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Owner Builder Network®
7102 FM 1488
Magnolia, TX 77354
(281) 356-9050

Atomic8Ball e-Newsletter

Happy Spring Everybody! ! !
From All of Us at Owner Builder Network®
Phone - 281-356-9050

With all the rain in our area it has been difficult to get slabs down. In some cases there can be a 3 month or more delay. This is a good reason not to wait to the last minute come in to start planning and preparing cost. Call us today at 281-356-9050 for a free appointment to sit down with a Sales Consultant to discuss budget and land.

Owner Builder Network

Common Pest and Your Home

The list of new responsibilities can seem overwhelming when you buy a home or become a first-time homeowner. One responsibility that tends to get overlooked until it becomes a larger issue is that of household pests. A household pest is "a destructive insect or other animal that attacks" your home. Pests range throughout the U.S., but the most common pests are those that have become almost commonplace in our lives. Here are some of the most common pest encountered by homeowners throughout the U.S., and what you can do to help prevent pests in your home.

Owner Builder Network

Most common Spring and Summer Pests:

Ants: Ants are the most common household pests in the north central states. They are social insects, and they have a wide variety of nesting habits. Ants can build nests in soil, behind moldings, baseboards and counter tops, and some types nest in decaying or moisture damaged wood. Ants will feed on all types of food, and ant damage varies. Most ants cause little damage, but carpenter ants can weaken wood structures similar to termites, and the majority of ants don't transmit diseases.
Flies: Flies are some of the most annoying pests in the home. They land on almost every surface, and their diet includes a wide variety of foods: human food, animal food, animal carcasses, garbage and excrement. Flies also carry germs and diseases. They are known to transfer over 100 pathogens, some of which include salmonella, anthrax, tuberculosis, and the eggs of parasitic worms.
Spiders: Spiders are generally not harmful and they do feed on other insects like flies and other spiders. Most spiders found in the home are not venomous, but there are some that homeowners don't want to find inside their house. The Black Widow and Brown Recluse are two of the most talked about spiders homeowners do not want to find in their homes. Black Widows can be found throughout the U.S., and Brown Recluse are predominately found in the Midwestern States, most notably Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri. All spiders have the ability to travel to all states by ways of hiding in boxes, packages and produce.

Most common Fall and Winter Pests:

Stink Bugs: Stink bugs are found throughout the U.S., and most of the time homeowners don't know they have an issue until early fall, when stink bugs turn up on the sunny side of homes where they can warm themselves. During the summer months stink bugs live outside, feeding on fruits, grains and other crops. During the colder months, stink bugs will hide inside walls or in attics and crawl spaces. These bugs get their name from the unpleasant odor they produce when they feel threatened.
Rodents: Rodents are warm-blooded and are found throughout the U.S. The most common types of rodents are mice and rats. Both rapidly breed and are capable of squeezing through spaces that appear smaller than their bodies. Rodents seek warm shelter in the cold months particularly mice, who seek food, water and warmth within homes. Generally, if one rodent is found, many more are hiding nearby.

How to Avoid Pests:

Most home pests can be avoided by doing simple, everyday things. As a homeowner, make sure your doors and windows are closed, as these are the most common ways for pests to enter a home. Make sure window and door screens are in good repair or working order. By eliminating moisture buildup in small areas and basements you reduce the risk of creating hospitable environments for pests. Sealing openings in a home's foundation will help reduce access to your home.

Trees harbor pests – by keeping tree branches trimmed and away from the home you deter pests ( especially spiders) from having easy access to your home roof. Moisture attracts pests – direct rain water away from the home and foundation to prevent possible moisture buildup. If you have fire wood, store it at least 20 feet away from the house. Flies and other pests are attracted to garbage, so ensuring that garbage cans are sealed tight and all animal deposits are picked up will help reduce the risks of attracting pests into your home. The best deterrent to pests remains a clean, uncluttered home, where food, crumbs, and anything else that has the potential to attract pests is put away, covered or thrown away.

Your Spring Water Well News

Well Maintenance Is Important!

The safety and purity of your drinking water and the efficient operation of your private well system depends on a well-organized maintenance program. Protect your investment by regularly inspecting your well, testing your water, maintaining any water treatment devices, and your septic system!

Owner Builder Network

Well Inspection

Like any large appliance in your home, you should also create a maintenance plan for your water well system. You should inspect your wellhead several times a year. Check the condition of the well covering., casing, and well cap to make sure all are in good repair, leaving no cracks or other entry points for potential pollutants. Have the well system, including the pump, storage tank, pipes and valves, and water flow inspected every 10 years by a qualified well contractor or pump installer. If you have no inspection record and cannot determine the age of the well, have it inspected immediately by a water well professional.

Water Testing

To keep your well water clean and pure and your well operating at peak performance, regular water testing is an important maintenance tool. Private well owners are solely responsible for the quality of their drinking water. So it is up to you, the well owner, to decide when and how to test your water.

At a minimum, your water should be tested every year for bacteria, the most common water quality problem. Other tests may be required, depending on where you live and what is located near your water well. Test more than once a year in special situations; someone in the house hold is pregnant or nursing; there are unexplained illnesses in the family; your neighbors find a dangerous contaminant in their water; or there is a spill or chemicals or fuels into or near your well.

Contact your local health department, cooperative extension service office, state environmental agency or the wellcare® hotline at 888-395-1033 for other water testing guidelines and to find a state certified water testing laboratory in your area.

Understanding Your Well Water Test Results

Many well owners are stumped when they receive their test results from the laboratory. The often confusing measurements, limits, and standards make it tough to determine if your water is safe or if it needs some type of treatment.

Most substances in water are measured as a concentration: a specific mass of a specific chemical within a specific unit or volume of water. The confusing part is that different terms can be used to reflect the exact same measurement:

part per million/ppm = milligram per liter of water = mg/L

part per billion/ppb = microgram per liter of water = ug/L

So what do these terms really mean? Basically, they refer to very small amounts of a substance within about a quart of water. (A liter amounts to 1/05 quarts.)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates public water supplies but not private well. Well owners can use EPA's, so check with your local or state health department for specific substances of concern.

Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCL's) are the highest level of a contaminant that the EPA allows in drinking water. MCL's are legally enforceable for public water supplies. When they turn up in the water, a utility must treat and remove or reduce the contaminant below the maximum level to protect public health.

EPA also sets standards for a second group of contaminants. These limits serve as guidelines for good water quality, but are not required by law. These National Secondary Drinking Water Regulations (NSDWRs), known as the secondary standards, regulate contaminants that may cause cosmetic effects, such as skin or tooth discoloration, or aesthetic effects, such as taste, odor or color, in drinking water. These standards are under discussion, but are not yet an official EPA recommendation or regulation.

The chart below is a road map to your test results. It lists each contaminant, how it is regulated or not, and the maximum levels in all the measurements you are likely to see. You can cross reference your test results with the chart to determine your water quality.

Water Treatment

First, it is important to note that most well water is a safe, reliable drinking water source for you and your family. Water treatment may not be necessary. Some contaminants may be more of a "cosmetic" issue (odor, discoloration, etc.) and may not present any health risks. Test your water before installing any water treatment device.

Septic Systems

Approximately 20 percent of U.S. households rely on onsite wastewater systems to dispose of wastewater on their property. Homeowners with both wells and septic systems must take care to maintain their systems in order to insure the purity of their drinking water.

Just like your well, you should inspect the septic tank each year for capacity and leaks. Have your tank pumped out as needed, usually every three to five years, based on the number of people in the household and the size of the tank. Repair the tank or drain field system as needed to prevent leaks of bacteria and nutrients into ground water.

Owner Builder Network®
A better way to build since 1997.