As the weather starts getting warmer, Utah homeowners spend more and more time out in the garden. After all, what’s the point in maintaining a beautiful garden if you don’t get to enjoy it? BBQs, sunbathing, and family gatherings enhanced by a beautiful outdoor area, a neatly trimmed lawn, and some well-manicured flower beds – all the ingredients for a perfect day outside.
The summer months here can be brutal, with little rain and intense sun, so If you are lucky enough to have such a garden, there’s a good chance you also employ a sprinkler system to aid you in keeping it fresh and vibrant.
But for all their help, water sprinklers can bring their own set of problems, such as water damage. So before you face a situation where you have to call in a Utah flood clean-up specialist like us, we have some preventative recommendations.
Sprinklers and Water Damage
Water damage occurs when too much water pools against or soaks into your property. If left unchecked, it can cause severe problems in the long term, from hazardous mold growth to weakening the structural integrity of your home. Regardless of the cause, if you find any signs of water damage in your home, you’ll need to deal with it quickly.
Since water sprinklers constitute a significant water source on your property, they are always at risk of causing water damage. While their purpose is to provide you with an easy way to automate your garden watering, if you employ a “set it and forget it” mentality with them, then you may open yourself up to a whole heap of troubles.
How Sprinkler Systems Can Cause Water Damage
If you have a sprinkler system set up on your property, you are at risk for the following problems:
1. Burst or damaged pipes
Your sprinklers are connected via a series of pipes; you will need to watch each of them closely for damage. Any one of them can break at any time for several reasons, including:
- High water pressure inside the pipe
- Heavy pressure put on the line from the outside
- Tree and plant roots growing around and through the pipes
- Burrowing animals like moles and rats breaking through the lines
- Damage caused by excavation and general yard work
When this damage occurs, the water seeps out of the pipes and soaks the surrounding area, loosening the grass and soil. If your sprinkler pipes are underground, this can lead to more serious damage that can affect your home’s foundation or flood your basement.
2. Sprinkler Valve Damage
As the valves are what provide you the means of turning your sprinklers on and off, they need to function correctly. Jammed valves can cause the sprinklers to continue operating, overwatering everything in their reach. If you usually keep your water pressure at a certain level, the sprinkler spray arc will increase or decrease beyond your control. If the damage is too severe, this can cause the pipes between the valve and your home to burst.
Sprinkler valves most often sustain damage by careless gardening activities, such as running a lawnmower over them or jamming them up with stones or rocks. Debris from trees or garden ornamentation can also become wedged into the spokes of the valve or cause impact damage if dropped or thrown on them.
3. Unchecked Filters
Many sprinklers come with filters that the water runs through to clean out impurities and other debris. You should check these filters regularly and replace them when necessary, as blockages could lead to a loss in water pressure or valve and connector breakage around it.
4. Improper Sprinkler Placement
While you will plan the locations of each of the sprinklers in your system to cover every part of your garden in need of water, many people still make mistakes in placing them. If you put sprinklers too close to your property, you will expose it to increased spray. Extended periods of spray from the sprinklers will lead to water damage to your property, either by soaking into the material of its walls or by pooling and soaking around the foundation.
Make sure that the spray arcs of each sprinkler are clear of any part of your property that will allow the water to pool and not drain away. This also includes keeping spray arcs from overlapping, as too much water will also struggle to drain in one location. If there are paved areas or sections of your garden that do not have sufficient drainage, keep sprays away from them, or first install better drainage methods before you use them.
How to Spot Signs of Damage
It pays to regularly check your garden for any signs of damage to your sprinkler system and the property. Keep an eye out for:
- Soft grass – If the ground beneath your garden is softer in some places, that’s a big red flag. Check the nearby sprinklers for any signs of damage and repair them before you reactivate them.
- Weak or over-powerful sprinkler jets – If the spray from your sprinklers is not going as far as usual or is going much farther, this indicates a water pressure issue. Find out whether there are leaks in the lines or damage done to the valve to discover the cause of the pressure issue.
- Look for signs of dampness around your home’s foundation – If there are any spots of excessive moisture or pools of water around your foundation, there’s probably too much water flowing near your house. Look for a leak in the valve or pipes around the house.
- Check your water bill – If your water bill is higher than usual, it indicates a leak somewhere. If there is nothing wrong inside your home, it will likely be due to your sprinklers.
Sprinklers are an excellent way to cool down and keep your garden vital during the summer months. They provide so much for your home when they function but can cause significant damage when they don’t. Make sure you keep an eye on yours and make repairs before they lead to water damage. Those currently seeing excess water on their property can contact us for water damage restoration in Utah or Wyoming.