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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Lewis Center and Polaris, Clintonville, Downtown Columbus, 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.