When Dwayne Boggs and his team at Boggs Inspection Services perform home inspections, they don’t just stop at the main structure. They take a look at all the components of the property, including any installed irrigation systems. A professionally installed irrigation system can save you time, money and water, all while increasing the value of your home. Whether you are thinking of putting an irrigation system into your home now, or you are looking at purchasing a home that already has a system, Steve Seymour of Rain Tech LLC has some advice for you to follow when it comes to underground irrigation systems.
There are some obvious warning signs you should keep an eye out for, says Steve. Pressure changes in your system, wilting plants, or spraying or pooling water that is not coming from a sprinkler head should be big causes for concern. However, many of the smaller problems are not detectable to the untrained eye, and can only be spotted by a qualified technician. Heading off problems when they are still small could save the homeowner thousands of dollars and the headache of a major repair down the road.
Regular Maintenance is Key
Routine maintenance is the best way to identify and fix small problems before they become big ones. The two most important service times are spring start up and winterization service in the fall. During spring start up, the technician turns the water back on to the system, ensures the main lines are repressurized, and checks the system zone by zone. Additionally, they clear grass from around each sprinkler head and check the arcs of the water to make sure the sprinklers are spraying efficiently. They also look for any maintenance concerns such as cracked sprinkler heads or other less obvious problems which could indicate the need for a repair.
Midseason checkups are a great way to ensure the system is in top condition. Technicians can spot areas that are not receiving enough water, address plugged heads and adjust sprinklers to provide surrounding plants with the optimal amount of water for healthy growth.
Winterization is very important for the health of the sprinkler irrigation system. Though our area doesn’t experience deep freezes and long harsh winters like some parts of the country, freezing temperatures will still take their toll on the parts as water freezes and expands over the season. “During a winterization service we purge the water out of all the components of the system, from the control valves to the sprinkler heads,” says Steve. “Then we insulate the backflow unit to protect it.”
Even the best maintained system will still need the occasional repair and part replacement. Quality parts will extend the life span of the components, but continued exposure to the UV rays of the sun and normal temperature changes break down sprinkler heads and seals over time. Most properly installed underground portions will last many years, says Steve.
Getting the Job Done Right
Though supplies to put in your own sprinkler system are available at any big box home improvement retailer, Steve cautions against trying to put in your own system. “In my experience, the average homeowner doesn’t have the skill or training that is required to put an efficient system in properly.” Usually they end up becoming a service repair customer, he explains. All the money they thought they would save by doing it themselves, they spend on getting the system fixed or replaced.
Whether you are looking to get a new system installed or you just want to have your current irrigation system checked out, Steve says it’s worth the expense to hire a professional. “The most important thing to know is to call a reputable company with experience and education in irrigation technology, and that uses quality industrial grade products,” says Steve, “there is so much involved in design and layout of a system, you want someone who knows what they’re doing.”
Recently, Dwayne took his entire inspection team out to train with Steve. The training helped better prepare the home inspectors to recognize and identify home irrigation areas of concern when they perform home inspections.
If you need the help of a qualified irrigation specialist for maintenance or installation services, call Steve and his team at 360-236-9939 or get in touch with him online at Rain Tech LLC’s webpage. If you are looking for a comprehensive home inspection, the Boggs Inspection Services crew can check out your home inside and out. Give them a call at 360-480-9602, or visit Boggs Inspection Services online.