As the air starts getting colder and autumn sets in, usually the last thing you’re thinking of is whether or not you should install a new sprinkler system for your lawn. If your existing system is old, inefficient, and beyond repair, or if you’re still watering your lawn by hand, you may have thought about installing a new sprinkler system, but waiting until spring seems like the more practical time to do it.
As strange as it may sound, fall is actually the very best time for you to put in a new sprinkler system! Read on to hear from our Fort Collins sprinkler installation team about why this is and gain some great tips to keep in mind as we leave summer behind.
Why Fall is the Best Time of Year for Sprinkler Installation
While it may be surprising to some, fall truly is the best time of year for a new sprinkler installation for several reasons. However, as a quick point of clarification, there really is no bad time to install a sprinkler system; and delaying an installation can have severe negative repercussions for your lawn.
That being said, fall is the best time of year for a new sprinkler installation because:
- Ideal installation conditions. Fall is a sweet spot regarding the condition of your lawn, specifically for the soil. In the fall, ground temperatures are neither too cold nor too warm meaning the soil should be nice and pliable. A new sprinkler installation usually requires a good deal of digging, trenching, and boring, so doing this while the ground is soft yet relatively dry is a big advantage that leads to faster install times. Spring might be too wet while winter could mean hard, frozen ground.
- Less damage, quick recovery. The spring and summer are both times of the year when your lawn and garden will undergo significant growth. Grass, bushes, and plants will establish themselves and become nice and hardy. Installing a new sprinkler system during this time could potentially hinder their growth, thereby creating issues that could last through the warm months and potentially not fully recover until the following year. Installing in the fall when plants and grass are already turning towards winter means that digging and trenching will be less intrusive leading to a shorter recovery time.
- Ready for spring. Quite simply, installing in the fall means your lawn and sprinkler system is prepared and ready for the arrival of spring. As an added benefit, homeowners will get introduced to the winterizing process right away which is a critical part of ensuring a well-operating sprinkler system.
- Faster scheduling. Irrigation companies tend to be busiest during the spring and summer months when demand for repairs and retrofits is at their highest. By deciding to install in the fall, you can enjoy shorter wait times and faster installs.
Do You Need a New Sprinkler System?
If you’re wondering whether a new sprinkler installation is right for you, consider the following questions:
- Do you live in an area where you don’t get enough rainfall to adequately irrigate your lawn naturally?
- What kind of grass do you have? Is it native, wild grass, or domesticated?
- What kind of soil do you have?
- Are you worried about runoff?
- Are there any local laws in place regarding irrigation and sprinkler systems? Sometimes you need a building permit (and these can be easier to get in the fall).
As a Colorado resident, you already know how dry our state can be and how hard our clay-like soil often is. In order to have a lush, green lawn, Colorado residents practically always need a solid sprinkler system to give their lawn the proper moisture it requires.
New Sprinkler System vs. Retrofit
A great thing to consider is whether to invest in a whole new sprinkler system or a retrofit. A lawn sprinkler retrofit refers to the process of updating or modifying an existing irrigation system to improve its efficiency or functionality. This might include replacing old components with new, more efficient ones, altering the configuration of the system, or introducing entirely new technology.
If you have a relatively new sprinkler system, it is likely to be more economically efficient to get some retrofitting done. On the other hand, if your system is outdated, a new sprinkler installation will be the way to go. It’s best to consult a trustworthy sprinkler company regarding your specific situation, so don’t hesitate to reach out with questions!
Regarding timing, there are some differences between a new system and a retrofit. As we discussed previously in this article, a new sprinkler installation is best in the fall. Retrofits, however, are probably best in the spring. Even with a relatively new system, periods of freezing and thawing can damage pipes and cause leaks – once the warmer weather returns, consider having an inspection and any relevant repairs done.
How to Maintain Your New System
Maintaining a sprinkler system consists of repairs, retrofits, and winterizing. After having your new system installed in the fall, winter is already right around the corner and your system should be prepared accordingly. Winterizing your sprinkler system is an important responsibility as a homeowner, especially with Colorado’s fast-changing weather, and can be taken care of with a winter blowout.
Come spring, it’s also smart to carry out an initial inspection before fully activating your sprinkler system; and over the years, each spring will bring a good opportunity to undertake any repairs and retrofits as standard maintenance.
Professional vs DIY Installation
Installing a brand-new sprinkler is challenging and requires a good deal of experience and professional equipment. Some individuals might be able to get away with a pipe or sprinkler head repair, but for most people, a DIY full sprinkler installation attempt could cause more damage than good.
You’ll need to verify the water pressure, the service line size, whether or not you need a solvent cement for pipes, and you’ll need to map out the sprinkler system. You’ll also have to invest in the right equipment including basic tools for the piping install (pipe cutters, pliers, risers, valves, and timers), a saw for removing large trees and branches that might get in the way, a wheelbarrow for removing and replacing dirt, and shovels of various sizes for digging and trenching. Alternatively, you could rent a trencher and other equipment from a local hardware store or equipment rental store to make the job easier.
Even if you have the right equipment, when comes down to it, installing a new sprinkler system is incredibly hard work. If you haven’t done it before, it could take several weekends and you may not get it done before the snow flies. Some DIY projects are fun to do and can save you money in the process, but installing a new sprinkler system is one that is best left to the professionals!
Call to Schedule Your Sprinkler Installation
Fall is already here which means it’s the perfect time to get your new sprinkler system installed! Whether you decide to try it yourself or hire the help of a professional team, a fall installation will ensure there’s minimal damage to your lawn with a quick recovery ready for spring in the following year.
There’s a lot to be aware of for a successful installation and a happy lawn; so if you have more questions or are ready to get started, contact the experts at Bednarik Sprinklers right away!