During spring and summer, landscape irrigation is a lifesaver when it comes to yard maintenance. Professional irrigation systems benefit your plants and save you time, effort, and money on your water bill. But you should never just forget about your system during the winter when it’s not in use. If your sprinkler system isn’t properly prepped for freezing ground temperatures, the pipes and sprinkler heads can freeze and crack, leading to costly repairs.

The process is called irrigation winterization. For Portland landscapes, it involves emptying all the water from your system and turning it off completely to prevent the components from bursting. Timely system checkups and inspections – both before winter and in the springtime – are also essential to ensure your sprinklers are running smoothly.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about irrigation winterization and how our experts at Blessing Landscapes can help!

ice covered branch

The Need for Winterization in Portland

Winters in Portland tend to be cool and wet, with lots of rain (and even some snow) defining the winter season. While the PNW may not get as cold as other regions around the world, it’s not uncommon for Portland temperatures to dip below freezing. Even a mild winter in the PNW calls for some preparation, especially when it comes to our landscapes.

Freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on sprinkler systems. As the weather gets colder, any remaining water can freeze and ultimately cause pipes to burst. Not only will this damage the infrastructure of the irrigation system itself, but it also means you may need to tear up parts of your landscape in order to access and repair the system.

Key Benefits of Winterization

Prevent Damage

Water expands when it freezes by about 9% of its original volume. If your pipes have water in them when ground temperatures drop below freezing, they’re at risk of bursting due to the pressure of the expanding water. Preventative winterization efforts are far less expensive than the costs to repair a broken sprinkler system, especially since fixing broken pipes often means having to re-landscape once the system is fixed.

Increase the Lifespan of Your System

Neglected irrigation systems can begin to degrade and weaken over time from wear and tear. Irrigation winterization and routine professional checkups can save you from the headache (and cost) of having to deal with issues when you need your system most – during the warm seasons when you want your landscape to look fresh and beautiful! 

Conserve Water

Turning off your irrigation system and properly winterizing it reduces your water usage substantially. This isn’t just good for your bank account. It also benefits the environment by conserving water. Modern landscape irrigation systems also help save water throughout the entire year by allowing you to set automatic timers and routines. That means you don’t end up using excess water just because you forgot to turn off your sprinklers.

Improve Your Spring Startup

By properly winterizing your sprinkler system, you’re also preparing it for spring! When the sun starts to peek out from behind the clouds and temperatures rise, it’s time to prepare for spring landscaping and turn on and test your irrigation system to ensure it’s working and ready to do its job again. It’s much more likely to be in the same great condition if you winterized it correctly.

winter boots on white cold looking ground

Steps in the Winterization Process

Irrigation winterization in Portland is essential to preventing costly and time-consuming repairs. But doing it properly isn’t always as simple as it may seem. As a team of landscaping experts, Blessing Landscapes can assist you in winterizing your irrigation system. The process involves the following steps:

  1. Shutting off the water source
  2. Draining the pipes from the main water line
  3. Using air compression to expel any remaining water from your pipes
  4. Insulating above-ground components
  5. Returning in the spring to turn on your irrigation system
  6. Testing the sprinklers to ensure everything is working properly

No matter your irrigation needs, we’ll make sure that your sprinkler system is protected from even the harshest winter weather conditions and ready to go when spring rolls back around!

Importance of Professional Checkups

A well-designed and professionally installed irrigation system improves your landscape by keeping your plants hydrated and reducing labor-intensive maintenance requirements. But your irrigation system also may need occasional maintenance. That’s why it’s important to schedule professional checkups!

At Blessing Landscapes, we provide expert landscape irrigation installation, maintenance, and repair services in the Portland, Oregon area. In addition to designing and installing systems, we can handle irrigation winterization for you and provide routine checkups. Our recommended schedule includes checkups at strategic times throughout the year:

  1. Right before winter, when it’s time to winterize your system
  2. In the spring, to make sure everything is working right when we turn your system back on
  3. During the summer, when your system is getting the most use
  4. Any time throughout the year, if you experience issues with your system

Our team at Blessing Landscapes has the expertise necessary to spot potential problems. We’ll work with you to provide preventative maintenance, keep your system in tip-top shape, and make recommendations for system upgrades or modifications where appropriate.

sprinkler next to walkway

Secure Your Irrigation for Winter With Expert Services!

Winterizing your irrigation system is an invaluable step in protecting the infrastructure, longevity, and beauty of your landscape. At Blessing Landscapes, our experts have the tools, knowledge, and specialized skills to provide the full range of irrigation and general landscaping services to homeowners throughout the Portland area. 

As a full-service landscaping company, we’ll go above and beyond to ensure your sprinkler system is in perfect working condition. From design and installation, winterization, to routine monitoring and maintenance, we’ve got you covered.

Contact us through our website or call (503) 284-3557 to consult with our experts and discuss your landscaping needs today!