excess to go. Otherwise, you risk oversaturating your grass which can lead to mold growth in the soil. Once there’s mold, your grass and the rest of your landscaping won’t be able to grow well.

Find the designated drainage areas in your yard. These may be gravel spots that lead runoff away from your house or French drains in the lawn itself. Inspect those areas thoroughly. If you see buildup of debris and plant matter in those spots, clear it away completely. You need the drainage areas to be clear before you turn your sprinkler system on in the spring. If you notice any damage around those spots, contact your landscaping specialist and let them repair the damage as soon as possible.

Take a Look at the Weather
Sprinkler systems get winterized for a reason: the water lines running underground can freeze and burst. The repairs are costly and can derail your springtime landscaping goals entirely. The best thing to do before you turn your system on and de-winterize for good is to check the weather for the next few weeks.

Ideally, the lows should all be above freezing for the foreseeable future. If you see temperature drops predicted in the forecast, consider waiting another week or two to turn your system on. Keep in mind that light freezes shouldn’t be enough to hurt your system. But if the temps drop low enough and the ground starts to freeze again, you could have a serious problem on your hands. 

Check the Visible Components 
You never know what types of damage might pop up over the winter months. When you’re spending as much time inside as you can, it’s normal to not pay attention to possible damage when it first happens. That’s why you should take the time to inspect the visual components of your sprinkler system as thoroughly as possible.

Check the exterior pipes and fixtures for cracks and corrosion. Look at the main water line access point and make sure there aren’t any visible leaks. If you notice anything that looks unusual or feel that your system might have underlying issues, get them repaired as soon as possible. The sooner you get them fixed, the less likely the damage is to spread. Remember, running your sprinkler system with damaged water lines and components can result in more costly and extensive damage. 

Consider a Tune-Up
Sprinkler systems are meant to get used. This is what helps keep the components working and properly lubricated year-round. However, sitting idle during the winter months can cause a bit of wear and tear to your system. While the wear and tear likely won’t be bad enough to cause serious problems during the spring and summer, it can shorten the life of your sprinkler system by several years if allowed to get worse.

Instead of taking chances, schedule a tune-up with your sprinkler repair team. They’ll be able to make sure each component is in good condition and ready to provide your landscaping with the water it needs when you turn it on. As an added bonus, they’ll be able to spot minor repair issues and fix them before they have a chance to do serious and long-term damage to your system. 

Turn It On
Once you’ve done your due diligence and made sure your sprinkler system is ready, turn it on. Let it run through a full cycle and make sure the spray is landing where you want it to. If it’s not, let your sprinkler repair technician adjust the heads for you. Pay attention to the way the system sounds. If you notice anything that sounds off or see that a head is sticking, get it repaired before you start your springtime landscaping projects. 

Sprinkler systems are the best way to water your lawn reliably and thoroughly during the warmer months, but they need a little TLC to work properly for years to come. Follow these steps and get your system ready for the growing season once the temperatures start to rise.

If you notice anything wrong or just want a pro to take a look at your system to make sure it’s ready to go, don’t wait. Reach out to Water Solutions Sprinkler Service and let our experts inspect, tune-up, or repair your system as needed. We’re here to help you keep your grass growing strong month after month.