HOMECARE

  • SEASONAL MAINTENANCE CALENDAR

  • MONTHLY,
    SEMI‐ANNUAL
    & ANNUAL
    MAINTENANCE

  • HOME OWNER
    MAINTENANCE
    INSPECTIONS
    CHECKLIST

  • NEW HOME
    INSTALLATIONS
    & MAINTENANCE
    PROCEDURES INSIDE

  • NEW HOME
    INSTALLATIONS
    & MAINTENANCE
    PROCEDURES OUTSIDE

NEW HOME INSTALLATIONS & MAINTENANCE PROCEDURES INSIDE

NEW HOME INSTALLATIONS & MAINTENANCE PROCEDURES INSIDE

Maintenance inside your home

Air conditioning may not be a standard feature in all new homes. If your home has air conditioning, oryou have one installed after closing date, please refer to the manufacturer’s operating and maintenanceinstructions.

All your new appliances have been installed and tested for operation in your home. The manufacturer’s appliance warranties take effect on the date of closing. The appliance manufacturer’s warrant their products directly to you according to the terms and conditions of the warranties they provide with the appliances.

Attic space is not designed or intended for storage. Access to the attic is for the inspection and maintenance of insulation, vents, chimneys, or other mechanical equipment that may be installed in theattic. If you or any service people perform maintenance or inspections in the attic, use great caution andavoid stepping off wood members onto the drywall under the insulation. Stepping off the trusses orwood members can result in personal injury or damage to the ceiling below.

Manufacturers often treat brass fixtures with a clear protective coating to protect and reduce maintenance. The coating can be damaged by intense sunlight and caustics or mineral spirits such asacetone found in nail polish remover. The finish can also be damaged by scratches or chips from sharp objects.

CLEANING

Care of these coated products requires only periodic cleaning with a mild household cleaner.

TARNISH

Like sterling silver, any un coated polished brass will gradually tarnish and eventually take on an antique appearance. Use an approved product to clean and polish unfinished brass.

Your builder may have left information about your cabinets. If you have wood or wood veneer cabinets,it is normal and acceptable that there will be differences in grain and color between the cabinet components due to natural variations in wood and the way it takes stain. Since wood is a product of nature these variances in wood must only be matched to within a reasonable limit, as perfect matches in grain or colour of the wood are impossible.

CLEANING

Products such as lemon oil or polishes that include scratch cover are usually recommended for wood cabinet care by the manufacturer. Follow the cabinet manufacturer’s directions, or the cleaning product directions. Avoid washing cabinets with water or ammonia cleaners. Cabinets with synthetic finishes such as melamine can usually be cleaned with mild soapy water and dried immediately afterward. If in doubt, consult the manufacturer’s recommendations for care and cleaning.

HINGES

If cabinet doors become misaligned, most new cabinet hardware can be adjusted by homeowners with ordinary household tools. If hinges catch or drawer glides bind or stick, a small amount of silicone lubricant will help. If lubricant does not help check to ensure nothing is inhibiting movement, or the cabinets or hardware have not been damaged in some way.

MOISTURE

Damage to cabinet finishes and door warping can result from using appliances that generate large amounts of heat or moisture (such as counter‐top ovens, crock pots or water kettles) too near the cabinet. When using such appliances, be aware and place them in a location that is not directly under a cabinet or near furniture which can be damaged.

Homeowners may be provided a record of the brand, style and colour of floor coverings in your new home. Please keep this information for future reference and refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations for information on the care of your floor coverings.

CLEANING

Your carpeting will have a manufacturer’s warranty depending on the style and quality you purchased and whether it was factory treated with a stain resistant material. Have your carpet professionally cleaned regularly, typically after 18 months in your home and then once a year after that depending on local conditions.

CRUSHING

Furniture and traffic may crush a carpet’s pile fibers. Moving your furniture to change the traffic pattern in a room promotes even wear and reduces the effects of crushing. Heavy traffic areas such as halls and stairways are more susceptible to wear and crushing. This is considered “normal wear and tear” and is not warrant able.

STAINS

Some carpets are stain‐resistant, but this does not mean the carpet is stain‐proof. Always refer to the manufacturer’s recommendation for cleaning or consult a professional cleaner who will understand the various coloring and chemical constituents of your particular carpet.

STATIC

Dry air in the home can often contribute to static electricity discharges. One solution is to select carpet sat pre‐construction that have an anti‐static treatment, or homeowners may install a humidifier to moisten the air within the home to acceptable levels which may reduce static charge buildup.

Over time caulking may dry out and shrink so that it no longer provides a good seal between baseboardsand walls, or between millwork counter or vanity tops and walls. In wet areas silicone caulking mayshrink, de‐bond, or show signs of mildew. As part of your routine maintenance check caulking monthlyand repair or replace as necessary.

LATEX CAULK

Latex caulking is non‐toxic, cleans up easily and is used in areas that require painting. Latex caulk is ahomeowner maintenance item and part of normal maintenance, renovations and painting.

SILICONE CAULK

Silicone caulking is used where water is present, for example, where the tub meets tile or at shower stalldoors, or where a sink meets a countertop (especially under‐mount sinks). Silicone caulking is notpaintable and contains acetic acid which gives off an odor while curing. Read the instructions on the product container.

CLEANING

Ceramic tile is low maintenance. Vacuum or sweep floor tile for normal cleaning. Tile can also be cleaned with a wet mop and warm water. Depending on the finish of the tile surface it is recommended homeowners avoid adding detergent to the water. The ceramic tile installed on walls, countertops, or backsplashes in your home may be cleaned with any approved nonabrasive soap, detergent, or tile cleaner. Some high gloss or unfinished tile may be damaged by abrasive cleaners.

GROUT DISCOLORATION

Clean grout that becomes yellowed or stained with a fiber brush, cleanser and water. Products for cleaning grout are available at most home hardware stores.

SEALING GROUT

Sealing grout is a homeowner decision and responsibility. The industry standard does not require builders to seal grout. Once grout has been sealed, it will require regular re‐application of sealant.Ongoing maintenance of the seal is necessary.

SEPARATIONS

Slight separations between tiles and the grout will occur and is normal. Grouting is intended to finish the tile surface, but does not hold the tile in place or affect the performance of the tile. Gaps or cracks in the grouting can be filled using premixed grout available at building supply stores.

When warm, moist air comes into contact with cooler surfaces, the moisture condenses. In your home, condensation is seen as a layer of moisture on the inside of glass windows and doors. This condensations usually caused by high humidity within the home combined with low outside temperature sand inadequate ventilation. Your lifestyle and the number of people in the home can influence this condition.

NEW CONSTRUCTION

New homes have higher moisture content than homes which are one or two years old. Many of the materials used in your home contain water ‐including the wood, paints, water‐based adhesives, caulking and more. Over time the moisture will be released as components dry and adjust to the local climate.

HUMIDIFIER OPERATION

If your new home has a humidifier installed follow the manufacturer’s directions for its use. The manufacturer will typically recommend a humidity setting according to the season and other variables like the outside temperatures.

DE‐HUMIDISTAT

In some climates newly built homes are equipped with a de‐humidity. These are electrical devices which operate the bathroom fan(s) in your home on a timed schedule. These are installed according to building code and should run for a period of 8 hours per day. There are electronic and mechanical units.

TEMPERATURE

Keep your home heated to a normal, comfortable, recommended living range between 20 ‐ 22 degrees Celsius. Excess heat or cold may cause excess shrinkage, or excess moisture in your home.

HUMIDITY GUIDE
Outside Air Temperature in Fahrenheit Outside Air Temperature in Celsius Desirable Maximum Inside Relative Humidity (%) at an Indoor Temperature of 21 C (70 F)
-20 -29 20%
-10 -24 25%
0 -18 30%
10 -12 35%
20 -7 40%
VENTILATION

Ensure that bathroom fans operate while showering or bathing and are left on until all excess moisturein the bathroom has dissipated.

Use a cutting board to protect your counters when you cut or chop. Protect the counter from heat and from extremely hot pans. If you cannot put your hand on it, do not put it on the counter. Do not use countertops as ironing boards and do not set lighted cigarettes on the edge of the counter. Do not use countertops to pound objects on or use them to sit on.

CAULKING

The caulking between the countertop and the wall, along the joint at the backsplash (the section of counter that extends a few inches up the wall along the counter area) and around the sink may shrink, leaving a slight gap. If a gap occurs water may seep below the countertop causing damage to the countertop or to the cabinets below. Maintaining a good seal in these locations is important to keep moisture from reaching the wood under the laminates and to prevent warping.

SEPARATION FROM WALL

Countertops will separate from walls, backsplashes and around sinks. This is a normal occurrence due to the normal shrinkage of materials. Maintaining the caulking is part of the homeowners maintenance responsibilities.

CLEANING

Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning.

LAMINATES

Laminated (mill work) countertops will have seams at any mitered intersections and it is normal that these will be visible. You should avoid letting water stand on any countertop seam.

GRANITE AND NATURAL STONE

All natural stone is porous material. The porosity will vary depending on the type of stone and depending on its density. Marble is typically less porous, granite more so than marble and limestone is again more porous. If natural stone products are left unsealed, liquids and stains can penetrate and are extremely difficult to clean. Natural stone will require sealing with approved products on a schedule recommended by the product manufacturer and in accordance with the supplier’s recommendation.

Doors inside new homes are wood products and are subject to shrinkage and warpage if the humidity level of your home is not maintained at an acceptable level, or if the finish (paint or stain etc.) is damaged and left un‐repaired. Normal fluctuations in humidity levels from the use of forced air furnaces, showers, cooking and dishwashers may result in interior doors occasionally requiring minor adjustments.

BIFOLD DOORS

Bi‐fold doors may shrink or warp slightly and may also require some adjustment to re‐align them. If they bind in the hardware apply a silicone spray lubricant to the track at the top of the door.

FAILURE TO LATCH

If a door will not latch because of minor settlement of the structure, the latch plate can be adjusted as necessary. Before adjusting the latch plate check that the hinge screws are tight.

HINGES

If hinges on swing doors in your home squeak, apply a silicone spray lubricant to correct this.

LOCKS

Lubricate door locks with silicone spray or another non‐staining, waterproof lubricant. Avoid using oil, a sit may solidify and become “gummy”.

SHRINKAGE

Use putty, filler or latex caulk to fill any minor cracks or separations that typically occur at mitered joint sin door trim. Sand and paint with the matching. The need for paint touch‐ups to walls and woodwork due to normal wear and tear is a homeowners maintenance responsibility.

STICKING

The most common cause of a sticking door is the natural expansion of the door or framing lumber caused by changes in humidity. If doors stick, check and tighten the hinge screws that hold the doorjamb or door frame. If light planning is necessary after trying this, use sandpaper to smooth the door and-paint or stain the sanded area to seal it.

WARPING

Doors may warp slightly; this is normal. If the warping is not excessive, keeping the door closed as mochas possible may return it to its original shape. Avoid having items leaning against open doors that airtight against the door stop. Acceptable warping fluctuations should not exceed 6mm (1/4’) of deflection.

WEATHER STRIPPING

Weather stripping and exterior door thresholds occasionally require cleaning and adjustment or replacement.

PANEL SHRINKAGE

Panel inserts of wood doors shrink and expand in response to changes in temperature and humidity.Touching up the paint or stain or unfinished exposed areas is your home maintenance responsibility.

Slight cracking, nail pops, or seam joints may appear in walls and ceilings. These are caused by them shrinkage of the wood and normal deflection of wall studs, trusses or rafters to which the drywall is attached.

During your orientation of your new home you will have been shown the main electrical breaker panel that includes a main shut‐off that controls all the electrical power to the home. Each breaker is marked to help you identify which breaker is connected to each major appliance, outlets or other service. If a power failure occurs in any single part of your home, always check the breakers in the main panel box-first.

BREAKERS

Circuit breakers have three positions: ON, OFF and TRIPPED.When a circuit breaker trips it must first be-turned off before it can be turned back on. Switching the breaker directly from TRIPPED to ON will not restore power service.

BREAKERS TRIPPING

Breakers usually trip because of overloads caused by plugging to many appliances into the circuit, a worn cord or defective appliance, or operating an appliance with too high a voltage or wattage requirement for the circuit. The sudden starting of an electric motor can also trip a breaker. If a breaker trips repeatedly check for any of the above causes.

BUZZING

Fluorescent fixtures use an electrical transformer called a “ballast” to operate. The voltage reducing transformer sometimes causes a buzzing noise and is normal unless the noise is excessive.

FIXTURE LOCATION

Moving fixtures to accommodate furniture arrangements or special needs is a homeowner responsibility. It is recommended a qualified electrician be consulted.

GROUND‐FAULT CIRCUIT INTERRUPTERS

GFCI receptacles have a built‐in element that senses small fluctuations in power. A GFCI is just another type of circuit breaker, only more sensitive. Building codes require installation of these receptacles near water sources such as in bathrooms, the kitchen, outside and the garage (areas where an individual can come into contact with water while holding an electric appliance or tool).There are GFCI receptacles (plugs) which are installed inside and outside your home and there are GFCI breakers which are installed in the electrical panel. Each GFCI circuit has a TEST and RESET button, each of which is usually colored differently from the GFCI itself and will be clearly marked. Once each month, press the TEST button.This will trip the circuit. To restore service, press the RESET button. If a GFCI breaker trips during normal use, it may indicate a faulty appliance and you will need to investigate the problem. One GFCI breaker can control up to two outlets.

GROUNDED SYSTEM

Your electrical system is a three‐wire grounded system. Never disconnect or remove the bare wire that connects to the box or device and never remove the ground pin (long round one) from an appliance cord plug.

POWER SURGE

Power surges are the result of conditions beyond the control of your builder and are excluded from warranty coverage. These can result in burned‐out bulbs or damage to sensitive electronic equipment such as TVs, alarm systems and computers. Damage resulting from surges or lightning strikes is excluded from warranty coverage.

LIGHT BULBS

The homeowner is responsible for replacing burned‐out bulbs other than those noted during your orientation.

LUMINOUS LIGHT PANELS

Translucent panels covering ceiling lights (usually fluorescent fixtures) are made of polystyrene plastic.To clean these panels remove them from the fixture frame. Wash with mild detergent and warm water.

UNDER OR OVER CABINET LIGHTING

In some new homes special lighting is installed. It is recommended that only the specified type and wattage of bulbs be used according to manufacturer’s specification.

Changes in temperature and humidity cause all building materials to expand and contract. Different materials expand or contract at different rates and this movement can result in separation between materials. When this happens the bond of the caulking may break and small gaps or cracks may appear.Minor cracking or small gaps are the result of normal settling and are the homeowner’s responsibility.

In most new home construction fireplaces are no longer of the fossil fuel (wood) burning type. Those are excluded from this manual.

CHIMNEY CLEANING

Chimney cleaning is performed according to the type of fireplace installed and the frequency of use. It is recommended that homeowners consult the manufacturer’s recommendations and the local Fire Protection Authority for information about cleaning.

GAS FIREPLACE

Most new homes have direct‐vent gas fireplaces installed. The operation of your gas fireplace is demonstrated during the orientation and homeowners are shown exactly where the gas shut‐off valves. Read and follow all manufacturers directions which are attached to the inside of the bottom of the fireplace units by a flexible cord so they do not become lost. The instruction card affixed to the unit alohas illustrations on how to light and operate the fireplace. Open flame sources for lighting are not typically needed since most fireplaces have an electro‐mechanical spark device built in.

CAUTION: The exterior vent cover for a direct‐vent gas fireplace becomes extremely hot when the fireplace is operating.

NOTE: Fireplaces are not intended to be the sole heat source in the home. The fireplace should function properly when the manufacturer’s directions are followed. Manufacturers may offer optional fans to be installed to drive hot air out of the plenum and into the living area and this is a homeowner responsibility to have installed. Contact the supplier directly.

CRACKS

If your fireplace has a masonry, tile or a natural stone hearth finish it is normal that there may be shrinkage of mortar resulting in hairline cracks in masonry, or in the grout of the tile or natural stone.The direct vent for the gas fireplace on the outside of your home is caulked at the connections to the cladding and the painted surface may degrade from heat. It is a homeowner’s responsibility to maintain the caulking and paint. High heat paints must be used for touch‐ups or there is a risk of fire from the application of incorrect products. ALWAYS ensure the fireplace is turned off and the pilot flame is extinguished before painting with flammable paints or injury may ensue. If you are unsure have there pair performed by a qualified fireplace contractor.

DISCOLORATION

Discoloration of the firebox or firebrick lining is a normal result of use and requires no corrective action.

DOWNDRAFT

Although extremely high winds can result in a downdraft, this condition should be temporary and occasional, correct continuous malfunction should be examined by a technician.

GLASS DOORS

On fireplaces with glass enclosed fireboxes and white haze will appear on the inside of the glass. This is normal accumulation of minerals which are the by‐product of combustion. Glass enclosures can be removed for cleaning according to the instructions in the manual. Use only approved cleaners available at the fireplace supplier or home hardware stores. Do not use household cleaners with ammonia or detergents.

WATER INFILTRATION

In periods of unusually heavy or prolonged precipitation or precipitation driven by high winds some water can enter the fireplace and the home through the chimney. This is not a defect under the terms ofyour limited warranty.

FLOOR DRAINS

Pour water down the floor drains in the basement area to ensure they are clean and functioning. The reason for this is to prevent sewer gas from backing up the pipes and getting into the home. Some districts or municipalities require that floor drains incorporate automatic primers to replenish the water in the trap. In homes that do not have the automatic type occasional filling with water may be required to keep them full.

SAFETY FIRST – You will find shut‐offs on gas lines near their connection to each item that operates on gas such as your gas furnace, gas hot water tank, fireplace, gas range or cook top, or outside interconnection. In addition there is a main shut‐off controlling gas to the entire home at the meter.

GAS LEAK

If you smell or suspect a gas leak leave the home and call the gas company immediately for emergency service.

Doorknobs and locks should operate correctly with little maintenance. Occasionally they may need slight adjustments due to normal shrinkage of the framing, door frame or the doors. On occasion homeowners may need to tighten screws or lubricate the handles and hinges with silicone spray lubricant.

In the maintenance of hardwood floors preventative maintenance is the primary goal.

CLEANING

Sweep on a daily basis or as needed. Never wet‐mop a hardwood or laminate floor unless the manufacturer approves doing so. Excessive water can enter the gaps between boards at joints and can cause the wood to expand and can damage the floor. When polyurethane finishes on laminate become dirty to refer to the manufacturer’s cleaning recommendations.

DIMPLES

Placing heavy furniture, dropping heavy or sharp objects, or walking with high heeled shoes on hardwood floors can result in dimples or cuts or bruise damage. Take care in maintaining you floor.

FURNITURE LEGS

Install proper floor protectors (felts or glides) on the legs of any furniture placed on hardwood floors.Protectors will allow chairs and larger furniture to move more easily over the floor without scuffing or scratching. Regularly clean or replace the protectors to remove any grit that may have accumulated which can cause scratching or wear of the surface of the floor finish.

HUMIDITY

Wood floors may respond noticeably to changes in humidity in your home. During winter months the individual planks or sections can expand and contract as water content changes. Laminate floors are typically “floating floor” assemblies and are not attached to the sub‐floor so some movement may be noticed.

MATS AND AREA RUGS

Use protective mats at the exterior doors and entries to help prevent sand and grit from damaging the floor. Hard mats such as “coco” mats should not be used and all mats should be taken up frequently for cleaning of any dirt or grit that might get between the mat and the floor surface and cause damage.Some rubber backing on area rugs or mats can cause yellowing and warping of the floor surface. Placing area rugs or mats on floors in direct sunlight may cause uneven fading or yellowing.

SEPARATION

Expect some shrinkage which will be noticed at the joints of the wood plank or board sections near heat vents or any heat‐producing appliances, or during seasonal weather changes.

SHOES

High heel shoes can exert over 8,000 pounds of pressure per square inch on the floor under the heels. Wearing of high heeled shoes on hardwood or laminate floors is not recommended under any circumstance.

SPILLS

Clean up food spills immediately with a dry cloth. Never allow water or any liquid to stand on the wood or laminate floor.

SPLINTERS

When wood or laminate floors are new, small splinters of wood can appear at the joints. Care is taken to remove these prior to the homeowner taking possession of the home, but the nature of natural wood-may mean that a few splinters do appear. To remove them, carefully use a sharp object like a razor knife to cut them ‐ do not pull at a splinter in case it tears along the wood grain and damages the board.

SUN EXPOSURE

Exposure to direct sunlight can cause irreparable damage, discoloration or fading to hardwood floors. To maintain your hardwood or laminate floors install and use window coverings in these areas.

TRAFFIC PATHS

Eventually the foot traffic in traffic paths will wear the finish – this is normal wear and tear.

WARPING

Warping will occur if the floor repeatedly becomes wet or is thoroughly soaked. Laminate floors may absorb the water and buckle and be destroyed.

SEPARATIONS

Shrinkage will result in separations between the members of hardwood floors.

Electric baseboard heating is maintenance free except for the cleaning of the appliance surface. Occasional dusting of the element (with caution) may be required.

In some new construction the sole source of heat for the living room area is the gas fireplace appliance.Refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations for operation, maintenance and cleaning.

Proper maintenance of your furnace can save fuel costs and prolong the life of the furnace. Carefully read and follow the manufacturer’s literature on use and maintenance.

ADJUST VENTS

Experiment with the adjustable floor or ceiling registers in your home to establish the best heat flow for your lifestyle. You may reduce the heat in seldom‐used rooms, but do not turn it off completely in cold conditions.

COMBUSTION AIR

Furnaces installed in basements, or in utility closets in garages or over crawl spaces have an outside combustion air duct. This combustion vent allows unrestricted fresh air into the combustion chambers of the gas furnace and gas heater. The end of this duct on the outside of your home is covered with a screen to restrict insects or small animals from entering the duct. Cold air coming in through this duct means it is functioning as it should.

Caution: Never cover or block the combustion air vent in any way at the outside of your home or inside your home where the vent terminates. Outside air is needed to supply the furnace with sufficient oxygen to supply the flame. Blocking the combustion air vent will cause the furnace to draw air down the vent pipe and pull poisonous gases back into your home. If your home is not equipped with CO (Carbon Monoxide) sensors, or they are not functioning properly Carbon Monoxide poisoning may occur.

DUCTWORK NOISE

Some popping or pinging sounds are the natural result of ductwork heating and cooling in response to changes in the temperature of the airflow as the system operates. As duct work and vents expand and contract noise is the result.

FILTERS

Keeping furnace filters clean will save on fuel and heating costs and help in keeping the inside of your home as dust free as possible. Change or clean the filter monthly during the heating season. Clogged filters can slow airflow and cause the fan to run too long and can create cold spots in your home.

GAS LEAK

If you smell or suspect a gas leak leave the home and call the gas company immediately for emergency service.

ODOR

A new heating system may produce an odor for a few moments when you first turn it on. An older system may emit an odor after being unused for an extended time (such as after the summer months).This is caused by dust that has settled in the heating elements and in the ducts and should pass quickly. If it does not, turn the heating system off and call a qualified service person.

ON‐OFF SWITCH

The furnace has an ON‐OFF blower switch. This switch is the same as a regular light switch and is located either on a metal box near the furnace or is mounted on the wall outside the furnace room and will be labeled. When turned off, this switch overrides all furnace commands and shuts down the blower and the furnace cannot operate.

REGISTERS

Heat register covers are removable and adjustable. Homeowners are responsible for adjusting the grilles in these covers to regulate the heat flow within the home.

RETURN AIR VENTS

In the home there are several grilles attached to the walls just above the floor. These are cold air return vents for the heating system. It is important that these areas are kept free of obstructions such as furniture or drapes, which will block the return airflow to the furnace causing it to operate inefficiently.

If your new home has a heat pump system refer to the manufacturer’s literature and follow the instructions for the care, operation and maintenance of this system.

AIR CIRCULATION ACROSS COILS

Heat pump systems have an outside unit that must be kept clear of debris or other materials that will prevent air circulation across the coils. Leaves, twigs, snow, ice and any materials that build up against the unit should be removed as part of regular maintenance.

AUXILIARY HEAT SYSTEM

In conditions of extreme cold the heat pump system may rely on an auxiliary heat source. Check manufacturer’s instructions for care and maintenance.

DEFROST CYCLE

When a heat pump unit operates in heat mode the coils outside may reach freezing temperatures and frost or ice may accumulate. The heat pump system will automatically start a defrost cycle and this is normal operation.

Operate a humidifier according to the recommendations of the manufacturer. IF you notice condensation on windows, either the humidifier should be adjusted to a lower setting or there is a source of excess moisture in the home. The humidifier is an appliance – refer to the manufacturer’s limited warranty for information regarding coverage of the humidifier.

Avoid abrasive cleaners, scouring pads, or scrub brushes on any paint surface since these will cause damage. If cleaning with soap and water is not successful a commercial cleaner may be required followed by touch‐up of the paint.

STAIN

The same stain or closely matching products can be obtained for minor interior woodwork stain touch ups.

When doing paint touch‐ups use a small brush, applying paint only to the damaged spot. If the paint is a latex eggshell, the best way to apply the paint is to “stipple” the paint on with the tip of the brush.Stippling means to blot or dab the paint on with the brush instead of applying long strokes. If the painted surfaces are dirty or aged, the touch‐up may not match the surrounding area.

Normal settlement and the adjustment of moisture contents of the building materials take time to reach normal and stable humidity levels and may cause small cracks in your drywall

With normal aging wood trim at window sills and door sills may develop minor cracks, or raised grain.Most of this will typically occur during the first year. Raised grain will permit moisture to get under the paint and can result in peeling or warping of the boards when they are near areas of sun exposure, moisture and temperature variations.. Paint finish maintenance of wood trim is a homeowner responsibility.

Your plumbing system has many components; most require little maintenance such as piping inside walls and drainage systems. Making sure you use fixtures properly, only flushing appropriate waste down toilets, checking faucet and hose screens and draining your hot water tank as part of routine home maintenance will ensure long life of all plumbing components.

CLEANING

Always follow manufacturer’s directions for cleaning fixtures.

CLOGS

The main causes of toilet clogs are household items being dropped in such as disposable diapers, excessive amounts of toilet paper, sanitary supplies, Q‐tips, dental floss and children’s toys to name a few. Improper garbage disposal use also causes many plumbing clogs.

Always use plenty of cold water when running the arbitrator disposal unit, do not force any material into the appliance and allow sufficient time for material to be chewed up by the blades of the unit to prevent clogs. Never flush or wash hot or cold grease or oil down a drain. In particular, hot grease or oil will travel down the pipes and when it cools it will congeal and then stick to the pipe wall eventually causing blockages.

DRIPPING FAUCET

Most new plumbing fixtures use a washer‐less cartridge. If these wear or become damaged the best solution is to replace them with new units. Contact your plumber or refer to the misinformation on how to replace them.

FIBERGLASS FIXTURES

For normal cleaning use a non‐abrasive bathroom cleanser and sponge or a soft cloth. Avoid steel wool, scrapers and scouring pads, or anything that could damage the finish. Commercial polishes are available for cleaning and stain removal and which apply a protective finish. Consult your plumbing supplier or a home supply store.

FREEZING PIPES

In freezing temperatures set the heat at a minimum of 12 ‐14 degrees C. Keep garage doors closed to protect plumbing lines running through or into the garage area from freezing temperatures (furnace and hot water tank rooms).In sub‐zero freezing weather or if no one will be in the home for a time, open cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around pipes under sinks and for refrigerator water line installations. If pipes freeze, call a plumbing service company to thaw them properly.

JETTED TUBS

If your home includes a jetted tub follow manufacturer directions for its use, care and cleaning.

LEAKS

If a major plumbing leak occurs, the first step is to turn off the main water supply to the home. If a major water pipe leak occurs it is better to minimize the damage and allow the plumber to identify and isolate the source of the leak.

LOW PRESSURE

If pressure is low throughout your home contact a plumbing service company. If pressure is only low atone faucet or outlet, check that the service valve is fully open, that the faucet aerator is not plugged or ifit is the washing machine, that the supply hose screen is not blocked.

MAIN SHUT‐OFF

The water supply to your home can be shut off entirely in two locations. The first is at the street and the second is at the meter.

OUTSIDE FAUCETS

Some outside hose bibs are self‐draining and freeze‐proof, but in order for this fixture to be effective you must remove hoses during cold weather even if the faucet is located in your garage ‐ and especially before freezing weather. If a hose or flow diverter is left attached, the water that remains in the hose and hose bib can freeze and expand back into the pipe, causing a break in the line. If your home is not equipped with a frost‐free (self‐draining) style of hose bib there will be a water shut‐off somewhere inside the home. It is important that you learn where these water shut=‐off valves are and turn them off – then drain the hose bib properly to prevent water from freezing inside it and bursting the hose bib or the supply pipe.

NOTE: Neither your builder nor your warranty provider warrant hose bibs against freezing. If freezing and water damage occur it is the private insurance of the homeowner to deal with a claim.

PORCELAIN

You can damage porcelain enamel in sinks and bathtubs with a sharp blow from a heavy object, dropping heavy objects in the sink, or by scratching. Do not stand in the bathtub wearing boots or shoes unless you have placed a protective covering over the bottom of the tub.

SHUT‐OFFS

Your main water shut‐off is located near your water meter or inside the home where the hot water tank is installed if you do not have a meter. Use this shut‐off for major water emergencies such as a water line break. Each toilet has a shut‐off valve on the water line under the tank and each sink has both hot and cold water shut‐off under the sink or nearby. Your dishwasher will have a shut‐off located under the sink or otherwise located in the supply line. Other appliances installed in your home will have water shut‐offs in the supply line (refrigerator ice‐makers, under sink water heaters, etc.).

Stained wood, enameled aluminum or wrought iron railings in your home require little maintenance beyond occasional dusting or polishing. Protect railings from damage. It is suggested that homeowners cover railings with protective mats during move‐in.

Resilient flooring requires minimal maintenance. Follow the manufacturer’s specific recommendations for care and cleaning according to the product installed in your home. Avoid moving or dragging heavy-items on resilient flooring, or dents, wrinkles, or tearing may result. Some resilient floors can be repaired ‐ check with the manufacturer or the company who installed the floor if damage occurs.

LIMIT WATER

Excessive amounts of water on resilient floors can penetrate the sealed seams and get under the edges by the baseboards or trim which may cause the glue to de‐bond and the flooring to lift and curl.

RAISED NAIL HEADS

Movements of the floor joist caused by the natural shrinkage and deflection can result in raised nail heads. If there is a raised nail, place a block of wood over it and hit the block with a hammer.

Always refer to the manufacturer’s literature and warranty for your specific model of water heater. As-with other appliance warranties the homeowner must contact the manufacturer directly.

DRAIN TANK

Depending on local water conditions, draining the tank partially or completely is a recommended maintenance item. Refer to your manufacturer’s literature and also consult your plumbing contractor for guidelines and recommendations.

ELEMENT CLEANING OR REPLACEMENT ‐ ELECTRIC HOT WATER TANK

The heating elements in the water heater may require periodic cleaning or replacement. Minerals and light silt film can build up on this element reducing its efficiency. The frequency of cleaning or replacement is determined in part by the quality of the water in your area and the amount of use the tank gets. It is recommended that homeowners contact an authorized service company to have elements cleaned or replaced.

TEMPERATURE PRESSURE RELIEF VALVE (TPR)

At least once each year manually operate the TPR valve on the top of your hot water tank. The relief valve is a brass valve with a small lever on the top and often there is a pipe connected to it which goes down the side of the tank to the floor or to a drain. Lift the lever slightly to control the flow of water and ensure that the valve closes properly after the lever is released. The water that is released will be very hot ‐ stay clear of the end of the discharge line to avoid injury. Refer to the manufacturer’s literature for diagrams and detailed instructions.

SAFETY FIRST ‐ Keep the area around the water heater clear of household items

Carefully read and follow the manufacturer’s literature for your specific model of water heater.

Depending on local water conditions, draining the tank partially or completely is a recommended maintenance item. Refer to your manufacturer’s literature and also consult your plumbing contractor for guidelines and recommendations on the frequency of performing this maintenance according to local conditions.

SAFETY FIRST – Vacuum the area around a gas‐fired water heater to prevent dust from interfering with proper flame combustion. Avoid using the top of a heater as a storage shelf and ensure that there are noncombustible items placed near the flame box of the heater which is at the bottom.

Shrinkage of wood trim occurs during the first two years of longer, depending on the temperature and humidity both outside and inside your home. Wood is more prone to shrinkage during the heating season. Maintaining a moderate and stable temperature and humidity level in your home helps to minimize the effects of shrinkage. If shrinkage or warping causes a piece of trim to pull away from the wall drive a finishing nail of the appropriate size in to fasten it. Fill the old nail hole with putty or caulk and touch‐up with paint as needed. If the base shoe (small trim between base molding and the floor)appears to be lifting from the floor, this is probably due to slight shrinkage of the floor joists below. You can correct this condition by re‐nailing the shoe with a finishing nail of the appropriate size.

RAISED GRAIN

Because of the effects of weather on natural wood, you should expect raised grain to develop. This is normal and not a defect in the wood or paint.