The Chesapeake Homes
Home Care Guide
The Home Care Guide will give you helpful ideas about the maintenance of the many systems and materials used in your home. Maintaining your new home is not unlike maintaining a new car – the more you adhere to the “scheduled maintenance plan,” the longer your car will run and the more efficiently it will operate. Your home is no exception. Attention to details, such as changing return air filters, replacing caulking, and understanding the best way to clean counter tops and bathtubs, are just a few of the ways you can extend the useful enjoyment of your home and ensure its highest possible resale value for years into the future. We hope you will take the time to review this information, and put its many ideas into use.
Your home has been built to strict specifications of materials and workmanship. During the various stages of construction your home passes numerous rigid building, plumbing, electrical, utility, street and final inspections set forth and required by various departments of your local city government. Additionally, our Construction Superintendent conducts his own periodic independent inspections.
Nonetheless, the construction of any home involves thousands of different parts and hundreds of hours of human labor and may, therefore, present the opportunity for “fine tuning” different elements during your ownership. Some of these adjustments will be the responsibility of Chesapeake Homes, and some will be normal maintenance items that are your responsibility. Your new home deserves good care. As with any product involving the assembling of various materials, parts and mechanical devices – all through human craftsmanship – your new home may require certain minor adjustments. However, in general, the upkeep and maintenance of your new home is your responsibility.
Your continued attention to and repair of the occasional small items as they occur, rather than neglect, will pay dividends to you and your family in the form of years of pleasant, comfortable, and major trouble-free living. Properly maintained, your home will provide you a place of shelter, comfort and enjoyment for many years to come. During the “break in” period a little care and common sense will go a long way in assuring that your home “performs” to your expectations, thereby enhancing your pride of ownership.
A general knowledge of how the materials and systems in your home react to changes in temperature, humidity, shrinkage and expansion, along with an understanding of proper maintenance procedures, will enable you to more fully understand the adjustments that your home, and every home, will go through over the years. Also see Operating Suggestions and Maintenance Hints for details on operating various equipment, as well as helpful hints for upkeep of smaller items in your home.
Your home is built on concrete footings, engineered to meet existing soil conditions and the various loads created by the home, wind and other factors. Nonetheless, you should expect some degree of settlement or shrinkage to occur as it does on every home. Again, the ten-year warranty manual will address when the effects of this shrinkage may have exceeded allowable tolerances necessitating repairs.
Concrete, like plaster and other solid materials, is not flexible and will react, through cracks, to the ever-present actions of heat, frost, shrinking and swelling soil conditions and grade settlement. The stresses to which it will be subjected have been anticipated and addressed through the pouring of proper thickness concrete and the installation of expansion joints where required. However, you can anticipate the minor cracking will occur over time. In most cases, these cracks are cosmetic in nature and you can accomplish repairs to them with materials readily available at local hardware and building materials supply houses.
Your exterior concrete may be subjected to a variety of potentially damaging conditions. Do your part by using the following tips to maintain a durable concrete surface.
- Do not use de-icing chemicals during the first winter. Use plain sand for traction.
- It is best to avoid direct application of de-icing chemicals.
- Never use de-icing products containing ammonium sulfate or any other fertilizer-based chemicals
- After the first winter, sparingly use a mix of sand and chloride-based de-icers – rock salt or calcium chloride for de-icing.
When water saturated concrete freezes, small flakes of the surface may peel off exposing stone and sand, leaving a rough and unsightly surface. This form of damage I referred to as scaling. Concrete is more prone to scaling during the first year.
For maximum protection, water-repellent coatings and sealers will prevent water from getting into the concrete. Apply a sealer by rolling or spraying a commercial sealer on a dry concrete surface in late summer or early fall. Follow manufacturers’ recommendations.
All wood load-bearing framing materials used in your home are of such grade, size and quality that they will carry the entire load of the house (with a safety factor). The structural skeleton of your home is engineered to provide for even settlement, and the various woods used in your home have generally been kiln-dried to help control their moisture content, thereby minimizing shrinkage. Still, wood products will give up much of their inherent moisture during your first year of ownership, causing some shrinkage and the movement of some moldings or trim out of their original position. Shrinkage also causes joints in the woodwork to open, doors to warp and cracks to appear. During the first heating season, try to keep the temperature in your home at about 70ºF to slow the drying-out process and help minimize the twisting and warping which may occur.
In our interior finishes, we use both “plaster” and “drywall,” depending on the community’s location and standard practices in that area. Both finishes have certain advantages — plaster walls are somewhat easier to repair and offer a “harder” finish making them more resistant to scuffs and dings. Drywall finishes offer a smooth wall surface, ready for wallpaper treatment in any room. Your drywall or plaster interior walls should last without undue maintenance for the life of the building. However, it is not unusual for slight imperfections such as nail pops, seam lines and cracks to appear in wallboard installations. Cracks and nail pops can be filled with spackling compound or drywall mud, generally obtainable from any paint or hardware store. After your repairs have dried, smooth them out with fine sandpaper and then redecorate as desired. Sometimes unusual abrasions will cause a deep scuff or indentation with two or three applications of spackling compound or drywall mud to affect a satisfactory repair. Similar repairs can be made to plastered walls by buying a plaster repair kit at any hardware store. Generally, this is a one-coat repair that requires no sanding or setup time and is ready for redecorating immediately after drying.
The roof on your home is either a seal-down asphalt or fiberglass shingle. Both roofs are called “25 Year Roofs” which means that you can expect the roof to give you that much service if properly cared for and under normal weather conditions. To help the room live up to those expectations:
- Never interfere with the attic ventilation system as this can cause damaging heat and moisture build-up on the underside of the roof;
- Keep rain gutters free of leaves and debris. Clogged gutters cause water back up which results in leaks and de laminating of roof sheathing edges;
- Keep tree limbs clear of your roof;
- Ensure that nothing is ever fastened to or punched through the roof; and,
- Check the caulking around all roof vent stacks and all metal flashings at least twice a year and renew as necessary.
By its very nature, brick is irregular in size and shape and may have small chips or surface cracks. Further, spacing during installation may vary somewhat. Without this texture or normal variations, it would appear machine-made and lack much of its natural beauty and interest. By its nature, brickwork should be maintenance-free and give you many years of lasting beauty.
Windows play an important part in the enjoyment of your home. They follow natural light to enter and provide for ventilation during temperate seasons. All of the windows in your home are either metal or vinyl sash with double pane glass and an insulating air space between the panes. Yet, while today’s windows are better insulators than previous generations, there R-value (resistance to heat transfer) is considerably less than an insulated exterior wall, and, therefore, is more sensitive to changes in exterior temperatures. During weather extremes there will be a movement of air across the inside surface of the glass. This is caused by temperature differentials between the inside and outside air. These differentials change the temperature of the glass, which, in turn, changes the temperature of the air near the inside surface of the glass. When this occurs, the cooler air then falls to a lower level (remember, just as hot air rises, cool air falls) and is replaced at the window with warmer air. This air current or “convective loop” is nearly always present except during the most temperate weather conditions, and will play a role in the comfort you experience when sitting or standing near a window. For that reason, placement of furniture near glass areas should be a careful consideration. Windows may be somewhat hard to open or close because they are tightly fitted. Initial applications of a silicone spray to the sides will ease their operations until the window is “broken-in” from periodic use. Your builder is not responsible for broken or scratched window glass that is not reported prior to closing.
The construction of your home required the use of water in many processes ranging from the mixing of foundation mortar to application of drywall finishes, to name a few. This water will evaporate over time and, as it does, it will create a higher moisture or humidity condition in the home, especially if the house was completed during the fall or winter. This process is a natural one for your house, especially during your first year of occupancy. Ventilation will aid the normal drying out process. Therefore, we strongly recommend the use of bath fans during and following baths and showers, and kitchen fans during meal preparation. Further we recommend not to attempting speeding the drying process by overheating the house. A too rapid drying out will cause uneven drying and will exaggerate the effects of normal material shrinkage as moisture is released. Additionally, condensation can be caused by ambient climatic/humidity conditions and through elevated moisture levels created often by normal homeowner activities such as showering, cooking, water of plants, etc. During periods of elevated moisture and high humidity, condensation will always occur on colder surfaces, such as interior windows and water pipes. It is, therefore, often incorrectly that such condensation is the result of leaking water pipes or loose fitting or poorly constructed windows. If excessive condensation appears to occurring in your home, determine the cause of the elevated moisture first and use your HVAC and mechanical ventilation systems to help lower humidity levels. Typically this action, along with a return to normal humidity conditions, will alleviate the problem.
Dripping water faucets or toilet tanks that do not operate properly usually require only a minor adjustment such as cleaning or replacing a washer. Care should be exercised to close faucets just hard enough to shut off the flow of water. If closed too forcefully they may cut the washers. Dirty faucet aerators can reduce water pressure at the faucet. Aerators should be removed and cleaned frequently. The government mandated water saving commodes in your home flush with less water than the old style you may be used to, representing a saving in water usage and a subsequent saving on your water and sewer bills. Keep in mind that the flush may not be as forceful as necessary and a second flush may be required from time to time. Eventually, you may find that the toilet tank flushing mechanism does not operate properly. The rubber valve stopper, which allows the toilet to flush, is subject to deterioration and may need replacement. New stoppers can be obtained at your hardware store. The large ball float, which maintains the level of water within the tank, can also be easily replaced. All commode tanks contain markings to indicate the proper level for water stored within the tank. Water heaters normally collect small quantities of scales and dirty water, which can be easily removed by hooking up a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the water heater and allowing the tank to drain itself clean. However, you cannot drain the water heater without first shutting off the water to the water heater, turning off the heating source, and subsequently opening some of the hot water faucets throughout the house. All water heaters have a control mechanism to govern the water temperature. A temperature of no more than 120ºF is typically recommended to prevent scalding and unnecessary overheating which may raise your utility bills. Further, most of today’s new dishwashers have water-heating boosters to help sanitize your dishes. Never flush hair, grease, feminine hygiene products, Q-tips, lint, diapers, rubbish, etc. down toilet drains. Such waste stops up toilets and sanitary sewer lines. The prevention of frozen water pipes is a homeowner maintenance responsibility. In the late fall it is a good idea to disconnect hoses from outside hose bibs (faucets) – turn off the water supply to these faucets and drain the residual water from the back flow preventer attached to the end of the faucet. Your builder cannot control the freezing weather and is responsible only for ensuring that drain, waste and vent or water pipes are protected, as required by applicable local building codes, during normally anticipated cold weather. Any showers or tubs that are located on outside walls need special attention during cold weather. This protection was installed during the construction of your home. Two measures that can be taken to help prevent frozen water pipes are:
- Before unusually cold weather sets in, wrap the outside hose faucets with insulation material and then wrap again with tape right up against the house. Both of these materials can be purchased at almost any hardware store and will help to prevent freezing weather from hitting your hose faucets and then being conducted to a pipe containing water under pressure; and
- Leave one or two faucets inside the house dripping slowly during extremely cold weather.
The surface of enameled plumbing fixtures is smooth and glossy like a mirror and harder than steel, but not indestructible. Improper care or excessive use of strong abrasive cleaners can dull or stain a shiny new fixture within a short time. All household powdered cleaners are abrasive and most liquid cleaners are at least mildly abrasive, but if used moderately with plenty of water, are not harmful to enameled plumbing fixtures. The care of fiberglass and acrylic basins, tubs and shower enclosures is slightly different from enamel. Powdered and liquid abrasive cleaners SHOULD NOT BE USED. Liquid nonabrasive cleaners will do any excellent job; so read the label to ensure you are purchasing a cleaning agent that does not contain abrasives. Fiberglass fixtures can be repaired with fiberglass repair kits like those used on a boat. However, it does take some degree of expert workmanship to accomplish a virtually flawless repair and local vendors are experienced with this type of repair. Commercial products are also available to polish fiberglass surfaces. Your builder is not responsible for scratches, gouges, holes, etc. in fiberglass, enamel, or acrylic basins, tubs, shower enclosures or commodes that are not documented during the walk-through inspections.
The electrical circuits in your home are protected by a panel of circuit-breaker switches. Most wire circuits are designed to carry a limited amount of electrical current. If a particular circuit is overloaded by plugging in an excessive number or excessive amperage electrical appliances at one time, the circuit-breaker switch will trip off. Before attempting to reset the circuit breaker in the panel box, disconnect all cords and appliances, check them for defects, and remedy all defects found at once. An electric cord or wire worn bare of insulations may cause a short circuit. There are no fuses in this type of panel box. Instead, you will find a circuit-breaker switch for each circuit in the house. A look at the service panel box will tell you which circuit is affected. The circuit-breaker switch will be tripped to the “off” or “middle” position. To restore the circuit, you need only to press the circuit-breaker switch to the extreme “off” position. This action will reset the circuit breaker and restore electric current to the circuit.
DON’T ATTEMPT TO FIX ANYTHING ELECTRICAL WHILE IT’S STILL CONNECTED TO AN ELECTRICAL OUTLET.
You have at least 150-ampere service and a large number of circuits. This is extremely important in view of the fact that in the last 20 years the household usage of electricity has doubled approximately every five years and continues to do so. Your electrical system is complete and nearly foolproof. Do not abuse it. Teach your children to respect electricity and not put their fingers or any object in electrical outlets.
DO NOT HANDLE ANYTHING CONNECTED TO ELECTRICITY WITH WET HANDS.
The electric outlets in all bathrooms, kitchens, garages and any exterior outlets are connected to a separate ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) for your protection. This circuit interrupter will trip off when an electrical appliance comes in contact with a source of moisture. This is to prevent accidental electrocution. However, in some cases of extreme humidity (such as a very long hot shower), the breaker may also trip. Again, resetting these GFCI breakers is no different than resetting a normal breaker. In some cases, the outlet itself will contain a “test” and “reset” button. Before checking the circuit breaker panel, check first to see if you have this type of outlet and if pushing in the “reset” button on the outlet solves the problem. NOTE: Freezers and refrigerators should not be connected to garage GFI outlets, but should have dedicated circuits.
The smoke detector in your home is one of the newest methods of safeguarding your family from fire. This device will sound an alarm if it detects smoke. This unit is electrically operated with a battery backup. Change batteries annually to ensure your safety, as fresh batteries will enable the detector to work even under a loss of power. A test button is provided on the alarm to enable you to ensure the proper operation of the device. Pushing it will cause a buzzer to sound if the detector is working properly. If it does not work, replace it with a functioning unit immediately. If at any time the smoke detector alarm sounds you and your family should evacuate the premises and call 911.
The two types of heating and cooling systems typically installed are heat pump systems and gas/air conditioning systems. While there are some differences in the operation of each system, both are designed to maintain the set point of your thermostat, remove excess humidity in the summer and maintain year-round comfort.
The major advantages of heat pump systems are their ability, when not operating in the auxiliary/emergency mode, to provide heat at a significantly lower energy cost than conventional fossil fuel systems, and to provide even, year-round heating and cooling with less dehumidification in the winter. When operating in an “air conditioning” mode, the heat pump performs just as a conventional air conditioning system. When operating in a “heat” mode, the heat pump simply reverses its air conditioning cycle and brings in heat from the outside air, compresses and raises its temperature, and delivers that heat to your home. On the coldest days when insufficient heat exists in the outside air (typically below 35ºF) the heat pump will supplement the heat produced by its compressor with auxiliary strip heat. On certain thermostats, a blue or green light indicates this function. Auxiliary heat strips will also engage when the unit goes into periodic defrost cycles, but only for a brief period. Heat pumps deliver a lower, yet even, discharge temperature that will feel less warm at the register than a gas or oil heating system. Yet the delivery temperature should still range from the mid-to-high 90ºF range, which is above your skins “feel” temperature of roughly 85ºF, and should have no difficulty satisfying your thermostat setting. Because of the nature of refrigeration and the heat pump’s ability to transfer heat from one location to another, depending on the season, your heat pump unit will run on longer cycles during weather extremes. This is normal, and the unit is specifically designed to function in this manner. The benefits of your heating and air conditioning system running on longer cycles include lower energy costs from system efficiencies, better air filtering, more effective removal of hot and cold spots, and better moisture removal (dehumidification) in the summer. Another condition you may experience with a heat pump, which is normal, can occur on very cold, damp days. Frost and ice can accumulate on the outside unit. To overcome this your outside unit will go into a defrost mode approximately every 90 minutes. This cycle will begin with a sound similar to the escaping of air when opening a soft drink can. The outside fan will stop, though it may sound as if it is trying to run. Within a few minutes the frost will begin to melt and steam may rise from the unit making the unit look as though it is smoking. The defrost cycle may continue for 2-3 minutes, but generally not over 10-15 minutes, at which time the fan will restart and the outside unit will resume normal operation. As discussed earlier, your auxiliary electric heat strips, which are used to supplement heat during very cold periods and to defrost the outside unit, can also be turned on manually should your heat pump ever become inoperative for any reason. When running solely on heat strips, the red “emergency heat” light will light on your thermostat. If you see this light operating and you have not manually set the unit to emergency heat, you should contact your heating and air conditioning contractor and have this investigated immediately. This light indicates that the heat pump is not heating with its normal refrigeration cycle and is relying solely on electric heat strips to operate. Left in this condition for a long period, you should experience very high utility bills.t and the outside unit will resume normal operation.
As discussed earlier, your auxiliary electric heat strips, which are used to supplement heat during very cold periods and to defrost the outside unit, can also be turned on manually should your heat pump ever become inoperative for any reason. When running solely on heat strips, the red “emergency heat” light will light on your thermostat. If you see this light operating and you have not manually set the unit to emergency heat, you should contact your heating and air conditioning contractor and have this investigated immediately. This light indicates that the heat pump is not heating with its normal refrigeration cycle and is relying solely on electric heat strips to operate. Left in this condition for a long period, you should experience very high utility bills.
If your home is equipped with a gas forced air furnace, the air that is delivered at the register will feel very warm compared to your skin temperature. However, a gas system’s function is identical to a heat pump’s – to satisfy your thermostat setting and turn off. If your home is equipped with a one-zone system, you may find that the addition of a damper may be necessary to properly balance airflow between floors. If so, please contact the HVAC contractor directly and arrange for such a damper to be installed. The HVAC contractor will also demonstrate the damper’s proper operation for each season. Their telephone number is located in the emergency section of the homeowners’ manual. If your home is equipped with gas forced air heat, you may also have a cut off switch for the furnace electric power, located close to the area of the furnace and generally identified by its red switch plate. This switch does not control or shut off the gas supply to the furnace, only the electric power. Your heating and air system will not operate if this switch is turned off. Just like your automobile and many other components of your home, failure to provide proper maintenance to your heating and air conditioning system will affect its performance. Routine maintenance should include the changing of return air filters every 1-3 months, periodically hosing off debris, grass clippings and dirt on your outside units, and contracting with a heating and air professional for annual maintenance (clean and checks) of your system. Failure to do so could contribute to both higher operating costs and the reduced efficiency of your system. To maintain balanced comfort throughout your home it may be necessary to adjust the damper in individual floor, ceiling or wall registers, especially when shifting from the heating to cooling season. This condition may be more noticeable during periods of extreme cold or in certain rooms that may have more walls or windows exposed to outside temperatures or in rooms on a side of the house away from the sun. While dampening the register can help redirect air from one room to another, dampers should never be completed closed in any rooms, even though these rooms may not be in routine use. Energy is not saved when closing dampers and you risk throwing the system out of balance.
Never shut off the power to your heat pump or air conditioner at the master circuit-breaker panel box or pull the disconnect in the exterior electrical box adjacent to the outside unit. If you do not wish the unit to operate during absence from your home, turn the thermostat “system” switch to “OFF.” Why? Refrigerant compressors (pumps) are designed to pump gaseous refrigerant only-not liquid. Refrigerant gas is, therefore, constantly flowing in and out of the compressor when the unit is in operation. When it isn’t operating the gas tends to migrate and condense inside the compressor where it definitely isn’t wanted. To avoid this, there is an electric “sump heater” in, or attached to, the bell housing of the compressor. This sump heater draws very little current and is relatively inexpensive to operate. By causing any liquid refrigerant to revert to the gaseous form, it effectively prevents the accumulation of liquid in the compressor sump and permits the pump to operate only as it should. The sump heater is fed electrically from the same line serving the compressor motor. Thus, the main power switch in the master circuit-breaking panel box and the disconnect in the exterior electrical box adjacent to the outside unit should remain on all times. If power is removed, for any reason, for more than two or three hours, the heat pump should not be restarted until power has been restored to the unit for at least three hours. This gives the sump heater time to drive any liquid out of the compressor. Be sure the thermostat is set at “OFF” before power is applied to the outside unit. Should power be lost during the winter months, you may switch the thermostat to EMERGENCY HEAT until the time has elapsed to use the heat pump.
Please note: For gas fireplaces, follow manufacturer’s directions for maintenance and operation.
All of the interior doors in your home are made of wood or wood products, and they, to, are subject to shrinkage. All doors have been fitted properly, but if a door should stick – don’t plane it – just as the door acclimates it should return to normal. Doors will occasionally twist and warp, and are not guaranteed against such outside of a degree of tolerance established by the manufacturer. Cracks that may appear in paneled doors can be filled in with a wood putty product and repainted. The main entry doors in your home are insulated metal with a wood frame and are also subject to some movement under varying weather conditions. The doors are provided with weather stripping that may need minor adjustments from time to time to provide a weather-resistant fit.
The walls of your home are painted with flat latex paint. Some interior and exterior trim work is painted with latex semi-gloss paint. Both paints should give you long service if properly maintained. Painted surfaces must be kept clean and free of dirt and mildew, which can deteriorate paint. When washing painted surfaces, consult your paint dealer for selection of a proper cleaning compound. In a high humidity climate, mildew is always a problem. Mildew or fungus formation is a condition the builder cannot control and is a homeowner-maintenance item. Mildew can be removed with various combinations of detergents and bleaches, which may or may not be harmful to the paint. When in doubt, consult your paint dealer. Repainting without first properly cleaning off the mildew WILL NOT correct the problem. During your walk-through inspection, or shortly thereafter, you were provided with a homeowner paint kit. This kit contains touch-up quantities of each color of paint used on the interior of your particular home, along with such additional items as paint stirrers, a paint brush, one tube of caulking, and manufacturer’s literature on the paint type, color and code number. Information is also included as to where these painting materials may be purchased should you need additional supplies. We don’t expect you to touch-up those areas identified and documented during the walk-through inspection – our painter will take care of those. However, with the materials provided in the paint kit, we do expect the homeowner to touch-up those scuff and scratch marks created during the move-in process or minor repairs you may make. We will, of course, touch-up any subsequent major areas of repair during the one-year warranty period. Remember, paint fading is normal and the degree is dependent on climatic conditions. When paint touch-up of major repairs is required, your builder is responsible only to match surrounding areas as closely as possible. An exact match cannot be guaranteed.
During the construction of your home, caulking was installed wherever required, i.e., around commode bases and tub fixtures at the floor, around vanity top splashes, around all exterior window and door frames, and at all siding joints (except vinyl and cedar siding). The best caulking, when subjected to weather extremes, will expand, contract and crack as variations in temperature and humidity occur. Except in the refinishing of major repairs during the one-year warranty period, the renewal of caulking is a homeowner-maintenance responsibility.
Always be sure to check the condition of caulking around the exterior of the house at least twice annually and renew as necessary. This should also be accomplished before repainting. Remember, dried out and cracked caulking around the exterior window frames and door casings can cause energy and rainwater leaks.
The kitchen counter tops in your home are a manufactured plastic laminate. While this material has a certain heat resistance, there is a point beyond which it may be damaged. 275ºF is the maximum heat to which these tops can be subjected.
DO NOT remove hot pots and skillets directly from the stove and place them on a counter top – burning and blistering will result. The worst thing for plastic laminate tops is tea – heat will burn and blister but tea spills will stain (unless wiped up immediately). Also, using the counter tops as cutting blocks will mar them.
For everyday care a dish washing liquid or other soft detergent is effective. Abrasive cleaners will eventually damage the surface. You may not notice it at first, but damage is being done. Hand-rubbed lemon oil, available under various trade names at hardware stores, can be used to bring up the sheen of counter tops. Commercial products, such as “Mohawk” buffing paste, are designed to remove surface scratches.
Treat cultured marble vanity tops as you would glass or china surfaces. Liquid detergents or glass cleaners will effectively clean these tops. Whatever will stain marble will also stain cultured marble. Avoid extremes of temperature or sudden temperature changes.
Your builder is not responsible for markings, scratches, holes or chips in kitchen counter tops and bathroom vanity tops that are not documented during the walk-through inspection.
Treat your wood kitchen cabinets and vanity bases as you would treat a fine piece of furniture. In other words, do not clean them with water instead use a good furniture polish or hand-rubbed lemon oil to preserve the fine finish.
With proper care, your new NO WAX sheet vinyl flooring will stay beautiful and provide excellent service for many years. As the name implies, these floors never need waxing. A damp mop will keep your vinyl floors looking bright. Should you desire a more thorough cleaning, a small amount of a mild soap solution is all you will ever need. Also available in almost any grocery store is a new generation of products specifically designed for no wax vinyl floors, such as “Brite” or “Pert” Should it be necessary during the warranty period to repair your sheet vinyl flooring, your builder will repair or replace the sheet vinyl in the affected area with similar material. However, your builder is not responsible for discontinued patterns or color variations in the sheet vinyl, nor is the builder responsible for tears or gouges in the sheet vinyl flooring that are not documented during the walk-through inspection.
Your lot has been fine graded, raked and seeded to the property lines with either Fescue or Bermuda grass seed, and/or sod, depending on the time of the year. Also, a predetermined amount of shrubbery has been planted in a mulched bed. While we’ve given you a good start, creating the lawn of your dreams is up to you. The four basic ingredients required are seed, water, fertilizer and a lot of sweat equity. A good tip for having a lush lawn during the winter in this climate is to over seed with winter rye grass that will stay green most of the winter and be lush looking about the time the azaleas and dogwood are in full bloom. If you bring in additional top soil or plant additional shrubs, be careful not to fill in the drainage swales that were established along property lines, between adjacent properties or along the rear of your yard. These drainage swales and the finish grading of the entire lot were done in accordance with an engineered drainage plan for the entire community. If you alter or fill them, you run the risk of being held liable for flooding a neighboring property. Planting bed adjacent to the foundation should be sloped away from the house or installed with drainage ditching to assure the diversion of water away from your home. Trees, shrubbery, landscaping, seeding and grading are approved and certified at the time of final inspection. From that point, the builder is not responsible for damage occurring from owner neglect, Acts of God (wind damage, rain or storm erosion causing gullies or washouts that may alter the landscaped surface), or dead shrubbery that is not documented during the walk-through inspection.
During the clearing and grading construction phase, dead trees, roots and debris were removed to minimize the attraction for termite infestation. The soil under your home was also chemically treated to discourage infestation. The details on the soil poisoning guarantee you received at closing should be read and understood for your protection. The company we utilized for this work offers, for a fee at your expense, arrangements for annual inspections and extensions of warranty period. Termites are persistent. They live in nests underground and feed on wood and wood products, so keep fireplace logs, wood scraps and debris well clear of your foundation. In the spring, keep an eye out for swarmers. This should help you to spot termites early and thereby prevent major damage before it occurs.
During the walk-through inspection the location of the emergency keys for the bathroom and bedroom doors were pointed out to you. These keys are usually positioned above a bathroom or bedroom door in the hall in case emergency access should be required. In case you lose yours, a small screwdriver will serve the same purpose.
Real estate taxes and mortgage interest payments currently are deductible items on your annual federal income tax return. Additionally, certain other items related to Real estate taxes and mortgage interest payments currently are deductible items on your annual federal income tax return. Additionally, certain other items related to the purchase, sale or improvement of your property are tax deductible. You may want to consult a tax advisor or IRS representative as to which items are deductible. However, we strongly encourage you to save all the documents related to the purchase or sale of your home, particularly itemized statements of costs and commissions (your HUD-1 settlement statement, for instance). Additionally, there are certain improvements you may make to your home following settlement that can affect your “basis” and have a positive impact on your taxes when you re-sell your home. Again, documentation is important and you should, therefore, retain receipts related to these improvements.the purchase, sale or improvement of your property are tax deductible. You may want to consult a tax advisor or IRS representative as to which items are deductible. However, we strongly encourage you to save all the documents related to the purchase or sale of your home, particularly itemized statements of costs and commissions (your HUD-1 settlement statement, for instance). Additionally, there are certain improvements you may make to your home following settlement that can affect your “basis” and have a positive impact on your taxes when you re-sell your home. Again, documentation is important and you should, therefore, retain receipts related to these improvements.
Before occupying your new home and executing the mortgage closing papers, you were required to inspect the house thoroughly in company with a Chesapeake Homes Customer Service Representative. If the inspection revealed any defective or unfinished work we will correct it. If during the period of our warranty you experience a defect that you believe to be within the framework of the warranty, report the deficiency in accordance with the service request letter procedures outlined in our Warranty Service brochure. Only deficiencies reported in writing and mailed to our main office will be honored. Do not report any deficiencies, except emergencies, by telephone, as this will only delay the mechanics of inspection, repair and/or replacement, if required. We wish you many years of happiness in your new home.