Your new home, while mostly maintenance free, will still need some attention. We have provided a list of things to pay attention to based on the season.

If the caulking around your bathtub, shower, or sink appears dried or cracked, remove the old caulking and replace it. If you do not have a caulking gun, caulking material can be bought in applicator tubes or in disposable caulking guns. It is a good idea to fill the bathtub before caulking. This is a high maintenance area and it is very important that all caulking joints be checked and maintained on a regular basis (every 3 months or as needed). Shower enclosures should be wiped down with towel, cloth, or squeegee after each use to help prevent mold, mildew, or soap residue build-up.

Cabinets & Kitchen Countertops
Keep all countertop seams dry. Maintain caulking between wall and countertop backsplash to prevent moisture from accumulating behind cabinets.

Check the Fireplace
Have the chimney inspected and cleaned. If you're not using your fireplace, keep the damper airtight to keep warm air from escaping your home.

Check the Roof
Make sure the flashing around the chimney or vent pipes is watertight.

It is highly recommended that approximately 6 months after closing and when deck is dry, use water sealant on the deck. This seal should be reapplied at manufacturer's recommended intervals. This promotes the longevity of the deck. Periodically, check and set nail heads in the deck.

Electrical Panel
The panel contains the main shut-off breaker to your home, along with individual circuit breakers to labeled circuits. An overloaded circuit breaker 'trips' and turns off power to the circuit, protecting the wire from overheating. To reset breaker, first switch breaker all the way to 'Off', then to 'On'. CAUTION: A circuit that continues to 'trip' may signify an electrical problem which should be repaired by a licensed electrician. It is advisable to maintain clearance around the panel for easy access in an emergency situation.

During extreme summer heat (95 degrees plus Fahrenheit), your air conditioning system is designed to maintain a 15 degree indoor to outdoor differential. Example: 97 degrees outside, 82 degrees inside. Verify that the exterior condensate line remains open and free from obstruction at all times. If condensate line is clogged, cleaning should be done by running a straightened coat hanger or similar object into the line at the trap near the unit and the exterior discharge end. For in-line clogs which cannot be remedied in this way, contact a licensed HVAC contractor.

Your Essex Homes Se, Inc. home has been designed to provide the proper insulation for our climate. Open doors, windows, fireplace flues and clogged filters are more often the cause of inadequate cooling or heating than deficient insulation. A lack of proper window treatments can also prevent the heating/cooling system from functioning properly.

Lawn Care
Established lawns should receive 1 inch to 1 1/2 inch; of water per week during the summer months. Deep watering (soaking) the grass is recommended. Light watering that merely dampens the grass is of little benefit and can actually harm your lawn.

If your home has a pitched roof, the space between the ceiling and the roof may have louvered openings. Louvered openings should remain unobstructed all year round.

Paint Exterior
Pressure treated material is a durable material, the material has a tendency to split, crack, warp, shrink, and/or discolor. This is normal for this material.

Seal Around Doors and Windows
Add or replace worn weather-stripping around doors and windows. Replace worn door sweeps at the bottom of doors.

Smoke Detectors
Smoke detectors are wired directly to your house wiring system, and also have a battery backup for your safety. They are installed in locations specified by local building code. Smoke detectors should be tested and cleaned periodically. During a power failure, the smoke detectors signals a lack of power by an intermittent beeping.

Termite Treatment
Termites cause major damage to structures. It is highly recommended that you maintain an inspection and treatment program after the first year. Do not store wood in the crawl space as it could easily become a prime breeding area for termites.

Keep steel lentils painted with rust resistant paint. Maintain caulk on wood surface to brick usually done once a year.