Well, it’s that time of year again. The leaves have fallen and temperatures have dropped. This also means that it is time to shut down your irrigation system. Although not as necessary as other parts of the country, here in the New Jersey our irrigation systems should be winterized to avoid damage caused by freezing temperatures. Sprinkler pipes and other components are at risk of freezing and breaking when temperatures drop below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Immediate damage can occur to exposed pipes and sprinkler apparatus with the first freeze of winter. Further damage can result as extended freezing temperatures and wind chill conditions cause the soil to freeze at the same depth as the underground pipes. In many cases, homeowners are not aware that their pipes have sustained damage until they begin watering in the spring and discover leaks in their yards! Taking the necessary steps for protecting your irrigation system now will avoid costly repairs in the springtime. Even so, you should still do pre-season maintenance each year in early spring!