Can a Sprinkler System Cause Water Damage?

A sprinkler system can provide convenience and relief when keeping your grass healthy, especially if you live in a dry climate or are experiencing a drought.

It’s also important to make sure it is functioning properly as to avoid over-watering your grass and flooding your home. Leaks, overwatering, and drainage issues are all troublesome and can cause major water damage to your foundation and basement if you’re not careful.

So yes, sprinkler systems absolutely can cause water damage.

Sprinkler System

How Sprinkler Systems Cause Water Damage

There is also the issue that the runoff isn’t soaking into the ground, so the water is running against the foundation each day, draining into the base and causing water damage in your basement. In addition, the ground will swell and contract, which causes the foundation to move and even crack.

So, if the foundation isn’t well built or even has minor issues, the cracks and movement can result in broken pipes and leaks, which creates even more water damage. If the water does rise above the foundation line, it will seep in through the holes and cracks, essentially soaking into your walls and flooring.

There can also be a heavy rainstorm while your sprinklers are running, but you’re not able to turn them off. All the water will eventually flow into your home’s foundation and/or basement. It may even build up around the doors, windows, and vents to your basement, causing major flooding and mold growth.

Worst of all, you may not even notice this kind of water damage until 1-2 days after it has damaged your foundation. You may notice by simply hearing a water leak, finding less pressure from your faucets, or smelling a musty odor in your basement. By then, mold most likely has started to grow, and a mold remediation professional must be called to address it right away.

Here are some more tips on how to find leaks in your sprinkler system:

  • sprinkler leakCheck your water bill to see if there’s a sudden spike, such as a higher usage or the bill is higher than normal
  • Check your sewer bill to see if you’re being billed for a higher amount
  • Inspect your yard for soft spots. One good way of doing this is checking to see if your lawn mower leaves tire impressions in small spots, which indicates the site of a leaky irrigation pipe.

If you see any signs listed above, be sure to have them addressed by a landscaping professional as well as a water damage restoration professional if you have water or flood damage in your foundation or basement.

Here are some additional tips to protect your yard and home from sprinkler system water damage:

  • Clean the filter. The filter is usually located between the water main and valve box. Keep in mind they should be cleaned at the beginning of the season and at least once each month during irrigation season. Also know that small heads have filters that will also need to be cleaned regularly.
  • Look for underground leaks. If sprinklers aren’t spraying as far as they should or they indicate signs of dirty water, you most likely have an underground leak.
  • Inspect for gushers, blow-outs, and separations. Wet spots and gushing water will indicate where repairs will need to occur.
  • Change the timing. Your sprinkler system won’t need to run every day. Experts recommend 30 minutes three times a week and to avoid the system running during the hottest times of the day. You’ll lose moisture to evaporation. You can also set a timer to prevent the system from running longer than needed, especially if you are out of the house or forget about the running system.
  • Check the design of the sprinkler system. Always keep sprinklers away from your home, ensuring it doesn’t spray it directly, so the water doesn’t run down the wall and into the foundation. This also goes for the windows and window wells. A good rule of thumb is to keep it at least two feet away from your home.
  • Inspect the ground. Take note of the rain schedule. If you are running your sprinkler system right after it rains, your grass may feel spongy when walking on it. Make sure to always inspect the condition of your yard before turning on the sprinkler system.

Flooded Basement

flooded basementWhile there are steps you can take to prevent the sprinkler system from causing water or flood damage to your foundation or basement, there’s nothing you can do to completely prevent your basement from being flooded. From burst pipes to rainstorms to sewage backups, water damage is no joke and should never be taken lightly.

When your basement is flooded, don’t hesitate to reach out to a water damage restoration professional. If you live near Buffalo Grove, IL or the surrounding areas, ServiceMaster DAK is available 24/7 to help home and business owners restore their basements from disastrous floods.

Our professionals will respond right away to extract any standing water and set up air movers and dehumidifiers to remove the remaining moisture from the affected items and spaces. We will also apply anti-microbials during the drying process.

Following the drying process, we will work with your insurance adjuster during the claims process.

Available 24/7

For help with your flooded basement or mold growth in the Barrington, IL area, contact ServiceMaster DAK at (847) 459-3900.


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