A Multi-Family Home

Property Management Advice: How To Winterize Your Properties' Irrigation Systems

by Arnold Gomez

As a property manager, it is your responsibility to make sure that all aspects of the properties you manage are ready for the winter. Before winter really strikes, you need to make sure that all the irrigation systems at the properties you are in charge of have been winterized. 

Consequences Of Failing To Winterize Your Irrigation System

To start with, you need to understand the consequences of failing to winterize your irrigation system. If you do not turn off your irrigation system once it starts to dip down into freezing temperatures, and your irrigations system goes off, you could be faced with icy lawns, landscaping, sidewalks and parking lots. 

This can create a safety hazard for your residents, as the sidewalks and parking lots become unnecessarily coated in ice. Unnecessary freezing can also harm your lawns and landscaping as well. Additionally, your irrigation system can become damage and the lines can freeze when it is used during the winter months. 

Winterizing Your Irrigation System

Winterizing your irrigation system is a multiple-step process. Here are the steps you need to take.

Check Your Freeze Sensors

Your irrigation system should be equipped with freeze sensors that will turn off your system if it is freezing outside. These sensors are also sometimes called rain sensors. These sensors are usually mounted somewhere where they are exposed to the elements, such as the side of a building, and have a wire that is connected to the controller. When the sensors picks up that their is rain in the air or that the air is cold, the receiver sends a signal so that the power to the irrigation system is shut off.

You can test the sensor by spraying a can of compressed air, held upside down, on the sensor. This should produce a cold blast of air directly at the sensor. The sensor should then turn off your irrigation system. If it does not, the sensor needs replaced.

Change The Sensors's Battery

Freeze sensors generally run off batteries. Make sure that the battery is still fully charged. Most sensors have indicator lights that let you know how charged the battery is. If the battery is low, recharge it or replace the battery for the sensor. You don't want the system to fail because of a dead battery. 

Shut Off The Water Source

If you know that you will not need to use the irrigation system for a while, or you know you will be getting hit with some really cold weather, turn off the water source completely. That way, you don't have to depend on the sensors working and you can ensure that your irrigation system will not turn on.

Drain The Irrigation System

If the properties you manage are located in an area that has multiple freezing days during the winter months, it may be in your best interest to drain your irrigation system so that none of the lines become fractured. 

If you take all the steps above, you should be able to ensure that your irrigation systems  are winterized and will not create any safety issues for your clients and residents during the winter months. 

For commercial property management, contact a company such as Bradley Scott, Inc.