Home Maintenance Tips & FAQ
Sealing concrete is an effective way to help mitigate the damage caused by the freeze-thaw cycle, as well as snow removal. Avoid the use of chemical de-icers of any kind.
Ceramic Tile is very heat resistant; however, placing hot pans on the countertop should be avoided. We do not recommend cutting directly on the surface, as it could result in scratches and gouges. Grout will stain with prolonged contact with liquids or foods. Quartz Although quartz is extremely scratch resistant, it is not scratch proof - you should never cut or chop directly on your countertop. Direct contact with extremely high heat can cause damage to the countertops, and you should avoid spilling any harsh chemicals, such as drain cleaners, paint strippers, oven cleaners, or bleaches on the countertop. Granite We do not recommend cutting directly on your granite or placing hot objects on the counter, as both can cause damage. Approximately every six months, granite should be sealed. You can purchase a sealer of your choice from many home improvement stores.
Inspect caulking and trim on a regular basis, check doors and windows for smooth movement. Wash window screens and check for tears.
The interior walls are constructed of drywall installed over wood. Due to normal contraction and expansion that will occur during the first year you live in your home, shrinking and swelling can cause nail pops and settlement cracks during the drying out or setting process of your home. This is normal. These cracks can be filled with spackle. All drywall settling cracks will be repaired once at the end of the one-year limited warranty period. Keep your home no lower than 65 degrees in the winter months to help avoid the drywall from cracking.
If your power goes out, check your breaker. Breakers have three positions: on, off, and tripped. The on and off positions are clearly labeled. The tripped position is in the middle of these two positions. When a breaker has been tripped, it is due to an overloaded circuit. When this happens, unplug all electrical items connected to the circuit before attempting to reset the breaker. Next, turn the breaker to the off position and then to the on position. After completing this process, test the affected area.
Ceramic, Marble, Slate, and Quarry Tile Do not use soap or detergents for cleaning. Crack in grout are common, and can be filled with same-color grout. Vinyl Using a damp mop should keep vinyl floors looking new. Never use abrasive material to clean the floor. Hardwood Wood floors are not impervious to normal wear, and wood species can be easily dented, dimpled, scraped, gouged, and damaged. Some things that could prevent this include: - Installing proper floor protectors on furniture - Keeping pets' nails trimmed - Keep shoe heels in good repair - heels that have lost their protective cap could mark the floor Wood floors respond noticeably to changes in humidity in a home, especially during climate changes. High humidity and dampness will cause swelling in the floor system, while low humidity will cause the flooring to shrink. Keeping your home no lower than 65 degrees is recommended.
Cracks appear in grouting of ceramic tile joints or at junctions with other material such as bathtub, shower, countertop. Caulking and grout should be performed as needed around bathtubs, showers and sinks.
It is recommended to perform routine maintenance on your HVAC system, including changing filters.
Keep gutters clean of debris and have a professional remove snow from your roof.
Lawns typically need at least an inch of water per week during the peak growing season. It is a good idea to learn your lawn and how long it takes for water to start to stand, then reduce that amount by 10 percent. Watering is more effecting in the early morning and evening hours. You should check the valves of all sprinkler systems in underground boxes (green) each spring to make sure there are no leaks. If there are, you should fix all leaks before starting the system. Before winter, shut off in-ground sprinklers and have the system blown out to purge the system of the water. Also check for leaks on exterior faucets, especially if there were attachments connected to the hose bib during the winter months. This could cause major damage inside your home when the hose bib is turned on. Remove hoses during the Fall/Winter to prevent the hose bib from freezing and rupturing. If your home has not yet been landscaped, it is important to maintain your runoff water. You are required to keep rainwater on your site and not drain it onto your neighbor's property. Heavy rains may cause exposed soil to carry into low areas. These low areas may serve as your drainage means. Maintenance of these areas will be important to keep water from standing at your foundation or seeping through your crawl vents into your crawl space.
Paint takes a lot of abuse from the sun and elements. The life of exterior paint can be prolonged with annual touch-ups. Scrape, sand, and repaint any peeling patches before the wood deteriorates. Wood shingles should be re-stained as necessary. Remove snow off siding as prolonged freezing may damage paint.
Main Water Shutoff The main water shutoff to your home is located in your garage where the waterline enters your home. If a leak develops inside the walls, water should be shut off at the main shutoff inside the homes. Secondary Water Shutoff All fixtures, with the exception of hose bibs, tubs, and showers, have the valves to cut off the water supply. These shutoffs control the water from the valve to the fixture. If a leak develops in these areas, turn valves clockwise to shut water off. Do not block in case of an emergency. Main Gas Shutoff The main gas shutoff is located outside on the riser of the main gas line near the meter. If a gas leak is suspected, leave the home, shut off the gas from the meter, and call the gas company immediately from a neighbor's home or a cellular phone away from the home. Do not block in case of an emergency. Secondary Gas Shutoff All gas appliances have a shutoff valve located on the flexible pipe supply line. In the case of a leak, turn the knob perpendicular to the supply line. Always remember that the knob on a gas line indicates the flow of gas. When parallel with the flex pipe, the line is open. Do not block in case of an emergency. Freezing Pipes All water pipes in the floor and walls of the home have been insulated with properly rated insulation to deter freezing under normal conditions. However, under extreme weather conditions, pipes may freeze. The best defense is to take proactive measures against freezing: - Open all cabinets that contain water shutoffs and turn off valve - Open the doors to all bathrooms to allow heat from surrounding spaces into area - Keep garage doors closed and, if needed, add extra insulation to the main water shutoff in garage - Make sure all foundation vents are closed, and place foam blocks in the vent cavity - Remove hoses from hose bibs
- Replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and test each one. - Create or review a family emergency plan in case of fire. - Change fire extinguishers and teach each family member proper use.