Here are just a few tips and reminders to help you prepare for the winter season!
Don’t Forget to Disconnect Your Garden Hose
It might not seem to make that much of a deal, but allowing your hose to stay connected through the winter will cause water that is trapped in the hose and in the pipes underneath your house to freeze. Often, these pipes are incapable of handling the pressure of water freezing and expanding, and the pipes are prone to splitting or cracking. This causes a plethora of problems. Not only does it compromise your water pressure the next time you go to use your hose, but it also wastes a lot of water. And where is this water going? Most likely underneath your house, seeping down near the foundation, or causing other structural damages that are costly to fix. Also, finding a fix for this damage is not easy either, and often involves getting down and dirty in a tiny crawl space to find and mend the broken piece of pipe. Easily avoid all this hassle simply by disconnecting your hose when the weather starts to turn cold.
Cover Your Irrigation System Backflow Preventer
Play it safe and also cover your irrigation system backflow preventer! This will prevent water from freezing and causing damage to the device. With mild spring freezes, it is adequate to simply wrap some insulation around the pipes and secure it with some duct tape, leaving room around the valves for easy access. This will be sufficient to keep your backflow device safe from cracks caused by expanding ice.
When entering the winter season, where temperatures will regularly be below freezing, we suggest turning the shut-off valves. In most residential systems, there are two shut-off valves, typically covered in blue rubber and located on either side of the backflow device. Turn the lower valve 90 degrees to shut off water flow into the device. To release the water that is still left over in the backflow device, loosen the two bleeder valves located just beneath the plastic top of the device with a flat head screwdriver. Once loosened, water will spew out of the valves until all excess water is gone. If the water does not stop after a couple of minutes, check that you fully turned the shut-off valve, as water still may be getting through.
Winterize Your Lawn
Colorado winters are tough on lawns. This is why we suggest that you take this precaution to ensure that your lawn has the best chance of making it through the winter and coming into spring stronger than ever. To read more about winterizing fertilizers, read our blog on The Importance of Winterizing Your Lawn.
Cover any Plants that are Still Growing
It is early enough in the season that many of you likely still have annual flowers, garden vegetables, and the like still growing and thriving. And just because freezing temperatures decide to come early doesn't mean that your plants must also meet an early end. To extend the life of your plants for a few extra weeks, cover them with frost cloth or sheets. This will keep the frost and ice from coming into direct contact with the tender greens, keeping them protected and safe from the elements, and allowing them to grow and thrive for as long as possible. Avoid using plastic to cover your plant material, as this may not provide as much protection as your plants may require. Also avoid using heavy blankets, as the moisture will weigh down the material and likely crush or damage your plants.