Caulking is an important part of regular homeowner maintenance. It is your responsibility as the homeowner to re-caulk as needed to improve cosmetic appearance and reduce the risk of high repair costs. When exposed to temperature and moisture changes over time, all caulking will shrink and lose effectiveness as a moisture seal. It is very important to regularly inspect the caulking around your sink tops, tubs, showers, toilets, windows, doors, siding, and ceramic tiles at least every six months or more often as necessary
If any caulking appears cracked, hardened, discolored or chipped, it should be replaced. First, remove the old caulking with an appropriate cutting or scraping tool, while being careful not to damage the surrounding surfaces. Ensure the area is completely dry and apply new caulk with a caulking gun. Caulking materials can be purchased at your local home improvement store.
The interior of your walls consists of drywall installed over wood. Because of the nature of organic materials used in construction, some contraction and expansion will occur as temperature and humidity changes. All buildings also undergo normal settlement. Also, interior paint and drywall is subject to nicks, stains and wear marks from furniture, children, pets, etc
To repair minor drywall cracks, chips, nail pops or voids in walls or ceilings, first clean off any loose edges and then use a putty knife to apply and spread spackling across the area. For nail pops, set the nail before covering with spackling. Allow the area to dry completely then sand the area with a fine grit paper or a sanding sponge in a light sanding motion to blend the repair in with the surroundings. Repeat as desired for best results. Drywall and paint tools and supplies are available at any home improvement store.
To address paint spots and finish drywall repair, use the paint touchup kit supplied with your new home for color matching wall and trim paint. Apply paint with a large or small roller to achieve the same paint texture
Often, reduced HVAC system performance or increased energy costs can be attributed to dirty or clogged air filters, because your system needs a clean filter in order to operate efficiently. As part of regular homeowner maintenance, it is your responsibility as the homeowner to check and replace all air filters in your HVAC system every 30 days or as needed. Also, to improve system performance, all windows should have some type of covering to prevent heat loss and gain; no registers should be completely closed or blocked with furniture; the system should not be turned off for an extended period of time; and interior doors should be kept open as often as possible for air circulation.
To replace air filters, first locate all air returns in your home, this is generally in the attic attached to each unit. If the filter inside any return appears dirty, write down the size. Filters are widely available at local stores. After returning with a new filter, remove the old one and replace it according to any directions on he unit or in your owner's manual, then reattach the cover on the air return compartment
Your smoke detectors are powered by the electrical system in your home, and also have a battery backup in the event of a power failure. You should periodically check all smoke detectors as a safety precaution. Most detectors have a "test" button. Many will have a green indicator light when everything is working properly, which turns red when it needs attention. Changing out the battery normally fixes a problem. Also, as a reminder, the smoke detector may make a chirping sound if the battery is low. When one battery dies, it is a good idea to replace all batteries at the same time
To replace the battery, depending on your smoke detector, look for a small door on the side of the detector which can be flipped open. If no door is found, carefully unscrew the cover over the unit and the battery will be located inside
The following maintenance will ensure your garbage disposal performs properly. Avoid putting any solid items into the disposal, and always run a strong flow of cold water and start the disposal before feeding any waste into it. Should your disposal require cleaning, use either ice cubes and 1/4 cup white vinegar, or baking soda and citric acid crystals to clean out the disposal. Do not run hot water in your disposal. Your disposal will shut itself down to prevent damage if something gets stuck in the disposal. Never put your fingers or hand into the disposal.
If your disposal stops working, first turn off the power at both the switch next to the sink and at the electrical panel or breaker box switch marked garbage disposal. Then take the garbage disposal key (which is taped under the sink), insert into the socket at the bottom of the disposal, and turn the key until the motor moves freely. Remove the key from the motor and turn the power back on at the breaker and at the switch. If the disposal does not start when the power is turned on, push the reset button on the bottom of the garbage disposal motor. If the above procedure does not work, email the warranty department.
One of my electrical switches, outlets do not work.
The electrical system and wiring in your home is installed according to all applicable codes. Occasionally you may encounter a switch, outlet or circuit that does not work. Before calling the warranty department, check for burned out or loose light bulbs, tripped reset buttons on the outlet or surrounding outlets, faulty appliances, or tripped breakers in the fuse panel box
Your electrical system is protected by circuit breakers located at the main service panel. A fluctuation in power may cause breakers to trip. To restore power, turn the breaker off and then snap it back into the on position. Further, GFCI or ground fault circuit interrupter outlets are installed in bathrooms, kitchen, garage and exterior outlets; these outlets have reset buttons on them which may need to be pressed to restore power.
To remove and/or clean your window screens, or to clean the outside of your window glass, raise the bottom sash of your window several inches and then flip open the sash tilt locking clips while pulling the sash towards you. Next, loosen the clips, tabs or pins on your window screen and gently pull the screen towards you and up through the opening at the tilted sash. Be careful when handling your screens as they can be easily bent or torn. To clean the screens or window glass, use warm soapy water. Allow screens to dry before reinstalling.
Maintenance of your plumbing pipes and fixtures including toilets is an important homeowner responsibility, as adjustments to toilets and clogged pipes are only covered under warranty for a short time after closing. The toilets installed in your home are low water use or "water saver" toilets, meaning they use significantly less water than toilets found in older homes and sometimes will appear to be flushing slowly. Never use the toilet for disposal of cotton swabs, dental floss, disposable diapers, or hygiene/personal care products. To prevent clogged pipes at sinks, avoid pouring grease into drains. Most clogged pipes are easily cleared with a plunger; in the event of a stoppage or overflow, shut off the water and the shutoff valve at the base of the fixture.
If a toilet lever is not working or the toilet is running too much, it likely needs an adjustment. Carefully remove the lid on the tank and set it aside. Inspect the condition of the internal parts and observe the water level in the tank. If the lever is not working, make sure the handle is secured to the lever arm and that the chain is attached and is properly tensioned. If the toilet is running and the water level is high, then the float needs to be adjusted. Adjust the float arm screw to raise or lower the float arm. If the water is running but the tank is not filling, check that the flapper valve is sealing properly; it may need to be adjusted or replaced. Any parts or materials you will need can be found at a plumbing supply or home improvement store
The grading and landscaping on your lot has been designed in a manner that ensures proper water runoff so that your property has protection from standing surface water or damage due to improper drainage. It is very important that you do not block the flow of water away from your home by creating planter boxes or similar gardening areas next to foundations such that water from gutter downspouts or roof runoff collects in them. Also, do not alter the slope of the ground away from your foundation, or block any drainage "swales" or shallow ditches on your property. When preparing flower beds or planting areas near our home, make sure the ground slopes away from the foundation. Also, do not plant anything too close to your foundation; three feet should be the minimum distance between any shrubbery and your foundation