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Fall Home-Maintenance Tips

As Winter approaches it’s time to prepare our homes for cold weather. Here are a few recommended tips from Capewide Enterprises that will help lower your utility bills and protect your investment.

Tune up your heating system.

Have your furnace inspected by a trained technician to be sure the system is clean and in good repair so that it can achieve its manufacturer-rated efficiency.

Buy a programmable thermostat.

Energy Star says that, on average, for an initial investment of $50 to $100, you will save $180 annually on heating (and cooling) bills if in winter you keep the thermostat set to no higher than 70 degrees Fahrenheit when you’re at home and awake and no more than 62 degrees when you’re away or asleep. Or, if you already have one, double-check the settings.

Reverse your ceiling fan

If your ceiling fan has a reverse switch, use it to run the fan’s blades in a clockwise direction after you turn on your heat. The fan will produce an updraft and push down into the room heated air from the ceiling (remember, hot air rises).

Inspect your roof

Look for damaged, loose or missing shingles that may leak during winter storms or from melting snow. Check and repair breaks in the flashing seals around vent stacks and chimneys

Divert water away from your home

Even if your gutter system is clean and free-flowing, rainwater can still potentially cause damage if it isn’t carried away from your home. Ensuring proper downspout drainage will help eliminate the possibility of damage to your foundation, basement, and landscaping.

Add extensions to downspouts, such as a longer downspout drain or underground downspout, so water runs at least 3 to 4 feet away from the foundation

Seal air leaks

Sealing air leaks with a combination of weatherstripping, caulk and spray foam can reduce your cooling and heating bills by up to 15 percent when you seal air leaks in windows and doors.

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Homeowner Articles We Love – And You Will Too!

From interesting and informative to amusing and inspiring, we have you covered with a growing collection of homeowner related articles that we come across online. Check back often to see our updated list!

Updated Jan 5, 2016

DIY Energy Audit

How to clean your air conditioner

7 house sounds you don’t want to ignore!

How to pick the perfect accent color

Pet-Friendly Design: Making Room for the Dog Dish

6 Unexpected Places Mold Can Hide In Your Home

Tile Back Splash Ideas for Behind the Range

Creative looks for kitchen cabinets

How to give your front walk and driveway more curb appeal

How to Prevent Water Damage

Five Favorite Granites for Gorgeous Kitchens

How to program your thermostat for real savings!

Kitchen remodeling decisions you’ll never regret

The 15 point checklist before starting a bathroom renovation

Interior Design Benefits of Moving Into a Newly Built Modern Home

Iconic Legends: The 10 Greatest Modern Architects of Our Time

Countertop Material Finder

Contractor Tips: Top 10 Home Remodeling Don’ts

How to pick the right generator

Remodeling or renovating? Good info – How to Read a Floor Plan

The home controlled phone – smartphone controlled gadgets!

Cool home gadgets for your pet

Granite kitchen countertops – Tips to finding your perfect slab

Make the Most of Your Entry Way

Kitchen Planner Tool – By Kohler

Know when to Fix or Replace – from appliances to wood floors

Choosing the Right Kitchen Countertops

9 Steps to Arranging a Well-Organized Kitchen

Home Renovation Checklist – From Planning to Preparation

10 Painless Changes You can Make for a Eco-Friendly Home

The Best Cordless Drills

15 Quick DIY Household Repairs

How Often Should I Pump Out my Septic Tank? by MASS DEP

Top 5 Tool Buying Tips by Bob Vila

20 Tools Every Homeowner Should Have

Crazy Houses: Which One Would You Live In

Creative Ceramics: Top Trends in Tile by BobVila.com

Design your Own Room (Paint your room online virtually) by Benjamin Moore Paint

Kitchen Ideas for design and inspiration

70 Amazing Houses from around the World

47 Skills You Need to Survive Homeownership

10 Rehabbed Homes that Turned Ugly into Unbelieveable

Kiss these Once-popular Home Features Goodbye!

 

 

 

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Tips to Keep Your Septic System in Tip Top Shape

Costly damages due to improper maintenance and handling of your indoor plumbing and outdoor landscaping can result in poor performance or damaging of your septic system. Avoid system back-up and and costly replacement or repair costs by following these tips:

  • Conserve water to reduce the load on your septic system.
  • Divert rain water, from gutters and foundation drainage, away from the septic system.
  • Never flush cat litter, disposable diapers, sanitary napkins, tampons, paper towels, facial tissues, coffee grounds, cigarette butts, or similar items down the toilet.
  • Use garbage disposals wisely as they can double the amount of solids added to a septic tank.
  • Do not pour grease or hazardous chemicals down your drains.
  • Keep trees away from your septic systems to avoid root infestation.
  • Have your septic pumped regularly. Not sure how often? Click here to find out.

Root Infestation of Septic Tank

by Capewide Enterprises

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Disposable Materials Not Suitable for Septic Systems

You can keep your septic tank in good working order by avoiding putting certain products into the system. Many products fill the tank with solid material, which will decrease the efficiency of your septic system and many become solid in the system, or on its way into the system, and can block the passageway.

Be sure all members of the family know what not to flush or put down drains:

Kitchen

Oil
Grease
Large Food Particles
Coffee Grounds
Paper Towels
Cigarette Butts

 

Bathroom

Pharmaceuticals
Non-biodegradable Toilet Paper
Feminine Products
Contraceptives
Diapers
Dental Floss
Disposable Wipes

 

Laundry Room

Powdered Laundry Detergents
Household Cleaners
Bleach
Arts and Crafts Remnants (i.e. Glue)
Cat Litter
Lint

 

Garage

Fertilizers
Pesticides
Paints or Paint Thinner
Mechanical Oil
Gasoline
Solvents
Note: Look for this Septic Safe logo on toilet paper products or use these septic safe toilet paper brands – all of which use 100 % recycled materials – Angel Soft, Charmain Basic, Marcal Small Steps Septic Safe, Green Forest, Seventh Generation

 

 

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Why Should Homeowners Get an Informative Septic Inspection?

In Massachusetts a Title V septic inspection is required before the sale of every home as well as before some remodeling projects. An informative septic inspection can be done at any time at the request of a homeowner to ensure that the condition of the septic system is optimal and functioning properly. By completing an informal inspection, a homeowner can drastically reduce the risk of costly future expenses as well as guarantee that they understand their septic system and the system’s quality.

The benefits of an informative septic inspection are:

・Uncovers defects in the system which can save the homeowner
unexpected expenses

・Helps homeowner understand what possible problem areas require
attention (such as groundwater issues, too much clay in the soil, etc.).

・Gives the homeowner knowledge of the system’s location and condition
for future property changes

・Helps the homeowner understand how their system is operating and
what type of components make up your system

・Offers homeowners relief if the septic system is functioning properly and
offers tips about what can be done to help extend its life

 

Kitchen Remodeling Contractor - Capewide Enterprises Mashpee MA

Remodeling to Sell: Which Projects are Worth Your Money?

Remodeling and home improvements can make a difference to a buyer when there are many homes to choose from. Some home upgrades will increase the value of your home, while at the same time move prospects to buy. At Capewide Enterprises, we have remodeling projects where the homeowner’s  intention is to sell the home. Sometimes a minor project such as removing a wall to open up a room can make a home appear more spacious, but there are certain projects that can make a big difference and have significant returns.

Kitchen and bathroom remodel: Kitchens and bathrooms continue to be two of the best investments you can make in your house when selling. Even a minor kitchen remodel that includes cabinet and counter top replacement can provide a return of 85%. Small changes to your bathroom, such as replacing the vanity, can make a big impression on buyers.

Deck addition: Outdoor living space is as important to buyers as the interior space. A new wood deck provides a large living area at a fraction of the price of an enclosed addition and enjoys an 80-83% return.

Window Replacement: If you still have old wood or aluminum windows replacing them will provide savings appeal because this will add to the energy efficiency of the house. New windows also improve the home’s appearance and can return 70% – 78% of your cost.

Siding Replacement:
Replacing worn out siding can help a home’s exterior look virtually brand new and adds an 80% return at resale.

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How and When to Hire a Professional Plumber

Choosing the right plumber could make the difference between a great experience and a disastrous one. Plumbing problems can always happen at the most inconvenient times. Although there are some simple tasks that a homeowner can fix themselves, there are many plumbing situations in the home that are best left to trained and knowledgeable plumbing technicians. When it comes to looking for plumbing services, the quality of plumbing services for your Cape Cod home should not be compromised. Hiring a plumber is often a quick decision for most homeowners, but it’s also a good idea to select a plumber before a plumbing emergency happens.

What should you look for when hiring a plumber?

Consider the following when finding a professional plumbing company:

Cost: It’s always a good idea to learn about how much plumbing companies charge, as well as what payment methods they accept. How much do they charge in the event of an emergency and do they offer 24 hour emergency service? Ask about regular rates and if there are any other service charges, like dispatch fees & after hours fees.

Credentials: Protect you and your home. Select a plumber that is licensed. Also, be sure to verify that the plumbing and heating company have liability insurance and workman’s compensation.

References and reputation: Ask for references – good plumbing service companies want you to know and see their work experience. Ask for and call references and find out if their customers were satisfied with the workmanship, price, and if there were any communication problems. Look for the company on the Better Business Bureau website. If the company is an accredited business on the Better Business Bureau website, check their rating and read their reviews. Capewide Enterprises is an A+ BBB Accredited Business since 9/2/2005 . Also read any online third party reviews on websites such as Yelp.com, Superpages.com and others. Lastly, ask around, referrals are an excellent way to evaluate a company before you hire them.

Warranties: Does the company you are using provide any type of warranty on the work and parts they do in your home?

Simple questions will help you in finding a qualified plumbing company who can help you with your plumbing needs, whether it’s emergency plumbing services, small plumbing repairs and installations or a major plumbing remodel to your home. Also, develop a long-term relationship with a reputable company. Your next call for service may be for an emergency plumbing service, and you want to use the services of a company that you know and trust.

When should you call a plumbing company?

When the following situations and needs arise, it’s best to hire a professional plumber – no hot water, low water pressure throughout the house, a leaking water heater or toilet, sewer line stoppage or slow drains, frozen pipes, water heater replacement and kitchen and bathroom fixture installation.

Call Capewide Enterprises today at 508-477-8877 for any of your emergency and non-emergency plumbing and heating needs. Get to know us before an emergency arises!

by Capewide Enterprises

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Kitchen Drain Maintenance – Keeping your Drains Clear

Have you ever wondered what happens to the food that goes down the kitchen drain?

Food does not always make it to the septic system. The type of pipes you have, how old they are, how far food has to go to get to the tank and if you have a garbage disposal are all factors that can stop kitchen sink waste from getting to the septic tank. Food can build up in a pipe over time. This blockage could be from a sag in the pipe, the pitch the wrong way or build up from use of a disposal over time.

After I have been to a house for emergency plumbing and the nightmare is over many people ask “What can I do to prevent this from happening again?”. Believe it or not, it is flushing your drains with boiling hot water. For moderate cooking I recommend doing this once a month, for heaving cooking I recommend doing this twice a month. Pouring hot water down the drain loosens up the thick layer of build up. Do not pour oil and grease down the kitchen sink and the use of a stainless steel screened insert helps catch food waste that can go in the garbage instead of the drain. Any little step to help food waste from going down the drain will help.

If you have a plumbing emergency call Capewide Enterprises at 508-477-8877, you will receive prompt and professional service!

By Marvin, Plumber at Capewide Enterprises

Removing flushable wipes from septic chamber

Are Flushable Wipes Septic Safe?

Technicians at Capewide Enterprises have removed flushable wipes from clogged sewer ejection chambers and plumbing piping – and it’s not an easy task! Although flushable wipes are flushable, it’s beyond the toilet where they cause problems. Flushable wipes get caught up in the septic system as well as the pipes of household plumbing (by catching onto cracks) and both will cause household plumbing problems and possible system backup.

Below are images of the removal of flushable wipes that have clogged a sewer ejection pump. To unclog the sewer ejection pump, our technicians had to enter the septic chamber and remove the pump. Extracting flushable wipes from drain pipes and septic chambers can be costly to homeowners and condo/apartment complexes.

Please remember that flushable wipes do not dissolve in septic systems and along with sanitary napkins, tampons, cigarette butts and dryer sheets, they should not be flushed down the toilet.

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Should I Use Septic Additives?

There are many additives on the market that claim to improve biological activity in septic systems. Research has shown that there is little, if any, benefit gained by adding additives to a septic system. Some chemical additives can potentially harm the soil in the drain field and contaminate the groundwater.憎 Most importantly, a wide range of healthy bacteria (microbes) exist in the wastewater and these healthy organisms are needed in the process of the decomposition of the septage.

We do not recommend the use of any additives in septic systems. If you feel your septic system is experiencing problems call Capewide Enterprises today at 508-477-8877 to schedule a visit from one of our experienced technicians.

by Capewide Enterprises