Dear Maintenance Men

Oven Door, Fence Posts, Bathroom Storage

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Dear Maintenance Men:

I was cleaning the kitchen stove in one of my vacant units and noticed the free-standing stove tipped forward when I put a bit of weight on the open oven door. It looked a bit dangerous and I was wondering how I can fix this issue.

Rick

Dear Rick:


You are very lucky it was you and not one of your resident’s child ren that found out about the dangers of a tipping oven. First let us explain what a tipping oven is: Most stoves with an oven are freestanding appliances. The stove is placed in the kitchen, gas or electrical lines are installed and it is ready for use, very simple. The issue arises when a resident is using the stove and they or a child opens the oven door and puts weight on the open door. This causes a cantilever effect which may pitch the whole stove forward causing the stove top pots or pans to fly off the stove and onto the person or child in front of the stove. Best case scenario is this causes a mess in the kitchen and worse case is a resident or child is badly burned or disfigured. It is not uncommon to hear about a small child wanting to see what Mommy is cooking by using the oven door as a stepping stool or even more common, removing a turkey, roast or other large item from the oven and placing it on the open door. The extra weight is enough to tip the stove forward.

The solution is an “anti-tip bracket” installed behind the stove. An anti-tip bracket is “L” shaped and usually installed on the floor and against the wall (towards the back of the stove) for one of the rear legs to slide into. Replacement parts are available at any hardware or home center stores; however, if not installed, there is a good chance it is still in the plastic bag tied to the back of the stove. Shut off the circuit breaker or gas line feeding the stove, carefully slide the stove away from the wall, ensure a bracket isn’t installed (the last time the stove was slid against the wall it may have simply missed the bracket) and if not installed, search around for the original plastic bag. Hopefully, the instructions and template is still in the bag. Keep in mind installing an anti-tipping bracket is both a resident safety issue as well as an owner liability issue. This is a $10 part and a ten-minute install that will keep both you and your resident out of hot water.

Dear Maintenance Men:

I am replacing a number of rotted pressure treated 4x4 fence posts on my property. Why do some posts rot and other do not? I cannot see any rhyme or reason for one post to be good and the other bad. How can I avoid this trouble in the future?

Kent

Dear Kent:


The issue of the rotting posts lies in the Tree Growth Rings and their location. The rotting posts may have centered growth rings. If you look at the 4x4 post end, the growth rings will be either centered or not centered. A centered growth ring is common in posts made from a peeler core. The tight centered growth rings of the peeler core will not accept pressure treatment as well as a post with offcentered growth rings. Chances are the fence you are repairing may have a mixture of peeler core posts and off-center growth ring posts. A peeler core is the byproduct of plywood manufacturing. A log is turned on a lathe to produce plywood veneer and the center that remains is called a peeler-core. When buying pressure treated posts, look for offcenter growth rings.

Dear Maintenance Men:

How can I add more storage to my utilitarian type bathrooms? The residents complain that they need to store their toilet paper in the hallway! Please list a few suggestions on what to do?

Robert

Dear Robert:


It does seem bathrooms are sometimes designed as an afterthought. Sink, toilet, bath and that is it. A modern bathroom will take into consideration the need for storage, electrical devices, personal hygiene, etc. The first item that comes to mind is installing a bath sink cabinet. An old style cabinet might only have a set of doors under the sink. We find this is not adequate and a cabinet should have drawers along with access to under the sink. The drawers can store hair dryers and all manner of personal bath items. A unique system we like utilizes the space between the studs in the wall.

Cabinet doors or mirrors can be used to cover storage in the walls. The wall storage is perfect for toilet paper, rolled up towels, tooth brushes, and most other small items. Install multiple towel racks on the back of the bathroom door for additional towel storage. The space above the toilet can easily accommodate an overhead cabinet for larger items. Reversing the swing of the bathroom door from inward to outward will greatly increase the usable room and make the bathroom appear larger.

 


 

WE NEED Maintenance Questions!!! If you would like to see your maintenance question in the "Dear Maintenance Men" column, please send in your questions to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


If you need maintenance work or consultation for your building or project, please feel free to contact us. We are available throughout Southern California. For an appointment please call Buffalo Maintenance, Inc. at (714) 956-8371.

Frank Alvarez is licensed contractor and the Operations Director and co-owner of Buffalo Maintenance, Inc. He has been involved with apartment maintenance and construction for over 20 years. He is also a lecturer, educational instructor and Co-Chair of the Education Committee of the Apartment Association of Orange County as well as being Chairman of the Product Service Counsel. Frank can be reached at (714)956-8371 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it For more information please go to: www.BuffaloMaintenance.com


Jerry L’Ecuyer is a licensed contractor and real estate broker. He is currently on the Board of Directors and Past President and past Chairman of the Education Committee of the Apartment Association of Orange County. Jerry has been involved with apartments as a professional since 1988.

Sliding Glass, Dishwasher, Caulking

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Dear Maintenance Men:

Our rental has a non-standard size sliding glass door that we’d like to replace. We’d like to get a whole new door and track. How easy is that? We have siding on the house. What should we expect in the way of wall damage or ability to get a larger standard door frame into the space? What questions do we need to ask the installer?

KWT

Dear KWT:


Replacing a sliding glass door and frame as a DIY job is not for the faint of heart! It is not really that difficult as it is unwieldy and the doors are large and heavy. You state the door is a non-standard size; this might be a good time to standardize your glass door. Start by removing the door, bottom track and frame. This will expose the rough opening in your doorway. Measure the rough open ing for a standard sliding door of your choice.

It is sometimes easier to enlarge the rough opening to accommodate the new door. The reason for a larger opening is because you will not need to find or install new outside siding or stucco nor patch the inside drywall. “Rough opening” refers to the dimensions inside the trimmer studs and between the floor and the bottom header. This opening will be slightly larger than the patio doorframe. The extra space allows a little fudge room for squaring the frame with shims.

If you decide to have a contractor install the new sliding door, have the installer explain in detail what the job will entail, what the finish will look like, and how long the job will take. Make sure they are set up for dust control as a job like this can cause a considerable amount of dust during the construction if the opening is enlarged.

Dear Maintenance Men:

I need to replace a dishwasher for the first time and I am a little intimidated by the process. Can you walk me through the installation procedure?

Mac

Dear Mac:


The installation of a dishwasher is not as complicated as it looks. Turn off the electricity leading to the machine. Turn off the water at the main shutoff.

If your dishwasher site is not pre-plumbed with a separate water valve, remove the existing hot water angle stop valve under the sink and install a double threaded angle stop/shutoff valve. Use a stainless steel braided flex water line to hook up to the dishwasher.

You may need to buy a fitting to screw into your dishwasher to accept the hose. Most new machines don’t come with the fitting, or remove the fitting from the old dishwasher.

Next, connect the drain line from the dishwasher pump motor outlet to the garbage disposer inlet. (Don’t forget to remove the “knock-out” in the garbage disposal inlet.) Be sure to use an “Air Gap” between the dishwasher and the garbage disposal. The air gap is installed next to the faucet and stops the water from draining back into the dishwasher by siphon action. If you are unable to install a true air gap device, loop your drain line over the dishwasher before hooking up to the garbage disposal. Both methods will prevent debris from sucking back into the machine.

Look for a small electrical box under the dishwasher, remove the cover and pull out the wires. Connect your wires or pig tail to the machine (a “pig tail” is a wire with a plug on one end and bare wires on the other end). Be sure to hook up the green ground wire for safety. Carefully push your machine under the counter. Once in place, adjust the legs by turning them in or out to level the machine. There should be two tabs at the front top of the dishwasher, use these to secure the machine to the counter top with screws. Now turn on your water and electricity and test your dishwasher and check for leaks.

Dear Maintenance Man:

I am a new owner of a small apartment building and plan on doing my own maintenance. My first task will be re-caulking the bathtubs. Unfortunately every time I caulk, I make a huge mess and there is caulking everywhere. What is the trick to caulking?

Tom

Dear Tom:


Yes, we’ve all struggled with our caulking nightmares. Here is a simple solution: First, always remove the old caulk and clean before installing new caulk.

  1. Check the size of bead you will need. Smaller is better than larger.
  2. Cut the nozzle of your tube to the desired size. It is best to cut the nozzle at a 45-degree angle and, again, the smaller the opening (within reason) the easier it will be to apply.
  3. (If you are new at this, it is best to use a waterbased product. The clean-up is easier.) Apply your caulk in a slow and even continuous fashion. Do not stop or worry about defects at this time. Your caulking gun should be at a 45-degree angle to your work. If you don’t lay down enough caulk the first time, you can go over it again. As you get more comfortable caulking, try pushing the caulking gun as opposed to pulling when applying caulk. With practice, this will give you a better caulk bead.
  4. Now using your damp finger wipe away excess caulk from your desired location. Some basics to keep in mind: keep a damp rag with you to wipe off your nozzle and fingers from time to time. Don’t let the caulk build-up too much. Position your finger between a 30- to 45-degree angle to the work, pull your finger along the caulk, gently pushing the material into the corner. Ninety-eight percent of the material should glide under your finger and not be pushed in front of your finger. If you have a big gob of caulk on your finger, you may be pushing too hard on the caulk and not letting enough glide through or you have used too much caulk.


Now taking a damp square sponge wipe in a slow continuous fashion along your new caulk, being careful to not wipe too much away. You should see a noticeable difference in your finish.

 


 

WE NEED Maintenance Questions!!! If you would like to see your maintenance question in the "Dear Maintenance Men" column, please send in your questions to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


If you need maintenance work or consultation for your building or project, please feel free to contact us. We are available throughout Southern California. For an appointment please call Buffalo Maintenance, Inc. at (714) 956-8371.

Frank Alvarez is licensed contractor and the Operations Director and co-owner of Buffalo Maintenance, Inc. He has been involved with apartment maintenance and construction for over 20 years. He is also a lecturer, educational instructor and Co-Chair of the Education Committee of the Apartment Association of Orange County as well as being Chairman of the Product Service Counsel. Frank can be reached at (714)956-8371 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it For more information please go to: www.BuffaloMaintenance.com


Jerry L’Ecuyer is a licensed contractor and real estate broker. He is currently on the Board of Directors and Past President and past Chairman of the Education Committee of the Apartment Association of Orange County. Jerry has been involved with apartments as a professional since 1988.

Mouse Droppings, Deadbolts, Cabinet Lighting

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Dear Maintenance Men:

How do we safely get rid of mouse droppings and nesting from a recent infestation? We have managed to get rid of the mice, but they have left behind a mess. What is the best way to handle some cleanup under the house now that they’re gone? It’s been about six months. Observed are mice fecal pellets and chewed insulation.

Kirstin

Dear Kirstin:

Mice droppings and nesting can carry the Hanta-viruses, so a bit of caution needs to be used. When you begin cleaning, it is important that you do not stir up dust by sweeping or vacuuming up droppings, urine, or nesting materials:

  • Wear rubber, latex, or vinyl gloves when cleaning urine and droppings.
  • Spray the urine and droppings with a disinfectant or a mixture of bleach and water and let it soak five minutes. The recommended concentration of bleach solution is one part bleach to ten parts water. When using a commercial disinfectant, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the label for dilution and disinfection time.
  • Use a paper towel to pick up the urine and droppings, and dispose of the waste in the garbage.
  • After the rodent droppings and urine have been removed, disinfect items that might have been contaminated by rodents or their urine and droppings.


If you have not done this already, seal up any entryways to ensure that no rodents can get back in.

Dear Maintenance Men:

I am in the process of installing new deadbolt locks on a number of doors at my building. These doors have never been drilled for deadbolts before. The problem I’m running into is how to line up where to drill for the latch plate in the doorframe. The door is either tight against the fame or is too loose. Do you have any good tricks for getting this done?

Ken

Dear Ken:

Indeed we do. Lipstick or shoe polish is the answer. After the deadbolt lock is in stalled in the door and with the door open, extend the bolt. Now, dab the end of the bolt with lipstick or shoe polish and return the bolt to the unlocked position. Close the door and attempt to lock or extend the bolt into the frame. Open the door and on the frame should be the exact location of the latch plate bolt hole. Using a one-inch wood bit, bore a hole 1.5 inches deep. If your wife will not let you use her lipstick, here is an alternate method.

Cut a one-inch thick dowel rod three inches long, insert a small finish nail into the end of the dowel rod, and be sure to center the nail. Cut the head of the nail off. With the deadbolt lock removed from the door, insert the dowel rod into the latch hole in the door with the nail end facing out. Close the door and with your finger, push the dowel rod into the door frame. Pull the rod out and your drilling site is marked exactly. One last item, if you are doing a number of doors, it may be worth purchasing a doorknob drilling jig. It will contain all the tools needed for professional door lock drilling and installation. The kit typically costs about $30 on up; a professional version can cost between $200 & $400. If you are doing more than a few doors, buying a professional door drilling kit will pay for itself just in the time and frustration it saves.

Dear Maintenance Men:

I have started a kitchen remodeling project in my apartment building and need some ideas for under kitchen cabinet lighting. I don’t want to use fluorescent fixtures, as they are very bulky and the light is harsh.

Jackie

Dear Jackie:

Try using “rope light” for accent lighting in some units. Rope light is very flexible and has a life expectancy of 25,000 hours. It can be installed behind the lip under the upper cabinets or if you have space above the cabinet, just lay it on the top. Rope light produces a nice subdued light, not too bright. Other areas where rope light can be installed are closets, inside cabinets, in the garden (it is very tough material), under the roof eave to accent the building, etc. The problem with rope lights is that you can go crazy with it, there are so many applications. Rope light can be found at most hardware stores and it comes in rolls as long as 150 feet or in small sections of 10, 12, 24 and 48 feet. We recommend getting the LED rope light as the rope does not get hot with use.

 


 

WE NEED Maintenance Questions!!! If you would like to see your maintenance question in the "Dear Maintenance Men" column, please send in your questions to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


If you need maintenance work or consultation for your building or project, please feel free to contact us. We are available throughout Southern California. For an appointment please call Buffalo Maintenance, Inc. at (714) 956-8371.

Frank Alvarez is licensed contractor and the Operations Director and co-owner of Buffalo Maintenance, Inc. He has been involved with apartment maintenance and construction for over 20 years. He is also a lecturer, educational instructor and Co-Chair of the Education Committee of the Apartment Association of Orange County as well as being Chairman of the Product Service Counsel. Frank can be reached at (714)956-8371 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it For more information please go to: www.BuffaloMaintenance.com


Jerry L’Ecuyer is a licensed contractor and real estate broker. He is currently on the Board of Directors and Past President and past Chairman of the Education Committee of the Apartment Association of Orange County. Jerry has been involved with apartments as a professional since 1988.

Damage, Hardware and Sink

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Dear Maintenance Men:

We have a Formica style kitchen counter top in a vacant unit which has knife cut damage from a previous resident. The damage is localized and the rest of the cointer top is in great shape. I really don't want to replace the top for such a small area of damage. Do you have any suggestions on repairs?

Frank

Dear Frank:

Depending on the location of the countertop damage, use a wood, tempered glass or nylon cutting board of slightly larger size than the damaged area. Draw a template on the countertop using the cutting board as a guide. Carefully cut the damage area out. Use a very fine saw to make the opening, this will keep the edges clean. The hole should not be more than one-eighth inch larger than the cutting board. This will leave a hole in your countertop the size of the cutting board. The hole may need to be reinforced and spacers added to make up for the thickness of the new board. The cutting board should either be flush to the existing surface or no more than one-eighth inch above the surface. Use good quality adhesive silicone caulk to install and seal the cutting board to the countertop. If you don't feel confident in your cutting skills, there is an alternative. The tempered glass cutting board is very thin and could be applied directly over the damaged area of the countertop. First remove any "feet" or other spacers under the cutting board. The board is clear, you may want to paint the underside to help hide the countertop damage. Clean any grease or wax from the damaged area of the countertop and apply water proof construction glue and press the glass cutting board into place. Alter the glue has cured, use a good quality silicone caulk to seal and dress the edges.

Dear Maintenance Men:

I want to update our rental units. We have painted, installed flooring and modern window coverings; now we need something to finish it off. Any help will be welcome!

Hank

Dear Hank:

A great way to update older and modern units is to upgrade the cabinet knobs, interior door knobs and hinges. Typically apartment or builder grade knobs and hinges are rather utilitarian in nature. They get the job done and that is about it- nothing fancy. That missing certain "je ne sais quoi" in a remodeled unit can be found in the choice of knobs and hinges you install. A wise choice is a lever style knob for interior doors. They come in many different finishes and colors and they not only look attractive and modern, they are user-friendly for any disabled or older residents. The use of solid brass knobs adds a bit of weight to a door making it appear rich and sophisticated. Stainless steel knobs, pulls and hinges can make any cabinet look more modern and rich. Check at your local home improvement center for ideas along with these brand names to look for: West lock, Hamilton Sinkler, Schlage, Baldwin, or Kwikset.

Dear Maintenance Men:

I have a bathroom sink that is slow draining. I have already snaked the drain and found no stoppage. When I remove the pop·up assembly and have an open drain, water whooshes down with no problem. However, with the pop-up in place, water backs up into the sink and drains very slowly.

Paul

Dear Paul:

Most bathroom sinks have an overflow hole near the top edge of the sink. This hole serves two purposes: (1) Acts as a safety drain to keep the sink from overflowing should the water rise above a certain level in the sink; (2) The overflow hole also serves as an air vent for the sink when the water levels are above the pop-up plug. The overflow hole allows air to escape through the drain and the water to evacuate more efficiently.

What has happened is hair, toothpaste, grime, etc., have built up and sealed off the overflow drain where it exits just below the pop-up assembly plug. Most snakes are too big to go through the overflow drain. Alternatively, a speedometer cable will work great or even a long zip tie will work. Push the cable or zip tie down through the overflow hole at the top of the sink and push any gunk out into the drain. Use water to help push the debris out the overflow drain; a funnel works great to direct a good flow of water.

If you cannot access the overflow to drain, you will need to disassemble t he main drain assembly to gain access to the overflow drain exit. Once the overflow drain has good airflow, the sink should drain a bit taster. If this does not solve the problem completely, look at rest ricting the water flow coming out of the faucet. Use a restrictive aerator to cut down on the GPM of the faucet.



Dear Apartment Owners and Managers:

The upcoming holidays also mean more people than usual walking on your property. Is your property safe'? What are some of the liabilities to worry about? Check t rip and fall hazards. Do you have sprinkler heads sticking up above the grass or landscape near sidewalks? Use pop-up heads to solve this problem. L-0ok for sidewalks that have been pushed up by tree roots. This can be solved with a concrete gr inder or replacement of the section and removal of the tree root.

Cut any low hanging tree branches and look for branches that may break in heavy winter wind or rain. Check your decking (or cracks or damage and inspect the exterior stairways for wear and tear. Inspect all your garage door springs, winter wind and rain may make them heavy causing the door to close or fall unexpectedly. As a precaution, always replace both garage springs at the same time and throw away any used springs. Never install used garage springs. Check all property lighting and timers. Remember: Preventive Maintenance is cheaper than Emergency Maintenance!


 

WE NEED Maintenance Questions!!! If you would like to see your maintenance question in the "Dear Maintenance Men" column, please send in your questions to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


If you need maintenance work or consultation for your building or project, please feel free to contact us. We are available throughout Southern California. For an appointment please call Buffalo Maintenance, Inc. at (714) 956-8371.

Frank Alvarez is licensed contractor and the Operations Director and co-owner of Buffalo Maintenance, Inc. He has been involved with apartment maintenance and construction for over 20 years. He is also a lecturer, educational instructor and Co-Chair of the Education Committee of the Apartment Association of Orange County as well as being Chairman of the Product Service Counsel. Frank can be reached at (714)956-8371 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it For more information please go to: www.BuffaloMaintenance.com


Jerry L’Ecuyer is a licensed contractor and real estate broker. He is currently on the Board of Directors and Past President and past Chairman of the Education Committee of the Apartment Association of Orange County. Jerry has been involved with apartments as a professional since 1988.

Mold and Interior Doors

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Dear Maintenance Men:

I have a green mold problem on the vinyl siding of the building. It was installed in 2013 by a reputable home services company. A year later the mold started to appear in the bottom of the siding, and today it is spreading to the top of the two-story house. Luckily it is only on the north side of the house. It is rather unsightly and unhealthy to have the green mold on the siding. What do I do to clean it off and keep it off? Would a good coat of paint help to keep the mold off? Thank you.

James

Dear James:

The magic words in your question are “North Side of the House!” If you ever go into the forest, you might notice moss growing on the north side of the most trees. That is because the forest is moist, and the north side does not get a great deal of sunlight to dry out the bark of the tree. The same can be happening at your property. First check the landscape sprinklers on that side of the building. They might be running too long, hitting the side of the wall, or the vegetation is too close to the property and not allowing proper air circulation. Mold, moss and algae grow well in moist and wet envi ronments. The way to clean the siding is to use a mixture of water, bleach and deter gent. Use a pump up sprayer or hose sprayer bottle. Mix 1/3 laundry deter gent, 2/3 household cleaner (409 cleaner) one quart of laundry bleach and a gallon of water. (Do not mix bleach and ammonia.) Using a pump sprayer or hose sprayer, start from the top of the wall and soak the siding with the solution. (Be sure to cover any plants, vege tation, trees etc. with plastic sheet ing to protect them from the bleach solution.) Let the solution soak on the siding for ten minutes. Using a garden hose, rinse the siding starting for top to bottom. This process may need to be repeated until the wall is clean.

An alternative to bleach: use white vinegar and baking soda mixed with water—1/3 white vinegar to 2/3 water with a generous amount of baking soda to add grit to the solution. This method requires a more hands-on approach using a scrub brush and physically scrubbing the vinyl siding until clean. To keep the mold/moss/mildew from returning, remove what is causing moisture to build up on that side of the property. After cleaning, one could paint with a mold-killing primer such as Zinsser primer and paint the siding. However, the whole point of vinyl siding is to eliminate painting!

Dear Maintenance Men:

My husband and I are installing new interior doors in our vacant unit. My understanding is using pre-hung doors is better and easier, but my husband insists that buying a door slab is cheaper and faster. We’ve never installed doors before and want to do it right the first time.

Maurine

Dear Maurine:

We have found that there are no two doors hung alike. They are all unique to their doorways. Let’s start with your husband’s plan. When buying a slab door, it does not have a hole for the door knob or latch; it also does not have the hinges at tached. It might take a master carpenter to fit the door perfectly, or the door frame might not be square, which means you will need to trim the door to fit the opening. You will find that getting the hinges to line up with the existing hinges on the jamb is not an easy feat. You also need a special tool to drill the door knob hole and latch. It might take you a few doors to get it right, negating the savings of buying a slab door.

Now, Maurine, your plan is to buy a pre-hung door. As you might guess, we recommend buying a prehung door. For those who don’t know what a pre-hung door is, let us explain. The pre-hung door comes as a complete door, including jambs, trim, hinges, doorknob and latch holes etc. The pre-hung door comes as a package with the jambs already square to the door. At first glance, a pre-hung door might look like a lot more work, but it is not. A prehung door can be installed by a novice easily the first time and is much faster than trying to wrestle with a slab door. After removing the old door jamb and trim and exposing the rough opening, insert the pre-hung door into the rough opening. Using a level, plumb and level the hinge side of the jamb using shims and gently nail the hinge side of the jamb in place. Level the top of the jamb using shims and nail into place. Using shims on the doorknob side of the jamb, be sure the door opens freely and closes without binding and nail the jamb in place. Most pre-hung doors come with the trim in place. The trim can now be nailed, and use caulking around the trim to hide any gaps that might be present. Paint, install the knob and you are done. Installation tip: Do not disassemble the pre-hung door package. Install it as it came from the hardware store. The ridged packaging will help in keeping everything square while you install the door.




Dear Apartment Owners and Managers:

We are getting close to the holidays, which means more people at your apartment buildings. Chances are, some of those residents will be inviting guests for dinner over the coming holidays. For some of these residents, this will be the first time this year they will turn on the oven! What are the odds you are just starting your own dinner or you are sitting down with your own guests when an emergency call comes to you on Thanksgiving Day from one of your residents? That call might be about a clogged sink or non-working oven with an apartment full of guests waiting for dinner. This scenario can ruin both your and your residents’ holiday. The answer is: Preventive Maintenance.

Remember, the holiday season starts with Halloween, and the demand on your properties only gets worse from there. Check each stove and oven for proper operation. Many residents only turn on their ovens at this time of year, and the problem may be as simple as a pilot light being out. Also, check the oven’s temperature calibration with an oven thermometer. This time of year sees a higher-than normal use of the plumbing, so it may be a good idea to snake out or hydro-jet your main plumbing lines. Also, sending a note to each tenant on the proper use of the garbage disposal will be useful. Note what they should and should not put down the disposal unit. A few items to include on this “No No” list are: banana peels, potato skins, coffee grounds and any stringy food. Also make sure they turn on the water before using the disposer and put down small amounts of food at a time. Instruct your residents not to use the disposal as a trash can and then turn it on when full because it will clog.

______________________________________________

WE NEED Maintenance Questions!!! If you would like to see your maintenance question in the "Dear Maintenance Men" column, please send in your questions to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


If you need maintenance work or consultation for your building or project, please feel free to contact us. We are available throughout Southern California. For an appointment please call Buffalo Maintenance, Inc. at (714) 956-8371.

Frank Alvarez is licensed contractor and the Operations Director and co-owner of Buffalo Maintenance, Inc. He has been involved with apartment maintenance and construction for over 20 years. He is also a lecturer, educational instructor and Co-Chair of the Education Committee of the Apartment Association of Orange County as well as being Chairman of the Product Service Counsel. Frank can be reached at (714)956-8371 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it For more information please go to: www.BuffaloMaintenance.com


Jerry L’Ecuyer is a licensed contractor and real estate broker. He is currently on the Board of Directors and Past President and past Chairman of the Education Committee of the Apartment Association of Orange County. Jerry has been involved with apartments as a professional since 1988.

Contact AACSC

Apartment Association,

California Southern Cities
333 W. Broadway St., Suite 101
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 426-8341

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