Historically, summer months are warmer and drier than winter months, so it makes sense to leave your sprinkler system on and use it often throughout the hottest seasons. Then there’s winter. Whether you should shut off your sprinkler system for the winter or leave it on depends on a few factors, including the average wintertime temperature where you live and your watering needs. The answer also depends on whom you ask.
Below are some facts about seasonal irrigation shutoff and the importance of sprinkler winterizing in Burlington County, NJ.
Don’t shut it off
If you bring up the subject of wintertime sprinkler usage to a property maintenance expert, he or she will likely suggest you leave your sprinkler system on through the winter. The thinking here is that turning off the sprinklers could cause more harm than good to your home’s foundation. Just because it is winter doesn’t mean your area is going to receive measurable amounts of rain. As such—and even if it does rain a bit—the soil around your house can dry up and shrink, which causes the foundation to move. Come springtime, you might be calling a professional to assess foundation damage.
At least there’s some good news: there are ways to prevent foundation damage. If you live in an area that regularly dips down to freezing during the winter months, set the sprinkler schedule to water once or twice a week. The trees around your home still need water regardless of the season, and on top of that, water is constantly evaporating from the soil. Watering the perimeter of the foundation will keep the soil from contracting, drying out and creating problems for the foundation.
Shut it off
Avoiding permanent foundation damage is as simple as leaving sprinklers on in winter. But should the forecast predict at least a couple days in a row of below-freezing temperatures, turn the system off, drain the lines, then turn them back on when the temperature gets back above freezing. That being said, most lawn care professionals recommend homeowners and commercial property owners living in areas that freeze shut off their sprinkler systems during the winter season.
The ideal time to shut off your system in winter is right before nighttime temperatures begin to dip below freezing. It’s important to not shut off your sprinkler system too early. As mentioned earlier, lawns and trees need water all year long, and you can’t predict that your area will receive adequate rainfall during the fall and winter months. Additionally, shutting off your sprinklers before a big temperature drop will help protect your system. Excess water left in the pipes or sprinkler heads can freeze, which can cause cracking and other costly damage to your sprinkler system.
Owning an in-ground sprinkler system doesn’t have to be hard. Contact the team at Star Sprinkler Systems Inc. for the most reliable sprinkler system service in Burlington County, NJ. Call us before it gets any colder to schedule an appointment for sprinkler winterization service!