Morse Engineering and Construction Industries

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Happy Thanksgiving From Morse Engineering and Construction Industries

- Tuesday, November 21, 2023
Happy Thanksgiving From Morse Engineering and Construction Industries

Greetings all from the blog team here at Morse Engineering and Construction Industries. Thanksgiving, 2023 is just around the corner. We thought it would be appreciated to craft a Thanksgiving-focused blog a bit earlier than usual to give all our readers time to reflect and hopefully act upon the important things before we become too “holiday busy” to do so.

The Thanksgiving holiday conjures an assortment of emotions within all of us. For some, this is a time to reflect upon blessings, current and past. Thanksgiving is an invitation to pause and give thanks for the simple things we might take for granted. Things like the love of family, food on the table, and even for life itself.

Here at Morse Engineering and Construction Industries, we never take you, our clients, service providers, employees, family, and friends for granted. Today’s blog post is dedicated to you with hope and trust that this note finds you happy, healthy, thankful, and surrounded by those you hold dear.

Tips to Reduce Snow Removal Costs

- Friday, November 17, 2023
Morse Engineering and Construction - Snow Blower

If snow removal is an essential part of maintaining your home in the winter, the below tips can help reduce costs on services throughout the winter season.

Plan Ahead

The more research you do on snow removal services before winter rolls around, the better. Check with your neighbors for referrals on reputable companies or look at online reviews to see which professionals suit your needs best when it comes to snow removal. You’ll likely score a better deal during a snow company’s off-season than if you reach out when they’re in high demand.

Get Several Quotes

Once you have a list of companies you’re considering hiring, contact them for quotes on basic snow removal services as well as add-ons so that you can compare notes. That way, you can compare average rates and determine which company works best with your budget.

Consider a Contract

One-time snow removal is great for those in Southern regions who may only get a few inches of snow per season but homes in colder climates can benefit from a seasonal snow removal contract. A snow removal contract may cost more upfront but will be less overall when you consider how much you’d pay for one-time removal several times a year. You may even be offered a discount for signing up for a year-round contract that includes lawn maintenance and care.

Contact Morse Engineering and Construction for more information.


Hiring a Snow Removal Service Company

- Friday, November 10, 2023
Morse Engineering and Construction Industries - Snow Removal Service

It doesn’t matter if you’re hiring a kid from the neighborhood who’s handy with a shovel or a big commercial outfit that has a fleet of plows in its arsenal, you should still make sure you’re having a conversation about exactly what services they will provide and any expectations you may have.

Interview Your Snow Removal Service

Talking to a few different providers will not only help you choose the one best suited to the job, but it will also give you a better idea of what your expectations should be. In a perfect world, a snow removal service would keep snowfall from keeping you from getting where you need to go. However, many don’t come out until after the snow has stopped falling, and some may even be prevented from getting out on the roads by the same conditions keeping you at home.

Define the Process

When interviewing potential snow removal companies, be sure to ask them specific questions about their removal process and how they’ll carry it out. For example, what kind of equipment do they plan to use based on the amount of snow and size of your driveway? Will they bring multiple types of equipment, such as a snow blower and snow plow?

You should also request an outline of the project schedule to ensure it aligns with your needs. If you need help removing snow within a certain time frame, ask the removal service to confirm they can meet that deadline.

Get a Contract and Arrange Payments With Your Snow Removal Service

You don’t want to wait to find out that your snow removal service only takes cash when you’re snowed in with an empty wallet. Setting up a contract that clearly states the areas to be serviced, how much it will cost, and how payment can prevent you from being surprised. You can expect to pay between $350 to $450 for an annual snow removal contract.


Check Qualifications and References of Your Snow Removal Service

- Tuesday, November 07, 2023
Morse Engineering and Construction - Snow Removal Service

Hiring a service that is licensed and insured not only protects them, but you and your property as well. Snow removal services work around some of the most expensive things you own (like your home and automobile) so you want to make sure you’re covered in case their work damages them.

You should also ask any prospective service for some references before you hire them. If they can give you the names of a few happy customers then you can feel a little more confident that you’ll be satisfied as well. Any company that can’t (or won’t) give you references might be trying to hide something.

Questions to Ask Your Snow Removal Service

  • Do I have to call you when there’s a snowstorm or will you automatically come out?
  • Do you wait until after the snow has stopped falling or make multiple passes throughout the storm?
  • How do you remove the snow (with a shovel, snow thrower, or plow)?
  • Will you use salt after you’re done and is it pet-safe?
  • How will I be billed?
  • Can I sign an annual contract for snow removal or will we set something up for each storm?

Contact Morse Engineering and Construction for more information.


How to Find a Snow Removal Service

- Friday, October 27, 2023
Morse Engineering and Construction - Snow Removal Service

Keeping your driveway, sidewalks, and walking paths free of snow is important for safety reasons, so you’ll want to find a service that is both reliable and reputable. To make sure you’re partnering with a service that fits that bill, you can talk to your neighbors, post on a local message board, and even search online for a snow removal service near you.

Before Hiring a Snow Removal Service

Decide exactly what spaces you want cleared and if there are any special steps you’ll want them to take. For example, if you have a four-legged friend who will be trekking through your freshly cleared areas then you’ll want to make sure any deicing agents they use (like salt) are safe for Fido. In some areas, residents are responsible for keeping their sidewalks clear, and in others that may extend to the street.

Plan Your Snow Removal Route for Accurate Quotes

Check any requirements from your municipality to ensure you know where you’re obligated to keep clear. Also, decide which areas you’ll want tackled. Some common spots are:

  • Driveways
  • Walkways
  • Sidewalks

You should try to get at least three quotes and make sure each quote covers all of the areas you want cleared. You don’t want to wait until there’s 16 inches of snow standing between you and your freshly plowed driveway to discover your snow removal service didn’t include your walkway.

Contact Morse Engineering and Construction for more information.


Warning Signs that Septic Tank Is Full

- Monday, October 23, 2023
Morse Engineering and Construction - Overflowing Septic Tank

An overloaded septic tank can lead to health issues and costly repairs.

Typically, septic tanks need to be pumped every 2-5 years, depending on the system and how much use it gets. Ignoring the signs that your tank is full can lead to messy and costly repairs and potential safety issues. Here are the top seven warning signs your septic tank is full—and what to do if you notice them.

What are the signs that your septic tank is full? Well, an important thing to know is that a septic tank has a normal “full” level. This is the standard operating level amount, which is normally 8 to 12 inches from the top of the tank. However, you should leave inspecting the levels of your septic tank to a professional because of exposure to hazardous gases and bacteria.

Although you should not check the tank yourself, you will know the septic tank is full by the following signs:

1. Drains Are Backing Up

One of the worst and most hazardous signs that your septic tank is full is if your drains are backing up. A major sign is if you flush the toilet and have water backing up in other drains, such as the bathtub. Sometimes, it can also mean a clog, but either situation needs to be addressed immediately.

If you notice sewage backing up in any of your drains, you need to avoid using water and call a professional septic tank cleaner as soon as possible.

2. Pipes Make Gurgling Sounds

If you hear gurgling sounds coming from your pipes, it is one of the telltale signs your septic tank is full.

This can be an indicator that your tank is overly filled with solid waste, and this does not allow the wastewater to be disbursed. Of course, bubbling and gurgling pipes can also stem from blocked pipes, drains, and drain vents. That’s why it’s vital to call in a professional if your pipes are making odd noises.

3. Water Drains Slowly

Do your drains seem to be taking their sweet time to empty? If the drains in your entire home are slow to drain, it could be a clog in the main line, or your septic tank is full. When the tank is too full, it can’t operate correctly, which will cause the water to not drain properly.

However, if the issue occurs in one room and not the entire home, it may be an isolated drain clog or plumbing issue.

4. Bad Odors in Your Home or Yard

If you notice foul odors that smell like rotten eggs in your home or yard, that’s a huge warning sign that your septic tank is having issues. There are a few things that could be causing your septic tank to stink, such as clogged drains, blocked vents, or a broken pump. But it can also be a sign that your septic tank is full.

Septic tanks contain hazardous gases, so this smell is not something you should ignore. The primary gases that are present in septic tanks are hydrogen sulfide and methane. Long-term exposure can cause an array of health problems and can even be fatal.

So, follow your nose, and if you smell anything resembling the odor of sulfur, call a professional plumber or septic tank cleaner immediately.

5. Pooling Water in Your Yard

Do you have pools of water in your yard near your septic tank or drain field? Chances are your tank is overflowing, and that’s why you have standing water near the tank. The wastewater has nowhere to go but out.

This water can contain bacteria and is very likely hazardous. Don’t allow pets or children near it, and have your septic tank inspected as soon as possible.

6. Drain Flies

If you have tiny flies buzzing around, it can be a sign that the septic tank is full or there is a problem with the pipes. Drain flies, also known as sewer gnats, feed and lay eggs on decaying organic matter.

So, an overfull septic tank provides a breeding ground for these little pests. They are only about ⅛ of an inch big, but you will notice them hovering around bathtubs, sinks, and showers.

7. Grass Looks Lush

If you notice an area in your yard with lush grass or an area that is consistently soggy, it could mean your septic tank is having problems. This can be from a clogged leach line that runs to your distribution field, or it could be that the tank is malfunctioning or is full.

The wastewater provides “fertilizer” and extra water, which causes the grass to become healthier. Unfortunately, this is not a good thing, and you need to have your septic system inspected to figure out what is causing the issue.

Contact Morse Engineering and Construction for more information on septic systems.


When to Replace Your Septic Tank

- Monday, October 09, 2023
Morse Engineering and Construction - Septic Tank

A well-maintained septic tank could last 20 to 30 years before it needs a replacement—but rest assured, that day will come. If your septic system is failing, there are usually a few signs. You might need to replace your tank if:

  • You notice sewage backing up into toilets, sinks, showers, and bathtubs.
  • Your sinks, bathtubs, and showers drain very slowly.
  • You see standing water or notice damp spots around your septic tank.
  • You smell sewage around your septic tank.
  • The grass around your septic tank is noticeably darker or more vibrant than the rest of your lawn and feels spongy (sewage can actually act as fertilizer).

Proper maintenance is the best way to increase the lifespan of your septic system's lifespan. Inspect your system every one to three years and pump your tank every three to five years. If you notice any issues, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.


How Long Does It Take to Replace a Septic Tank?

- Friday, September 22, 2023
Morse Engineering and Construction - How Long Does It Take to Replace a Septic Tank?

It’s not as simple as just cracking into new ground. There are a lot of moving parts and a little red tape. In a perfect world, you can swap out the tank in around a week—provided you don’t hit a snag. If you need to replace other components in your system along with the tank, expect your local septic tank installation company to tackle the job in four to eight weeks.

This guide will show you how long it takes to replace a septic tank, from planning to your first flush.

Testing Before Installation

Time: Two to Three Weeks

Your septic tank works in conjunction with a leach field, also known as a drain field. If your septic system is leaking waste and contaminating the area around the tank, you’ll need to replace both components—at minimum. If there is extensive damage, you may need a full system replacement. This will push the job into the four- to six-week range (not to mention the cost of a new septic system can exceed $11,000 on the high end).

For this reason, contractors run a percolation test before they replace your tank. This will give them insight into your soil’s texture, volume, consistency, and ability to filter wastewater. It’s an essential part of prep and takes around two to three weeks.

Obtaining Permits

Time: Varies

Before your contractor can replace your septic tank, they’ll need to obtain a permit. Typically, permits are issued by your local health or environmental department—and you’ll typically need one or more building permits. Sometimes, homeowners also need a permit for pumping and disposing of waste if they don’t already have one. Depending on your local government, this could take a few days or weeks and usually require the percolation test and an inspection.

Planning and Excavation

Time: Two to Three Weeks

During this phase, a septic system engineer will plan the replacement. This could be simple if they just need to swap out a tank, but it could take longer if they also need to plan for a new leach field or entirely new system (to dig safely, they’ll need to map out underground utilities).

Once the plans are finished, the excavation begins. A team will need to dig out your old septic tank and any other components that you plan to replace. Overall, planning and excavation takes around two to three weeks, but it could take more or less time. If the ground freezes or the weather is poor, it will push the project back.

Tank Installation

Time: Five to Seven Days

Installation is typically the quickest part of the job. During this phase, your contractor will install your new septic tank and other components. If you’re installing an aerobic tank, this could mean additional electrical circuitry. If you have a pumped system, this could mean replacing the dosing tanks. It all depends on the type of septic system and the condition. Generally, installation takes five to seven days. It could take longer if you hit a snag like poor weather conditions.

For more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.


8 Septic Tank Maintenance Tips

- Thursday, September 14, 2023
Morse Engineering and Construction

Keep these clean water tips in mind to keep everything flowing.

1. Ask Questions

Before buying property with a well and septic system, it’s important to get it inspected and ask questions. You might get lucky and find that the previous owners have records of how the well and septic systems were built and who maintained it. Make sure you:

  • Know where the septic tank and drainfield are.
  • Know where the wellhead is. It should be uphill and away from the septic system.
  • Verify which tests your state requires.

Get the well water professionally tested for total coliform bacteria, nitrates, total dissolved solids, and pH levels. Call your local health office or the EPA to find a certified water testing lab.

2. Test the System Every Year

Even if it’s not required, annual well pump and equipment inspections are a low-cost way to make sure everything is working as expected. A local septic system company can check the pressure in your expansion tank. Your well pump will stop and start more often than necessary without the proper pressure or due to a failing well pump pressure switch, which can lead to premature failure of the pump. A well maintenance company near you can make sure the equipment is in good condition, perform repairs, and check the water quality.

But don’t wait for the annual inspection and call your for service if you:

  • Suspect a bacteria problem
  • Notice a change in well water pressure or flow
  • Notice a change in taste, color, or smell of water
  • Notice an increase in construction or industrial activity in your neighborhood

3. Be Careful About What Goes Down the Drain

When living with a septic tank, everything that goes down the drain goes into the septic system, so be careful of what you rinse or flush down your drains.

Keep leftover paint, automotive fluids, and cleaners out of your drains. These products lead to build up that will eventually need to be pumped out. Additionally, they can affect the beneficial bacteria that live in the septic system and make it work. Choose enzyme cleaners when needed to help break down organic material without harming the bacteria at work in the tanks.

4. Avoid Using the Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals and septic systems don’t get along well. Garbage disposals can allow too much solid matter into the system. It just increases the need for pumping. Scrape plates and cutting boards into a compost pail instead.

A backyard compost solution is a great alternative to a garbage disposal. It keeps kitchen grease, vegetable scraps, and chunks of meat out of your septic system and can provide beneficial nutrients to your vegetable garden.

5. Keep the Lid on the System

The septic system lid needs to stay on at all times, otherwise there’s a risk of people falling in, and it’s not the cool underworld you’ve seen in cartoons—it’s incredibly dangerous. Periodically check on the condition of the lid to make sure it’s secure and not cracked or deteriorated.

Check the wellhead to ensure the well cap and seals are tight. Any vents should have screens to prevent critters from getting in, and the concrete slab must be in good shape to prevent groundwater from collecting around the well.

6. Conserve Water

Using less water is not only a good conservation practice, but it will also extend the life of your system. It’s easy for septic systems to get overloaded, so give them a break and space out water use. Try to avoid doing weeks’ worth of laundry on one Saturday, and certainly don’t drain the hot tub the same weekend.

Your well is going to be affected by the amount of water in the ground. In times of drought, the water table—or the level of the water below ground—is lower. When the water level dips below the pump’s location, it’ll just pumpt air. So conserve groundwater by:

  • Taking shorter showers
  • Running only full loads of dishes or laundry
  • Using the small load setting when the machine isn’t full
  • Installing low-flow toilets
  • Checking for hidden leaks in your bathroom

7. Protect the Drainfield

The drainfield is the part of the yard where pre-treated water flows through the soil and sediment on its way back to the groundwater. The septic system’s drainfield is a fragile area that needs TLC.

  • Don’t drain pools in the drainfield
  • Don’t park cars in the area
  • Divert rainwater or snowmelt away from the drainfield
  • Keep trees 100 feet away from the drainfield. Tree roots invading the septic system can cause backups and damage.
  • You can landscape the area with shallow-rooted flowers or grass. But avoid covering the area with plastic weed guards, gravel, or concrete patios.

8. Protect the Well

The drainfield is the part of the yard where pre-treated water flows through the soil and sediment on its way back to the groundwater. The septic system’s drainfield is a fragile area that needs TLC.

  • Ideally, the wellhead is located uphill from the septic drainfield, and groundwater does not come into contact with it. Keep animal waste, garden fertilizer, and any other potential contaminants that you wouldn’t want in your drinking water at least 100 feet from the well.
  • For more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.


How Often Should You Inspect Your Septic Tank?

- Monday, September 11, 2023
Morse Engineering and Construction - Septic Tank Inspection

You may not think about your septic system that often because, gross. But septic neglect can cause major problems if you overlook the system for too long. Regular inspections and maintenance are vital for preventing costly damage to your tank and the surrounding area. It’s a good idea to have your septic tank inspected about every two to five years.

Can I Inspect My Septic Tank Myself?

It’s nearly impossible to inspect your septic tank yourself accurately. This is because a full inspection requires an experienced septic service professional. In some situations, you may need to have your septic tank pumped at the same time that you get it inspected. If it’s been a few years since you’ve last had your septic tank inspected, get in touch with a septic tank company near you to discuss your options.

How a Septic System Inspection Works

Understanding how a septic system works can be a bit tricky, especially if you’ve never owned a home with one before. Some homes are hooked up to a central sewer system that runs wastewater to a central processing facility. Not all homes have this capability. In particular, rural homes often use septic tanks that collect wastewater from your home and then disperse it into a drainage field. Because solids build up in the bottom of the septic tank, it needs to be inspected regularly and pumped every few years.

During a septic system inspection, inspectors will examine the septic tank, the septic distribution box, and the leach field. Inspectors will typically remove the lid of the tank in order to check the water level and make sure that water is flowing properly and that there are no leaks. They’ll also check the level of sludge in the tank to determine whether or not your tank needs to be pumped.

Routine Septic System Maintenance is Key

Proper septic system maintenance can help to prolong the life of your septic system and reduce the likelihood of unpleasant septic system-related messes. In addition to getting your septic system regularly inspected, you should also complete the following maintenance tasks to keep your septic system in good working order:

Be careful what you flush down the drain: Flushing items like sanitary products or bacon grease can back up your septic system.

Pay attention to bad odors: Your septic system does the hard work of breaking down household waste, but if it’s not working the way it should it can lead to some pretty unpleasant smells. Clogged drains, ice buildup, blocked vents, and a full tank can all lead to septic system odor.

Pump regularly: Depending on the size of your household and tank, you’ll need to pump the tank about every three to five years.

Without proper maintenance, you may be on the hook for a new septic system sooner rather than later. The cost of a new septic system is about $3,100 to $9,800. Costs vary depending on the type of system and size of the tank.

If you don’t pump your tank, the sludge builds up at the bottom of your tank will eventually leak into your leach field and back up into your pipes. Without regular pumping and maintenance, your septic tank could fail and need to be replaced. Ask your contractor whether additional maintenance is needed during your septic tank inspection.

For more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.