10 Tips to Get Your Home Ready For Spring

It’s been a long cold winter with snow, ice and rain. Your house has been closed up for months and the garage is a mess. Here are 10 tips to getting your home ready for spring.

  1. Inspect and clean out gutters and downspouts
    Inspect and clean debris from gutters and downspouts. Check for signs of leaks or any loose sections. Leaky gutters can cause water damage to your home. If you are not comfortable on a ladder you may want to hire someone to do this.
  1. Inspect roofing shingles for damage
    Do a visual inspection of roofing from the ground to make sure there aren’t any loose or missing shingles from winter storms. High winds can often cause damage to your roof especially if there are trees close to the house with overhanging limbs. If necessary, hire someone to inspect and repair any damaged areas. A leaky roof can cause expensive damage to the structure and interior of the home as well as allow mold to grow inside the walls.
  1. Clean yard and inspect drainage
    Clean debris from yard and look for low areas with poor drainage, especially near the house. Spring rains can cause flooding in the yard which can cause foundation flooding and damage. Pools of water in the yard are also a breeding ground for insects such as mosquitoes. Repair any drainage issues with the yard and landscaping to make sure you don’t have any problems related to standing water or flooding.
  1. Power-wash driveway, walkways, decks and siding
    After a long winter with rain, snow and ice your driveway, walkways, decks and siding need some TLC. Rent or buy a power-washer or hire someone to clean these areas. It’s amazing how a good cleaning can make the exterior of your home look like new again. This is also a good time to clean patio furniture to get it ready for use in warmer weather.
  1. Inspect windows and doors
    Once the exterior of your home has been power-washed, take some time to inspect the windows and doors for damage. Inspect the seals and weather-stripping, the glass, and any exterior caulking and paint. Replace or repair any damaged areas and glass and re-caulk and paint as necessary. This will save money on heating and cooling your home as well as prevent water damage from leaks.
  1. Clean out the garage
    The garage can really take a beating during the cold winter months. No one wants to clean the garage when it’s cold and wet outside. Take some time to open it up and clean the inside of the garage from top to bottom. Throw away any junk or garbage that has accumulated inside the garage and put everything back in its place. Clean mud and debris off the floor from vehicles and boots and check for cracks in the concrete.
    It’s also a good time to thoroughly clean your vehicles, especially the undercarriage, to wash away any mud and salt brine that may have accumulated from driving during the winter months. If you live in an area where the roads are salted to prevent ice and snow buildup on the roads, you want to make sure to wash the residue from your vehicles so it doesn’t cause rust and other damage.
  1. Thoroughly clean and air-out home
    The first warm weekend of spring is a great time to clean the inside of your window and door glass and open them up to let fresh air in, and stale air out, of your home. It’s best to do this before the pollen gets bad later in the season so it doesn’t get inside your home while the windows are open. Months of cooking and living with the windows and doors closed can lead to dust and odor buildup inside your house. A thorough cleaning of rugs, carpets, curtains and furniture will make your home clean and fresh again.
  1. Clean out the Refrigerator
    How long has it been since you took everything out of the refrigerator and cleaned all the shelves and inside surfaces? If it’s been awhile, spring is a great time to mark that chore off the list and get rid of any science experiments that might be growing in the back of the fridge.
  1. Change your home decor
    Most people don’t have the money to change the decor of their homes with each changing season but there are low-cost ways of giving your home a fresh look inside for spring. While you are cleaning your home, think about rearranging the furniture, replacing any old damaged items and possibly doing some painting. Add some flowers and new plants and you’ll be amazed at how new and fresh your home can look on a budget.
  1. Get your garden ready
    Early spring is the time to plan your garden and start sprouting veggies and herbs in small plastic cups inside under grow lights or in a greenhouse. That way you don’t have to wait until it’s warm outside to plant and your garden gets a head start. It’s also a good time to prep the soil in the garden and put up or repair planters and trellises. Take some time to determine what you want to plant, and where, so you know exactly how to proceed when it’s time to get the garden planted.
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McKee Homes Epcon Communities

McKee Homes is currently developing over 20 communities in Eastern North Carolina, three of which are Epcon communities.

What’s an Epcon community? Epcon is a home building company offering franchises to other builders dedicated to serving the luxury, low-maintenance, ranch-style home niche for consumers looking to downsize from their existing home. The homes are specially designed with high-end features and options and built with 36″ wide doorways inside the house and easy access with no stairs between the inside and outside areas. With an Epcon home, homebuyers know they can live in the home into retirement without having to make any modifications to their home.

The Salerno floor plan

McKee Homes offers Epcon homes in The Cottages at North Ramsey in Fayetteville with all exterior home and yard maintenance taken care of by the HOA. It’s an ideal situation for busy professionals, military families and retirees who don’t want spend their free time maintaining their home’s exterior and yard.

We also offer Epcon homes in The Cottages at Carriage Creek and Carriage Glen in Anderson Creek Club where landscaping and yard maintenance is taken care of by the neighborhood association. With all the luxury amenities of a golf club community available there, it’s a real benefit to homeowners not to have to spend their weekends maintaining their yards.

Epcon Communities Franchising Inc. (Epcon) celebrates two important milestones in 2016: 20 years of franchising anchored on a rock-solid foundation of 30 years of homebuilding experience.

“Over the past 30 years, we’ve mastered the concept of low-maintenance, lifestyle housing down to a science,” says Tim Rini, Vice President of Franchising, “Population demographics indicate that we’re just now at the tip of the iceberg in terms of demand. As we celebrate these important milestones in Epcon’s history, we’re ready to meet this underserved market with fast-to-market, winning home solutions for our Franchise Builders.”

Read more about Epcon

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McKee Homes 2015 Year In Review

The New Year is upon us and continued growth is expected for the new home building industry in Eastern North Carolina. As we look toward our goals and tasks for the New Year, January is also a time of reflection on the previous year, and 2015 was a very good, and very busy year for McKee Homes.

McKee Homes passed the five year mark in 2015 and is anticipating continued growth in 2016. The McKee Homes staff has doubled in size over the last year and a half and has made Inc. Magazine’s list of 5000 fastest growing privately held companies for the last two years.

Growing a home building company is not just about selling more houses, but is also about creating better and more efficient processes to be able to handle the increased production and customer service. McKee Homes has put some great people in place to make sure it will continue to serve the Eastern North Carolina new home market with its well-designed and built homes, expert staff, knowledgeable and friendly sales team and 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty package.

In addition to being recognized by Inc. Magazine, McKee Homes made Professional Builder’s 2015 Housing Giants list at #259 in 2015, and had one of its neighborhoods awarded Best Looking Neighborhood in Fayetteville. Pat McKee, President of McKee Homes, received the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce Family-Owned Small Business of The Year award and was inducted as the 2016 President of the Fayetteville Home Builder’s Association.

McKee Homes continued its commitment of giving back in 2015 by sponsoring the Raleigh, Fayetteville, and Wilmington Walk to End Alzheimer’s as well as being involved in several local and national charities.

The 2015 Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Fayetteville, N.C. was the 5th annual Walk hosted and sponsored by McKee Homes in Fayetteville, N.C. as well as the highest attended Walk so far, raising over $90,000 to support Alzheimer’s Association® initiatives, which include Alzheimer’s care and research, and raising awareness of this devastating disease. Over the past five years, the Fayetteville Walk to End Alzheimer’s has raised over $250,000.

McKee Homes also worked with and Mountain Real Estate Capital to build a home for a wounded veteran at Legacy Lakes in Aberdeen, N.C. The Dedication Ceremony on August 18 at which SGT (Ret.) Rivenbark and his wife, Yulia, assumed ownership of their home drew a crowd of neighbors, friends and dignitaries, including Lt. Governor Dan Forest and Congresswoman Renee Ellmers.

McKee Homes is one of the few home builders in North Carolina experienced with the Specially Adapted Housing guidelines, processes and additional inspections, required to design and construct adaptive floor plans for the physically disabled, including wounded veterans and aging retirees.

To get more information about McKee Homes and see floor plans and available properties, please visit or call 910-672-7296.

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Best Budget Hotels in Wilmington, NC

Planning a trip to the largest historic city in North Carolina but are not sure where to stay? Whether you are visiting on vacation or are in town for a business trip, you just may find yourself wanting to stay! While you begin dreaming about new homes in Wilmington, NC, here are several suggestions for your upcoming short-term stay.

Types of Lodging
In addition to the numerous hotels and motels around town, there are many different types of lodging available. There are condos for rental, quaint guest rooms available by the night, and suites with full kitchens for those who want to eat in occasionally. Some hotels are located on the beach while others are conveniently placed in the historic downtown. Here are four budget-friendly hotels worth considering:

Ramada Inn Conference Center
This hotel offers standard rooms in a convenient location, with affordable and competitive rates. The room includes free breakfast, with an on-site restaurant if you want to stay in for lunch or dinner.

TownePlace Suites by Marriott
The TownePlace Suites by Marriott prides itself on being friendly and welcoming, the perfect base for your Cape Fear getaway. It offers competitive rates, even over holiday weekends, and each suite includes a full kitchen with a stovetop and refrigerator. The hotel is close to downtown and includes a 24-hour on-site business center.

Beach House Inn and Suites
Although located about twenty minutes from the city, the Beach House Inn and Suites might be worth considering! The property includes a variety of suites and oceanfront rooms, with easy access to sites and events in the area.

Riverview Suites at Water Street Center
Depending on when you are traveling, you may be able to get a decent rate at the Riverview’s affiliate, the Hilton Riverside. However, staying at the Riverview might be worth it thanks to its all-suites design, complete with full kitchens so you can prepare some of your own meals. Guests at either hotel can enjoy the fitness center, heated outdoor pool, and more.

A Word to the Wise
If you are traveling for vacation, you may want to consider staying at a bed and breakfast or in a vacation rental. However, these may be more costly than a hotel for a short-term stay. Do you have flexible travel dates? If you are looking for a place to stay on a budget, consider traveling during off-peak times. Hotel rates tend to rise during the summer tourist season, so try coming a few weeks before or after. With some competitive shopping, you should be able to find the perfect place to stay within your budget.

If you decide that coastal living is for you, contact McKee Homes for more information on new construction in Wilmington, NC. Our energy-efficient homes are expertly crafted and built in the area’s most attractive, up-and-coming neighborhoods. Let us help you find your dream home.

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Fun Local Events in Wilmington, NC

Are you hoping to relocate to a friendly, arts-oriented community along the Southeast Coast? Many people are building new homes in Wilmington, NC to enjoy the city’s temperate weather and year-round festivities and events, from street fairs to flower festivals. Whether you are in the area for a few days or are considering staying long-term, here are several fun, local events to check out:

Events for Hobbyists

Are you interested in antiques, gardening, or old films? The city is home to countless small hobbyist festivals, including the:

  • Cucalorus Film Festival: This is one of the biggest events in the area, attracting more than 14,000 people from around the world to view over 200 films in historic downtown theaters. In addition to films, the festival includes kid-friendly activities, workshops, keynote speakers, and programs on dance, social justice, and more.
  • North Carolina Azalea Festival: Many locals say that it never truly feels like spring until after the North Carolina Azalea Festival, held every year in April as the flowers reach peak bloom. This five-day event, which began in 1948, includes a street fair, horse show, home and garden tours, and the crowning of the Azalea Queen, Princesses, and Belles.
  • Wine and Chocolate Festival: This much-loved weekend event includes tastings, food demonstrations, live entertainment, and more.
  • Model Railroad Show: Held in January each year, the Cape Fear Model Railroad Society Show and Sale has something for everyone! Dozens of vendors set up booths and working model train displays, with free clinics on display techniques for those interested.

Music Festivals

This coastal city attracts and celebrates music of all kinds, including these three annual events:

  • North Carolina Jazz Festival: This festival is typically held in early February, attracting big names and local musicians alike for over 35
  • Cape Fear Blues Festival: Held during the last weekend of July each year, this festival attracts local, regional, and national blues musicians. Formal concerts and more casual live performances are presented across the city in various venues.
  • Airlie Garden Concert Series: Are you more interested in hearing a mix of different styles of music? Airlie Gardens hosts two-hour concerts twice a month from May to September. Bring a blanket and picnic supper to make it a perfect evening out.

Community Events

Additional community events abound in the city, giving both tourists and locals the chance to feel at home. Here are three local gatherings worth attending:

  • Coastal Living Show: This annual, two-day event serves as a fundraiser for the local Woman’s Club and attracts vendors from across the city. Visitors can stop by over 80 booths for gifts, products, foods, and services that tell you all about life on the coast.
  • Riverfest Street Fair: Typically held in early October, this enormous street fair celebrates the city’s heritage with live performances, fireworks, food, and crafts.
  • Riverfront Farmers’ Market: Offering the very best produce and treats from local farmers and business owners, this farmers’ market is open nearly every Saturday between April and December.

The city’s annual events include additional festivals for music, seafood, flowers, and more. With so many great events year-round, you would be missing out if you chose to live anywhere else! Contact McKee Homes today for more information on new homes in Wilmington, NC.

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5 Best Restaurants in Wilmington, NC

If you are considering contacting home builders in Wilmington, NC, then you must already know some of the benefits of living in this historic, arts-oriented city. However, did you know that the area is also known for its large number of high-quality, must-try restaurants? The best places are sprinkled throughout town, from the area around the university to practically anywhere along the waterfront. As the locals say, throw a rock and you will hit a good restaurant! Here are five of our top picks:

  1. Genki Sushi
    Genki Sushi is the place to go for fresh, authentic sushi. Everything on the menu is hand-prepared or homemade, including the sauces. The restaurant offers a true Japanese taste experience, with dishes like shrimp tempura and udon noodles. Plus, the owners are candid about the menu, using pi-water for drinking and cooking, with no chemicals or MSG in sight.
  2. Nikki’s Fresh Gourmet and Sushi
    Are you looking for a top-quality menu that includes sushi as well as vegetarian and organic dishes? Nikki’s Fresh Gourmet is highly rated by locals and tourists alike. You can visit its original location on Front Street as well as its locations in the mall and near the university. Another option is Nikki’s Hibachi Steak House, featuring hibachi dining along with the restaurant’s famous sushi.
  3. Cape Fear Seafood Company
    If you prefer your fish pan-seared, grilled, or otherwise prepared, stop by the Cape Fear Seafood Company. This locally owned restaurant prides itself on offering dishes with fresh ingredients in a relaxing atmosphere. Enjoy the extensive wine list, local art on the walls, and not-to-be-missed menu.
  4. Caprice Bistro
    For a taste of Europe with French and Belgian cuisine, plan a visit to the Caprice Bistro. Stop by the upstairs lounge for drinks and hors d’oeuvres, or enjoy a meal of fresh mussels, trout, or lamb downstairs. More favorites include the French onion soup, bistro steak, and fresh pasta.
  5. Paddy’s Hollow
    If you want comfort food in a great environment, look no further than Paddy’s Hollow, a pub located in a restored cotton warehouse. The restaurant has numerous beers on tap to complement entrees including grilled salmon, shrimp po boy, and shepherd’s pie. Locals cite it as a great place to stop for dinner before going out for the night, or anytime you want a meal in a great atmosphere.

Bonus: The Peppered Cupcake
No list of great restaurants would be complete without an option for dessert! This little shop offers gourmet cupcakes crafted with unique flavor combinations. Flavors include apple crisp, bourbon black cherry and vanilla cobbler, German chocolate, maple and bacon, and crème brûlée. Their everyday menu includes seven flavors, with other varieties depending on the day.

You may not be able to try dining at all of these restaurants unless you move to the area! Contact McKee Homes, expert home builders in Wilmington, NC, for more information on finding your perfect home.

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Top 5 Budget Hotels in Raleigh, NC

Are you looking at new homes in Raleigh, NC and need a place to stay for a few days? Or maybe you’ve moved out of your home while home builders in Raleigh, NC are renovating your living space. The Raleigh area has some great budget-friendly hotels for a comfortable stay. Some are even pet-friendly. Here are the Top 5 Budget Hotels in Raleigh, NC.

  1. Econo Lodge Inn and Suites
    Just a few minutes from the downtown area, off the I-440 and U.S. Highway 1, you will find the Econo Lodge. Convenient to the Convention and Conference Center, Alltel Pavilion and the North Carolina State Capitol Building, guests can enjoy free Internet access, coffee, deluxe continental breakfast and free local calls – perfect when you need to talk to your home builders in Raleigh, NC.
  2. Days Inn
    Great location, good value and free Wi-Fi are all on offer at Days Inn. Comfort and cost-savings are the key criteria here and the hotel boasts 135 pet-friendly rooms complete with all the usual amenities to make your stay feel like home-away-from-home. There are two restaurants adjacent to the property and a selection of museums nearby.
  3. America’s Best Value Inn-Crabtree/Raleigh
    Convenient location, attractive rooms and wallet-friendly prices attract guests to the three story hotel. There’s also a free deluxe continental breakfast, guest laundry and on-site fitness facilities. The hotel is situated close to the North Hills Mall and is the perfect base from which to explore Raleigh homes for sale.
  4. Super 8, Raleigh
    Free local calls, parking and free breakfast as well as pet-friendly rooms can be found at Super 8. All rooms have cable TVs, refrigerators, internet access, microwaves and work desks. Just 1 mile from the Crabtree Valley Mall, Super 8 is also close to the Exploris Museum, Convention Center and only 14 miles from Raleigh-Durham International Airport.
  5. Best Western
    If you want to stay somewhere a little more upscale without breaking the budget, try the Best Western. The hotel in North-Downtown sits in a prime location and offers guests free parking, breakfast and Wi-Fi. The three story hotel is pet-friendly and boasts premium cable, coin laundry and an outdoor pool to cool off in after a long day of looking for Raleigh homes for sale. The hotel is a quick 3 miles from many of the downtown attractions, including the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and the North Carolina Museum of Art. It also sits a mere five miles away from the Time Warner Pavilion at Walnut Creek as well as Crabtree Valley Mall. It is 15 miles from the Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

Being close to the best Raleigh has to offer doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

Staying in a budget-friendly hotel is one of the best ways to spend more time discovering the Raleigh, NC area while looking for new construction in Raleigh, NC.

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7 Important New Home Winter Maintenance Tips

Written by John Rives

It’s that time of year again where most of us are starting to think of Halloween costumes for the kids and young-at-heart adults, Thanksgiving with family and friends, and the holiday season. The days are shorter, the air is cooler and it’s time to break out the jackets, sweaters and cool-weather cloths.

It’s also time to do some home maintenance to get your house ready for the upcoming cold weather of late autumn and winter. Use these 7 important new home winter maintenance tips to help save money on heating and keep your home and yard in good shape through the cold winter months.

Even if you have a new home, you still need to prepare for winter.

  1. Test your heater before it gets cold to make sure it is working properly
  2. Replace the HVAC air filter
  3. Check smoke alarms
  4. Reverse the direction of ceiling fans to blow down
  5. Clean gutters and roof
  6. Drain irrigation lines
  7. Drain gas from mowers and trimmers

1) Don’t wait until its cold outside to try out your heater for the fist time. Even newer units can sometimes fail or need service. It will be much faster to get any needed service if you schedule the service while the weather is still mild instead of after the first really cold day when HVAC service companies are backed up with service calls.

2) Replace the HVAC filter/s in your home. Dirty filters make it hard for your HVAC system to move air through your heating ducts. Clean filters make for cleaner air inside your home and will help protect your HVAC system for years to come. Watch our short video about how to replace an HVAC air filter.

3) Test your smoke alarms using the TEST button on the face of the alarm. You might want to wear ear plugs while doing this as the high pitched noise from the alarm can be quite loud. If you see a red light blinking on the face of the alarm instead of a green light, you probably need to replace the battery backup in the alarm. That way even if the power goes out, the alarm will still work and be able to alert you to any smoke in your home.

4) Most ceiling fans have a switch that will reverse the rotational direction of the fan blades. You want your ceiling fans to blow air down (usually clockwise) in the winter as the warm air will rise to the ceiling and blowing it back down into the rooms with ceiling fans will help keep your home warmer and might even save money by allowing you to use your heater less.

5) With all the rain, sleet and snow of winter it’s important to make sure you clean all the pine needles and/or leaves from your roof so they don’t end up clogging your gutters and downspouts. It’s a good idea to clean out the gutters as well to make sure they can handle the water from rain and snow melt in the winter. It’s also a good idea to add extensions to the downspout outlet to keep water away from the foundation of your home and make sure your yard drainage is working so you don’t end up with standing water in your yard. Read our article on why you may have standing water in your yard to get tips on how to avoid this problem.

6) Don’t forget to drain your irrigation system before it freezes and you end up with broken lines. It’s easy to forget about the water in the irrigation system once it gets cool outside and you are no longer using it. You may want to call a professional to do this to make sure it is done correctly. It doesn’t cost that much and it will be well worth it to know the next time you need your lawn sprinklers, they will be ready to go. Make sure to turn off all exterior faucets and disconnect any hoses. It’s a good time to roll up and put away any hoses still in the yard and keep them in good shape for next year.

7) It’s not a good idea to leave gas in mowers, trimmers, or anything with a small gas engine for extended periods as the gas can eventually decompose and leave a varnish inside the carburetor and plastic tubing. The easiest way to remove all the gas from small engines is to drain the gas tank and then run the engine until it runs out of gas. Check your manual for other cold-weather storage tips.

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McKee Homes Warranty

By Kenny Jones and Charmaine Simmons

One of the most common questions new homeowners have is ‘how do I submit warranty requests and schedule the work to be done?’ McKee Homes enrolls all new homeowners in our 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty program upon closing. This program provides 1-year workmanship, 2-year systems and 10-year structural coverage. In an effort to provide exceptional customer service we have partnered with 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty, one of the nation’s leading home warranty companies, to handle all homeowner warranty requests under their Front Line Warranty Service Program.

During your Pre-Closing orientation, your Builder will show you a sample McKee Homes homeowner’s manual and cover some of its key points. Shortly after closing, you will receive an email with login information for your BuilderTrend account. This is where your personalized homeowner’s manual will be located. Your homeowner’s manual provides a wealth of information, including:

  • 2-10 Home Buyer’s Warranty information and warranty manual
  • Emergency service numbers for plumbing, HVAC and electrical
  • Seasonal maintenance guide
  • 30-day and 11-month warranty service request forms

The 2-10 warranty manual explains what is covered under warranty and what is not covered, so it is a great reference tool. The emergency numbers are for the trade partners who helped build your home. If something happens with your electrical, HVAC or plumbing that needs immediate attention, you know whom to contact. The seasonal maintenance guides are informational and provide suggestions on how to help maintain your home and avoid costly repairs later on.

The warranty service request forms can be used to fill out at 30-day and 11-months after closing to address any issues you may find in your home. These forms are optional, as 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty will take your warranty items over the phone, through email, fax and mail. All contact information can be found in your homeowner’s manual. We do recommend keeping a running list so you can be sure to get all of your items addressed at one time. Once our Front Line Warranty Service team receives your warranty items they will determine what is covered and what is not covered. The items that are covered under warranty will be scheduled for repair with you by the Builder in your neighborhood. Our warranty system does not offer reminders at 30-day and 11-months after closing, so putting a reminder on a calendar may help remind you when it’s time to turn in the lists.

If you have a warranty issue with your appliances you will need to contact the appliance supplier directly. Their contact information can be found in your homeowner’s manual.

It is our goal to make sure any issues with your new home are resolved in a timely manner. From minor issues such as nail pops to more complex issues that occasionally occur, our 2-10 Home Buyer’s Warranty Program will protect your investment in your new home. Should you ever need to sell your home, the warranty is fully-transferable, which increases the resale value of the home.

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Maintaining Your Septic System

By Tracy Green and Charmaine Simmons

When you think about the maintenance of the systems in your home your first thoughts are probably HVAC, electrical and plumbing. However, one overlooked and undervalued system in your home is actually outside your home, the septic system. As with all the systems in your home, if you properly maintain your septic system you can avoid costly repairs.

First, understanding how a septic system works will help you maintain it. The wastewater from your home leaves through a pipe and goes to the septic tank. The waste separates into solid waste (sludge) that sinks to the bottom and oil and grease (scum) rises to the top. There are bacteria in the septic tank that helps to breakdown the sludge. The wastewater then exits the septic tank and goes into the drainage field. The wastewater is released into the soil which removes harmful bacteria, viruses and nutrients.

So one thing you have to watch is what you put down your drains (that goes into your septic tank). Everything that goes down your drains should be biodegradable and septic safe. Flushing things like dental floss, feminine products, paper towels, coffee grounds and other kitchen and bathroom products can clog the tank and drain field. Also, household chemicals, paint, oils and grease can kill the good bacteria in your septic tank. If you have a garbage disposal, you will want to use it sparingly as it will increase the accumulation of sludge and scum.

Another thing to be aware of when you have a septic system is how much water you are using. Per the EPA, the average single-home family uses 70 gallons of indoor water per person per day. Leaking faucets and running toilets can waste as much as 200 gallons per day. Faucet aerators and high efficiency toilets and showerheads can help reduce excess water usage. Many people like the convenience of washing all their laundry in one day, but with a septic system you need to give your tank time to recover. So it’s recommended to spread your washing, otherwise you risk flooding your drainage field.

Knowing where your septic tank and drainage field are is also very important. You don’t’ want to put anything heavy like a shed, parked car or RV, cement or pool in this area as it can damage the tank and pipes as well as compromise the drainage field. Another thing that can damage your septic system are large trees and shrubs. Roots, especially aggressive roots that come with Willows, can damage pipes and the tank.

Having your tank pumped regularly is part of proper maintenance. Professionals typically charge between $200-$300 for this service, however, it can vary by region. Keep in mind that if they have to dig to find your septic tank that will incur additional fees. When your tank is pumped they should also inspect the tank to make sure everything is in good working condition. The frequency of pumpings varies between owners. No matter the size of your family, if you have a garbage disposal it is recommended that you pump your system annually. If you are a family of four with no garbage disposal, it’s recommended every 2-3 years. If you are a family of two with no garbage disposal, it’s recommended every 4-5 years.

Every few months using a septic tank system treatment, like Rid-X®, by pouring into your toilet can add the bacteria necessary to keep your septic tank performing optimally. For those of you who like homemade treatments, you can pour a liter of spoiled buttermilk down the toilet every few months, as it too is a great source of bacteria. If you notice anything that seems off with your septic system, it is best to contact a professional immediately to address any issues as early as possible.

While this system doesn’t need constant supervision, remembering these key things will help prolong the life of your septic system.


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