What to Know About: Water Damage »
Some of the next steps to take after flooding damages your home.
Some of the next steps to take after flooding damages your home.
Increased airplane travel has facilitated this upswing by making it easier for bed bugs to spread from one location to the next. These pests are carried from place to place by hu…
If you have an ant infestation, it's time to start thinking about effective ant control. By taking certain steps, you can protect your property, your health and your safety.
On December 18, 2014, just before Christmas; I needed the house exterminated due to an Ant infestation. Compass Pest Management located in Riverside, CA provided the service needed. First, Compass Pest Management insisted on major preparation for the extermination that didn't coincide with the work performed. They stated that they needed "everything removed from all the lower cabinets in the entire house". However, the exterminator only performed work under 4 cabinets, which took him about 10 min to complete, but took me several hours to complete the prep, which was unnecessary. Second, the inside work the Exterminator performed caused a great deal of trouble because he failed to communicate very important information. The Exterminator squirted some "Thick Gel" under each sink where cracks or gaps formed around the plumbing that protruded from the wall. However, all the cracks around the plumbing had been caulked by me days before. He applied this "Thick Gel" around the outside of the caulking and not until later we discovered that this so called "Thick Gel" was an Insecticide Bait that would slowly eradicate the Ants, but also attract many more Ants. However, what should have been communicated beforehand was that the "Thick Gel" was an Insecticide Bait that would initially increase the population of Ants to consume the bait and then it would take about a week to see results of eradication of the infestation. If this would have been properly communicated to me than I would have asked one fundamental question: How can Ants get to the Bait Gel when the cracks have already been sealed? I now know the answer to that question: They will come from other places to consume the Bait Gel, which would simulate an infestation of Ants. Therefore the question now becomes: Why would a person apply the Gel into an area that has been sealed knowing that Ants would travel thru the house to get to the Bait Gel, which simulates an Ant infestation?So here's what happened, in all 4 places (three bathrooms & Kitchen) that the Exterminator applied the Bait Gel resulted in an infestation. Because all 4 areas were already sealed, the Ants had traveled threw the walls and baseboards to get to the Bait Gel. This occurred in all 4 areas and on three different occasions. The last occasion was the most damaging because it was on Christmas. Ants are already a real nuisance when they get into your cloths, cabinets, closets, hair, nose, ears, electronics and appliances, food, even on the dog! BUT on Christmas day it was especially horrible at about 2 am in the morning when the Ant infestation in the kitchen began. When I informed Compass Pest Management about what had occurred and that I was unhappy with the lack of information. They stated that they were "sorry for the inconvenience that this has caused in which they were busy that week and forgot to mention instructions that are usually included". Actually this was more like a disaster and although I accepted the apology it can't change the fact that Christmas was ruined, which was not some small inconvenience.Hindsight is 20/20 in which I should have initially asked more question about the so called "Thick Gel", but the Exterminator seemed non talkative and irritated that I was even following him around the house when he went to each room. However, if I had known what this "Thick Gel" did I would have canceled the extermination until after Christmas. Bottom line: Compass Pest Management did not communicate that the "thick Gel" would cause an influx of Ants, which occurred on Christmas day. The unnecessary prep work added insult to injury in which my time was wasted. Therefore I would not recommend this company, the 1 star is justified.
Had hired them when I lived in San Jacinto. Then I moved and called to notify them. Was told they didn't cover the area I was moving to and to not worry about it. Start going over my credit a few years down the road and for some reason I have multiple collection companies with different amounts hitting my credit when I've only ever had one account ever with this company. Shady and fraudulent. Steer clear
Hire at your own risk. Demolished our driveway, fought w/ inspector, never knew when they were coming or going, horrible service. The escrow company hired Gardner Septic ( see our review for them) and Gardner subcontracted west coast sanitation without our knowledge.West Coast sanitation tore out our sprinklers and put down hydraulic stabilizers from their heavy machinery on our driveway after heavy rains and completely demolished the driveway. The workers said they would fix it, but later the owner of west coast said no, I called Gardner and he refused to repair, in fact he became irate. They put in the contract that they're not liable for any damage whatsoever, this is why they were so careless, most of the damages were unnecessary and had nothing to do with the replacement of the tank, the owner of West coast fought with the inspector, who was really knowledgeable and kind, he came out multiple times because they were either not here or not ready, and they refused to break the old septic tank or to properly seal it off, the inspector said that's the kind of thing that causes sink holes. Worst experience ever, no communication, very careless, worst company on the West Coast, avoid like the plague. This may sound like a rant, but I just want to warn anyone who may be thinking of hiring them and save you from a headache. Escrow paid before services were performed so I had no leverage. Gardner and West Coast are the worst in the biz. cut from the same stinky cheese cloth.
Johnny Frakes. Jr. Over charged and charged for unnecessary services due to type of septic problem. Unprofessional behavior; did not perform additional services as requested and would not return phone calls. I was left with an unrepaired septic system.
Do not use this company.Very Unprofessional and does not pay child support. He is a deadbeat father...
They broke our irrigation system and didn't care enough to tell us. We found out later on when we discovered the pieces.
I have the same problem they don't spray and I get over charged I keep trying to cancel and they keep saying they will do better office staff is horrible. So dissatisfied.
Don't use these guys. They're crooks! They won't call and say they sprayed and then charge you money. And then if you call the office, the supervisor is never in, and good luck on getting a call back. Stay away from these guys!
Just has Dixon clean my carpets. He did a great job, my carpets look like new. He actually scrubbed the carpets! And only wanted to charge 125 for tons of work!I will definitely use again!
I use the service for more than 5 years, and always satisfied it. I recommended the service. My carpet not only look clean, also the bad odor is gone.
If you're like most people, you don't give another thought to the water that goes down the drain after washing dishes, taking a shower, or flushing the toilet. But, if you are one of the many homeowners who rely on a septic tank to dispose of your wastewater, it would be smart to give your septic system some attention every so often.
There are four main parts to your septic system:
It's the homeowner's responsibility to make sure all four parts of your septic system are in working order. A failed septic system is costly to repair or replace, can lead to health hazards in your home and community, and may even lower property values in your neighborhood.
Every homeowner who uses a septic system needs to ensure it stays functional. There are three elements to maintaining the system:
Inspecting a Septic System
Inspections should be at least an annual task. Some systems may require more frequent inspections. A homeowner can perform these inspections on his or her own, but hiring a professional is recommended. Contractors who regularly work with these systems generally have a better idea of what to look for and can better identify problems.
To begin, locate your septic tank. If the entry point is buried and there is no map, start by looking at the direction of the outbound pipes in your basement. Follow the pipes' direction into your backyard to locate the tank. When you think you're close, insert a probe into the soil until you find the piping. Your inspector should come ready with an insulated probe to use.
You should only have to go through this process one time. Once you find the piping and the tank, sketch a map for future use. Doing so will not only benefit you and future contractors you hire, but also the next owner of the home.
When the tank is located, you or the contractor will have to dig to uncover the manhole cover to access the tank's interior. Next, test your household water systems to make sure the septic system is working properly. Flush the toilets, turn on the faucets, and run any appliances that use water, like the dishwasher or washing machine. If water drains noticeably slowly, there could be an issue in your septic system that needs immediate attention.
Once you've determined that the system is in good order, it's time to measure the sludge and scum levels. Sludge collects at the bottom of the tank and is comprised of solid wastes. Scum floats to the top of the tank and is comprised of fats and oils. Both enter the tank through the inlet tee baffle, or the pipe that directs outbound water from the home to the tank. On the opposite side of the tank is the outlet tee baffle, which directs treated water to a second compartment in the tank for further treatment, or to the drain field. This baffle is the marker to measure scum and sludge against.
Scum levels should be at least 3 inches above the bottom of the outlet tee baffle. Sludge levels should be no more than 1 foot below the bottom of the baffle. If either of these are closer to the bottom of the baffle than they should be, it's time to have the tank pumped.
Next, take a look at the drain field, tank walls, and pipes. Any cracks in the walls or pipes need to be addressed right away to prevent septic system failure. The drain field should not have any odd or foul smells, and the grass shouldn't be soggy or full of puddles. Uncommonly green grass is also a sign that the drain field isn't functioning properly.
Pumping is usually necessary every three to five years, but it ultimately depends on the size of the tank, the number of people in the household, and the types of appliances that are used. For example, a family of six with a 1,000-gallon tank might pump every 1.5 years, but a family of three with the same size tank might pump closer to every four years. Additionally, garbage disposals fill up the septic tank more quickly and result in the need to pump more often.
A professional should always pump the tank. They will have the right equipment and expertise to know how to safely and effectively remove the sludge and scum from the tank. Additionally, the fumes that are emitted from the tank are noxious and can be dangerous if inhaled.
Always be present for the pumping process. Though the contractor will have the right education and experience to do this task properly, it's important that you oversee the project. The maintenance of your septic system is ultimately your responsibility, not the contractor's. When observing the contractor's work, make sure:
Septic System Failure Prevention
While inspections are usually an annual task and pumping occurs two or three times per decade, prevention is something that must always be kept in mind.
Never flush or pour chemicals down the drain. This includes, but is not limited to:
Introducing these substances to your septic system can cause damage to the tank or piping and contaminate the groundwater in your area.
Don't flush garbage down the toilet, including:
Practice water conservation to prevent flooding your system. Though your tank can handle many gallons of water, too much water at one time can overwork the system and cause solid waste to enter the drain field. Some tips for water conservation include:
Preventing septic system failure also involves keeping the drain field clear. Never drive or park over the drain field, and don't allow livestock to walk over it. Heavy equipment should also be kept away from this area.
In general, a septic system is safe and easy to maintain, especially if you regularly inspect and pump it. However, there may come a time when you run into a problem that needs to be addressed quickly and correctly.
Clogs or backups are usually caused by improper or too-infrequent pumping. Your tank is completely full, and solid waste is being forced through the outlet tee baffle and clogging it. Some signs that you have a clog include:
To address this problem, call a professional to clean out your tank right away.
Broken Lines or Pipes
Broken elements of your septic system need to be addressed as soon as they are spotted. A number of factors can cause baffles, lines, and pipes to break or crack, including:
Using a special camera, a contractor should be able to locate the crack or leak and replace the part.
To prevent pipe damage, call 811 before you begin any project that would require you to dig. A professional can detect which areas you need to stay away from. Remember, there could be more than just your septic system beneath your land - wires and cables may also run through your property.
Prevent damage due to tree roots by periodically having a professional take a look at the trees nearby and assess their risk. Don't attempt to remedy the issue yourself using chemicals like copper sulfate or by cutting down the tree. A professional will know how to solve the problem for the long term and should be knowledgeable of any local environmental regulations regarding chemicals.
When a septic system is working properly and is adequately maintained, harmful bacteria will be removed and won't affect the groundwater, people living in the home, or neighbors. However, a septic system failure comes with health risks that are best to avoid as much as possible.
Illnesses Caused by Failed Septic Systems
Nitrates normally get filtered out before wastewater reaches the drain field. However, if they are still mixed in with the water exiting the septic tank and make their way into drinking water, they can lead to an illness that affects infants. Methemoglobinemia, more commonly referred to as "blue baby syndrome," reduces infants' ability to move oxygen through their blood.
Other diseases that are associated with failed septic systems include:
Water Pollution Caused by Failed Septic Systems
If your septic system is near a body of water, there is a chance that harmful bacteria and viruses from a failed septic system could spread farther than your property using the local waterways. Nutrients in the wastewater can cause algae to grow much faster than normal, blocking necessary sunlight from shining into the water to support other plant and animal life. Additionally, these plants will reduce oxygen levels in the water, leaving the environment less habitable for some animal life.
Too much algae and other plant life can also reduce the ability for people to use a body of water for recreational purposes. What's more, the bacteria and viruses included in the wastewater can also cause disease in the people swimming, boating, or fishing in the water. Fish and shellfish can also become contaminated, making them harmful to eat.
Your septic system is highly important to your home, and as such, it's vital to find a good company to help you with maintenance. Before hiring anyone, do some research into the company. Look online for reviews and testimonials. Also, ask your friends, family, or colleagues who have septic systems who they work with and why.
Program Benefits and Costs
Every contractor will offer different products and programs, even though they'll generally be able to accomplish the same tasks. Be sure to read the fine print and determine what services the company includes in their different programs.
These programs will also vary in cost between different contractors. In 2016, septic tank pumping and cleaning cost anywhere from $200 to $900, with most people spending about $375. Compare and contrast pricing as well as services covered by the program you choose.