General Care | Truman

General Care Tips

TRUMAN will not be and is not responsible for the areas as listed below. It is up to the homeowner(s) to maintain these items on a regular basis. The homeowner is responsible for reading manuals and maintaining products they purchase according to the manual’s recommendations.

Caring For Your Ceramic Tiles

Ceramic Tiles are a low maintenance floor and wall covering. There is no special cleaner required. Do not use excessive water when cleaning a ceramic tile floor. A mild solution of soap and water is usually adequate. However, some special precautions should be taken to prolong the life of your Ceramic Tile installation.

Shower & Tub Areas
After taking a shower, tiles should be wiped dry. This will prevent an excessive amount of moisture to penetrate through the grout and into the drywall. The shower door should be left open after taking a shower, allowing moisture to escape. If a shower is being used frequently (several times a day), moisture will penetrate throughout the grout and may discolour your tile somewhat. If you notice your tiles turning slightly gray, give your shower a chance to dry out and apply a silicone sealer on your tiles. This will assist in preventing moisture penetration into your drywall backing, which can cause possible damage.

It is highly recommended to add a silicone sealant to the tub enclosure tiles as soon as you move in, and then yearly after that. Cracked grout and loose silicone should be repaired immediately. This is the responsibility of the homeowner(s). Tile patterns change very rapidly. Therefore, store any leftover tiles in a safe place so they can be available if required for repairs at a later date.

Tub Area with Showerhead
While using the shower, the shower curtain should be hung inside the bathtub to prevent water from running onto the vinyl flooring and under the baseboards, causing the underlayment to swell and discolour the vinyl flooring. Assure that the silicone between the vinyl flooring and bathtub is firmly in place.

Caring For Your Granite or Quartz

As for any highly polished surface, the use of abrasive cleaners must be avoided, as should most chemical preparations.

Counter tops should be cleaned with a mild detergent solution such as VIM. The use of abrasives i.e. Ajax, Commet or solvent cleaners will definitely mar the finish. Do not use S.O.S. or any type of scouring pads on this product. Typically just warm water and a damp rag will do the trick. The use of “Gel Gloss” on a monthly basis will maintain and prolong the lustre. It may be purchased at “Rona Home & Garden” stores or other similar suppliers. Please do a trial test on a discreet section of your countertop to ensure there will be no discolouration.

IMPORTANT: Caution must be taken with the regular use of all hard surface products. Extreme temperature change will cause damage to the finish.

Caring For Your Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood floors are made from kiln dried material, but are subject to the natural processes of shrinkage and expansion. Lower inside humidity in winter, especially near heating outlets, will cause the wood to separate slightly. Too high a humidity, on the other hand, will cause expansion and may lead to cupping or swelling in the center of the board. The above movements vary seasonally and may be related to the time of year which the flooring was installed.

Our Flooring Contractors, hereby indicated as (FC), guarantees all materials supplied under this contract to be as specified and to meet or exceed standards of the trade. The wood floor is to be free of original defects in materials for one year from date to complete. (FC) also warrantees their workmanship for life. All warrantees are limited to the original owner. During this warranty period, Truman Homes will remedy or replace any defective part of work specified in the contract at no additional cost to Customer, according to the following terms and conditions:

Hardwood Cleaning Tips

  • Water is wood’s worst enemy. When cleaning, keep moisture to a minimum.
  • Polyurethane finish must be cleaned with Bona Kemi or Woodwise brand cleaners. These products are available through (FC) No residual moisture is to be left on the floor at any time. Using a damp mop can dull the finish and over time lessen the life of the finish and void the warranty.
  • Grit is one of the biggest dangers to your floor. Tracked-in dirt is like sandpaper on hardwood flooring. Use a walk-off area or entry rug at kitchen sink and every outdoor entrance to catch grit. Vacuum or shake out regularly. Removal of outdoor foot ware and hard-soled shoes is a must.
  • Dust mop, broom sweep or vacuum. A good rule: when you vacuum your carpet, vacuum your wood using a proper smooth floor attachment.
  • For stubborn stains, or cigarette burns, lightly sand area (with extra fine steel wool). And then apply Dura Seal Touch up spray.
  • Install proper felt floor glides on all furniture and keep them clean.
  • No high heels!
  • Use “Glide Guards” or “E-Z Glides” (peel and stick pads) to protect the floor under the legs or chairs, tables, couches and under your fridge, as per manufacturer’s instructions, to prevent marking wood flooring in kitchen.

**The instructions above must be followed accurately to insure the beauty and life of your hardwood floor.**

Recoating
If hardwood floors are properly maintained, your floor, in several years, will only have to be recoated at one-fifth the cost compared to sanding and refinishing. IF WAXING AND/OR OIL TREATMENTS (I.E. MURPHYS OIL SOUP OR BURTHERS WAX) ARE EVER USED ON THE WOOD FLOORS, COMPLETE SANDING AND REFINISHING WOULD BE NECESSARY. Proper bonding would not take place if polyurethane is applied over wax or oil treatment, and peeling will occur.

**When damp mopping, be sure mop is wrung out well; excessive water may cause water spotting.**

General Care FAQs

It is necessary to seal ceramic tiles with a silicone sealer?

Answer: The glazed surface of tiles is designed to shed water, but the more porous grout may absorb some water, making it susceptible to staining and mildew. A silicone sealer makes grout more waterproof. Use caution when sealing grout on floor tiles. Apply to grout spaces only, as tiles will become extremely slippery. This is not a requirement.

Faint lines in the linoleum – can anything be done?

Question: Under direct lighting, faint lines or ridges can be noticed in the linoleum. Can anything be done about this?
Answer: The seams between the sheets of flooring underlay sometimes show through resilient flooring. No positive method of preventing such occurrences is known, even though flooring contractors attempt to attain a level surface by using appropriate fillers.

Separated silicone seal?

Question: The silicone seal between the counter and the back splash in the kitchen has separated. Is this serious?
Answer: No. Slight movement in the exterior wall and minor shrinkage of the silicone causes it. This is a homeowner(s) maintenance item.

What if the furnace fails to start?

Question: What if the furnace fails to start?
Answer: The furnace will not operate, of course, unless the thermostat setting is higher than room temperature. Check to be sure the furnace switch is on and also check the circuit panel for tripped breakers. If these check out okay, contact the heating contractor as listed on the “Certificate of Possession”.

What is the “Ventilation Fan” switch?

Question: What is the switch beside the thermostat labeled “Ventilation Fan”?
Answer: This switch is to enable / override the principal exhaust fan for your home. This will draw out the air from inside your home to the exterior via the wall return grills located throughout your home. Please ensure that you keep an eye on this switch as you are manually over riding the exhaust fan and do not want to pre maturely de-acclimatized your home.

How to clean the humidifier?

Question: What should be used to clean the humidifier?
Answer: A mixture of vinegar and water or C.L.R. and water will dissolve most of the mineral build-up in humidifiers. Replacement parts are available at most hardware stores.

Why do lights dim when machine is on?

Question: When the dishwasher or washing machine changes cycles, or turns on, the lights dim momentarily. Is this a cause for concern?
Answer: Motors draw more current on start-up than on running speed, so it is quite normal to notice dimming or flickering when large appliances are being used.

Why do outside plugs not work?

Question: Why do plugs on the outside of the house not work?
Answer: The ground fault interrupter (G.F.I.) breaker either on the panel or on the rear plug has been tripped. Turn the breaker switch all the way off, then back on. Press the reset button on the G.F.I. to restore.

What is the switch in my front entry closet for?

Question: What is the switch in my front entry closet for?
Answer: This switch is for the soffit plug located outside of your home. This plug is to be used for seasonal decorations, the switch allows you to switch the power on and off from inside your home.

Caring For Your Linoleum

To preserve the appearance of tile or composite sheet materials such as vinyl, precautions should be taken against indentations from furniture. Furniture cups, which prevent heavy furniture legs from cutting or denting resilient flooring, are available at hardware stores, as are smooth floor glides for lighter pieces of furniture, such as chairs. Metal domes should not be used on furniture legs, as they will mar the floor surface. Furniture should always be carried and carefully placed in position, never dragged across linoleum (resilient flooring).

It may take a short period of time for floor tile adhesive to “set” completely. Normal use (foot traffic) and the weight of furniture will aid this process. All resilient flooring is subject to some indentation, and this should not be regarded as a defect.

Resilient flooring should be washed with lukewarm water and a mild detergent. Harsh cleaners can cause fading, discolouration and, in some cases, make such materials hard and brittle. Stubborn scuffmarks can usually be removed with a damp cloth and scouring powder. Never use steel wool or cleaning fluid.

The application of water emulsion type liquid was in thin, even coats is recommended as a protective coating for resilient floorings. Waxes containing solvents, varnish, shellac or any plastic finishing should not be used, as solvents may cause material breakdown or buckling. Use water sparingly when washing floors, as it may seep between tiles, floor joints and when the flooring meets baseboards and other trim. Note that some of the newer materials may not require waxing.

Caring For Your Carpeting

Carpeting is relatively easy to care for, and a simple, regular care plan will go far to maintaining the original appearance for many years. To maintain the optimum appearance, the following procedures are recommended:

  1. Immediate removal of spills to prevent spots and stains.
  2. Daily maintenance of heavy traffic areas to pick up surface dirt and lint.
  3. A thorough weekly vacuuming with a vacuum cleaner, properly adjusted for the type of carpet involved, is recommended to remove “embedded” dirt.
  4. Seasonal brightening of the surface by cleaning is required to remove oily film on carpet fibres.
  5. For the best appearance and longest performance from carpets or rugs, professional cleaning is recommended every year or two, depending on use.

Cleaning Carpet Spills
This chart covers most household spills on carpets and fibres. If a stain does not respond, phone your carpet cleaner immediately for advice. Some stains need special chemicals and procedures, best handled by experts.

Dissolve the following oily type spills in Dry Cleaning Fluid.
(Remember to put some “dry cleaning” fluid on a damp cloth before applying to stain.)

  • Ball point ink
  • Butter
  • Crayon
  • Oils
  • Grease
  • Tar
  • Cosmetics
  • Household cement
  • Metal polish
  • Shoe polish
  • Food stains(┼)
  • Vaseline
  • Gum
  • Wax

NOTE: If you are not able to determine what was spilled, apply dry cleaning fluid first and blot, repeating if effective. Then try the detergent solution and blot, repeating if effective.

Dissolve the following water spills in Detergent Solutions:

  • Alcohol
  • Ice cream
  • Bleach (B)
  • Mustard
  • Coffee
  • Soot
  • Food colour
  • Urine (B)
  • Glue(┼)
  • Wine (B)
  • Gravy
  • Blood (┼ A B)
  • Milk
  • Carbon black
  • Soft drinks
  • Egg
  • Tea
  • Gelatin
  • Water colours
  • Beer (B)
  • Ketchup
  • Chocolate(┼)
  • Permanent ink
  • Crepe paper(┼)
  • Syrup
  • Fruit juice (A)
  • Vomit
  • Grass(┼)

┼)These are combinations of material spills that may need both dry cleaner and detergent to dissolve all the ingredients. Apply the solution recommended for the group it belongs to; if repeated applications produce no effect, then apply the other solution and repeat until stain is removed.
A) Apply a small amount of the solution to neutralize the acidity of the stain.
B) Apply a small amount of vinegar/water (a very mild acid) solution to neutralize the alkalinity of the stain.

Caring For Your Cabinets

Treat your kitchen cabinets as you would any fine piece of furniture. Any grease that splatters on them should be wiped off immediately. Waxes are not recommended, as the reaction with moisture will turn some finishes milky. A good lemon oil is recommended. If the cabinets are finished with a plastic laminate or sprayed lacquer, the instructions outline in “Countertops” apply.

Caring For Your Countertops

To assure the long-lasting beauty of your countertops, we recommend the following:

  • Hot pans or activated electrical appliances should never be placed on laminated surfaces; use protective insulating pads.
  • Abrasive cleaners or steel wool should never be used.
  • Common household bleach should not be used.
  • Do not use the surface as an ashtray or cutting board.
  • Avoid a concentration of water or wet cloth at or near the junction of the counter top and back splash, or other joints.
  • Clean with a damp soapy cloth. For stubborn stains, use a household solvent, rinsing thoroughly with clear water.

Caring For Your Heating System

Furnace Maintenance
Heating equipment can be maintained at maximum efficiency though regular inspections, according to manufacturer’s specifications. Ensure that heating outlets and cold air returns (registers) are kept free of airflow obstructions such as carpets, furniture, etc., for maximum performance. One has to make sure that the furnace filters are changed every 3 months and that your furnace is cleaned and maintained at least once a year. Refer to you furnace manual should you have any other questions regarding your furnace.

Filters
With your forced air system, ensure that the return air filter is cleaned and/or replaced monthly. Dirty filters restrict the supply of return air essential to proper operation. Electronic air filters need to be cleaned monthly.

Humidifier
If a furnace humidifier is installed, it must be checked frequently in winter to ensure that the proper water lever is maintained in the reservoir. Power humidifiers require similar attention. Be sure to clean mineral deposits that build up from the water supply. Should the relative humidity in your house be excessive in winter (causing objectionable condensation on windows, etc.) it may be advisable to shut off the humidifier. However, consideration must be given to your hardwood floors.

In-Floor Heating
Sometimes cracking or snapping noises may occur with a hot water heating system. This should mean the pipes and other metal components of the distribution system are expanding or contracting with temperature changes. Such noises, particularly common on start-up, do not necessarily influence the performance of the system, and are to be expected. For more information, consult the brochure specific to your system.

Caring For Your Electrical System

Many advanced electrical features are included in your home, and rarely will you have problems with them. When electrical outlets fail to work, it usually means that a circuit breaker has tripped. This is frequently due to overloading a particular circuit; short circuits can result from appliance cords, defective plug connections, or the “start-up load” of some electric motors (motors require more current to start than to maintain operation).

Before calling an electrician, check your fuse or circuit breaker panel. We recommend you identify all circuits in writing on the panel soon after moving in and before an emergency occurs. If your stove does not operate, the fuses in the stove (look for their location in the manufacturer’s manual) should be checked, as well as the main circuit breaker or fuse panel.

If breakers for the same circuit fail repeatedly, regard this as a warning for you to locate the cause. If it is the result of a short circuit, as opposed to an appliance overload, repairs should be made by an electrician. Many fires occur each year from misuse of electrical equipment. Avoid alterations to your wiring by amateurs, rather contact an electrician or recognized appliance service agent.

Do not use bulbs larger than 60 watts in any fixture where the bulb is enclosed. The manufacturer’s recommended limitations on bulb size should be marked on all fixtures. Rooms without ceiling fixtures usually have a wall receptacle for plugging in a lamp that can be switched on or off by a switch located near the room entrance, as would be the case of a ceiling fixture.

Do not handle cords or fuses or attempt to plug in appliances when your hands are wet or if you are standing on a wet surface. Never touch anything electrical when you are in a tub or shower.

Caring For Your Appliances & Fireplaces

All Electrical Appliances
Electrical appliances come with instruction books and/or warranty papers, and these should be placed in a safe place or your house file. Examine these carefully, and observe the operating procedures recommended by the manufacturer. File with the manufacturer any warranty cards provided with the equipment, and do not hesitate to contact their local service agents should you have any difficulties or questions about the equipment.
*These appliances are not warranted by Truman Homes, but by the manufacturer.

Range Hood Fans
For efficient range hood fan operation, the grease filter must be cleaned frequently. Potential fire hazards are created by grease accumulation on filters. Filters should be washed periodically in a mild detergent solution and dried thoroughly. The exhaust fan motors installed in your home are sealed systems and do not require lubrication.
*These appliances are not warranted by Truman Homes, but by the manufacturer.

Fireplaces
Electrical appliances come with instruction books and/or warranty papers, and these should be placed in your house file. Examine these carefully, and observe the operating procedures recommended by the manufacturer. File with the manufacturer any warranty cards provided with the equipment, and do not hesitate to contact their local service agents should you have any difficulties or questions about the equipment.
*These appliances are not warranted by Truman Homes, but by the manufacturer.

• Starting a Fire – (Wood burning)

The damper is opened by pulling a handle forward or to the rear, depending upon the model type (SEE OWNERS MANUAL). The flue must be warm to draw the smoke from the firebox. To ensure this, dry-run the gas log lighter without any combustible material inside the firebox for approximately 2-3 minutes. The damper is NOT ADJUSTABLE between the open & closed position.

• Starting a Fire (Natural Gas burning)

Simply turn on the switch as shown to you on your possession walkthrough. Should it not light please turn the switch off and refer to your OWNERS MANUAL for the fireplace to ensure proper lighting. Should you not be able to resolve lighting your natural gas fireplace, please contact us for service.

NOTE: Your fireplace has been designed as a supplemental heating device only; it is not expected to heat your home.

Caring For Your Jetted Bathtub

Operation

  • Fill the tub to two inches above the highest jet and activate the timer or air switch.
  • Operation of pump without adequate water level may seriously damage the motor and consequently void the warranty.
  • Air controls, at the top of the tub, may be adjusted to control intensity of massage action. The jets are also manually adjustable to let your hand direct the force of the whirlpool action.
  • Please remember that the effect of oils or bubble baths is magnified by the whirlpool system and the use of these should be limited.
  • Due care should be taken when any soap, shampoo or oil has been used – even a pebbled or non-skid surface becomes a hazard when coated with these products.

Maintenance

Marble Tub:

Marble should be cleaned with a mild detergent solution. The use of abrasives (i.e. Ajax, Comet) or solvent based cleaners will definitely mar the marble finish. The use of “Gel Gloss” on a monthly basis will maintain and prolong the luster of marble. It may be purchased at Rona Home & Garden stores.

Jet Systems (on a monthly basis):
  • Fill tub with warm water to cover highest jet-close air controls.
  • Add one (1) cup of dishwasher detergent (i.e. Calgon) and four ounces of bleach to tub.
  • Run system for 10 minutes.
  • Drain system, refill with cold water and run system for another 10 minutes.
  • Dry with a soft cloth.
Fittings:

Plastic fittings require no extra care. Metal fittings may be cleaned with a soft cloth and mild liquid detergent; abrasives will scratch the surface. The jet cover may be manually removed and cleaned with a damp cloth and replaced. Ensure if a Jacuzzi or tub is not used on a regular basis that water is introduced at least two – three times a week so that putty around the drain does not shrink and cause any future leaks.

**Medical problems like Heart Condition, High Blood Pressure or medication may be affected by the heat of the system and should not be discussed with a physician. The risk to pregnancy should also be under the advice of a physician. The use of alcohol or drugs creates a potentially hazardous environment and may affect bodily functions and judgements.

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