Living with a COVID positive roommate

Tips for Dealing with a COVID Positive Roommate

What to Do if a Roommate Tests Positive for COVID-19

Despite everybody’s best efforts, it happened. One of your roommates has tested positive for COVID-19. The first thing to do is not panic. By employing safety measures and following the rules for your city, state or county can help you and the rest of your household stay safe.  First of all, there are two terms related to COVID-19 exposure that frequently get confused because there is some overlap. Isolation is when a person has been infected and is sick and must stay away from others in the residence.  Quarantine is for anybody who believes they have been exposed or have been in contact with someone who may be infected or have been exposed.  So, if one of your roommates has COVID, then you need to quarantine, while they need to isolate.

CDC guidelines recommend that quarantine periods last for at least 14 days after you believe you have been exposed, and the caveat is that if no symptoms appear. If you start showing symptoms, then go get tested. If you test positive and become ill, you should remain in isolation for at least 10 days after the symptoms first appeared and 24 hours after there is no incidence of fever — without taking OTC medication.

The person who has tested positive should stay isolated from their other roommates as much as possible, which usually means that they need to stay in their bedroom. It doesn’t matter if they feel just fine; they are still highly contagious. If you must have contact with your sick roommate, both of you must wear masks. Limit interaction and maintain a distance of at least six feet, if at all possible.

While this may be difficult in an apartment, reserve one bathroom solely for the sick person to use. If your apartment only has one bathroom, then it needs to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after the person with COVID uses it. Do not share towels, drinking cups, eating utensils or dishware. Take food and snacks to your ailing roommate on a tray and leave it outside their bedroom door. Clean, clean and clean all common surfaces in the apartment to prevent spread of the virus.

Keep track of your sick roommate’s symptoms and watch for them in household members who have been exposed and haven’t gotten sick (yet). The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include: fever, dry cough, extreme fatigue and loss of taste and smell. More severe symptoms include shortness of breath, confusion and bluish tint to the face and lips, in which case, you should call 911.  There are many symptom checkers online that will assess symptoms and recommend whether you need testing or to contact your doctor. Many doctors are now offering telehealth visits so you can avoid going to the doctor’s office and increasing risk for yourself and others.

In the meantime, while everybody in your apartment is in some stage of COVID, do the best that you can. Reach out for support online. You can connect with family and friends or community sites where you can share your feelings and get advice. Take advantage of food delivery by restaurants and grocery stores. 

Remember, you can’t help others if you aren’t feeling well yourself. Wear a mask, social distance and take good care of yourself — mentally and physically. 

During this season of COVID-19, the property management teams at Vision Communities are committed to keeping our residence healthy and safe. We have instituted social distancing and masks guidelines throughout the Vision communities, and we are looking forward to launching a full calendar of events for our residents when things return to normal.

If you are looking for an apartment in the Columbus area or in Akron/Canton, contact our team for availability.

Soundproof Decorating Tips

Decorating That Doubles as Soundproofing

One of the few drawbacks about apartment living is that it can be noisy, whether it’s from a crying baby, barking dog or neighbors who are playing their music too loud. On the flip side, despite your best efforts to keep noise levels down, other residents can also hear you.  So without alienating your neighbors, there are some easy decorating tips you can try that will spruce up your living area and double as soundproofing. As a plus, many of these ideas will also help you keep your apartment warm during the rapidly approaching winter months.

Window Treatments

Heavy lined drapes will provide a wall of protection against outdoor sounds as well as provide a layer of insulation. You will need to choose a heavy fabric like velvet or a thick polyester blend; lightweight cotton or linen just won’t work. If you won’t want to spring for brand new drapes, you can trim and hang a shower curtain behind your drapes. The plastic or vinyl will provide some noise reduction. Another idea is to choose pleated drapes as the folds will offer some depth and dimension to block sound. Many of the Vision Communities 1BR, 2BR and 3BR apartment layouts feature lots of natural light, so be sure to plan out your window treatments for the floorplan you choose.

Area Rugs

Your apartment is probably already carpeted, but adding area rugs will help block noise, especially if you live above another apartment. Get creative and choose rugs that reflect your personality — patterned, solid, Oriental, or a blast from the past with shag! Having a cozy rug underfoot will be enjoyed during the winter when you need to ward off the chill. You can add throw rugs to every room of your apartment to add a touch of color and minimize sound.

Wall Hangings

Hanging canvas prints or interesting textiles on your walls will add a decorate touch and provide a barrier to sound. Beautiful tribal patterns or geometric prints bring drama to the room and can serve as a focal point. Nostalgic folk art and quilts are popular right now; the layers of the quilt will insulate against sound. If you don’t have any heirloom quilts, you can seek them out at state/county fairs or online. While you’re at it, buy extras to cuddle in during the colder months. Some creative people hang moving blankets over their windows or on the walls to block sound. If your decorate leans towards the eclectic side, this might be a good solution.

Weatherstripping and Door Stoppers

Gaps between the window and frame can leak sound as well as let in cold air. This is an issue that your apartment should address, if not, it is an easy DIY project. You can find weatherstripping at the hardware store; simply cut it and press it into place. You can also apply weatherstripping to the bottom of your front door and to balcony or patio doors. This will keep the noise in and cold air out. You can also opt for a soft door blocker. You’ve seen these. They are made of fabric and you push them up against the bottom of your door. They come in all prints and patterns; some are whimsical in the shape of animals or insects and some have clever sayings on them. Have fun with your sound proofing!

Creating a Place to Come Home to

At Vision Community, we want you to live your best life and enjoy your experience in our apartment communities. With all of the noise of life, we want you to feel comfortable in your Vision Communities home. These tips are just a few ways to make your space your own and create a quiet place that you can retreat to each evening.  If you are in the process of hunting for an apartment, consider the Vision Community floor plans and communities located in Central Ohio.


Staying Healthy this Winter

Tips for Staying Healthy This Winter

Winter has already made its debut in some areas of the country, and there is no time like the present to start planning how you are going to protect yourself and stay healthy. Leading health experts have predicted that the U.S. is going to be in for a tough winter; with the pandemic still peaking in some parts of the country, plus a projected brutal flu season in store. Your exposure may be reduced if you are working at home, but you are still susceptible to the colds and viruses that make the rounds from October through March.  Here are some tips to protect yourself from the ravages of winter and the illnesses that accompany them.

Get a flu shot

This is a no-brainer. Symptoms of the common cold, the flu and COVID all have similarities, and if you want to know the difference, there are plenty of resources online you can refer to. You can get a flu shot practically anywhere and many pharmacies offer a drive-thru option. Most insurance companies will cover the full cost of a flu shot. If you are uninsured, check out your local health department.

Eat properly

Cold weather and the stress of uncertainly trigger our cravings for comfort foods. The holidays are also a time to load up on carbs, sugar and booze. While it’s important to be good to yourself right now and have some fun, strive to maintain a healthy balance. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains and if necessary, take a multivitamin supplement. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially with indoor heating.

Get plenty of sleep

The uncertain times we are in right now can increase stress, anxiety and sleepless nights. Try to maintain a bedtime routine by turning in at the same time every night. Also, avoid reading or watching upsetting news before you go to sleep; your brain will continue to process the information while you are trying to get some shut-eye. Warm milk or soothing herbal teas can help relax you before bed, as well as a warm (not hot) bath. If all of these remedies fair, talk to your doctor about possibly taking a short-term sleeping medication.

Practice good hygiene and take care of yourself

Now more than ever, it’s important to wash your hands as frequently as possible and carry hand sanitizer with you. Wipe down your cellphone, shared surfaces like doorknobs, and the interior of your car. Have a supply of clean masks and keep a spare in your car. Be good to yourself. Meditate, treat yourself to a luxurious body lotion, your favorite snack, a Zoom call with family or friends. If everything gets overwhelming, there are many mental health resources you can tap into for support. You are not alone!

If you follow these simple tips and practice good self-care, you greatly increase your chances of not getting sick during the winter. Continue to follow the guidelines for social distancing, mask-wearing and practicing good hygiene to protect yourself and those around you.

Vision Communities Commitment to Health & Safety

At Vision Communities, we are working hard to keep our apartment communities healthy and safe. To learn more about how we are managing around COVID-19, contact our office with questions.   

types of apartment deposits

How Much Rent You Can Afford?

Renting your first apartment or relocating to a new city are very exciting milestones. Your head is probably full of plans about living near the city’s nightlife or furnishing your new place with the very latest from Pottery Barn. Hold those thoughts … at least just for a minute. There will be plenty of time for all the fun stuff, but first, you need to take a hard look at your finances and see what type of apartment you can afford. Here are some practical guidelines when planning your budget.

  1. Think 50/30/20. This ratio is a bit more realistic than the outdated 30 percent rule, as it takes into account all of your monthly expenses, not just rent. Fifty percent of your net income should go to essentials such as rent, food, transportation and utilities. Thirty percent is for your fun stuff like subscriptions, entertainment, memberships, clothes, etc. The remaining 20 percent should go towards savings and paying down debt such as student loans or credit cards.
  2. Watch for extra deposits and fees. Moving into a new apartment is more than just paying rent. In the beginning, be prepared to pay an application fee and for the leasing company to run a credit check. The good news is that these are pretty nominal, usually ranging from $20-$35. There will also be a security deposit and if this is the first time establishing utilities in your name, you may need to pay deposits for those. These days, more apartment complexes require a pet deposit and a small monthly pet rental fee.

If you are relocating, there will be moving expenses, if your company won’t cover them. Lastly, most apartments raise rental rates at least once a year. These can vary from $15-$250+. Usually, they cover increased property taxes and maintenance fees, but amounts at the higher end could be expected if the apartments underwent some major upgrades or renovations. Don’t be caught by surprise, so plan accordingly.

  1. Location. Location. Location. If you are moving for a new job or just uprooting in general, think carefully about the cost of living in the area you’re moving to. A tiny studio apartment in New York City is going to be 2-3 (or more) times more expensive than a two-bedroom in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Rental rates can also vary widely within the same city. An apartment on the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri, will cost 2-3 times as much a larger place 1 mile away in Midtown.
  2. What are you paying for? Many rental rates factor in any amenities such as a swimming pool, on-site health club, coffee bar, dog park, community clubhouse, covered parking and more. Think carefully about which of these extras you will actually use. If you belong to a gym, you can cancel your membership and work out at the apartment complex, which should save you some money or at least break even.

Washers and dryers save money on laundromats (and those annoying quarters!) and time as you can do your laundry at home. If social events aren’t of interest to you, steer clear of places that focus heavily on resident activities. Your commute to work should be another consideration. You might pay a lot more to live closer to your job or if you like public transportation, how close is the apartment to a bus stop or train station? Working from home may require a second bedroom.

There is a lot to consider when renting an apartment, but hopefully these tips will help prepare you for planning your budget for the big move. Once you are settled in a place you can comfortably afford, it’s time to get into the fun stuff like outfitting the apartment with furnishings and other decorative and personal items that make your new home uniquely yours!

Tips for safely heating your apartment

Safe Ways to Heat Your Apartment

Fall and winter aren’t that far off, so now is a good time to start preparing your apartment for the colder months ahead. Ohio winters are harsh and even if your apartment has a good central heating system, oftentimes, it’s not enough to keep the frigid temperatures at bay. Soothe yourself with warm sweaters, cozy blankets and hot beverages, but if you need some extra ways to keep your apartment warm during the winter, here are some easy and inexpensive tips.

  1. Curtains. You can find insulated curtains anywhere. Many of the big box stores sell them and you can also order them online. Curtain panels are available in all colors and sizes and are reasonably priced. Another idea is to use shower curtains. They are even cheaper and you can use the liners as an additional layer of insulation. Keep the drapes open during the day on windows that face the south and west to let in as much sunlight as possible
  2. Draft “Snakes.” These are narrow fabric tubes that are filled with materials such as batting or small pellets to make them flexible enough to mold against windowsills or in the area between the bottom of the door and the floor. You can find these in many styles — whimsical animal shapes, emblazoned with funny sayings, etc. Add some inexpensive fun décor to your apartment while shutting out drafts.
  3. Rugs and carpets. If your apartment has hardwood or linoleum floors, throw rugs or small carpets can add a pop up color as well as extra warmth. You can find carpet samples or area rugs practically anywhere and in prices to fit any budget.
  4. Weather stripping. You can find easy-to-apply weather stripping at any hardware or home improvement store. It comes in many varieties to conform to the needs of your apartment. You can apply the weather stripping to windows and doors and remove it in the spring.
  5. Plastic film. Your hardware or home improvement stores are also good places to find plastic film to apply to your windows and balcony or patio doors. The film comes in all sizes and it easy to apply using tape and a blow dryer. The film not only keeps in heat in the winter but can help keep your apartment cool during warmer months.
  6. Programmable thermostat. If your apartment doesn’t have a programmable thermostat, ask your property manager about installing one. Some utility companies will even give them away for free or at a greatly reduced cost.
  7. Fireplace. If your apartment has a wood-burning or gas fireplace, it will really help keep the place warm. Just use it prudently and close the damper when not in use.
  8. Space heaters. Space heaters can be a great way to supplement heat during cold months, but they also are the cause of the majority of wintertime house fires. Use space heaters cautiously. Never place a space heater near combustible materials like paper, blankets, furniture or drapes. Keep children and pets away from the space heater; never leave your space heater unattended and turn it off when you aren’t going to be home.

Hopefully, you can take some of these ideas and use them during the winter if your apartment feels drafty and cold. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to achieve extra warmth and you can use your ingenuity to add a creative, cozy touch to your apartment during the long winter months.

Being a good neighbor during COVID

Being a Good Neighbor During COVID

The COVID pandemic has been rough on everybody, whether or not you or a loved one were infected with the virus. It’s been difficult adjusting to a “new normal,” and it’s particularly challenging if you have been cooped up for months with your roommates in your apartment. Here are some ideas for keeping your sanity and maintaining friendships and relationships inside and outside of your apartment community.

  1. Social distancing. That’s next to impossible when you all share common the same space but try to do your best by working from home in your bedroom. You can social distance in the common areas of your apartment complex like the hallways, elevators, mailboxes and laundry room. Wear a mask when you go outside your apartment, even if it is only for a few moments. You don’t know who has just been out there, their state of health and what type of PPE they were using.
  2. Be mindful of noise. The neighbors above, below or on either side of you are staying at home, too. Keep the noise down. You never know if a neighbor works night shift or needs to sleep during daytime hours.
  3. Be patient. Everyone is coping differently with the pandemic; some people may be terrified of contracting the virus, whereas others may have a more cavalier attitude. Tempers might be short; people might be tired or emotional. Be mindful of people you encounter out in public, as well as your roommates. 
  4. Buy only what you need. With the exception of disinfecting wipes, the supply chain has stabilized since the empty-shelf days of March and April. Unless there are extenuating circumstances in your community, there is no need to hoard supplies. Leave some for other shoppers.
  5. Volunteer. If you have older neighbors or other neighbors who are high-risk, offer to help. Can you pick up a few groceries? Take out their trash for them? Walk their dog? A little kindness goes a long way.


Lastly, take good care of yourself. If you feel sick, stay home and away from your roommates and neighbors. Practice good self-care. Immerse yourself in a good book or show on Netflix or Hulu. Meditate, journal or take up a new (or old) hobby. Talk to people. Eat a healthy diet and exercise. You know all of this stuff. Being the best you that you can be right now will help you keep peace of mind and relieve the stress of navigating this journey we’re all on together.

Tips for decorating a studio apartment

Tips for Make Your Studio Apartment Look Bigger

Whether it’s your first apartment, you’re downsizing or just prefer small spaces, you may find that a studio apartment is the perfect option for you. Studio apartments are great; they are economical and push you to make wise choices about what you really need in order to live well. Studios are a minimalist’s dream, yet you still may not relish the idea of feeling that you are living day-in and day-out in your bedroom. While studio apartments are compact, there are ways to maximize the space and make the apartment feel roomy. Here are some decorating ideas to give your studio apartment the illusion and feeling of being much bigger:

  1. Choose light, neutral colors for the walls. Light colors reflect light, thus making whatever they touch appear bigger. 
  2. Use mirrors to create an illusion of depth and to reflect the natural light. 
  3. Get creative with room dividers. You can use curtains, bookcases or shelving units to break up a room and create a living area separate from the bedroom.
  4. Create an accent wall with paint or artwork. The eye will naturally travel there, which gives the illusion of more space. Plus, it will add a pop of color.
  5. Hang curtains at ceiling heights. This will add height and a touch of coziness to your space.
  6. Break up spaces with rugs. Rugs also will keep the floor warmer an add interest, color and texture.
  7. Consider a Murphy bed. Murphy beds were very popular decades ago and are making a comeback. It’s great way to keep your bed out of sight during the day and eliminates that “hotel room” feeling.
  8. Use pegboards for hanging kitchen utensils and save valuable counter space.
  9. Make use of corners. You can use corner tables for lamps or books and corner shelves for storage.
  10. Get creative with storage. Can the space beneath your bed serve as a dresser? Can you use an ottoman for a storage container? One key to making a small space look much bigger is to keep clutter to a minimum.

Hopefully, some of these ideas will come in handy when it comes time to move into your studio apartment. You can get as creative as you want and safe trips to thrift stores and antique malls can be great sources for unique pieces that will truly reflect who you are. And of course, you can source all kinds of cool stuff online. A studio apartment can be charming and cozy and be your safe haven no matter what life throws at you these days.

Vision Communities offers studio apartment floorplans in Central Ohio. Browse our studio apartment options, available in Westerville and Clintonville and schedule a community tour with one of our property managers. We feature multiple, pet-friendly apartment layouts, in desirable communities such as ClintonvilleWesterville, and Worthington. For more information about our communities, contact our team to get started.

Exercising outdoors during COVID

Outside Etiquette During COVID

With working from home and staying in as much as possible the new norm, no wonder we are yearning to get outside to enjoy some fresh air. These restrictions are particularly tough if you’re an avid runner, biker or walker. As most states have opened up to some capacity, you still need to use caution —and common sense — if you decide to venture outdoors and get some exercise.

No one is going to contest that exercise is good for you. It improve cardiovascular health; helps you maintain a healthy weight and can stave off diseases like hypertension and diabetes. At this time, there has been no correlation between exercise and resistance to COVID-19, but exercise boosts the immune system, which is a strong defense against contracting illnesses in general.

Before you venture out, check with you local government’s rules about social distancing and which parks and trails are open. Even if the park you want to visit is open, services will probably be limited. Expect public restrooms to be closed, and there will be no access to water fountains or concession stands. Plan your outing accordingly.

Before you even leave your home, if you are not feeling well, stay home. It’s not worth the risk to yourself or others. If you absolutely must get out to get some fresh air and new scenery, limit it to your yard or balcony.

Wear a mask. A mask might seem like a real barrier to breathing and getting the most from your outdoor exercise session, but it’s important. Respiratory droplets from runners and bikers can actually travel impressive distances, which puts others at risk. Wear the type of mask that you can easily move down from your face in case you need to wipe your face or take a drink of water.

When you get to the park or trailhead, if the parking lot is crowded, that’s a good indication that the trail is going to be crowded. With many people working from home, or not working at all, parks and trails may be busier during “non-traditional” times of day. That’s why it’s helpful to have an alternative destination in mind, just in case.

As you head towards the trail or into the park, avoid touching banisters and any playground or stationary exercise equipment, like what is found along a circuit course. Consider those contaminated and stay away. If you are on a city street, the same goes for buttons on stop lights.

Infectious disease experts recommend participating in outdoor exercise alone, but if you are in a group, spread out. Maintain the minimum social distance of six feet. If you are passing slower walkers, announce your presence and let them know you’re going around them. An unwritten rule is to let the people going uphill have the right-of-way.

Be patient with others. Everybody is going through a tough time right now and displaying an outburst of temper does no good. If you are on the receiving end of somebody else’s wrath, ignore them and move on. Obviously, if you are seriously threatened in any way, call the police. Don’t depend on park patrol to intervene. At this time, a lot of government and local employees have been laid off or furloughed.

General rules of safety and common sense prevail during a pandemic. Avoid being out at night where you are more vulnerable to being hit by traffic or violence, and if you are out running or biking after dark, wear reflective clothing – and let somebody knew where you’re going and when you expect to return. Carry your phone with you but leave the earphones at home. You need to have all of your senses on alert. Stick to well-lighted paths; if you are on a trail, don’t venture off into remote areas.

Once you get home, disinfect your gear and wash and sanitize your hands. Drink some water; eat a snack — do whatever you typically do after an exercise session. You can congratulate yourself for being proactive about your health and safeguarding the health of others by wearing a mask and social distancing. Protecting yourself and others while exercising outdoors promotes goodwill and sets a good example for others. Remember that we’re all in pandemic survival mode together.

At Vision Communities, we are proud of our active communities and hope our residents stay safe and smart during this trying time. We take pride in the communities that we build and want our residents to feel the same way. We’ll take care of the maintenance of the facilities and your apartment as needs arise. With apartment communities near ClintonvilleDowntown Columbus, and Westerville, Vision Communities has the floor plan and amenities that you are looking for. To learn more, browse our Central Ohio communities and find the right floor plan for you and your family. 

Apartment living with pets

Welcoming a New Pet to Your Apartment

One of the very few, if any, positive outcomes from the COVID-19 pandemic is that pet ownership has increased. If you are looking for a furry, feathered, finned or scaly friend to keep you company during these tough times, keep reading. A pet can bring you untold joy, entertainment, comfort and unconditional love. However, they can be quite a bit of work and are a responsibility that can span many years. If you get off to a good start with your new best friend, you will reap the benefits for years to come.

First of all, check your lease and with your property manager to make sure that pets are allowed. Many apartment complexes require a pet deposit and a small monthly pet rent fee. This money goes toward covering any damages that the apartment sustains due to your pet. Pets can be destructive. Dogs, especially puppies, like to chew on anything and everything. Cats love to claw at the carpet. Not to mention that “accidents” are unavoidable, especially when house-training a young animal.

Once you have the green light to bring home a pet, do your research and ask your property manager if there are any breed restrictions. Some apartments and even city jurisdictions prohibit breeds that they deem “aggressive” such as pit bulls, Dobermans and Rottweilers. Whether you agree with that assessment or not, you need to abide by the rules in order to avoid eviction or city fines.

Some breeds of dogs and cats are better suited to apartment living. For dogs, temperament, as opposed to size, determines how well they will do. Some smaller breeds are conditioned to roam and hunt and need a lot of space to run around and burn off energy. On the other hand, some large dogs need only one or two walks a day and are perfectly content to laze around the rest of the time. Cats are a little easier, but unless you enjoy constantly vacuuming and brushing away pet hair, a short-haired breed would be a better fit in an apartment.

Once you’ve chosen your new pet, take it to a veterinarian for a thorough check-up and to get all vaccinations required to maintain its good heath and to meet local ordinances. For example, most cities require that all pets have an annual rabies vaccination. Your veterinarian is a good resource for potty training guidance and where to take your dog for obedience and socialization. Cats, being independent creatures won’t need that, but the vet can advise you on how to coax the cat to use its litter box and how to keep it from destroying your furniture.

Introduce your pet to your apartment carefully. Let them wander around and sniff and explore. While a dog will happily trail around after you, don’t be surprised if the cat makes a beeline to the bedroom and hides beneath the bed. Don’t worry. As soon as the cat gets hungry enough, it will venture out in search of food. Give your dog and cat special bowls for food and water. They will know that it is “their” place for eating and drinking and won’t be tempted to drag food into other rooms or beg from your plate when you’re eating.

If you apartment has a dog park (all Vision communities do), your dog is going to love it! Gradually introduce your new dog to the dog park and let it get to know its canine (and human) neighbors. When walking the dog around the apartment property, keep it on a leash at all times, unless the dog park if “off leash.” For a cat, keep it indoors, which means keeping it away from the balcony or patio. A lot of cat owners set up “catios” for their cats, which is an outdoor enclosure where the cat can enjoy being outside but is prevented from escaping.

Make sure your new dog or cat has its own bed and plenty of toys and treats. Of course, don’t be surprised if they decide they like your bed (with you in it!) better than their own. Having a pet can be a very rewarding experience and with some preparation and patience, you will have a lifelong friend who will keep you company through this challenging period and in brighter days in the future.

At Vision Communities, our facilities are designed for the whole family, including pets. We take pride in the communities that we build and want our residents to feel the same way. We’ll take care of the maintenance of the facilities and your apartment as needs arise. With apartment communities near ClintonvilleDowntown Columbus, and Westerville, Vision Communities has the floor plan and amenities that you are looking for. To learn more, browse our Central Ohio communities and find the right floor plan for you and your family. 


Avoid Plumbing Issues in your apartment

Avoiding Apartment Plumbing Issues

Plumbing No-Nos

With everybody staying indoors at home more frequently now, many are dusting off their cooking skills and undertaking major cleaning and organizing projects. While maintaining social distancing and flexing the domestic muscles are laudable, they can result in major plumbing issues — if you aren’t careful. With more people staying home, maintenance requests at apartment complexes are on the rise. Keep yourself, your roommates, your family and the maintenance staff safe by following a few common-sense rules.

  1. The garbage disposal isn’t a disposal-ALL. If you are cooking and eating more at home, great! However, be careful of what you put down the garbage disposals. Do not put oil and fats, pasta and rice or fibrous vegetable scraps down the disposal. All of those can cause serious clogs in the disposal and plumbing lines. Instead, put these types of food scraps in a trash bag to take to the dumpster.

Tip: If the garbage disposal is stalling or sluggish for another reason, before you call the apartment maintenance office, try pressing the “reset” button on the bottom of the unit.

  1. Watch what you flush. Only human waste and toilet paper should be flushed down the toilet. Do not dispose of feminine hygiene products, disposable diapers and wipes down the toilet as they can cause clogs, not to mention what they do to the municipal water treatment system. As well, do not dump buckets of wastewater from cleaning down the toilet as it could cause the toilet to overflow.

Tip: For small clogs, try using a plunger. You can buy one anywhere and they can clear up routine problems to avoid a maintenance call.

  1. Is it really an emergency? At some apartment complexes, maintenance has been cut back due to COVID-19 and will not respond to after-hours emergency calls that aren’t deemed a true emergency. Typically, in most apartment communities, emergencies are: loss of heat or air conditioning during extreme outdoor temperatures; toilet not working in units with one bathroom; no hot water, major water leaks and broken locks on windows or doors. Of course, check with your property manager for specifics regarding your apartment community

Tip: You will get a faster response if you contact the utility company directly about power outages after you’ve checked your breakers. 

  1. Staying safe during maintenance calls. The person who comes to respond to a maintenance call should be wearing a mask and hopefully, your property management company should have COVD-19 safety protocols in place. However, it is within your right to request that maintenance personnel wear a mask while inside your apartment. Wear a mask yourself while the work is being completed and limited conversation to the problem at hand and how it is being addressed. After the service call, disinfect all surfaces that the maintenance person, as well as their tools and supplies have touched, such as light switches and floors.

Tip: Have some paper towels on hand in the work area so maintenance personnel can use them to protect your surfaces and clean up after themselves.

Making the most of these uncertain times can have a positive effect on morale and result in healthier eating and a cleaner, more organized apartment. Just don’t let your zeal override good judgment and you can make life for yourself and your apartment community’s maintenance staff much easier.

At Vision Communities, we are dedicated to providing the best living experience in Central Ohio. We take pride in the communities that we build and want our residents to feel the same way. We’ll take care of the maintenance of the facilities and your apartment as needs arise. With apartment communities near ClintonvilleDowntown Columbus, and Westerville, Vision Communities has the floor plan and amenities that you are looking for. To learn more, browse our Central Ohio communities and find the right floor plan for you and your family.