The maintenance of your septic system is critical to the health of your family and the economic stability of your neighborhood. It’s also cheaper than straight-up replacing the system, so make sure to check in with it every so often.
- Pump your septic tank every three years. Jet baffles if needed.
- Test your septic tank alert every year; don’t wait for it to go off. That means there’s something wrong.
While staying on top of your appliances indoors is crucial, the exterior of your home is also important—and not just for aesthetic purposes. Keeping up with the exterior of your home will improve its long-term health and keep you and your family safe from the elements.
- Clean your gutters at least twice a year.
- Power wash your siding once a year.
Here in the northeastern corner of the country, keeping your home warm is of the utmost importance, no matter what method of heating you prefer.
- Oil heated homes: Be sure the gauge on the tank is working.
- Electric heated homes: Be sure there’s nothing against the baseboard.
- Wood fireplaces: Be sure to check and clean once a year.
You might be as skilled as Gordon Ramsey in the kitchen, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stay as safe as possible. Safety is one of the most basic psychological needs, so satisfy it while satisfying one of the other most important ones: food.
- Change out your smoke detector batteries annually.
- Install a fire extinguisher in your kitchen.
Much like how a healthy septic system is critical to the health of your family, keeping your water clean is just as important.
- Test your well once a year for bacteria.
- Water softener/conditioner: Add salt every month.
Many properties in the Pocono Mountains and the Lehigh Valley are situated either in the woods or close to a wooded area, so creepies and crawlies are pretty much everywhere. Deter pests from making your home their home and get on a yearly bug program. Many will offer plans for three sweeps a year; it’s worth it!
Basements are typically more affected by excessive moisture than other levels of homes; dehumidifiers can keep the dampness at bay, so if you have a basement and not a dehumidifier, you should get one. Once you have one set up, set it at 40% and leave it there.
Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from the soil. Radon gas exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the US and, while it usually doesn’t present a health risk outdoors because it is diluted in the open air, it can build up to dangerous levels inside a house. Radon-resistant construction techniques include a “passive” radon system. This system overcomes the vacuum effect experienced by most homes by creating a pressure barrier to the entry of radon. The system also includes a pipe to transport radon gas safely outdoors.
Sometimes a passive radon system is not enough to prevent radon from entering the house. In this case, a fan can be installed to pull the radon gas from the ground underneath into the vent pipe, where it can be exhausted outside the house. The installation of a fan and its related wiring produces a “functional” radon cycle. If you do have one of these more active radon systems, make sure the fan is always running so the system is always functional.