By Melissa Garcia

DENVER (CBS4)– Residents along the Front Range are getting ready for colder, wintry weather.

Snow was expected to fall in the Denver metro area on Sunday night, with the first hard freeze to hit on Monday night, according to CBS4 Meteorologist Ashton Altieri.

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A hard freeze refers to a period of at least four hours of air temperatures below 25 degrees.

Homeowners started getting their sprinkler systems winterized, just in time for the first snowfall.

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Experts advised those who are unable to shut down sprinkler systems prior to the freeze to cover any exposed outdoor piping with an old coat or blanket and a plastic bag.

The phones were ringing non-stop Friday at Mile-Hi Sprinklers.

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CBS4’s Melissa Garcia followed Matt Calaway, a sprinkler technician, as he helped residents prepare for the colder days ahead.

“The most important thing about my job is to shut off the water that supplies the sprinkler system,” Calaway said.

Matt Calaway with Mile-Hi Sprinklers (credit: CBS)

As the leaves start to fall, so will the temperatures – leaving sprinkler pipes vulnerable.

“Over the winter time, pipes underground a lot of times will become damaged from being frozen,” explained Calaway, as he hooked up an air compressor to blow the water out of the sprinkler system at a Denver home.

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The service can prevent costly leaks that cause underground pipes to break.

“A little bit of maintenance goes a long way,” added Mark Karla, who has his sprinklers blown out every fall before the first freeze.

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Sprinkler winterization was just one of several tasks on Karla’s list to bring in the new season. Other tasks included putting snow tires on his car as well as adding a few more inches of insulation to his home to keep warm air in.

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“We live in Colorado. If you get tired of the weather, just wait a few hours and it’s going to change,” Karla joked, of the state’s fluctuating weather trends.

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To prepare for the change, homeowners are also advised to turn off the hose spigot and disconnect the hose.

Melissa Garcia has been reporting for CBS4 News since March 2014. Find her bio here, follow her on Twitter @MelissaGarciaTV, or send your story idea to mkgarcia@cbs.com.

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