Don’t worry; you haven’t been tricked - when it comes to condo living, you don’t have a lot of maintenance responsibilities. As you’re probably already aware, condominiums have property management teams to take care of external maintenance, grounds care and major building renovations and repairs. For the homeowner, generally, the only responsibility left is basic maintenance, which is necessary no matter where you live.
Thankfully, even basic maintenance is hassle free when it comes to your condo. That being said there are a few tips, tricks, and reminders to help keep it that way - a little maintenance goes a long way in making your condo enjoyable all year round.
New Homeowner? Mark The Date!
If you’re a new condo owner we want to first say, congratulations! Moving into a new condo is a big and exciting step. As a new homeowner, take the time to understand your new home warranty [ link to Understanding Your New Home Warranty ]. With this in mind, mark your calendar at least a month before your one-year move-in anniversary. As part of Alberta’s mandatory home warranty legislation, you will have material and labour coverage on your home for the first twelve months. We suggest at least a month before as it will give you plenty of time to address any concerns with your builder prior to the one-year mark.
Now, that’s not to say your home should be riddled with issues, but any small defects or imperfections (generally typical to a new condo build) should be addressed at this time.
Check Your Warranties
Speaking of warranty, make sure you read and follow the manufacturer instructions and warranties for all major appliances. Most appliances will have warranty registration cards or numbers you can send to the manufacturer or register online. Should you have any issues that fall within warranty conditions you can bring it to the attention of the manufacturer. Following the manufacturer’s warranty can save you some potentially heavy maintenance costs in the event that an appliance breaks down.
Basic Tips For Every Condo Owner
Between warranty coverage and designated home walk-throughs, you can save a lot on maintenance costs, but ultimately the hope is that there aren’t any significant issues to begin with. In order to help avoid long-term problems, let’s move on to some basic tips to maintain your home.
One of the first things you can do upon moving into your new condo is to find and familiarize yourself with the circuit breaker. Every new condo will have standard circuit switches. When a circuit breaker trips, make sure to turn it off before turning it back on again.
The classic squeaky door hinge; it’s an inevitable issue. There are some very speedy solutions at your disposal when you start to hear squeaking. First, purchase some silicone lubricant. Something like WD-40 multi-purpose lubricant will work well too. Remove the hinge pins, apply and re-insert into the door hinge. Make sure you only remove one hinge pin at a time in order to avoid undo stress on the door. It is also in your best interest to avoid oil lubricants that can attract dust or dirt.
Next up, maintaining your drains. It’s free and will save you a lot of money in the long run. Simply pour boiling water down your drains once a week or so to keep them clean and wash away built up gunk. If you have a garburator you can clean it by garburating a few ice cubes with citrus rinds every couple months.
It’s important to clean your smoke detectors each month and make sure you understand how to test your alarm after installing a new battery. Having extra batteries on hand is also a good idea.
Checking your home appliances once in a while can save you a lot of headache in the long run. Inspecting things like your supply lines to your washer and dryer can prevent water damage that may go undetected in the event of a slow leak. The same can be said for refrigerator and appliances like deep freezes. Pulling your major appliances out from the wall every few months for inspection and cleaning provides a perfect opportunity to do a quick inspection.
Perhaps one of the most impactful maintenance tips has to do with ventilation. Make sure your condo is well ventilated by keeping your vents and fans clean and clear of dust, dirt, and debris and by airing out your condo when the weather permits the windows to be open. Keeping your condo well ventilated will help with build-up and help keep sweeping and dusting to a minimum.
An easy preventative measure to avoid scratched floors, especially hardwood, is investing in felt pads for furniture legs. Adhesive felt pads can be purchased at most hardware stores. It’s an inexpensive purchase that could save you major maintenance costs over time.
A helpful tip for future maintenance is to keep track of your paint colours. If you have a record of the SKU number for the paint as well as an extra paint chip you should be able to find the exact paint or at the very least match the paint at a local hardware store. Your home builder may be able to provide you with the specific colour and SKU number. Every time you choose to re-paint, keep track of your colour choices.
A Little Maintenance Goes A Long Way
Home maintenance doesn’t need to be a pain. Part of the joy of condo living is taking the stress out of having to do a lot of upkeep. It really comes down to keeping track of the little things. Be proactive in keeping tabs on home appliances and home ventilation and be preventative with things like felt pads to protect your flooring and routine drain cleaning. With a little maintenance here and there you should steer clear of major issues.
If you’re looking for more maintenance tips and home care guidelines you can refer to StreetSide Development’s maintenance guide and comprehensive Homeowner’s Manual.