Steve Casey
RE/MAX Real Estate Center | 508-341-4464 | stcreal@aol.com


Posted by Steve Casey on 1/23/2017

There are several different types of termites but one thing they all have in common is that they eat wood. By the time you've discovered that termites have infested part of your home it's often too late. That's because the damage that termites cause isn't easily noticeable. Termites travel randomly through the soil in search of food and can cause devastating damage to the wood of a home once they find it. Whether you're worried that your home may be vulnerable to termites or if you're looking for a way to get rid of them, this article will teach you everything you need to know about the wood-eating pests known as "silent destroyers."

Preventing termite infestations

There are several good practices to maintain that will keep your home termite-free. Some require work, and others are just good habits to build. Keep these tips in mind to make your home a less desirable treat to termites.
  • Don't stack firewood or lumber on the ground for long periods of time. If you do have to stack wood on the ground, keep it far away from your home foundation so termites won't eat their way up the wood pile and into the wood of your home.
  • Keep your foundation dry. Termites love moist soil. They'll use it as a vehicle to get to the wooden parts of your home. To keep them away, make sure the areas around your foundation are well-drained and stay relatively dry.
  • Don't let wooden parts of your home touch the ground. Whether it's a porch, deck, lattice-work, or even wood panel siding, make sure all of these surfaces are on a foundation and not just on the ground. Not only will this deter the termites but it will also help maintain the structural integrity of these items by keeping them dry and rot-free.
  • Go easy on the mulch. Using excessive mulch is like giving termites a roadmap to your home. When you do use mulch, make sure it's in a well-drained area. It may seem counter-intuitive, but termites are attracted to mulch mainly due to it's ability to maintain moisture and heat, rather than as a food source.

You found termites. Now what?

If you've noticed that termites are eating the wood on or around your home you have several options for getting rid of them.  Your method will depend on the location and severity of the infestation. Do-it-yourself methods If the infestation isn't in a dangerous place (somewhere that affects the structural integrity of your home) or if it isn't too severe you could try:
  • Applying a barrier treatment which stops the termites from entering and poisoning them at the same time
  • Setting a bait station that will attract all of the termites so you can remove them
  • Drilling into the infested wood and pouring orange oil into the holes
Call the professionals
  • If the infestation is bad enough to cause worry the safest bet is to call a pest control company in your area so you can rest easy knowing your home is safe.




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Posted by Steve Casey on 12/5/2016

We think of the spring and fall as home clean up time but taking advantage of the warmer weather and time off from work makes summer the perfect time to do a home maintenance checkup. Get Ready for Cooler Weather Do an Energy Audit Take a walk around your home and take an inventory of gaps and cracks. Plugging leaks can save you 20% on heating and cooling bills. Look for gaps under switch plates. If you find gaps install foam inserts. Make sure to turn off the electricity at the circuit box before doing this. Don’t forget to check where windows meet walls, walls meet floors and pipes and wires enter the home. Plug all gaps with caulk. Other places to find leaks are fireplace dampers, mail slots, air conditioners, attic doors, baseboards and the weather stripping surrounding doors. Look for daylight, feel for drafts and listen for rattles; all clues to escaping heat. Now look outside the house. Look for gaps or damage where pipes, vents or wiring enter. Also check siding for gaps or damage, pay attention to corners where the material joins and where it meets other materials, like chimneys, windows or the foundation. Save Money on Heat and Hot Water Save on heating costs next winter by insulating the hot-water pipes in the basement or crawl space. Insulating pipes is easy; all you need to do is snap foam jackets (called sleeves) around the pipes. Make sure you know the pipe’s diameter to get the correct fit. Get the Outside in Tip-Top Shape Pretty the Patio There is nothing more uninviting than dirty patio furniture. Mix up a bucketful of soapy bleach solution to keep your patio furniture squeaky clean. Mix 2/3 cup trisodium phosphate (TSP), 1/3 cup laundry soap powder, a quart of bleach and three quarts of warm water. Use a rag and soft-bristle brush to remove embedded dirt on synthetic coverings, metal and wood furniture. Rinse thoroughly and let dry. Don’t destroy the deck Don’t let your pretty deck flowers rot your wood deck. Make drainage room in your potted plants by setting pots on pot “feet”. For a frugal solution; just prop bricks under the pots. Look out for tree trouble Trees that hang over your roof, rub against gutters or dropping loads of leaves and sticks onto the roof should be pruned. Overhanging branches can provide a ladder for rats and squirrels, and diseased or damaged trees may fall on your home in a storm. Fix the fence Look for damage along the fence line. Mow the grass next to the fence low so you can get good visibility. Keep your fence in tip-top shape by make prompt repairs. Check fence posts for signs of rot (poke soft spots in the wood for crumbling or decay). Remove and replace the damaged areas. Keep fences painted or stained to protect the wood. If dogs or other animals are tunneling under the fence attach a 2-foot-wide apron of wire mesh around the inside perimeter of the fence.





Posted by Steve Casey on 6/27/2016

Did you know there are home upgrades that may wind up costing you more than they are worth? That's right, and these are home improvement projects you'll want to avoid at all costs. Some of the most common high-cost, low-return home improvement projects for home sellers include: 1. Installing an in-ground swimming pool. When it comes to installing swimming pools, the fantasy usually is better than the reality. Ideally, you should be able to install an in-ground swimming pool in your backyard quickly and enjoy it for an extended period of time. But when it comes time to complete the project, you may end up committing thousands of dollars and dozens of man-hours to a project that may add minimal value to your home. Consider the costs and timeline associated with an in-ground swimming pool installation before you commit to this project. By doing so, you can determine how much this project will impact your home's value both now and in the future and decide whether the return on investment (ROI) meets your needs. 2. Adding a backup power generator. Homeowners often try to err on the side of caution, and for good reason. However, a backup generator may prove to be costly, especially when there are viable, cost-effective alternatives at your disposal. A power outage may seem like the end of the world when it happens, but in most cases, it is only temporary. And those who have flashlights, lanterns and other emergency supplies will be better equipped to stay safe during a power outage. Remember, a backup generator may seem like a great idea at first, but you should consider its short- and long-term value. Those who explore the alternatives that are available, meanwhile, may find it is more cost-effective to invest in other home improvement projects. 3. Installing new windows. The latest windows are incredibly energy-efficient, making them exceedingly valuable for homeowners who want to cut their energy bills for years to come. Comparatively, home sellers may fail to reap the benefits of these windows, especially if they hope to find a buyer for their residence in the immediate future. New windows may cost thousands of dollars to install, so you'll want to look at the ROI of new windows before you find a contractor to complete the project. And if you discover the upfront costs outweigh the long-term savings of a home you'll soon be selling, it may be better to avoid installing new windows for the time being. As a home seller, you'll want to do everything you can to highlight the true value of your home, and choosing a reliable real estate agent can help you do just that. A qualified real estate agent possesses the experience and understanding of the real estate market. As such, this professional can help you decide which home improvement projects are priorities and which tasks can be put on the backburner. Find a top-rated real estate professional to help you sell your home, and you can benefit from the support of a real estate expert who can guide you along the home selling process.





Posted by Steve Casey on 3/21/2016

No matter how sturdy a home is, sooner or later maintenance will be required. When this happens, you will have the choice to do some of this maintenance work yourself, or you could opt to utilize a home repair service to do it for you. This largely depends on how much experience you have in repairing things in your home. For example, hanging a picture on the wall does not take too much knowledge and expertise, as all you would need is a good drill and a little bit of know-how. On the other hand, if you need some major plumbing repairs, then you are better off finding a reputable plumber to do the job for you. When it comes to painting, it really does depend on whether you have some experience and know-how, and how much you enjoy doing it. For some people, painting can be extremely therapeutic. They will gladly paint every room in their home without any fuss. For others, painting a wall can seem like an extremely messy job, and in most cases, it will be a job badly done. In a situation like this, you are better off using a professional painter. One of the best ways to find a good quality home repair service is by going on the internet, as this allows you to quickly find a specialized repair service within your area with just a few clicks of your mouse. In addition, you are also able to do a little research on the repair service beforehand. If you would like a local referral I keep a list of professionals. Please call or email me for more information.







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