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Important Maintenance Tips:

Floors:

  • Wood floors should be mopped or vacuumed.  Use a paste wax (if recommended by the flooring manufacturer) on hardwood floors, and if excessively soiled, clean with mineral spirits or a commercial cleaner.  Check with a flooring company to find out if your hardwood floors should be professionally cleaned and resealed after a certain period of time.
  • Linoleum, asphalt, vinyl, vinyl-asbestos and rubber floors should be swept, mopped or vacuumed regularly.  You can clean these floors with diluted detergent or a recommended floor cleaner and then wax if required.
  • Slate or clay tile should be sealed to protect and prevent staining.  Use a diluted detergent or tile cleaner to clean.
  • Carpeting should be vacuumed regularly and shampooed when needed.  Avoid excessive wetting when shampooing.

Windows:

  • For lightly soiled windows, use a solution of one cup of vinegar to one gallon of warm water.
  • For heavily soiled windows, use a solution of one tablespoon of household ammonia and three tablespoons of denatured alcohol or vinegar to one quart of warm water.

Walls:

  • Some painted surfaces may be cleaned with a mild solution of detergent and water.  If you are not sure about the washability of the paint, try washing in an inconspicuous place.
  • Glazed brick or tile should be washed with soap and water.  Use a non-abrasive household cleaner to remove stains.
  • Wood paneling should be cleaned with a wood cleaning product and then treated with paneling wax or with linseed oil.

Drains:

  • Never pour grease down your drains.  Keep hair and food out of the drain.  Do not use any kind of lye if you have a plastic pipe system.
  • Always use only cold water when operating the disposal.
  • Occasionally grind some ice cubes.

Cabinets:

  • Do not clean with abrasive cleaners; use a "soft-scrub" type cleaner.
  • Wood cabinets should be cleaned and waxed just like fine furniture.
  • Plastic coated cabinets may be cleaned with a detergent solution.

Counter Tops:

  • Counter tops should be cleaned with a "soft-scrub" cleaner.
  • Although most counter tops are heat and stain resistant, you should not place hot objects directly on the counter top.
  • Formica tops can be cut easily, so a chopping block should be used.

Bathroom:

Regular cleaning of fixtures prevents a soap scum build-up. Never use a harsh cleaner

  • Use a glass cleaner for chrome or brass.
  • Use a "soft-scrub" cleaner for marble and cultured marble.
  • Use a stiff brush to clean grout.  For a heavy stain, use a commercial grout cleaner. 

Heating and Cooling Systems:

  • Close registers and doors in rooms not normally used.
  • Hot air rises and cold air falls.  With this in mind, in the summer you should close some downstairs registers and open some upstairs registers, reverse the process in the winter.
  • Keep registers and cold-air returns free from obstacles, such as drapes, furniture and other items.
  • Check the filter in your heating system at least every 3 months, it should be cleaned or changed.  The filter should be checked more often if there is a lot of traffic in and out of the house.

Landscaping:

  • Be sure splash blocks and downspout extensions are in place and carry roof water away from the foundation.
  • Keep lawn manicured and free of debris.

Winterize:

  • Drain water from outside faucets and put away the hose.

Safety Devices:

  • Test smoke detectors, replace batteries if necessary.
  • Keep a charged fire extinguisher in an accessible location.
  • Test CO detectors, replace batteries if necessary.