A lawn sprinkler system makes it easier to keep your grass growing and healthy year-round. It’s important to make sure your system operates correctly so your home’s foundation stays healthy, too. Leaks, drainage issues and overwatering can send the water for your grass right into your foundation and basement, causing long-term problems.
“Could be you’re watering the grass, and the runoff isn’t soaking into the ground. So you have water that collects against the foundation every day,” says Paul Martin, owner of PZ Martin Education Strategies, which provides training and education to members of the property and casualty insurance industry.
“The ground swells and contracts. That can cause the foundation to move or even crack,” Martin says.
He further explains that if the foundation isn’t exactly well-built, or already has minor problems, the cracks and movement can turn into broken pipes and leaks, which lead to even more water damage. “Also, there are weep holes in brick walls. And if the water gets above the foundation line, it can get in through those holes and soak into your walls and flooring,” Martin says.
Another problem could arise if you get a downpour while your sprinklers are running, and you can’t shut them off. The combined watering punch could send some of that into your basement. “The water builds up around the windows, doors and vents to your basement, and causes minor flooding, and even mold,” he says.
Leaks in the system can keep water underground and send it into your house as well. But how do you know if your system is leaking? Dengarden has some tips for checking.
- Check your water bill to see if there’s a sudden spike in usage or your bill is higher than usual.
- Also check your sewer bill to see if you’re being billed for higher-than-usual runoff.
- Look for soft spots in your yard. For example, if your mower leaves tire impressions in a small spot, that area may be the site of a leaky irrigation pipe.
If you see these signs and suspect a leak, Dengarden has suggestions for reviewing your system and troubleshooting so you can pinpoint the problem.
To keep your sprinkler system operating at peak performance, and to keep your lawn and home safe, Garth Haslem on KSL.com has these tips:
Clean the filter. This is usually located between the valve box and water main. “Filters should be cleaned at the beginning of the season, and again at least once a month during irrigation season. Small heads also have filters that should be cleaned regularly,” according to Haslem.
Check for blow-outs, gushers and separations. “Gushing water and wet spots tell you where repairs need to happen,” he says.
Look for underground leaks. If sprinklers don’t spray as far as they did in the past or one of your lines shows dirty water, you may have an underground leak.
“Water from ruptured PVC lines will scour the soil, washing it into your sprinkler line. This means less pressure and more dirt,” Haslem explains.
Check your system’s design. Make sure sprinklers don’t spray your house, especially the windows, or over window wells. Keep the spray at least 2 feet away from the house.
Change your timing. Your system doesn’t need to run every day. Haslem suggests setting it to run for 30 minutes, three times per week. Avoid having the system run during the hottest times of the day, when you’ll lose moisture to evaporation.
If you think you may have problems with sprinkler runoff damaging your foundation or drainage problems in your yard, call ABT at (920) 733-4228 (4ABT) or email us to set up an inspection. In addition to reconfiguring your sprinkler system, you may also need to improve the grading of your yard. We can provide you with re-grading solutions to take care of the problem.
- Posted by CatenaCreations
- On June 16, 2017