The Meadows at Martin Downs Homeowners Association, Inc.

2550 Waterfall Blvd., Palm City, FL 34990

Phone: 772-283-2250      Fax:  772-283-9024

 

 

 

 

Meadows Home Maintenance Tips

Contributed by Walter Sokolowski

Preventive maintenance in and around the home will extend the life of many items, help avoid premature breakdowns and keep the home both attractive and functioning properly. To that end, homeowners should consider the recommended procedures listed below.

Under no circumstances should homeowners undertake repairs or modifications to any equipment or appliances currently still under warranty or service contracts. Such action would likely void coverage.

Homeowners are urged to secure professional and licensed personnel for maintenance work and repairs exceeding their competence or skills.

[Neither The Meadows Homeowners Association, the author or the editors assume any liability in connection with the implementation by homeowners of the suggestions and recommendations which follow.]

Money Saving Tips

Air Conditioner / Heater

Garage Doors, Doors/Attic

Kitchen/Bathroom/Laundry/Etc.

  • Caulk around plumbing/conduit pipes to discourage the incursion of insects.
  • If noise develops when the toilet tank is filling and/or the water level in the bowl is lower than normal, replace the complete toilet tank fill valve assembly.
  • Check drawer tracks. If the rear of the track is anchored with a staple, add a single screw to prevent the drawer from falling when pulled out.
  • To ensure that the large bathroom mirror remains secure, add at least two anchored clips to each mirror.
  • Place strips of Styrofoam between the toilet tank and the wall. This will prevent the toilet tank base from cracking when backward pressure is applied to the tank.
  • At least annually check and clean dust on refrigerator coils, fan and motor. Clean the evaporator pan more frequently.
  • Install thermometers in both the refrigerator and freezer to monitor and properly adjust refrigerator temperatures.
  • Clean kitchen exhaust hood filters with detergent and a hot water rinse.
  • Utilize ant bait such as Terro and spray insecticide inside and outside the kitchen, to control the small sugar ants that frequent the kitchen.
  • Replace both clothes-washer hoses some time before 5-10 years of service. This will eliminate likelihood of hoses bursting with subsequent flooding of the home. Metal-braid reinforced hoses cost more but are far more reliable.
  • Clean and seal all tile grout to discourage staining.
  • Annually clean and lubricate bathroom exhaust fans, to maintain efficiency and reduce wear.
  • Add pull out baskets and extra shelves (e.g.,54 over the microwave) to increase kitchen storage capacity.

    Walls/Concrete Walks/etc.

  • To clean dirt and mildew, use a cupful (8 oz.) of bleach, plus ¼ cup of TSP in 2 gallons of water and apply with a chemically resistant tank-sprayer to gutters, fascia, screen room door and supports. Leave for a few minutes then pressure wash, or hose off. Reapply if the stains persist and use a brush/broom to loosen stain if no pressure washer is available.
  • Rust stains can be removed by applying Rustaid. Brush tough stains, then rinse with hose or pressure washer. If the concrete surface was coated with a color stain proceed as follows: 1) hose down the area with water; 2) apply Rustaid diluted 1 measure of Rustaid to 2 measures of water; 3) promptly hose off with water. This should prevent bleaching of the concrete color stain.
  • Fill cracks or voids in outside wall surfaces with acrylic silicone caulking to eliminate water penetration. Color-coded caulk is available at MAB paints on Monterey Rd.
  • Mildew stains on concrete
  • can be cleaned with the application of bleach from a garden sprinkler and, if a pressure washer is not available, the use of a push broom to loosen any tough stains. Either pressure wash, or hose off the surface. Follow the formula in item 2 to avoid bleaching stained concrete surfaces.
  • To stain concrete surfaces use H&C Silicone Acrylic Stain specially tinted to match the color of natural concrete. This will improve appearance and reduce the maintenance of any concrete surface. Check with the Meadows office for an and make sure only the approved custom color is used! Meadows Architectural Change approval is necessary for this work.

Windows

  • A professional window cleaning detergent, mop and window squeegee make window washing much easier and will result in cleaner windows.
  • The window counter-balancing spring assembly can be repaired or replaced.
  • Install small cup hooks on window frames to secure blind chords.

Garden/House Perimeter

  • Periodically check irrigation sprinkler heads for adequate water flow or obstructions and clean filters/nozzles. Add plastic pipe around hedge and garden sprinkler heads to protect the heads and risers.
  • In the garden use plastic weed block and mulch to minimize weed growth. Roundup or similar herbicides can be used to reduce the frequency of weeding.
  • A variety of pests can be prevented from entering your home by applying Diazanon or Dursban granules around the house perimeter. A strong (6-8 oz. to 2 gallons of water) mixture of liquid Diazanon or Malathion sprayed on the foundation and adjacent soil will have the same effect. Take care not to spray any plants with this potent mixture, or they will die. Refer to each product’s "directions for use" on its container for the exact formula. This formula also works on voles and moles that dig up your lawn. Just poke a hole in the mound and pour in the specified amount of the mixture.
  • A long-lasting and environmentally friendly treatment for slugs, roaches, ants and earwigs is Diatomaceous Earth used in pool filters. It is ground seashells. Avoid inhaling the fine powder by using a mask when spreading the powder on the ground.
  • Improve screen room drainage by shimming up the lower screen support by about 1/16 of an inch.
  • Use a Bait Box containing a solid rat & mouse bait to control exterior rodents.
  • Eradicate fire ants by applying Fire Ant or Diazanon granules to the mound (without disturbing the mound) and watering in with a gentle spray.
  • Correct poor drainage problems before secondary damage takes place.
  • Eliminate the chance of frogs, snakes, etc. entering plumbing vents by placing hardware cloth (galvanized metal screen with ¼ inch holes) into the top of the vents.

Storm Protection

  • All windows and patio sliding doors should be protected with storm shutters or panels.
  • Exterior doors, which open inward, should be braced.
  • Garage doors require upgrading (refer to Garage Door item) and/or bracing.
  • Skylights and powered exhaust fan covers can be upgraded. Contact the Meadows Office to obtain contractor names.
  • All loose items on patio and in garden should be brought indoors or adequately secured prior to a storm.
  • Storm panels installed prior to 1995 do not meet current building code standards. However, they can be upgraded with horizontal braces to make them more than twice as strong.
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    Last updated: 03/06/2012