Monarch Landscaping Logo

4 Common Irrigation Issues and Solutions in Houston's Commercial Landscapes

5 Minute Read

Ask any HOA board member or commercial property manager in Houston what their biggest landscaping headache is, and you’re bound to hear the same answer: irrigation problems.

Irrigation problems in Houston are among the most exasperating and costly of landscaping challenges out there. Not only do they gobble up your budget, but they also waste precious resources. From withering flower beds to parched lawns, many of the frustrations we face with our landscapes can be traced right back to a faulty irrigation system. 

And in a city like Houston, where the weather swings between scorching heat and sporadic deluges, the stakes are even higher. Let’s explore some of the most common irrigation system problems and some strategies to help rein in both wasted resources and lost revenue.

Why is Addressing Irrigation System Problems in Houston so Important?

Irrigation problems in Houston can be uniquely challenging. Our sultry climate and lack of regular precipitation make having an efficient sprinkler system even more important. You have invested a lot into your commercial landscape and cannot afford to replace your turf and plantings because of a broken or poorly operating irrigation system. 


In addition to damage to your landscape, an irrigation system that is not properly functioning can cost you thousands in wasted water. Most commercial businesses have a set budget for the year for landscaping services, and an inefficient irrigation system can quickly eat that up. 

Unfortunately, commercial landscape irrigation problems impact more than just your budget. Water is a finite resource, and wasting it through inefficient irrigation practices can lead to depletion of water sources such as rivers, lakes, and aquifers. This can create water scarcity issues, especially during a drought.

4 Common Irrigation Problems in Houston

Problem 1: Over or Under Watering

One of the most common sprinkler system problems in Houston is either too much or too little water. Over watering can lead to boggy soil, which can harm plant growth, cause disease, and degrade the soil quality. Additionally, excess water runoff can carry fertilizers and pesticides into water bodies, leading to unintended pollution and ecosystem damage. On the other hand, under watering your plantings and turf areas can result in a struggling landscape and eventually dead plants.

sprinkler head waters grass

Houston Irrigation Solution for Over or Under Watering

Because each commercial landscape is different, it is tricky to suggest a one-size-fits-all watering plan. However, we recommend using a smart water platform that adjusts run times according to the current conditions. Irrigation system upgrades, like installing a smart irrigation system such as Weathermatic, may seem costly, however, the technology ends up saving time and money. Here are a few additional tips to help effectively water your landscape:

  • During droughts, be sure to increase watering times. With extreme heat, you may need to water as often as 4-5 days a week or have multiple run times.
  • Be sure your landscape beds and turf are installed on separate zones and run times are set appropriately for each. 
  • Landscape beds perform best with spray heads or drip lines. 
  • Turf areas perform best with rotors.
  • Rotors and drip lines require longer run times than spray zones.

Problem 2: Clogged Sprinkler Heads and Drip Lines

Most irrigation systems will experience clogged spray heads or drip lines at some point in time. Clogged irrigation heads cause a problem because they distribute water through your landscape unevenly, which results in some areas receiving too much water and others not receiving enough. In addition, water is often wasted, especially if the clogged area results in overspray onto sidewalks or buildings.

irrigation experts adjust sprinkler system heads

Houston Irrigation Solution for Clogged Sprinkler Heads and Drip Lines

Thankfully, the irrigation repair services for clogged sprinkler heads is quite simple. A clogged spray head may just need to be flushed out with water or the nozzle may need to be replaced. A clogged section of drip line will typically require replacement of the isolated section.

Problem 3: Irrigation System Leaks

One of the most frustrating irrigation system problems are leaks as they are the largest cause of water loss. Not only do leaks cause water waste, they can be costly repairs depending on the severity. The two most common types of leaks are main line leaks and lateral leaks. Main line leaks drip continuously as long as the water is turned on at the meter and backflow device, which means even when the system is not actively running it is still leaking. Lateral line leaks are tied back to a zone or individual valve and will only leak when the specific zone in the system is running.


Houston Irrigation Solution for Irrigation System Leaks

Sprinkler system leaks are a problem that needs a certified professional. Identifying or finding leaks can be challenging even for the most seasoned expert, so be sure the irrigation contractor you have hired has experience. There are varying complexities to leaks such as tree roots, ground movement, old and brittle pipes etc. but they can always be repaired once they have been located.

Problem 4: Outdated Irrigation Technology

While it may not seem urgent like a system leak or clogged spray head, outdated water management technology is a big reason commercial properties have problems with their irrigation. Smart irrigation technology allows you to manage water efficiently, keep excess costs down, and reduce overall water loss.


Houston Irrigation Solutions for Your Commercial Property

The most effective way to prevent large and costly problems with your irrigation system is to have experts regularly inspect your system. At Monarch, we typically inspect irrigation systems monthly, however, we can inspect more frequently as needed. 

During an inspection, you can expect that all settings will be looked over and adjusted on the controller for the current weather trends. A walkthrough of the system will be completed where minor adjustments like unclogging a nozzle or tweaking the direction of a sprinkler head will be made. Additionally, all necessary repairs will be identified and documented to provide a proposed solution. 

irrigation technicians inspect sprinkler system

These regular inspections ensure your system is running efficiently and helps to prevent unnecessary water loss or plant decline. Working proactively, instead of reactively, helps to save you both money and water.

Partnering with Expert Irrigation Services in Houston, TX

Irrigation systems are absolutely essential for your landscape to thrive, and investing the time and money to regularly maintain them helps to ensure a healthy landscape for years to come. Whether your landscape is being over or under watered, your sprinkler heads are clogged, you have a leak in your lines, or simply outdated irrigation technology, partnering with an expert in irrigation repair services is key. 

With over 20 years in the commercial landscape industry, we understand the struggle of maintaining a commercial irrigation system. Our experienced and licensed professionals can handle whatever your sprinkler system needs. 

Ready to partner with us to maintain your commercial irrigation system? Start by filling out our contact form today!

Get Started

Written By: Monarch Landscape Management

© 2022 Monarch Landscape Management