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Denver Sprinkler Service Debunks Common Myths About Sprinkler Blowouts


November 13, 2019

Getting your home ready for winter is tough. There are decorations to plan, plants to care for, and snow shovels to unbury in the garage or storage shed. But the sooner you start, the better and one task you can and should take care of now is a sprinkler system blowout. Hiring your Denver sprinkler repair team to take care of this simple pre-winter maintenance task is a great way to save money. But it’s also one of the most misunderstood maintenance tasks homeowners need to take care of. Check out these top myths about the process and see for yourself why it’s so important. 

Sprinkler blowouts are incredibly expensive.
No one likes to spend money on home maintenance, but it’s a necessary evil of owning your own house. But not all maintenance tasks cost thousands of dollars. In fact, some, like sprinkler blowouts are downright cheap. You will have to pay for the service, but you’ll save hundreds in unexpected repairs by setting your system up for a safe and secure winter. 

Just turning the water off is enough.
Turning off the water supply to your sprinkler system is a great place to start when you’re getting your home ready for colder weather. But it’s not the only thing you need to do. Think of it this way: your sprinkler system has water lines running through your yard. Turning off the water supply keeps new water from going into those lines but it doesn’t get rid of that existing water. 

When the temps drop, that water can freeze and damage your sprinkler system’s supply lines, sprinkler heads, and electronics. Blowouts remove that excess water completely, virtually eliminating the likelihood that your water lines will freeze and break during the winter.

Blowouts will damage my landscaping.
Blowouts involve running highly compressed air through the lines and pushing the water out through the sprinkler heads until no more water comes out. This may seem like it will damage your landscaping, but nothing could be further from the truth. The amount of pressure used is just enough to expel the water. The pipes and fittings underground won’t be damaged and neither will your plants. 

However, if you don’t schedule a blowout, you could cause damage to your landscaping when you turn the water supply back on. If the lines are broken, you could oversaturate the soil and encourage mold in your landscaping’s roots.

Blowouts will hurt the sprinkler system.
Blowouts don’t hurt your sprinkler system. They help it. Getting rid of standing water inside the lines helps keep your system in good condition when the temperatures drop while leaving the water in the lines puts your system at risk. Keep in mind that the only way to guarantee the safety of your system is to work with an experienced technician. They’ll make sure the process is done correctly every time. 

I have to be at home for the blowout.
We know you’re busy and your schedule may make booking routine repair and maintenance appointments a challenge. Luckily, you don’t have to be home for your sprinkler system blowout. You just need to turn the water supply to the system off and make sure your technicians have access to the sprinkler system control panel. If you’re not comfortable letting technicians on your property unsupervised, you can always ask a neighbor to be present. 

It takes too much time to take care of it.
Sprinkler blowouts are quick and easy to take care of. Once the water supply is turned off, your technician can get started. Once they start sending pressurized air through the supply lines, it’s only a matter of minutes until the last bit of water gets pushed out of the system. The entire process typically takes less than an hour and all you have to do is watch—we’ll take care of the rest. You’ll be free to go about your day in no time. 

I can save money doing it on my own.
Believe it or not, it’s cheaper to hire an experienced professional. If you choose to perform the blowout on your own, you’ll need to rent a high-pressure air compressor, spend time learning how to hook it up to your system, and make sure you do everything correctly. When you hire a professional, they bring all the tools and equipment they need with them and get the job done quickly. You’ll save money, time, and spare yourself the frustration of going it alone.

It’s too late to take care of it now.
It’s only too late to take care of a sprinkler blowout when the water supply lines are frozen. As long as the ground is soft enough for your sprinkler heads to raise and lower, you can schedule a blowout. The sooner you take care of it, the better off you’ll be, but don’t panic if you’ve waited this long. You can still schedule an appointment. 

I won’t be able to turn the system back on in the spring.
While it’s always best to schedule a tune-up before turning your sprinkler system back on, that doesn’t mean you have to. A blowout just removes the excess water from the sprinkler system’s lines and pipes. It doesn’t render the system inactive. 

Once you turn the water supply back on and set the system up for your desired watering schedule, you’ll be good to go. Keep in mind that tune-ups help keep your system running efficiently. This means you’ll get more reliable service from your sprinkler once the growing season is in full swing. 

Don’t Wait
Taking care of a sprinkler system blowout  in Denver, CO before the first hard freeze is the best way to keep your system working properly for years to come. Don’t put off the appointment. Contact our experienced team and schedule a blowout today. We’ll make sure your sprinkler system can survive the winter so you can rely on it as soon as the weather warms back up. And if we see any damage before the blowout, we’ll help make sure it gets taken care of quickly and affordably. 
 
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7 Frequently Asked Questions About Denver Sprinkler System Blowouts


October 15, 2019

Fall is here and the snow will start to fall before you know it. Winter weather has a way of wreaking havoc on your landscaping. But did you know the cold temperatures can hurt more than just your plants? It can also hurt your plumbing and the pipes that supply your sprinkler system with a reliable source of water are more at-risk than the rest of your home’s plumbing. 

Why? Because they’re more exposed to the changing weather conditions. Hiring your trusted Denver sprinkler service to do a blowout of the system can help protect it even when the snow starts to fall. If you’ve never scheduled a blowout before, you’ll likely aren’t sure what to expect. Read on to get answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. 

1. What’s involved in a sprinkler system blowout?
During a blowout, your sprinkler system repair experts will turn off the water supply to your sprinkler system. Then, they’ll force all the remaining water out of the lines up through the sprinkler heads in your yard. This clears the lines of excess moisture that could otherwise freeze and expand once the temperatures drop. 

Without removing the water from your lines, you risk rupturing the water lines underneath your yard. Though you may not notice a problem during the winter, you’ll see it immediately when you try to turn on your sprinkler system for the first time in the spring. The blowout will help guarantee that your system works as it should when you’re ready to start giving your landscaping a little pre-growing-season TLC. 

2. Can I do it on my own or do I really have to make an appointment?
While it is possible to do your own sprinkler system blowout, it’s not the best idea. You need an incredibly high-powered air compressor to push the water through the lines. But you also need to know how the system works and the signs of damage to watch for that could lead to extensive and expensive repairs in the future. 

When in doubt, leave it to the pros. They have all the right tools and experience in place to make sure your system is in good condition both prior to and during the blowout. Even better, they’ll get the job done quickly so you can get back to enjoying your day. 

3. Do I need to be there during the blowout?
Not necessarily. As long as your technician can get to the water shutoff valve and access the control panel for your sprinkler system, they can get the blowout done. But if you want to be on-hand in case they find damage or simply want to see the process for yourself, you’re encouraged to stay  and watch. 

If you’re not comfortable leaving the area around the control panel unsecured while you’re away from home, try to schedule the appointment when you’ll be at the house. Our technicians are happy to work with your schedule to find a time that’s convenient for your needs. 

4. What happens if I don’t get the blowout done?
If this is the case, hopefully nothing. But Denver weather is unpredictable. Cold moves in quickly and hard freezes can happen as early as mid-October. If a hard freeze does happen, your plumbing system is at risk. The water lines under your lawn can freeze and rupture. But that’s not the only issue you could run into.

If the weather is bad enough, the pipes could burst inside your house. This can create a major flooding issue in the walls, do damage to your home’s electrical system, and potentially damage your foundation. When in doubt, schedule the blowout before the cold weather hits. This way, you’ll be prepared no matter what the season throws your way. 

5. When should I make the appointment?
Generally speaking, you should schedule the appointment when you’re no longer relying on your sprinkler system to water your landscaping and your lawn. Ideally, this should happen before the first hard freeze of the year. But if the first freeze has already happened, you should schedule the appointment as soon as possible. The warm Denver afternoons often heat the soil back up enough to allow your sprinkler repair technician to take care of the appointment quickly. 

Unfortunately, we can’t perform a blowout during freezing conditions. Doing so could end up damaging your system and your landscaping. 

6. What happens if there’s existing damage to the sprinkler system?
Any repairs need to get taken care of before the blowout. That’s why your technician will do a thorough inspection of your sprinkler system prior to starting the blowout. If they notice any problems, they’ll let you know and can make arrangements to take care of the necessary repairs quickly. Once the repairs are done, they can take care of the blowout. 

7. How much will it cost?
Every sprinkler system is unique and this means there’s no single flat rate for the blowout. The best thing you can do is schedule a consultation with your sprinkler service. During the consultation, they’ll inspect your system and can give you a firm quote for the blowout. Keep in mind that the cost of the blowout will always be less than the cost of repairing burst water lines and ruptured pipes. Think of it as preventative maintenance that can save you thousands of dollars in the future.

Schedule a Blowout Now
At Water Solutions, we believe your sprinkler system should work flawlessly. Our blowout services will help make sure your system can handle everything the bitter winter weather can throw its way. Don’t put off scheduling an appointment until it’s too late. Contact us today to book your system’s blowout.

If we notice any issues with your sprinklers during the inspection, we’ll take care of them immediately, saving you money and frustration down the line. This small task will help your sprinkler system stay in good condition throughout the winter so you can start relying on it immediately once the weather warms up.
 
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How to Protect Your Pipes and Denver Sprinkler System This Winter


October 2, 2019

Winter weather gets cold in the greater Denver area. And that means your home will be at risk for ruptured pipes several times throughout the season. Though most homeowners insurance companies will help pay for repairs, provided you’re not at fault for the burst pipes, it’s far better to avoid filing a claim in the first place. Unfortunately, keeping your pipes warm isn’t always as easy as it might seem. Here are a few things you can do to give your pipes the best chance to get through the winter weather unscathed.

Schedule a Sprinkler System Blowout
Your home’s sprinkler system relies on water from your home’s watermain. It pulls water through pipes buried underground and sends it out through the sprinkler heads whenever the system is set to run. This means you have a relatively complex arrangement of pipes running beneath your lawn and landscaping. 
Unfortunately, those pipes can freeze without you knowing it. And when that happens, you may not notice the problem until the following spring when you try to use the system for the first time. The resulting repairs are expensive and time-consuming. Worse, it can destroy your current landscaping efforts. 
The easiest way to prevent damage is to schedule a sprinkler system blowout. Your sprinkler experts will send air through the pipes and water lines running to your sprinkler system after turning off the water supply for the season. The air then gets pushed out through the sprinkler heads, sending any remaining water inside the lines out to your lawn. Once it’s done, there won’t be any water left inside your system, keeping it safe from below-freezing temperatures all winter long.

Insulate Exposed Pipes
When pipes are exposed to the elements, they’re subject to the weather conditions outside. This means the metal of the pipes will get cold and freeze when the temperatures drop. Cold metal gets brittle fast and if water in the pipes freezes and expands, you’ll have a huge problem on your hands. 
Insulating those exposed pipes will help you keep your plumbing in good shape. To do this, it’s best to invest in foam pipe insulation. All you have to do is wrap the insulation around the exposed pipes and tape it in place. 
You can leave the insulation in place year-round or you can remove it once the weather gets warmer. Just remember to check the forecast and make sure the freezing temps are over before you remove the insulation.

Leave the Taps Dripping
No one likes to waste water. And dripping faucets can waste a lot of it. But during the winter, this is actually a good thing—when water runs through the pipes, it takes much colder temperatures to freeze and create a rupture. 
We’re not saying you should leave dripping faucets unrepaired. Let your plumber fix them as soon as possible. But when the weather gets cold, turn on the taps and let your faucets run overnight. 
For some homeowners, it may be enough to leave the faucet dripping rapidly. But others may want to leave a steady stream about the size of a pencil lead running overnight. This way, your pipes will stay in good shape and you won’t wake up to an unexpected leak. 

Keep Your Garage Door Closed
Unfortunately, most garages aren’t insulated as well as the rest of your house. And since many attached garages have plumbing running through the walls, you’re at risk for frozen pipes. And the more you open the door, the more the temperatures outside your home influence the warmth of the garage. 
The best thing you can do is keep your garage door closed during those cold snaps. If you do need to open it, take care to close it as soon as you’re done. This will help keep the warm air inside where it can better protect your home’s pipes. 
You can also add insulation to your garage door. Most hardware stores have insulation kits that you can easily install on your own. You’ll also want to check the door for leaks along the bottom of the door. If you see daylight through the rubber seal, add weather stripping to create a better barrier. 

Leave Your Heat Running
When you’re leaving town, it’s normal to want to turn everything off. After all, you’re not going to be there to use and enjoy your home’s heating system. But turning it off is almost always a bad idea in the winter. 
Before you leave, set the thermostat to at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit. This will be enough to keep the inside of your home well above freezing and should prevent your pipes from freezing in the first place. 
Even better, the 55 degree setting won’t force your HVAC system to run constantly. This means it will use less energy to keep your home just warm enough. Over the course of the winter, those savings can really add up!

Avoid Running Space Heaters Unattended
On those really cold nights, you might be tempted to run a space heater in the garage or basement and leave it alone. Don’t. 
Space heaters can turn into major fire hazards. That’s why they need to be used in areas where you and your family can keep an eye on them and make sure nothing flammable gets too close to the heater. Leaving them in your garage could end up sparking a fire that threatens the safety of the rest of your house. 
If you have to use a space heater, use one that’s in great condition and has an automatic shut-off feature that will kill power to the unit if it gets too hot or tips over. 

Get Your Home Ready for Winter
Getting your house ready for winter doesn’t have to be a challenge. Follow these tips and you’ll be able to keep your home in good shape no matter how cold the weather gets. Just remember to schedule a sprinkler system blowout and let our pros help you keep your home and yard safe from the freezing weather. Contact us online or call (720) 435-1495.
 
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Tips on Getting Your Lawn Ready for Colder Weather


September 25, 2019

Summer is officially over and that means it’s time to start thinking about getting your yard ready for colder weather. And that cold weather will kick in soon. The Denver area tends to get its first freeze around October 7. But after a long summer of caring for your yard, the last thing you want to do is think about watching the growth you’ve cultivated fade. Worse, you’ll start worrying about how your yard will look come spring. 
Your Denver sprinkler installation experts are here for you. Here are a few tips to help you get your grass ready for the cold.
Keep Mowing
When the weather starts to get cold, it’s tempting to stop mowing. But as long as your lawn keeps growing, you’ll want to keep mowing the grass. But once the colder weather starts to roll in more regularly, it’s okay to start mowing your lawn shorter. Keep it about 1 to 1 ½ inches tall. 
Shorter grass is easier to work with when it comes to the rest of your cold weather preparations. The grass will likely stop growing and you’ll be able to stop mowing after a few hard freezes. 
Rake Up the Leaves
Leaves are a hallmark of fall weather, but that doesn’t mean they’re good for your yard. Take the time to rake them up once they start to pile up on your lawn. 
Use a broad leaf rake to make the task easy or opt for a leaf blower if you’re looking for a simple and fast way to clear a larger yard. Once the leaves are in a pile, scoop them up and haul them away to the dump. If you have a compost pile, you can incorporate them into the compost. 
Give the Soil Some Air
Over the course of the summer, the soil beneath your grass can get compacted. When this happens, it puts strain on your lawn’s roots and makes it harder for them to get the nutrients they need. 
The best way to fix the problem is to aerate your lawn. This involves poking a series of holes into the soil all across your grass. Use an aerator from your local hardware store or grab a pitchfork and poke the tines an inch or two deep into the soil.
This helps loosen up the soil and introduces air to the roots. When spring comes, the soil will have more nutrients and be better able to support your lawn and all the activities you have planned for it.
Pay Attention to Dead Patches
Fall is an ideal time to deal with those dead or bald patches on your lawn that never seemed to grow during the summer months. Pick up some seed or a lawn repair kit and spread it on those areas.
While you probably won’t see much improvement during the fall, it will start to fill in when the weather warms back up. Just be mindful about the type of grass seed you select. If you choose a species that’s different from the rest of your lawn, you’ll have a strange patchwork of colors that might not give your yard the look you’re going for. 
Watch for Weeds
Cold weather may cause your grass to stop growing as quickly. But it doesn’t always do the same for weeds. Those pesky plants are remarkably resilient and will keep growing even when the temperatures start to drop. 
Watch for weeds anytime you’re working with your lawn. If you see them, pull them up. For weeds with deep roots, use a hand-held weed cutter to fully remove the roots. Once they’re gone, toss them in the trash or throw them on the compost pile and let them break down during the winter months.
Figure Out a Fertilizer Plan
Believe it or not, soil doesn’t always replenish the nutrients your grass used up during the growing season. Sometimes, it needs a little extra help in the form of fertilizer. This helps give the soil access to nutrients sapped by the roots of your landscaping. But it needs to be applied properly.
Come up with a fertilizer plan and stick to it. For most lawns, you’ll want to fertilize at least a little once the grass is entering its dormant phase and again in the spring to make sure it has everything it needs to grow well. If you’re not sure what to do for your grass, speak with a landscaping team and let them help.
Schedule a Sprinkler Blowout
You’ve relied on your sprinkler system to keep things looking great during the growing season. But once the ground starts to freeze, it puts all the water lines and sprinkler heads at risk. And a broken or ruptured pipe is both expensive and time-consuming to repair.
The best way to keep anything bad from happening is to schedule a sprinkler blowout when you’re ready to stop watering your lawn. This will help get rid of any excess water in the lines and freeze-proofs your system so you won’t have to worry about those cold winter nights hurting your sprinklers. 
Let the Lawn Sit
Once the lawn starts to brown and stops growing, you’ll want to avoid using it as much as possible. Move heavy furniture away from the turf and try to minimize the impact your family’s activities will have on the grass.
Make sure guests don’t park on your lawn and find alternative places for kids to play whenever possible. The occasional soccer or football game on the turf won’t destroy your winterizing efforts. But repeat activity and heavy foot traffic can do damage that will be tough to repair before the growing season starts up in earnest. 
These Tips Are a Great Place to Start
Your lawn is not a low-maintenance part of your landscape. You need to care for it and give it the attention it needs. Use these tips to get started and set yourself up for a successful spring ahead of time. 
Just don’t forget to give your sprinkler system a little TLC. Contact us today to make an appointment. 
 
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Denver Sprinkler Repair Pros Share 7 Key Questions to Ask When Designing an Outdoor Kitchen


September 4, 2019

Nothing makes enjoying the great outdoors easier than having an outdoor kitchen right in your backyard. And with Colorado getting more than 300 days of sunshine each year, you’ll be able to use the space more often than you think. But if you’re like most homeowners, you’re probably not sure where to start with the design process. Your trusted Denver sprinkler team is here to help. Ask yourself these questions before you start the design process. 

Where Do You Want to Place the Kitchen?
Ideally, your outdoor kitchen should be close enough to your house that you can reach it easily. Remember, you’ll be carrying ingredients from the house to your outdoor food prep area. The closer it is, the more convenient it will feel to use your space. 

Be mindful of your landscaping when deciding on your placement. While it is possible to move your existing sprinkler system to accommodate the build, it’s easier if you choose a spot without sprinkler heads. You’ll save money and speed up the construction process. 

How Will You Use Your Kitchen?
How you use your outdoor kitchen influences the design. If you’re just looking for a bigger and better grilling spot, your design can be fairly simple. But if you’re looking for a full outdoor kitchen, you need to think about how you’ll realistically use the space. 

If you plan on making full meals and don’t want to go back and forth between the outdoors and your indoor kitchen, factor in features like refrigerators, a sink, and dish storage into the design. Remember, the point of your outdoor space is to make your cooking experience fun and convenient. If it feels like a hassle, you won’t use it as much as it deserves.

What Features Do You Want?
There’s a fine line between wants and needs when it comes to your design. Think about the things that you absolutely have to install in order for the kitchen to work for you. If you can’t imagine cooking without a grill, install a grill. If you think you’ll use the kitchen for 3 out of the 4 seasons each year, outdoor heaters and fireplaces may be something you should install.

There’s no right or wrong answer here. Draw up a list of everything you’d LOVE having in your kitchen and use it as a starting point for the design. 

What About Your Guests?
If you build an outdoor kitchen, you’re probably thinking of using it to entertain guests and friends. But you need to think about how to accommodate those guests when you’re planning your design.

Remember, your outdoor kitchen is more of an outdoor entertainment area than you might think. Try to situate the kitchen close to your seating area and consider building benches and bars where your friends can sit while you cook. This will help you feel like you’re a part of the action even when you’re manning the grill.

And Budget Is?
Arguably the hardest part of creating any outdoor kitchen is setting a firm budget. Think about what you’ve saved up for the project. If it’s not enough or your design is larger than you thought it would be initially, you could consider taking out a home improvement loan.

That said, you’ll still need to have a firm number in mind before you can meet with a contractor. If you don’t know how much money you can realistically afford on the project, your contractor won’t be able to bring your designs to life. 

If possible, try to save up for at least a few months before starting the project. This will help you avoid going further into debt and can give you better control over your finances in the long-run. Remember, your outdoor kitchen should feel like an improvement to your house, not a financial burden or a mistake. 

What Do You Want the Surrounding Area to Look Like?
Landscaping can make a huge difference in the ambiance of your outdoor kitchen. But you need to have a vision of what you want the space to look like after the kitchen is in place. 

Look at your yard and think about the features you love most. Are there garden beds or plants that you wish you could have more of? Or do you prefer a no-frills hardscape design that will let you focus on enjoying your kitchen rather than worrying about landscape maintenance?

Again, there’s no right answer. No matter what you prefer, it’s simple enough to incorporate those elements into the design. Just make sure you work with an experienced landscaper to get the job done right. Otherwise, your designs could interfere with the functionality of your outdoor kitchen. 

Do You Know Who You’ll Work With?
Not all contractors specialize in building outdoor kitchens. And If you choose the wrong one, you could end up with a design that doesn’t fit your needs. Take time to research the contractors you’re interested in working with. 

Schedule consultations with each one and let them give you an estimate. If they’ve built kitchens before, ask for examples of their previous designs. This will give you a feel for the quality of their workmanship and can better help you plan out the perfect space of your own.

Also make sure to ask for references. Reputable contractors all have clients that are willing to share their experiences with you. And once you have those references, follow up with them. If the overwhelming response is positive, you’ll likely have the same experience. 

Consult Your Sprinkler Team 
At Water Solutions, we specialize in sprinkler installations, maintenance, and repairs. But that’s not all we do. Our expert landscape team knows how to build outdoor kitchens that add value to your home and simplify your life. 

When you partner with our team, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that your new kitchen won’t impact your existing sprinkler system. We’ll work with your budget to bring your vision to life. Contact us today to schedule a free estimate. 
 
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