Century Building Team Home Care & Maintenance Tips
When we build a home, it’s cause we know you plan to live and enjoy your home for many years to come. So we also know that the last thing that you want to do is take a chance on letting the maintenance of your home fall behind.
So with these tips and advice, even the most novice of home owners can take confidence in the ability to take care of their home, so you are able to create many cherish-able and memorable events to come.
USE & CARE
Since the air conditioning system is combined with the heating system, the maintenance suggested for your furnace should be followed. In addition, the manufacturer's Owners Manual specifies maintenance for the "condenser" unit. This should be reviewed and followed.
Air conditioning can add much to the comfort of your home, but it can be used improperly or inefficiently, resulting in wasted energy and frustration. These hints and suggestions are provided to help you maximize your air conditioning system.
To utilize your air conditioning system efficiently, you must understand that it is a total, whole?house system. The air conditioner unit is the mechanism in your home that produces cooler air. The air conditioning system involves everything inside your home including, for example, drapes and windows.
Your home air conditioning is a closed system, which means that the interior air is continually recycled and cooled until the desired air temperature is reached. Warm outside air disrupts the system and makes cooling impossible. Therefore, you must keep all windows closed. The heat from the sun shining through windows with open drapes is intense enough to overcome the cooling effect of the air conditioning unit. Drapes must be closed on these windows.
Time is of paramount importance in your expectations of an air conditioning system. Unlike a light bulb which reacts instantly when you turn on a switch, the air conditioning unit only begins a process when you set the thermostat.
For example, if you come home at 5:30 p.m. on a day when the temperature has reached 90 degrees, and then set your thermostat to 75 degrees, the air conditioning unit will begin cooling, but will take much longer to reach the desired temperature. During the whole day the sun has been heating not only the air in the house, but the walls, the carpet, and the furniture.
At 5:30 p.m. the air conditioning unit starts cooling the air, but the walls, carpet, and furniture release heat and nullify this cooling. By the time the air conditioning unit has cooled the walls, carpet, and furniture, you may well have lost patience.
If evening cooling is the primary goal, you should set the air conditioning thermostat at a moderate temperature in the morning while the house is cooler, allowing the unit to maintain the cooler temperature through the day.
The temperature setting may then be lowered slightly when you arrive home, with better results. Setting the thermostat at 60 degrees will NOT cool the home any faster and can result in the unit "freezing up" and not performing at all. Extended use under these conditions can damage the unit.
You will find it advantageous to adjust the cooling vents to maximize airflow to occupied parts of the home. Likewise, when the seasons change, it will probably be necessary to readjust them for comfortable heating.
If a humidifier is installed on the furnace system, it should be turned off when using air conditioning. Otherwise, the additional moisture can cause a "freeze up" of the cooling system.
It is important to maintain the A/C compressor in a level position. (See "Grading & Drainage")
When air conditioning is included in the home, the system should be capable of maintaining a temperature of 78 degrees or a differential of 15 degrees from the outside temperature, measured in the center of each room at a height of five (5) feet above the floor. Lower temperature settings are often possible but are not promised by the manufacturer or Century Team, Inc.
Lack of air conditioning service is not an emergency. The air conditioning contractor will handle all heating and air conditioning problems in the order received.
It is important to maintain the A/C compressor in a level position. If it "settles" during the first year, Century Team, Inc. will correct this. After the first year, the Homeowner must maintain it
USE & CARE
Read and follow all manufacturer requirements for each appliance in your home.
All appliances warranties are assigned to you at the closing. The appliances are warranted directly to you in accordance with the terms and conditions of the written warranties supplied by the manufacturers.
Mail warranty registration cards directly to the manufacturer.
If a problem arises with an appliance, call the customer service number listed in the manufacturer's warranty. When reporting warranty items to the appliance manufacturer, be prepared to supply the following:
- The date of purchase (closing);
- The serial and model numbers (found on a metal plate on side or bottom of each appliance)
- A description of the problem.
For your convenience a chart is provided at the end of this section for recording the appliance serial and model numbers as well as manufacturer customer service phone numbers.
USE & CARE
The attic space is not intended for storage. Access is provided for purposes of maintaining mechanical equipment that may traverse the attic space. When performing any needed tasks in the attic, caution should be used not to step off wood members onto the drywall. This can result in personal injury and/or damage to the ceiling below. Be sure the fiberglass insulation batt on the access panel is in place when closing the opening and reseal lid with caulking to maintain the homes energy seal.
USE & CARE
Brass fixtures are factory treated with a clear protective coating, electrostatically applied, to provide beauty and durability.
Brass, like sterling silver, will gradually tarnish and eventually take on an antique appearance. Atmospheric conditions, direct sunlight, caustic agents such as paints, or scratches from contact with sharp objects may cause the protective coating to crack or peel, exposing the natural brass and resulting in spotting and discoloration.
Initial care for these products requires only periodic cleaning with mild non-abrasive soap and buffing with a soft cloth. When peeling, spotting or discoloration occurs, you can restore the beauty of the metal by completely removing the remaining coating and hand polishing the item with a suitable brass polish. Applying a light coat of wax and buffing with a soft cloth will renew and maintain the gloss of the brass surface. If discoloration reappears, repeat the cleaning, polishing, and waxing processes.
Prior to using your fixture, it is recommended to apply a coat of wax, like car, floor or furniture wax with a soft cloth. This should be done periodically to protect the manufacturer's finish. Keep chemicals such as shaving cream, nail polish remover, rubbing alcohol, ammonia, cleansers and abrasives away from the brass. This will dissolve or scratch the protective coating.
USE & CARE
After several years, face brick may require "tuck-pointing" (repairing the mortar between the bricks). Otherwise, no regular maintenance is required.
USE & CARE
Products such as lemon oil, Liquid Gold, and Old English Furniture Polish and Scratch Cover are suggested for caring for wood finish cabinets. Follow container directions; do not use more than once a month to protect against excessive build-up. Avoid paraffin-based spray waxes or washing cabinets with water, as both will damage the luster of the finish.
If hinges catch, or drawer glides become sluggish, a small amount of lubricant will improve their action.
Your color selection sheets are your record of the brand, style and color of cabinets in your home.
Cabinets should operate properly under normal use. Doors, drawer fronts and handles should be level and even.
Warped doors or drawer fronts will be corrected if warpage is in excess of 1/8" within 24".
Gaps between cabinets and ceiling, or cabinets and walls will be corrected by caulking or other means if they are in excess of 1/8" (locations behind appliances excepted).
Readily noticeable variations in wood grain and color are expected in all style selections. Replacements will not be made due to such variations.
Chips, scratches, and other surface flaws noted on the orientation list will be repaired.
USE & CARE
Refer to manufacturer's recommendations for additional information on the care of all floor-covering products. Color selection sheets provide a record of the brand, style, and color of floor coverings in your home. Please retain this information for future reference.
Vacuuming high traffic areas daily will not only keep them clean but will help to maintain the upright position of the nap. Spills should be wiped up and stains spot cleaned immediately. Always dab at the stain, never rub it. Stain removers should be tested first on an out of the way area of the carpet, such as in a closet, to check for any undesirable effects. Professional cleaning should be performed regularly, usually annually.
Carpet seams will be visible. No gap or fraying is acceptable, however. Edges of carpet along moldings and edges of stairs should be held firmly in place. In some areas, metal or other edging material may be used where carpet meets another floor covering.
Stains or spots noted on the orientation list will be corrected by cleaning, patching, or replacement. Century Team, Inc. will not be responsible for dye lot variations if replacements are made.
USE & CARE
Time and weather will shrink caulking and dry it out so that it no longer provides a good seal against moisture and air infiltration. As a matter of routine maintenance, it is wise to check the caulking and make repairs as needed. Caulking compounds and dispenser guns are available at hardware stores.
Caulking that contains silicone will not accept paint but works best where water is present (for example, where tub meets tile or a sink meets a countertop).
Latex caulking is appropriate for an area that requires painting (along the stair stringer or where a counter top backsplash meets the wall).
Colored caulking is available where larger selections are provided.
USE & CARE
The ceramic tile installed on walls or countertops in your home may be washed with any nonabrasive soap or detergent; abrasive cleaners will dull the finish.
Ceramic tile floors are one of the easiest of floor coverings to care for. Simply vacuum when needed. Occasionally a wet mopping with warm water may be appropriate. Do not add detergent to the water. If you feel a cleaning agent is required, use a mild solution of warm water and dishwasher crystals (they will not result in a heavy, difficult to remove lather on the grout). Rinse thoroughly.
It is natural for slight separations to occur in the grout between tiles. This grout is for decorative purposes only; it does not hold the tile in place. Cracks in the grout can be filled using premixed grout that can be purchased from flooring or hardware stores. Follow package directions.
Grout that becomes yellowed or stained can be cleaned with a fiber brush, cleanser and water. Grout cleansers and whiteners are available at most hardware stores.
Tile around bathtubs or countertops may appear to be pulling up after a time. This is caused by normal shrinkage of grout or caulk. If this occurs, the best remedy is to purchase "tub caulk" or premixed grout from a hardware store. Follow directions on the container. This maintenance is important to protect the underlying surface from water damage.
Sealing grout is a Homeowner decision and responsibility. Be aware that once grout has been sealed, ongoing maintenance of that seal will be necessary. As well, limited-warranty coverage on grout that has been sealed is void.
Cracked, badly chipped, or loose tiles noted on orientation will be repaired or replaced, as needed. Century Team, Inc. is not responsible for variations in color or discontinued patterns. New grout may vary in color from the original.
Cracks appearing in grouting of ceramic tiles at joints or junctions with other materials are commonly due to normal shrinkage conditions. Century Team, Inc. will repair grouting, if necessary, one time during the first year.
Century Team, Inc. is not responsible for color variations in grout or discontinued colored grout. Any grouting or caulking that is needed after that time is considered Homeowner maintenance.
USE & CARE
The walls of the foundation are either poured concrete with steel reinforcing rods or masonry block with steel reinforcing rods. No matter how well your foundation is built, cracks can still develop in the wall. Unless there is water seepage coming through such a crack, it is most likely a surface crack and will not be detrimental to the structural integrity of your home. If a crack develops in a foundation wall that allows water to come through, follow the procedures for submitting a warranty claim.
To properly care for your exterior concrete, always be aware of areas where water is collecting and fill these in. Do not allow downspouts to drain in such a way that the water will get under the concrete. Seal any cracks in control joints or surface areas immediately with a flexible gray colored sealant.
Although we use accepted construction procedures for the installation of concrete flatwork, this does not guarantee there will be no cracking. Some cracking in concrete occurs in almost all homes. The warranty does not cover concrete cracks. Where cracking is covered by the warranty, the repair provided is sealing with concrete caulk. Concrete is not replaced due to cracking.
By maintaining good drainage away from your home, you are protecting both your home's foundation and the basement floor slab. Maintenance of drainage away from all concrete slabs will minimize cracking and other forms of movement. Cracks in slabs should be sealed with a waterproof concrete caulk to prevent moisture from penetrating to the soil beneath.
Cracking in the concrete flatwork is often caused by extreme cold. During the summer, moisture finds its way under the concrete along the edges, or through cracks in the surface. In winter, this moisture forms frost that can lift the concrete, increasing or causing more cracking.
Expansion joints have been used to help control expansion; however, concrete is also susceptible to shrinking. If the concrete shrinks, moisture can penetrate under the concrete and lift the expansion joint. If this occurs, you can fill the gap created with a gray silicone sealant that can be purchased at most hardware stores.
Ice, Snow, & Chemicals
Remove ice and snow from concrete slabs as promptly as possible after snowstorms. Protect concrete from abuse by chemical agents such as pet urine, fertilizers, radiator overflow, repeated hosing, or de?icing agents, such as road salt that can drip from vehicles. All of these items can cause spalling of concrete.
A concrete sealer, available at paint stores, will help you keep an unpainted concrete floor clean. Do not use soap on unpainted concrete. Plain water or hot water and washing soda, or if necessary, a scouring powder should be used.
Do not wash patios, porches, drives, etc. with cold water from an outside faucet when temperatures are extremely high and the hot sun has been shining on the concrete. The abrupt change in temperature can damage the surface bond of the concrete. Sweeping is the recommended method of keeping exterior concrete clean. If washing is necessary, do this when temperatures are moderate.
Cleaning of the garage floor by hosing can cause settling, spalling, and increase soil movement by allowing water to penetrate any existing cracks. Sweeping is the recommended method for keeping the garage clean.
Do not permit heavy vehicles such as moving vans or concrete trucks to drive on your concrete work. This concrete is not intended to bear the weight of this type of vehicle.
Shrinkage or backfill cracks are not unusual in foundation walls, especially at the corners of basement windows. Century Team, Inc. will repair, as needed, cracks which are in excess of 1/8" in width or any cracks which are permitting water to enter the basement, provided the Homeowner has complied with drainage and landscaping requirements.
Slight cosmetic imperfections in foundation walls, such as a visible seam where two pours meet or slight honeycombing (aggregate visible) are possible and will not be repaired.
Flatwork includes basement and garage floors, porch, patio, driveway and sidewalk.
Concrete slabs are "floating,"--they are not attached to the home's foundation walls. These are not a structural (load bearing) element of the home and are not covered by the ten-year structural warranty. If your home has a concrete slab, the limited-warranty coverage is for one year unless the requirements of your loan state otherwise.
CRACKING IS NOT WARRANTED
CONCRETE FLATWORK IS NOT WARRANTED AGAINST CRACKING.
CONCRETE SLABS ARE NOT REPLACED DUE TO CRACKING.
Concrete floors will crack. Control joints are installed in an attempt to minimize spider web cracking. If a control joint opens up more than 1/4", Century Team, Inc. will seal with a flexible sealant at owner's request. Movement of the basement slab results in cracking. If such cracks reach 3/16" in width, or 1/8" in vertical displacement, Century Team, Inc. will patch or repair one time during the warranty year. Subsequently, floor slab maintenance is a Homeowner responsibility.
Century Team, Inc. incorporates all of these details in the construction of the basement floor because the floor will move in response to the soils. Movement will be minimized by close adherence to Century Team, Inc. landscaping recommendations, the objective of which is to prevent moisture from reaching soils around and under the home.
The garage slab is designed to "float"--it can move without affecting the foundation. Movement and the resulting cracking will be minimized by proper installation and maintenance of landscaping. Century Team, Inc. will seal cracks that reach 1/4" in width one time during the warranty year. Thereafter, this is homeowner maintenance. Century Team, Inc. will correct cracks that involve displacement of 1/4" or more by surface patching or other methods.
Settling or Heaving
Moderate settling, heaving, and/or cracking of porch or patio slabs can require cosmetic repairs, which Century Team, Inc. will provide one time during the warranty period. Excessive settling, heaving (over 1") and/or cracking should be reported in writing so that an inspection can be made. Settling, heaving, or cracking is deemed excessive if it results in negative (toward the house) drainage, or hazardous vertical displacement.
If Homeowner changes in grading, drainage, landscape design, or failure to perform needed maintenance has caused the damage, corrective measures will be suggested, but Homeowner will be responsible for their implementation.
Repeated hosing of concrete for cleaning, animal urine, radiator overflow, fertilizer, failure to shovel snow and ice, ice melting agents, or road salts from vehicles are some of the causes of spalling. Century Team, Inc. is not responsible for repair of spalling caused by these conditions.
Cleaning of the garage floor by hosing can cause settling, spalling, and increase soil movement by allowing water to penetrate any existing cracks. Century Team, Inc. will not be responsible for repairs needed due to such action.
USE & CARE
Condensation on the interior surfaces of the windows and frames is the result of high humidity within the home and low outside temperatures and/or inadequate ventilation. These conditions are significantly influenced by family lifestyle. If your home includes a humidifier, closely observe manufacturer's directions, especially during periods of cooler temperatures.
How can you control moisture in your home?
Ventilation is the most effective means for you to remove moisture. By doing this you will exchange some drier, cooler outside air for warm humid interior air and your moisture levels will be reduced. Here are some simple solutions for reducing moisture:
- Your clothes dryer must be vented outside. Also do not hang clothes up to dry inside your home during cold weather.
- Shut off all humidifying devices.
- Allow air to circulate. Do not cover hot or cold registers. Leave drapes open to allow air to circulate freely over windows.
- Keep all rooms at a minimum of 10 degrees C (50 degrees F) even if unoccupied because condensation will occur in an unheated room.
- Attic ventilation can be provided with inlet vents along the eaves and outlet vents placed along the ridge and gable ends. Ceiling insulation and ridge vents must not block eave vents and vents must not be blocked by snow, since warm air escapes through the ridge vents and cool air enters at the eaves.
USE & CARE
Always use a cutting board when cutting, chopping, etc. Protect the counter from heat, such as 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 keep cigarettes in an ashtray.
Avoid abrasive cleaners that will damage the luster of the surface.
Rubber drain mats can trap moisture beneath them causing the laminated plastic to warp and blister. Dry the surface as needed.
Wax is not necessary, but can be used to make counters gleam.
The caulking around the edge of your countertops, and between the countertops and the sink may shrink, leaving a slight gap. Refer to "Caulking" for maintenance hints for this condition.
Separations of countertops at walls and the backsplash are the result of normal shrinkage of materials. Separation at the wall or at the counter in excess of 1/16" will be repaired by caulking and subsequently will be a Homeowner's responsibility. It is important to keep moisture from reaching the wood under the laminates to prevent warping.
Any major surface imperfections; chips, cracks, scratches, etc., reported on the orientation list will be repaired by Century Team, Inc. Repairs of any damages not on the orientation list will be the Homeowner's responsibility.
Laminated countertops typically will have one or more discernible seams. There should be no gap at the seams. Gaps at seams or differential at other joints in excess of 1/16" will be repaired.
Man-made marble, such as Corian, countertops should be installed without chips or gouges. Edges should be smooth and even. Where backsplash joints occur at corners, the top edges should be even within 1/16".
USE & CARE
Slight dampness may be experienced in the crawl space. Landscaping that is correctly installed will prevent excessive amounts of water from entering crawl spaces. Standing water should be reported to Century Team, Inc. for inspection. (See also, "Vents")
USE & CARE
The doors installed in your home are of the highest quality, but they are wood products and subject to the natural characteristics of wood such as shrinkage and warpage. Due to humidity changes and the use of forced air furnaces, showers, and dishwashers, etc., interior doors may require minor adjustments. Putty, filler or latex caulk can be used to fill any minor separations that may develop at mitered joints in door trim. Follow with painting.
In the event a door warps slightly, keep it latched as much as possible and it often will return to normal.
The most common cause of a sticking door is the natural expansion of lumber due to changes in humidity. When sticking is due to swelling during a damp season, do not plane the door unless it continues to stick after the weather changes. Use sandpaper to smooth the door. Be certain to repaint the area of the door where it was sanded to seal against moisture.
Before planing a door due to sticking, there are two other steps to try: first apply either a paste wax, light coat of paraffin, or candle wax to the sticking surface; or second, tighten the screws that hold the door jamb or door frame.
A squeaky door hinge can be remedied by removing the hinge pin and rubbing a lead pencil or graphite lubricant on it. Do not use oil as it can gum up.
Failure to Latch
If a door will not latch due to minor settling, you can correct this by making a new opening in the door for the latch (remortising) and raising or lowering the plate accordingly.
Interior bifolds will sometimes stick or warp due to weather conditions. Applying a silicone lubricant to the tracks can minimize this inconvenience.
Slamming doors can damage both doors and jambs, and can even cause cracking in walls. Teach children not to hang on the doorknob and swing back and forth. This can work hardware loose and cause the door to sag.
Lubricate door locks with graphite or other waterproof lubricant. Avoid oil as it will gum up.
Keep a duplicate "privacy lock" key where children cannot reach it in the event a youngster locks himself/herself in a room; the top edge of the door casing is often used as a place to keep the key. Some types of privacy locks can be opened with a small screw driver or similarly shaped device.
To insure longer life for your exterior doors, it is recommended that you refinish them annually. Stained exterior doors with lacquer finishes tend to weather faster than a painted door. It is necessary to oil the finish with a wood preserver (such as Old English) monthly to preserve the varnish finish and prevent the door from drying and cracking. It is also necessary to reseal the stained exterior doors every 6-12 months to protect the finish from the elements.
Weather stripping and/or any threshold supplied with exterior doors will occasionally require adjustment.
Due to normal settling of the home, doors may require adjustment for proper fit. Century Team, Inc. will make such adjustments.
Chips or other damage in the finish, noted on the orientation list will be repaired. Doors that warp in excess of 1/4" will be repaired. Panels of wood doors will shrink or expand in response to changes in temperature and humidity. Touch up paint or stain for unfinished areas that are exposed as a result are a Homeowner's responsibility. Split panels that allow light to be visible will be corrected by Century Team, Inc.
USE & CARE
Asphalt is the most commonly used surface for residential driveways. It provides a durable and affordable surface, which requires very little maintenance. See your sales consultant if you would like any other driveway surface. Asphalt is a flexible and specialized surface, and like any other surface in your home, it can be damaged if it is misused.
Over time, the effects of weather and earth movement may cause minor settling and cracking of your driveway. Within reason, these are expected and normal reactions and do not constitute an improperly built driveway. See Limited Warranty for a description of what is considered "within reason."
It is recommended that you do not use your driveway at all for one week after it is installed, including people, bicycles, lawnmowers or any other traffic. After that time, if you notice any excessively soft areas or other performance problems, notify your builder.
Avoid any concentrated or prolonged loads on your asphalt, particularly in hot weather. High-heeled shoes, motorcycle or bicycle kickstands, trailers, or even cars parked for a long time can create depressions or punctures in your driveway's surface. Avoid non-residential traffic and heavy trucks on your driveway; it was designed for residential traffic only.
Asphalt is a petroleum product, therefore spillage of any gasoline, oil, turpentine, or other solvent or petroleum product, may dissolve and/or damage the surface of your driveway. Any such spills should be washed with soap and water and then rinsed thoroughly with water.
Exposure to sunlight and other weather conditions will cause your driveway to fade and the surface gravel material may become more visible. While this is a normal condition and should not be viewed as a structural problem, you may prefer a smooth, black "sealcoated" finish. A well-designed asphalt driveway does not need to be surface treated, and should not be for 12 months after installation. If you choose to treat yours, we recommend that you use a dilute asphalt emulsion, rather than the more common "coal tar" sealant.
Any driveway repairs will be done by overlay patching. Century Team, Inc. is not responsible for the inevitable differences in color between the patch and the original surface. Sealcoating can eliminate this problem, and is the responsibility of the Homeowner.
Settling next to your garage floor of up to 1-1/2" across the width of the driveway is considered normal. Settling or depressions elsewhere in the driveway of up to 1" in any eight (8) foot radius are considered normal. Any settling in excess of these standards will be repaired.
During the first 12 months, a driveway may exhibit thermal cracking. These are normal "expansion joints" which help your driveway adapt to the heating and freezing cycles of the weather. Cracks should be evaluated in the hottest months, July or August, and shall not exceed 1/2". Any cracks in excess of 1/2" will be repaired.
Cracking in a pattern, which resembles the skin of an alligator, may develop within the first 12 months. If this cracking develops under normal residential use, it will be repaired. If this cracking is determined to have been caused by improper use, such as heavy truck traffic or commercial use, repairs will be the Homeowner's responsibility.
USE & CARE
Slight cracking, nail "pops" and/or seams may become visible in walls and ceilings. These occurrences are caused by the shrinkage of the wood and normal deflection of rafters to which the drywall is attached.
Most drywall repairs can be easily made. This work is best done when the room is to be redecorated. To correct a nail pop, reset the nail with a hammer and punch. Cover it with "spackle," available at paint and hardware stores. Apply two or three thin coats. When dry, sand the surface with fine grain sandpaper before painting. Indentations caused by sharp objects can be filled with spackle in the same manner. Hairline cracks can be repaired with a coat of paint; slightly larger cracks can be repaired with spackle or caulk.
Some slight cracking, nail "pops" and/or drywall seams may become visible in walls and ceilings. These occurrences are normally caused by the shrinkage of the wood to which the drywall is attached.
Repairs will not be made on flaws that are only visible under particular lighting conditions.
If the drywall repair is required as a result of poor workmanship (such as blisters in tape), or other warranty-based repair (such as a plumbing leak), Century Team, Inc. will complete the repair of the area damaged with original paint. The Homeowner will be responsible for custom paint colors or wallpaper that has been applied subsequent to closing. Paint touch-up may not match surrounding area. Wallpaper dye lot variations will be the responsibility of the Homeowner.
USE & CARE
The master control panel that contains the electrical breakers for your home Control Panel includes a main shut off that controls all the electrical power to the home. In addition, individual breakers control the separate circuits. Be certain you are familiar with the location of the master control panel.
Each breaker is marked to help you identify which breaker is connected to which major appliances, outlets, or other service. Should a failure occur in any part of your home, always check the breakers in the main panel box.
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 on. Switching the breaker directly from tripped to on will not restore service.
If an outlet is not working, check first to see if it is one that is controlled by a wall switch. Next check the breaker.
Breakers will often trip due to overloading the circuit by plugging too many appliances into it, a worn cord or defective item, or operating an appliance with an excessive voltage requirement. The starting of an electric motor can also trip a breaker.
If any circuit trips repeatedly, unplug all items connected to it and reset. If it trips when nothing is connected to it, you need an electrician and the problem should be reported. If the circuit remains on, one of the items you unplugged is defective and requires repair or replacement.
GFI (Ground Fault Interrupter)
GFI receptacles have a built?in element, which senses fluctuations in power. Quite simply, the GFI is an indoor circuit breaker. Installation of these receptacles is required by building codes in bathrooms, kitchen, outside, and garage (areas where an individual can come into contact with water while holding an electric appliance or tool). Heavy appliances such as freezers or power tools will trip the GFI breaker. Do not plug a refrigerator or food freezer into a GFI controlled outlet; the likelihood of the contents being ruined is very high; such damage is NOT covered by the limited warranty.
Each GFI receptacle has a test and reset button. Once each month the test button should be pressed. This will trip the circuit. To return service, press the reset button. If a GFI breaker trips during normal use it may be an indication of a faulty appliance and some investigation is in order. An important point to remember is that one GFI breaker can control up to three or four outlets.
If there are small children in the home, install safety plugs to cover unused baseboard outlets. This also minimizes air infiltration that can sometimes occur with these outlets. Teach children never to touch electrical outlets, sockets, or fixtures.
Your electrical system is a three?wire grounded system. Never remove the bare wire that connects to the box or device.
Fluorescent fixtures use transformer action to operate them. This action sometimes causes a buzzing.
In areas with underground utilities, before digging or moving large amounts of soil, check the location of buried service leads by calling the local utility locating service. In most cases wires run in a straight line from the service panel to the nearest public utility pad. Care should be taken to keep soil around the foundation from settling to protect this service; avoid large amounts of water at this point as well.
Do not tamper with or add to your electrical system. For any modification that is needed, contact the electrician listed on your Emergency Phone Numbers sticker referred to at the end of the Homeowner Orientation section of your handbook or another licensed electrician.
Any electrical wiring that fails to carry its designed load will be repaired to meet specifications. If electrical outlets, switches, or fixtures do not function as intended, Century Team, Inc. will repair or replace them.
Light fixtures are installed in the locations indicated on the house plans and will not be moved by Century Team, Inc. All fixtures are installed with 60 watt bulbs or specified decorator bulbs. The Homeowner is responsible for replacing any burned out bulbs other than those listed on the orientation.
Fixtures that are noted as damaged on the orientation list will be repaired or replaced. There is no warranty on fixtures supplied by the Homeowner.
GFI (Ground Fault Interrupter)
Century Team, Inc. is not responsible for food spoilage that result from homeowner plugging refrigerators or freezers into GFI circuits.
Power surges are the result of local conditions beyond the control of Century Team, Inc. These can result in burned out bulbs.
USE & CARE
All building materials are subject to expansion and contraction caused by changes in temperature and humidity. Dissimilar materials expand or contract at different rates. This results in separation between materials, particularly dissimilar ones. The effects can be seen in small cracks in drywall and in paint, especially where moldings meet drywall, at mitered corners, where tile grout meets tub or sink, etc.
This can be alarming to an uninformed homeowner, but, in fact, it is very normal. Shrinkage of the wood members of your home is inevitable. This will occur in your home. It will be most noticeable during the first year, but may continue beyond that time. In most cases, paint and caulking are all that is needed to conceal this minor evidence of a very natural phenomenon. Properly installed caulking will shrink and must be maintained by the Homeowner.
USE & CARE
Century Team, Inc. offers direct vent gas fireplaces. Your fireplace is checked during the Homeowner Orientation to confirm it is operational. Be aware of a delay between turning the switch on and flame ignition. The flames should ignite gently and silently. Read and follow any manufacturer directions.
If you notice any deviation in this and any gas smell, shut the switch off and report it immediately.
Fireplaces are not intended to be the sole heat source in the home. The fireplace should function properly when Century Team, Inc.' and the manufacturer's directions are followed.
Direct Vent Gas Fireplaces
Because of its support for energy efficient homes, Century Team, Inc. offers direct vent gas fireplaces. Gas fireplaces are checked during the Homeowner Orientation to confirm it is operational. Be aware of a delay between turning the switch on and flame ignition. The flames should ignite gently and silently. Read and follow all manufacturer directions carefully.
If you notice any deviation in this or any gas smell, shut the switch off immediately and report it immediately.
USE & CARE
Since the garage door is a large, moving object, periodic maintenance along with following the manufacturer's instructions will insure safe and reliable operation.
Do not allow anyone except the operator near the door when it is in motion. Keep hands and fingers away from all parts of the door except the handle. Do not allow children to play with, or around the door.
For your safety, after the expiration of the one-year warranty, have any needed adjustments made by a qualified specialist. The door springs are under a considerable amount of tension and require special tools and knowledge for accurate and safe servicing. Have the door inspected by a professional garage door technician after any significant impact to the door.
30 Weight Oil
Every six months a 30 weight automobile oil or similar lubricant should be applied to all moving parts: track, rollers, hinges, pulleys and springs. At this same interval, check to see that all hardware is tight and operating as intended without binding or scraping. See Manufacture sheet for lubrication.
Oil Drips on Cars
Do not over lubricate. Over lubrication may cause dripping on cars or the concrete floor.
Paraffin wax, rubbed on the side jambs, will help the door to operate smoothly.
If an electric door operator is installed, be sure the door is completely unlocked and the pull down rope has been removed before using the operator.
The garage door is prefinished from the manufacture, however it can be painted. It would then need to be maintained for a satisfactory appearance.
If the lock becomes stiff, a graphite lubricant will make it work more easily. Do not use oil on a lock as it will stiffen in winter and make the lock difficult to operate.
The garage door should operate smoothly and with reasonable ease. The door can become misaligned and require adjustment, which Century Team, Inc. will provide.
Garage overhead doors cannot be airtight and typically some light will be visible around the edges and across the top of the door. Severe weather conditions may result in some precipitation entering around the door.
USE & CARE
There is a shut-off on the gas line at or near its connection to each gas operated appliance. In addition, there is a main shut-off at the meter. These are pointed out during the Homeowner Orientation. If you suspect a gas leak, leave the home and call the gas company immediately for emergency service. Gas valves are typically "ball" type valves. Valve is open when handle is parallel with the line and off when perpendicular.
USE & CARE
The final grades around your home have been inspected and approved for proper drainage of your lot and a drainage certification is done by our subcontracted surveyor. Inspections are made by the local building authorities as well as our construction superintendent. Typically, the grade around your home should slope 1' in the first 10', tapering to a 2% slope.
IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT YOU MAINTAIN THE SLOPES AROUND YOUR HOME TO PERMIT THE WATER TO DRAIN AWAY FROM THE HOME AS RAPIDLY AS POSSIBLE. FAILURE TO DO SO CAN RESULT IN MAJOR STRUCTURAL DAMAGE AND WILL VOID YOUR WARRANTY.
During construction, it is necessary to excavate an area larger than the foundation of your home. In addition, some trenching is necessary for installation of utility lines. Although the soil is replaced and re?compacted it does not return to its original density. Some settling will occur, especially after prolonged heavy rainfall or melting of considerable amounts of snow. This can continue to occur for the first few years you are in your home, depending on the amount of precipitation that occurs and other factors.
Inspect the perimeter of your home regularly for signs of settling.
Do not remove the splash blocks and/or downspout extensions from under the downspouts. Keep these in place at all times, sloped so the water drains away from your home quickly.
The final grade is established to insure adequate drainage away from the home. It is the Homeowner's responsibility to maintain the drainage as established. If the drainage pattern is altered either by action taken directly or instigated by the Homeowner or his agent, or as a result of neglect of maintenance, the warranty is void.
In most cases, drainage swales do not follow property boundaries. Century Team, Inc. will not alter drainage patterns to suit individual landscape plays. Typically a lot will receive water from and/or pass water on to other lots. For this reason, Homeowner changes in grade often affect those adjacent or near by. Century Team, Inc. advises Homeowners against making such changes.
Due to weather conditions, especially during winter and early spring, it may happen that the final grade has not been established at the time of closing. When conditions permit grading work will continue. Homeowner should check on the status of his/her grading prior to beginning landscaping.
Homeowner is cautioned that rototilling the site will often significantly change drainage swales, as will erosion resulting from the site remaining unlandscaped for a long period. If rototilling is done, it should be done parallel to the swales rather than across them.
Century Team, Inc. is not responsible for weather caused damage to unlandscaped yards after the final grade has been established or the closing date, whichever occurs last.
New sod installation and the extra watering that accompanies it can cause temporary drainage problems, as can unusually severe weather conditions.
Century Team, Inc. will inspect problems reported in writing during the one-year warranty period and advise Homeowner as to corrective actions which he/she might take.
Backfilled or excavated areas around foundation and at utility trenches should not interfere with the drainage away from the house. If these areas settle, Century Team, Inc. will correct one time and subsequently provide the Homeowner with fill dirt during the one-year warranty period.
Century Team, Inc. will fill visible sunken areas under concrete. Maintenance of positive drainage away from the foundation as well as all concrete slabs and walks is a Homeowner's responsibility.
Failure to maintain these areas can result in damage to the foundation and void the limited warranty. Homeowner should expect some settling of backfill soils.
USE & CARE
Gutters must be checked periodically and cleared of leaves or other wind deposited debris. Materials that accumulate in gutters can slow the process of draining water from the roof, cause overflows, or clog the downspouts. Excess snow should be cleaned away from downspouts as soon as possible to allow the gutter to drain and prevent damage.
Do not lean ladders against gutters.
If a joint between sections of gutter drips, caulk the inside joint using a commercial gutter caulking compound available at hardware stores.
As part of normal maintenance, the Homeowner should keep gutters clear of debris that might clog them and cause the water to run over the downspouts. Homeowner should check gutters periodically to insure proper functioning; excess snow should be brushed off downspouts with a broom as soon as possible. Severe ice or snow build up can damage gutters.
Gutters may overflow during periods of excessively heavy rain. It is expected that small amounts of water (up to 1") will stand for short periods of time in gutters immediately after rain. No correction is required for these conditions.
Downspouts are placed to carry water to the ground and in extensions, which then direct the flow away from the foundation of the home. These extensions are for the protection of the foundation; Homeowner is responsible for maintaining them. Extensions should discharge outside of the rock or bark beds so that water is not dammed behind the edging materials that might be used.
USE & CARE
Doorknobs and locks should operate correctly. Some slight adjustments may be needed due to normal shrinkage of the framing. These adjustments will be done by Century Team, Inc..
Dents, chips, scratches, etc. in door hardware, towel bars, shower doors, etc., which are noted on the orientation list, will be repaired.
USE & CARE
Wood floors will respond noticeably to changes in humidity level in the home especially in the winter. A humidifier will help but will not completely eliminate this reaction.
New Wood Floors
Wood floors will exhibit the following traits: When new, small splinters of wood will appear; dimples or scratches can be caused by moving furniture, dropping heavy or sharp objects, etc. Some shrinkage or warping can be expected; especially around heat vents or any heat producing appliances. Warping will occur if the floor becomes wet repeatedly or is thoroughly soaked even one time. A dulling of the finish in heavy traffic areas is likely; a white, filmy appearance is caused by moisture (often from wet shoes or boots).
In daily care of hardwood floor, preventive maintenance is the primary goal.
Food spills should be cleaned up in a timely manner using a very dry cloth. Use a vinegar and warm water solution for tough food spills.
It is recommended that you do not wear high heels on your hardwood floors. Heels that have lost their protective cap (thus exposing the fastening nail) can exert over 8,000 pounds of pressure per square inch on the floor. That's high enough to damage hardened concrete; it will mark your wood floor.
Use protective mats at the exterior doors to help prevent sand and grit from getting on the floor. Gritty sand is wood flooring's worst enemy.
Yellowing and Warping
Be aware that yellowing and warping of the surface can result from rubber backing on area rugs or mats.
Install proper floor protectors on furniture protectors used on hardwood floors. Protectors will allow chairs to move easily over the floor without scuffing. Clean the protectors on a regular basis to remove any grit that may accumulate.
Sweep on a daily basis or as needed. Never wet mop a hardwood floor. Excessive water causes wood to expand, possibly damaging the floor. When the floor becomes soiled use a damp?mop with a mixture of one-cup vinegar to one gallon of warm water. When damp?mopping, be sure to remove all excess water from the mop. This is for polyurethane finishes only. Check with a hardwood company if your floor has a water based finish.
Waxing or the use of products like Murphy's Oil Soap are not necessary or recommended. Once you wax a polyurethane finish floor, it is very difficult to recoat the floor as the new finish will not bond to the wax. Also, once wax is used, then you must maintain the wax and the floor. Preventive cleaning and annual screen should be performed to maintain the desired level of luster.
If a polyurethane finish was applied to your hardwood floors, we recommend that in a period of six months to one year, you have an extra coat of polyurethane applied to your still beautiful, like new, hardwood floor. This should be done by a qualified contractor. The exact timing will depend on your particular lifestyle.
Readily noticeable cosmetic defects listed on the Homeowner Orientation list will be corrected by Century Team, Inc.. Homeowner is responsible for routine maintenance of hardwood floors.
Century Team, Inc. is not responsible for changes in wood floors due to excessive or lack of humidity. Damages caused by air or water infiltration from exterior entrances are not covered by warranty.
Floors by Ed:
After the installation of your hardwood floor please stay off of your freshly coated floor. The floor is coated with polyurethane and will need at least 8 hours of drying time after each coat, so the house will need to be vacant for 8 hours after each coat is applied.
Do not open doors and windows after a coat is applied. When doors and windows are opened dust particles that are in the house may settle on your freshly coated floor causing bubbles, any sand let in will cause scratching of the floors, and insects that drop to the floor will stick to the poly.
The day after your floor has been coated check to see if your floor is tacky. If it is still tacky stay off it until completely dry, when your floor is completely dried please cover the floor with cardboard to help prevent dents and scratching until you have finished moving. Nothing heavy should be set on the floors such as ladders, chairs, tables, etc for 3 days after the coat is applied.
Never drop anything heavy on the floor, as it will dent your floor. Prevent sliding of appliances across the floor. If possible be present when your appliances are delivered and put in place, sliding appliances can cause deep scratches of the ploy down to raw wood and cannot be taken out only coated over.
Completely cover the floor when painting ceilings, walls etc. Any spilled paint may get down into the grain and may result in your floor having to be completely re-sanded and all new coats of poly reapplied which will cause an additional charge.
Cleaning of your hardwood floors
Never use any chemicals on your hardwood floors such as Murphey's oil, pledge or any other cleaning products.
The only thing you'll need to clean your floors with is either Blue Windex and water at a 50/50 mixture or use a white vinegar and water mixture. If your floor ever needs to be refinished for any reason and any cleaning agents have been used they can cause a chemical reaction and the finish of your floor may lift.
USE & CARE
The heating system installed in your home will provide you with many years of comfort if given proper care and maintenance.
The heating system design was planned with a furnished home in mind. If you move in during the cooler part of the year and have not yet acquired all of your draperies and furnishings, the home may seem cooler to you than you would expect.
The furnace will come on automatically when the temperature on the thermostat registers below the temperature you have selected. Setting the thermostat to a higher temperature will not heat the home faster.
Thermostats are calibrated to within plus or minus 5 degrees.
Good maintenance of the furnace can save energy dollars as well as prolong the life of the furnace itself. Carefully read and follow the manufacturer's literature on use and care. The guidelines here include only general information.
One of the primary reasons that a furnace does not work is the pilot light is off. This, however, is not the only reason. First, the furnace has an on/off blower switch. This switch looks like a regular light switch. It is located in a metal box outside the furnace. This switch simply overrides all furnace commands and manually shuts down the blower. This is usually only done when maintenance service is being performed. Young children have been known to turn the furnace off using this switch. The lower panel must be positioned correctly for the furnace blower to operate. This panel compresses a button that tells the blower it is safe to operate. If this panel is not on tightly, the fan will not come on. (If your furnace is a high efficiency furnace, there is no pilot and no "on/off" switch.
In addition, check these items for troubleshooting:
- Check the breaker in the circuit box.
- Check that the gas valve is on.
- Check the intake and exhaust termination points, be sure they are clear.
- Check the thermostat setting.
These instructions can also be found on a sticker on the furnace and/or in the manufacturer's literature.
Remember to change or clean the filter monthly during the heating season (all year if you also have air conditioning). A clogged filter can slow air flow and cause cold spots in your home. Although it takes less than one minute to change the filter, this is one of the most frequently overlooked details of normal furnace care. Buy filters in large quantity for the sake of convenience. If equipped with an electronic air cleaner, clean all 4 parts monthly. Refer to manufacturer's instructions for details.
Adjust Heat Vents
Experiment with the adjustable registers in your home to establish the best heat flow for your lifestyle. Generally, heat can be diminished in seldom used or interior rooms. This is a very individual matter and you will need to balance the system for your family.
Return Air Vents
For maximum comfort and efficient energy use, place furniture and draperies to allow unobstructed air flow from registers and cold air returns.
Have a trial run early in the fall to test the furnace. (The same applies to A/C in the spring.) If service is needed, it is much less inconvenient to discover it prior to the heating season.
Normal temperature variations from floor to floor (depending on the style of home) can be as much as 10 degrees or more on extremely cold days. The furnace blower will typically cycle on and off more frequently and for shorter periods of time during severe cold spells.
Do Not Overheat
Your new home should not be overheated. Overheating can cause excessive shrinkage in framing lumber and may materially damage the home. In the beginning, use as little heat as possible and increase it gradually.
It is normal for the heating system to emit an odor for a few moments when it is first turned on after an extended period of not being used (such as after the summer months if you do not use air conditioning). This is caused by dust that has settled in the ducts and should pass very quickly.
If you smell gas, call the gas company immediately.
Furnaces that are installed in basements have combustion air vents run to them. Never cover these or block the cold air in any way. Outside air is needed to supply the furnace with sufficient oxygen. Blocking the combustion air vent will cause the furnace to draw air down the vent pipe and pull poisonous gases back into your home.
Some popping or pinging sounds are the natural result of ductwork heating and cooling in response to airflow as the system operates.
Heating systems will be installed in accordance with local building codes, as well as engineering designs of the particular model home. Adequacy of the system is determined by its ability to establish a temperature of 70 degrees, as measured in the center of the room, five (5) feet above the floor. In extremely cold temperatures (10 degrees below or colder), the system should be able to maintain a temperature differential of 80 degrees. Thermostats are calibrated to plus or minus 5 degrees.
Expansion or contraction of metal ductwork will typically result in some ticking or popping sounds. It is not possible to eliminate these sounds. Loud "oilcanning" will be corrected by Century Team, Inc..
Although the heat system is not a "sealed system", the ductwork should remain attached and securely fastened. If it becomes unattached, Century Team, Inc. will repair as needed.
Heat register covers are removable and adjustable. Homeowner is responsible for adjusting the dampers in these covers to regulate the heat flow within the home. In particular, attention is drawn to the fact that rooms further away from the furnace will need to have vents opened more.
The exact placement of heat ducts may vary slightly from those positions shown in similar floor plans.
For maximum efficiency and clean service, the furnace filter should be changed once each month during the winter (year round if you have air conditioning also) by the Homeowner.
An outside combustion air duct is included to supply fresh air for the furnace and water heater. The supply of fresh air is vital to the safe and efficient operation of both items and should not be limited in any way.
USE & CARE
Humidifiers should only be operated with the furnace, never with the air conditioner. It is advisable to clean the moisture pad twice a year:
Steps to shut down in Spring:
- Turn off water supply. Trace copper line from humidifier to shut off valve.
- Close stove pipe style damper in air supply duct.
- Turn humidistat to "off" position.
Reverse these steps in the Fall to reactivate.
USE & CARE
The effectiveness of blown insulation is diminished if it is uneven. The last step in any work done in your attic (for example, the installation of a TV antenna) should be to check that the insulation lays smooth and even. (Do not step on drywall ceilings, personal injury or damage to drywall can result.)
Insulation will be installed to meet or exceed the building codes applicable at the time of construction.
USE & CARE
The foundation of your home is constructed beginning with an excavation into the earth.
When the foundation walls are complete, the area surrounding them is backfilled with earth. This area is not as compact and dense as undisturbed ground.
Water can penetrate through the backfill area to the lower areas of your foundation. This can cause potentially severe problems such as wet basements, cracks in foundation walls, and floor slab movement. This can be avoided through proper installation of landscaping and good maintenance of backfill drainage. (See also, Grading & Drainage)
Backfill areas will settle and require prompt attention to avoid damage to the structure and voiding of the warranty.
Downspout extensions should be kept in the down position so that roof run?off is channeled well away from the foundation area of the home. Routine inspection of downspouts, backfill areas, and other drainage components is an excellent maintenance habit.
NO PLANTS OF ANY TYPE OR SPRINKLER HEADS SHOULD BE PLACED WITHIN FIVE (5) FEET OF YOUR HOME.
Settlement will not disturb your utility lines; however, you may see a slight depression develop in the front lawn along the line of the utility trench. To correct this, roll back the sod and spread top soil underneath to level the area, then relay the sod.
Plant with regard to your local climate. Consider ultimate size, shape, and growth of the species.
Locate plants and irrigation heads out of the way of pedestrian/bicycle traffic, and car bumpers.
Space groves of trees or single trees to allow for efficient mowing and growth. Prune woody plants as needed.
Group plants with similar water, sun, and space requirements together.
Provide simple guying systems for trees for a minimum of two years.
Make provisions for efficient irrigation; drain and service sprinkler systems on a regular basis. Conduct operational checks on a weekly basis to ensure proper performance of the system.
Sprinkler heads should be directed away from the home. Trickler or bubbler type irrigation systems are not recommended for use adjacent to the structure.
Provide good soil mixes with sufficient organic material. Use mulch at least three inches deep to hold soil moisture and to help prevent weeds and soil compaction. In areas with high clay content, it is advisable to prepare the soil before installing your grass. First cover the soil with 2" sand and 1" of manure, which is usually treated and odorless.
This should then be rototilled into the soil to a depth of 6". This procedure helps your lawn retain moisture and require less water. It will provide a more lush turf. This is true whether you use seed or sod. Installing a lawn over hard soil permits water to run off with little or no penetration and your lawn derives minimal benefit from watering or rain.
ALWAYS MAINTAIN A PROPER SLOPE AWAY FROM YOUR HOME TO MAINTAIN EFFICIENT DRAINAGE.
Apply appropriate fertilizer, weed and pest controls, etc., as needed for optimum growth. Investigate organic compounds for additional protection of the environment.
Do not allow edgings around decorative rock or bark beds to dam the free flow of water away from the home. A non?woven membrane, such as Typar or Mirafi, can be used between the soil and rock or bark to restrict weed growth while still permitting normal evaporation of ground moisture.
Prior to the installation of patio additions or other permanent improvements, the type and condition of the soil in the area of the improvements should be evaluated so that soil conditions are taken into consideration in the design or engineering of your addition.
Check with your local building department prior to designing and installing any landscaping for any specific regulations you may be required to follow.
Be sure to check the homeowner association guidelines and/or requirements prior to landscaping or making changes in an established design.
Waiting to Landscape
Ground left unlandscaped too long will erode. Any erosion due to the Homeowner's untimeliness in landscaping will be the Homeowner's responsibility.
USE & CARE
To clean your mirrors use any reliable liquid glass cleaner or polisher available at most hardware or grocery stores. Avoid splashing water under the mirror. The moisture will cause the silvering to deteriorate.
Scratches, chips, or other damage to mirrors reported on the orientation list will be corrected by Century Team, Inc..
USE & CARE
The interior woodwork, as well as the bathrooms and kitchen walls have been painted with flat latex paint. This finish is not as resistant to washing. Minor soiling may be cleaned with a soft sponge and soapy water, but could result in discoloration or wearing off of the finish. Severe soiling and stains should be touched up with matching paint rather than wiped with a wet sponge. Spackle may be used to cover any small defects prior to paint touch up. It is recommended that you wait a minimum of thirty days prior to washing any painted surface. Do not use soaps, abrasive cleaners, scouring pads, or brushes.
When doing paint touch?up use a small brush, applying paint only to the damaged spot. Touch?up may not match the surrounding area exactly, even if the same paint mix is used.
When it is time to repaint a room, prepare the wall surfaces first by cleaning with a mild soap and water mixture or a reliable cleaning product.
For interior stain touch?ups, Old English Furniture Polish and Scratch Cover is inexpensive, easy to use, and blends in with the wood grain. Follow directions on bottle when using.
Do not attempt to fix drywall cracks or other separations due to shrinkage until after the first heating season. See "Drywall" for additional information concerning repairs.
Regular painting and repair will preserve the beauty of and add value to your home. Check the painted/stained surfaces of your home's exterior annually. If you repaint before there is much chipping or wearing away of the original finish, you will save the cost of extensive surface preparation. It is a wise maintenance policy to plan on refinishing the exterior surface of your home approximately every three years or as often as your paint manufacturer suggests for your area and climate. The chemical structure of the paint used on the exterior is governed by the climatic conditions. Over a period of time, this finish will fade and dull a bit.
When you wish to repaint exterior woodwork on you home, nails should be reset; the blistered or peeling portions preparation should be wire?brushed or scraped with a putty knife, sanded, and spotted with primer. Then the entire areas can be painted. Be certain to apply a top quality exterior paint that has been formulated for local climate conditions. Do not allow sprinklers to spray water on the exterior walls of your home. This will cause blistering, peeling, splintering, and other damage to the home. Trim painted white or light colors will more readily show grain and cracks and therefore requires additional maintenance.
Hail and wind can cause a great deal of damage in a severe storm and the house should be inspected after such weather. Damage caused by severe weather should be reported to your insurance company promptly.
Century Team, Inc. will touch up paint as indicated on the orientation list. Homeowner will be responsible for all subsequent touch?ups unless provided as part of another warranty repair.
Homeowners will receive a sample of each interior paint used for subsequent touch-ups. This paint should be stored so as not to be affected by freezing temperatures.
Paint touch-ups are sometimes visible under certain lighting conditions. For additional details on touch-up needed as a result of repairs, see individual categories of Drywall, Plumbing, etc.
Due to wood characteristics, color variation will result when stain is applied. There will be no repair or replacements on such variations.
Fading of exterior paint or stain can be expected due to the effects of sun and weather. No repair is provided for this occurrence.
Wood trim will develop some minor cracks and raised grain as it ages and dries. Much of this will occur during the first year. Raised grain can result in peeling paint; however, this is not due to a defect in materials or workmanship. Paint maintenance of wood trim and gutters is the Homeowner's responsibility.
Wood trim painted white or light colors will more readily show grain and cracks and will therefore require additional maintenance by Homeowner. Color names, numbers, and paint brands are noted on the color selection sheets.
USE & CARE
Each home is equipped with telephone jacks as indicated on the blueprints. Additional jacks can be selected from the options list at the time new home selections are made. Further additions to phone service as well as initiating phone service is the Homeowner's responsibility. Moving outlets for decorating purposes or convenience is at the Homeowner's expense.
If an outlet is positioned so that a phone cannot be installed (example, kitchen wall phone interfering with countertop or cabinets) Century Team, Inc. will correct.
Wiring that does not perform as intended from the phone service box into the home will be repaired by Century Team, Inc.. From the service box outward, care of the wiring is the responsibility of the local telephone service company.
USE & CARE
Your main water shut?off is located in your basement near your meter. It is important to note and remember the location of the shut off for emergencies such as a water line freeze or break. It is helpful to know if you install a lawn sprinkler system or if you plan an addition to your home.
A Homeowner installed sprinkler system is your responsibility. One installed by Century Team, Inc. is covered under the one year warranty.
If you decide to finish the basement, care should be taken to insure that the plumbing lines are not isolated from the heating source without insulation being added.
Provided the home is heated at a normal level, pipes should not freeze at temperatures above 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat should be set at 65 degrees if you are away during winter months. If you will be away for an extended period of time, it is best to drain your water supply lines. This is done by shutting off the main supply line and opening the faucets to relieve the pressure in the lines.
Garage doors should be kept closed to protect plumbing lines that may run through this area from freezing temperatures. In unusually frigid weather or if you will be gone more than a day or two, open cabinets doors to allow warm air to circulate around pipes. An ordinary hair dryer can be used to thaw pipes that are frozen. Never use an open flame.
Debris in Pipes
Even though your plumbing lines have been flushed out to remove dirt and foreign matter, there are usually small amounts of minerals that enter the line. Aerators on the faucets strain much of this from your water. However, minerals, etc. caught in these aerators may cause the faucets to drip because washers wear more rapidly when they come in contact with foreign matter. (See "Dripping Faucet" for additional information.)
Care and Cleaning
Follow manufacturer's directions for cleaning fixtures. Abrasive cleansers will remove the shiny finish leaving behind a porous surface that is difficult to maintain. A nonabrasive cleaner such as Spic?n?Span or a liquid detergent is usually recommended. Brass fixtures should be cared for with a good quality brass cleaner, available at most hardware stores.
Porcelain enamel can be damaged by a sharp blow from a heavy object. It can also be scratched. Do not stand in the bathtub wearing shoes unless you have placed a protective layer of newspaper over the bottom of the tub. If paint is splattered onto the porcelain enamel surfaces during redecorating, it should be wiped up immediately. If some spots are dry before being noticed, use a recommended solvent.
Stainless steel sinks should be cleaned with soap and water to preserve their luster. Do not use abrasive cleaners; these will damage the finish. An occasional cleaning with a good stainless steel cleaner will enhance the finish. Care should be taken to avoid leaving produce on a stainless steel surface since prolonged contact with produce can stain the finish.
Marble or Man-made Marble
Marble and man?made marble will not chip as readily as porcelain enamel, but can still be damaged by a sharp blow. Equal care should be given to either surface. You should not use abrasive cleanser or razor blades on man?made marble since both will cause certain damage to the surface.
Clean plumbing fixtures with a soft sponge and soapy water, then polish with a dry cloth. Drying with a soft cloth or towel will prevent water spots.
Fixtures with gold or antique brass finishing should not be cleaned with an abrasive cleaner. Use only mild detergent and water.
Toilet Seat Cover
Do not stand on the toilet seat cover. It is not designed for this purpose and may crack.
Similarly, avoid exposing the toilet to blows from sharp or heavy objects; this can cause chipping or cracking. Avoid abnormal pressures against the sides of the tank. It is possible to crack the tank at the points where it is attached to the bowl.
Copper pipe should be maintained by running water through each faucet for approximately one minute each week to minimize stagnation.
A dripping faucet may be repaired by shutting off the water at the valve directly under the sink, then remove the faucet stem, change the washer, and reinstall the faucet stem. The shower head is repaired the same way. It is important to replace the washer with another of the same type and size. The frequency of this repair can be minimized by remembering not to turn faucets off with excessive force.
It will occasionally be necessary to remove and clean the aerators on faucets to allow proper flow of water, normally every three to four months is sufficient.
If a major plumbing leak occurs, the first step is to turn off the supply of water to the area involved. This may mean shutting off the water to the entire home. Then contact the appropriate contractor.
To stop running water, check the shut?off float in the tank. You will most likely find it has lifted too high in the tank, preventing the valve from shutting off completely. In this case, gently bend the float rod down until it stops the water at the correct level. The float should be free and not rub the side of the tank or any other parts.
Also check the chain on the flush handle; if it is too tight it will prevent the rubber stopper at the bottom of the tank from sealing resulting in running water.
Many plumbing clogs are caused by improper garbage disposal use. Always use plenty of cold water when running the disposal. This applies to grease also. Supplied with a steady flow of cold water, the grease congeals and is cut up by the blades. If you use hot water, the grease remains a liquid, then cools and solidifies in the sewer line. Allow the water to run a minimum of 15 seconds after shutting off the disposal.
Clogged traps can usually be cleared with a plumber's helper (plunger). If you use chemical agents, follow directions carefully to avoid injury or damage to the fixtures or personal injury.
Clean a plunger drain stopper, usually found in bathroom sinks, by loosening the nut under the sink at the back, pull out the rod attached to the plunger and lift the stopper out. Clean and return the mechanism to its original position.
The main causes of toilet clogs are various domestic items such as paper diapers, excessive amounts of toilet paper or the wrong type of paper, sanitary supplies, Q-tips, dental floss, children toys, etc.
Outside faucets are "frost" free hydrates that drain 12" back into the home, but given the extreme cold in Minnesota's winters, we also install a shut off valve for each exterior faucet. They should be drained before the onset of freezing weather by closing the valve in your mechanical room, opening the exterior faucet valve, then opening the bleeder valve on the mechanical room shut off to allow all remaining water to drain. During freezing weather, hoses must be removed after each use. If a hose is left attached, the water that remains in the hose can freeze and expand back into the pipe causing a break in the line. Repair of a broken line to an exterior faucet is a maintenance item. Century Team, Inc. does not warrant sillcocks against freezing.
All drains and sewer lines should operate freely. Obstruction resulting from construction debris will be corrected by Century Team, Inc.. Century Team, Inc. will correct clogged drains that occur during the first thirty (30) days after closing. Obstructions removed during this time period which are shown to be the result of Homeowner action will be corrected at the Homeowner's expense.
Century Team, Inc. will repair leaks in the plumbing system. If a plumbing leak caused by a warranted item results in drywall or floor covering damage, this will be repaired by Century Team, Inc.. No adjustments will be made for secondary damages (wallpaper, drapes, personal belongings, etc.). Homeowner insurance should cover these items.
Provided the home is heated at a normal level, pipes should not freeze. Heat should be set at 65 degrees if you are away during winter months. Garage doors should be kept closed to protect plumbing lines that may run through this area.
Changes in temperature or the flow of the water itself will cause some noise in the pipes. This is normal and requires no repair. Consistent "water hammer" will be repaired. Temperature variations can be expected if water is being used in more than one location in the home.
Any fixture damage noted on the orientation list will be repaired. Chips, scratches, etc., reported subsequent to the orientation list, will not be repaired. Homeowner is responsible for following manufacturer's directions for caring for fiberglass products.
Century Team, Inc. will repair any problems with these faucets noted on the orientation list. Subsequent to orientation, repairs of broken lines to exterior faucets will be the Homeowner's responsibility.
USE & CARE
Refer to manufacturer's recommendations for additional information on the care of all floor covering products. Color selection sheets provide a record of the brand, style, and color of floor coverings in your home. Please retain this information for future reference.
Although resilient floors are designed for minimum care, they do vary in maintenance needs. All resilient floors require some regular application of a good floor finish. This assures you of retaining a high gloss. However, no cleaning or finishing agents should be used on the new floor until the adhesive has set thoroughly. This takes about two weeks.
The resilient flooring installed in your home is the "no wax" type. "No?wax" means it is coated with a clear, tough coating which provides both a shiny appearance and a wearing surface. Even this surface will scuff or mark. Follow any manufacturer's specific recommendations for care and cleaning of all your hard surface floors.
Wipe up spills and vacuum crumbs instead of washing resilient floors frequently with water. Mopping or washing with water should be limited; excessive amounts of water on resilient floors can penetrate seams and get under edges causing the material to lift and curl.
Scrubbing & Buffing
Frequent scrubbing or electric buffing is harder on floors than regular foot traffic. Use acrylic finishes often if you scrub or buff.
Use extreme caution when moving appliances across resilient floor covering. Tears and wrinkles can result. Coasters should be installed on furniture legs to prevent permanent damage.
Raised Nail Heads
Raised nail heads are the result of movements of the floor joist caused by natural shrinkage and deflection. Special nails have been used and the underlayment has been glued to help minimize this movement. If a nail head becomes visible through resilient flooring, place a block of wood over it and hit with a hammer to reset the nail. Flooring of any type will shrink and seams may actually separate slightly due to this shrinkage.
Seams can lift or curl if excessive moisture is allowed on the floor. A special caulking can be used at tub or floor joints to seal seams at those locations. Precautionary measures should be taken to avoid getting water on the floor from baths and showers.
The joints of underlayment (sheets 4'x 8') have been sanded and filled to minimize the possibility of ridges showing through resilient floor coverings. Some ridging is unavoidable, and there is no recommended maintenance attention for this condition.
Resilient floor covering should adhere; lifting or bubbling will be repaired. In the event that nail "pops" should appear on the surface of resilient floor covering, these will be repaired. In any situation which requires replacement, Century Team, Inc. will not be responsible for discontinued selections.
Seams will occur and are sealed at the time of installation. There should be no gaps or curling at seams.
USE & CARE
The shingles on your roof do not require any treatment or sealer.
Limit walking on your roof. The weight and movement will have a tendency to loosen and break the integrity of the roofing material, which can result in leakage. Never attempt to walk on the roof of your home when shingles are wet??they are extremely slippery.
After severe storms, perform a visual inspection of the roof. Notify your homeowner insurance company if damage is noted.
Maintain the gutters and downspouts so that they are free of debris and able to quickly and efficiently drain precipitation from the roof.
When a leak is noticed try to detect the exact location; this will greatly simplify locating the area that requires repair when the roof is dry.
Roof and flashing should not leak. Century Team, Inc. will repair roof leaks other than those caused by severe weather, such as hail damage, or some action by Homeowner. Roof repairs are only made when the roof is dry. Secondary drainage inside the structure caused by roof leaking is not the responsibility of Century Team, Inc. This should be covered under your Homeowner's insurance policy.
Ice build-up may develop in the eaves during extended periods of cold and snow. Damage that results from this is normally covered by Homeowner's insurance policy and is not a warranty item.
It is the Homeowner's responsibility to inspect the roof and replace cracked or otherwise damaged tiles or shingles. The roof should be checked after extreme weather that might have caused damage. Homeowner's insurance company should be notified if storm damage is discovered.
Some floor squeaks are unavoidable. Although Century Team, Inc. does not warrant against floor squeaks, a reasonable effort will be made to correct them.
Floors will deflect when walked on. This will be more noticeable next to hutches, book cases, chairs, etc. This is not a structural deficiency and Century Team, Inc. will take no action for this occurrence.
Floors will be level to within 1/4" within any 32" distance. Walls that are out of plumb more than 1/2" in an 8' distance will be corrected.
USE & CARE
See Paint, Wood Trim
Some shrinkage of siding is to be expected; however, if separation in excess of 1/4" appears, Century Team, Inc. will caulk and apply touch-up paint. This will be performed one time only near the end of the first year. Paint or stain touch-up will not match. Slight waves can be seen in siding under certain weather conditions; this cannot be entirely eliminated.
USE & CARE
Read the manual from the manufacturer for information on the care of smoke detectors.
Once per quarter smoke alarms should be cleaned (vacuumed) to prevent a false alarm or lack of response in a fire. After cleaning, push the red button to test; the alarm should sound. For your safety, it is important that these devices be kept clean and in good operating condition.
Century Team, Inc. does not represent that the smoke detection device will provide the protection for which it is installed or intended. Insurance, if any, must be obtained by the Homeowner.
All smoke alarms are "hard wired" to the home, although they also have a 9-volt battery back up. This battery should be changed every 6 months. The unit will emit a chirping sound when the battery is low.
USE & CARE
There is no known method of installation that will prevent vibration in a staircase when used by adults. Often there will be a slight shrinkage where the stairs meet the wall. When this occurs, a thin bead of latex caulk can be applied and when dry, painted to match the wall.
See also, Caulking, Rough Carpentry
USE & CARE
The primary exterior finishes on your new home are stucco and wood. These finishes were chosen for their beauty and durability. Because they are exposed to constantly changing weather conditions, the exterior finishes on your new home require routine maintenance and care. We recommend that you inspect the exterior surfaces of your home every three months.
Stucco is a brittle cement product that is subject to expansion and contraction. Minor hairline cracks can develop in the outer layer of stucco. This is normal and does not reduce the function of the stucco in any way.
The white, powdery substance that sometimes accumulates on stucco surfaces is called efflorescence. This is a natural phenomenon and cannot be prevented. In some cases, it can be removed by scrubbing with a stiff brush and strong vinegar. Consult your home center or hardware store for commercial products to remove efflorescence.
Since stucco is not a water barrier, avoid spraying water from irrigation or watering systems on stucco surfaces. Check the spray from the lawn and plant irrigation system frequently to make certain that water is not spraying or accumulating on stucco surfaces.
To ensure proper drainage, keep dirt and concrete flatwork a minimum of six (6) inches from the stucco screed. Do not pour concrete or masonry over the stucco screed.
Century Team, Inc. will repair stucco cracks that exceed 1/8" in width. The repair may not match the surrounding area exactly.
USE & CARE
Attic ventilation through the roof or siding is required by building codes and therefore cannot be omitted.
A sheet of plastic can be placed over the insulation in the attic in front of vents to protect ceilings from driving rain/snow. Be cautious in placing this not to displace insulation or step off wood members onto drywall.
Attic ventilation is required by the building codes and therefore cannot be omitted. Occasionally, depending on the force and direction of the wind, rain or snow will infiltrate through these vents causing spotting on the ceiling. Century Team, Inc. is not responsible for such weather damage and will not make repairs in these instances.
Crawl space vents must be open during the summer (pull the insulation away so air can get through) and closed during the winter (put the insulation back to cover the vent). The vents are operational from outside.
USE & CARE
Carefully read manufacturer's literature for your specific model of water heater.
The area around a gas?fired water heater should be vacuumed as needed to prevent dust from interfering with proper flame combustion. The top of a gas?fired water heater should never be used as a storage shelf.
Set the water heater thermostat at the recommended setting; higher settings waste energy. Recommended thermostat setting for normal everyday use are "normal" on gas models and "140 degrees" on electric models.
Never light a gas pilot or turn on electricity when the heater tank is empty. Always turn off the gas or electric power before shutting off the cold water supply (located at the top of the tank).
To light the hot water heater pilot, first remove the cover panel on the tank to expose the pilot. Then rotate the on/off/pilot knob to the "Pilot" position. When the knob is in this position, the red button can be depressed.
While depressing the red button, hold a match at the pilot. Once the pilot lights, continue to hold the red button down for 30 to 60 seconds. When you release the red button the pilot should stay lit. If it does not, wait several minutes to allow the gas to dissipate from the tank and repeat the entire process again. If it stays lit, rotate the on/off/pilot knob to the "On" position.
Reinstall the cover panel and then adjust the temperature setting with the regulating knob on the front of the tank.
Water heaters sometimes collect small quantities of dirty water and scale in the main gas lines that may put out the pilot light.
While away from home for an extended period of time, set the temperature to its lowest point and leave the pilot lit.
Condensation inside your new water heater will in many cases cause a small drip onto the burner flame. This causes no harm and in most cases will disappear in a short period of time.
Review and follow manufacturer's timetable and instructions for draining several gallons of water from the bottom of the water heater.
This helps to prevent build up of chemical deposits from the water and prolongs the life of the tank as well as saving energy dollars.
No Hot Water
If you discover you have no hot water, check the pilot, temperature setting and water supply valve before calling for service. Refer to the manufacturer's literature for specific locations of these items and other troubleshooting information.
Please refer to the manufacturer's limited warranty for information regarding coverage of the water heater.
See also, Plumbing
USE & CARE
Your basement foundation walls have been coated on the exterior with a spray-on waterproofing material. While every effort has been made to eliminate any seepage, during times of excessive moisture some dampness may be noticed. Over time, natural compaction of soils in the backfill areas will usually eliminate this. Careful maintenance of positive drainage will also protect your basement from this condition. If you wish, you can apply a coat of sealer, available at hardware and home improvement stores. Follow manufacturer directions carefully.
Actual flowing water entering the basement should be reported to Century Team, Inc.. Unless this is caused by improper installation of landscaping or lack of adequate maintenance of drainage, Century Team, Inc. will correct.
USE & CARE
In heavy rains water may collect in the bottom channel of window frames. Weep holes are provided to allow excess water to escape to the outside. Keep the bottom window channels and weep holes free of dirt and debris for proper operation.
Once a month, clean aluminum metal surfaces with warm, clear water. Do not use any powdered cleaner. After each cleaning, apply a silicone lubricant.
Proper ventilation will prevent excessive moisture from forming on the inside of the windows. This helps reduce cleaning chores considerably.
Condensation on interior surfaces of the window and frame is the result of high humidity within the home and low outside temperatures. The humidity level within the home is largely influenced and controlled by your family's lifestyle.
Many homeowners prefer to remove and store screens for the winter to allow more light into the home. Use caution in removing screens. They are easily perforated and the frames are bent if not handled with care.
Most sliding windows (both vertical and horizontal) are designed for a ten pound pull. If sticking occurs or excessive pressure is required to open or close, a silicone lubricant should be applied. This is available at hardware stores. Do not use a petroleum based material.
Patio door tracks must be kept clean to allow smooth operation and prevent damage to the door frame. Silicone lubricants work well for these tracks.
Sliding doors lock from the inside only; there is no key. Acquaint yourself with the operation of the door hardware for maximum security.
Under certain lighting conditions, door glass may be hard to see. If you keep the screen fully closed when the glass door is open, everyone will be accustomed to opening something before going through.
If any panes of glass become broken you should contact a glass company for reglazing. Glass is very difficult to install without special tools. Century Team, Inc. is not responsible for broken windows after occupancy unless they were noted on the orientation list.
Broken windows and damaged screens noted on the orientation list will be replaced.
Windows should operate with reasonable ease and locks should perform as designed.
Condensation on interior surfaces of the window and frame is the result of high humidity within the home and low outside temperatures. The humidity level within the home is controlled by the Homeowner and requires no corrective action by Century Team, Inc..
Homeowners with humidifiers should closely observe manufacturer's directions, especially during extremely cold periods.
Some air and dust will infiltrate around windows, especially prior to the installation of landscaping in the general area.
USE & CARE
Separation of wood trim from the adjacent material is a normal result of shrinkage, which can require caulking and/or touch up painting as a repair. It is a good idea to wait until after the first heating season and make all such repairs at one time when redecorating.
Wood will shrink less lengthwise than across the grain. All lumber is more vulnerable to shrinkage during the heating season.
Shrinkage may cause a piece of trim to pull away from the wall. Drive another nail in close to the existing nail hole (but not in it). Fill the old nail hole with putty 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. Similar to a piece of trim that is pulling away, this can be corrected by removing the old nails and re?nailing. It is best to wait until you are redecorating to do this.
Shrinkage may occur during the first two years or longer depending on weather, the temperature you maintain in your home, and whether or not you have a humidifier.
During a damp period, some swelling may occur. In most cases, this will not be noticeable except where a door may fit more tightly than usual (see "Doors").
Minor imperfections may be visible. Century Team, Inc. will correct only those defects, i.e., chips, gouges, etc., noted on the orientation list. Separation of wood trim from the adjacent material is a normal result of shrinkage, which can require caulking as a repair. This is a Homeowner maintenance responsibility.
Damaged trim boards and/or shutters, noted on the orientation list, will be corrected.
Shrinkage of trim boards will be handled in the same manner as siding.
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. White or light colors will more readily show grain and cracks and require more maintenance.