HOMEOWNER MENU

NEW HOME SETTLEMENT

Maintenance of the home is your responsibility.

All homes require periodic maintenance to prevent premature deterioration and to ensure proper functioning and systems integrity. In addition to this homeowner package, we have provided you with access to and have made available to you written warranties on consumer products that may be installed in your home.

Please familiarize yourself with these documents, as we are not responsible for maintenance issues related to your home, or for damage that results from your failure to maintain your home. This maintenance package covers general maintenance and care required for items and fixtures in your home. It is by no means an all-inclusive list and may not apply to all items in your home.

For full maintenance details, please consult all guides, manuals, warranties and literature provided by the manufacturer that may be found in your Homeowner portal or on the manufacturer’s web site.

MAINTENANCE GUIDE & TIPS

Improper maintenance on your home will void warranties covered by Country Homes and Tarion.

HUMIDITY CONTROL

Today’s energy-efficient homes are built tightly to seal out the cold weather in winter and keep in the air conditioning in summer. Because of this, it is possible that a new home can be severely damaged by lack of ventilation or by excess moisture. It is important to remember that moisture damage caused by improper or inadequate use of your ventilation system is not covered by the new home warranty.

What causes moisture damage?

Your home can be damaged if weather-related water is allowed to enter and remain in the structure. Water from leaking pipes or fixtures that is not immediately cleaned up, and indoor humidity levels that are not properly controlled, can have serious consequences. Sometimes, this damage is easily seen; other times, the damage is hidden inside the wall and roof spaces. Regardless of where it occurs, moisture damage can lead to serious problems such as rot, mould, and even structural failure.

How can I control moisture?

Always use your home ventilation system to control moisture. In a typical home, over 20 litres of water are added to the indoor environment every day. That’s 7,300 litres in a year – enough to fill a medium-sized swimming pool. Bathroom fans, kitchen range hoods and packaged ventilators such as heat-recovery ventilators are specifically installed in your home to help you control moisture and contaminants. Regular use of your home ventilation system will exhaust excess airborne moisture caused by bathing, showering, doing laundry and cooking.

What else can I do to control moisture?

Here are some extra tips you can follow to help prevent moisture damage to your home:

 Inside the home

• In the winter, keep the relative humidity in your home in the range of 30-45%. Lower humidity levels may affect your health and cause things made of wood to shrink. Excess humidity can cause condensation on windows and damage the surrounding wall. When using a humidifier, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
In the summer, dehumidify the basement to avoid condensation build-up on the cool foundation walls. Relative humidity levels should not exceed 60%.
Repair leaky pipes and fixtures immediately. Clean and completely dry any areas that are dampened or wet within 48 hours.
Store organic materials such as newspapers and clothes away from cool, damp areas. Keep storage areas tidy so that air circulates freely.
Purchase a “hygrometer” to monitor the relative humidity in your home.
If you are adding a hot tub to your home, or have a large collection of plants, consider the amount of moisture they will add to your indoor air and ventilate accordingly.
Never vent your clothes dryer inside your home. If you have a gas- or propane-fired dryer, you may also be venting carbon monoxide inside your home!
Investigate and identify any musty smells and odours. They are often an indicator that there is a hidden moisture problem.

Outside the home

Keep flowerbeds or landscaping at least six inches or 150 mm away from the top of the foundation. Placing soil near or above the top of the foundation allows moisture to come into direct contact with the structure of the building.
Ensure that land adjacent to the foundation slopes away from the home so that rainwater and snow-melt will run away from the foundation.
Clear eavestroughs of debris regularly and extend downspouts so that water is directed away from the building. Water flow can erode the ground near the foundation and create depressions where water collects. Standing water near the foundation can force its way into the basement.
Fix the caulking around windows and doors, and on the roof if it becomes cracked or separated.
Have your roof inspected regularly to ensure shingles, flashing and chimney caps are in place and sealed properly.

APPLIANCES

Improper maintenance on your home will void warranties covered by Country Homes and Tarion.

How are my appliances warranted?

Appliances are warranted by their manufacturers, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the written warranties supplied by the manufacturers. These manufacturers’ warranties, as well as any operation, maintenance and preventative maintenance procedures provided by these manufacturers, have been provided to you in conjunction with the purchase of your home, and should be read and preserved for reference.

If a problem arises with an appliance, call the warranty service number listed in the manufacturer’s warranty.

When reporting warranty items to the appliance manufacturer, be prepared to supply:

• The date of purchase (closing or move-in date, whichever occurred first)
The serial and model numbers (found on a metal plate on side, back or bottom of appliance)
A description of the problem.

DISHWASHER

• Effective use of the dishwasher depends on proper loading, correct water temperature, and chemical content of the water. Experiment with several different dishwasher detergents to find the one that works best. Use each brand for a week to allow it to condition your dishes.

• Before operating the dishwasher, be certain the garbage disposal (if applicable) is empty since the dishwasher drains into the disposal.

• Failure to do so may plug up the dishwasher drain and cause water to spray out the air gap located on top of the kitchen sink.

RANGE

• Do not use abrasive cleaners on the surface of the range.

• Use warm water and mild soap instead.

• Wipe up spills promptly to avoid build-up, which can catch fire during cooking.

REFRIGERATOR

• To prevent odour build-up, keep an open box of baking soda in the fridge and clean your refrigerator and freezer on a regular basis.

• Wipe up any spills immediately.

• Do not use abrasive cleaners or scouring pads and brushes.

WASHER/DRYER

• Clean the dryer lint screen after every load to ensure maximum airflow and drying times.

• Do not use abrasive cleaners on the exterior.

• Use warm water and mild soap instead. Do not overload the machine.

• Use laundry soap, detergent and bleach as recommended by the manufacturer

ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS

Improper maintenance on your home will void warranties covered by Country Homes and Tarion.

The electrical system in your home is intended for normal residential use. We highly recommend that you consult a licensed electrician to make changes or additions to your electrical system. Please note that a permit may be required for changes and additions to your electrical system.

AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters)

Similar to GFCIs, Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters are sensitive to power surges caused by electrical arcing. Arcing can occur when wires or cords are damaged, and the resulting heat can cause a fire. As with GFCIs, AFCI circuits have TEST and RESET buttons and should be tested monthly. If an AFCI breaker trips, unplug the affected appliance or device and reset the breaker at the electrical panel. If the same circuit trips again, it may indicate a damaged electrical cord.

Circuit Breaker

During your orientation walk-through, your builder will have pointed out the location of the circuit
breaker panel. There will be one master circuit breaker and several individual circuit breakers.

My circuit breaker tripped, what do I do?

• Circuit breakers trip under excessive electrical load.

• 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.

• Reset tripped circuit breakers by moving them to the OFF position and then to the ON position.

 

In the event of a loss of electrical power in one area of your home, follow these steps:

  1.  If the power loss is in one area of your home and power is available in other areas of your
    home, it is likely that an individual circuit breaker has turned off.
  2. Unplug any appliances in the area without power and turn other appliances off. Check the
    circuit breaker and, if necessary, reset it.
  3. Plug your appliances back in. If the circuit breaker fails repeatedly, you have either a
    short circuit in one of your appliances or a short circuit in the electrical system in your
    home. Do not attempt further repair. Call a licensed electrician.

 

If electrical power is lost throughout your home:

1. Check the master circuit breaker. If the master circuit breaker has tripped, reset it.
2. If the master circuit breaker trips repeatedly, refer the problem to a licensed electrician.
3. If the master circuit breaker has not tripped, take a look around your neighbourhood. If you notice a general electrical failure in your neighbourhood, call your electric company to report the problem.

During your orientation walk-through, your builder will have pointed out the location of ground fault circuit interrupt devices (GFCI outlets).

Usually, GFCI outlets are located in:

1. Bathrooms near tubs and bathroom sinks
2. Kitchens
3. Laundry rooms
4. Garages
5. Exterior of your home

These are special circuit breakers that are designed to break the flow of electricity in the event of
a short circuit. This will prevent dangerous electrical shock.

MAINTENANCE TIPS

GFCI circuits have a TEST and RESET button. These are pointed out during the orientation walk through.

• Once each month, the TEST button should be pressed. This will trip the circuit.
• To return service, press the RESET button.
• If a GFCI breaker trips during normal use, it may be an indication of a faulty appliance and some investigation is in order.
• Do not plug appliances such as air conditioners, refrigerators and food freezers into GFCI outlets.
• The electrical surge that occurs when these appliances cycle will trip the GFCI outlets and break the circuit. Heavy electrical usage appliances such as power tools or even hair dryers can trip the GFCI breaker. Atmospheric moisture, such as during rain or after a hot shower, may also trip the GFCI breaker.
• It is possible that some outlets that are connected to the GFCI device are not so marked. If you have a failure at an outlet, reset the GFCI devices as well as the circuit breaker.
• Continued failures indicate a potentially dangerous electrical problem. Contact a licensed electrician for assistance.

Continued failures indicate a potentially dangerous electrical problem. Contact a licensed electrician for assistance.

INTERIOR LIGHTING

The lighting fixtures in your home are designed for standard wattage bulbs.

How can I preserve the usage of my bulbs?

To avoid excessive heat, you should not exceed the manufacturer’s recommendations. If a luminous light fixture does not work, make sure all fluorescent bulbs are installed properly. Adjust any tubes that are flickering or buzzing. Check wall switches and circuit breakers. If a light fails to come on, check the bulbs to be sure they are not loose or burned out. Also, check to see that they are the correct wattage for the fixture. Next, check the breakers. If this fails to solve the
problem, you will then need to arrange for service.

Translucent panels can be cleaned by removing them:
• First, push up slightly above the grid system, then tilt and lower.
• Wash in a 1-2% solution of water and mild detergent. Do not rinse; the soap film will reduce static electricity.

DO NOT hang a ceiling fan from an existing ceiling light box without adding additional support to carry the extra weight. Moving lighting fixtures to accommodate special changes is a homeowner responsibility. It is recommended a licensed electrician be consulted.

OUTLETS AND SWITCHES

• Electrical outlets can be found in every room in your home.
• Do not exceed the capacity for which the outlets were designed.
• Devices that increase the capacity of electrical outlets and multiple extension cords can cause a fire and severe personal injury or death.

If any electrical outlet does not have power, there are two possible explanations:

• Some outlets are controlled by a wall switch. Plug an appliance into the outlet and turn on nearby wall switches to see if the problem is corrected. If you find that an outlet is controlled by a wall switch, you might point this out to others who live in your home.
• Check the circuit breaker. If the circuit breaker has been tripped, reset it and try the outlet again. Check the GFCI devices and reset if necessary. If the circuit breaker trips repeatedly, call a licensed electrician or your builder if your home is still covered under your third-party warranty policy.

CAUTION: Small children can be injured by poking small metal objects into wall outlets. You can prevent this by installing child-proof devices on all floor-level electrical outlets. These devices are available in grocery stores and drug stores, as well as home centers and hardware stores.