Helpful Maintenance Tips & Troubleshooting

Helpful Maintenance Tips & Troubleshooting

Water causes the most damage in rental properties. This type of damage is very expensive. Common water damage includes, sheetrock, carpet, carpet padding, linoleum and tenant belongings. If you notice any water intrusion at your property please notify our office immediately. It is vital that all tenants carry the proper Renters Insurance, to protect their own belongings.


Kitchen, Common Leaks under sinks:
Drainpipe under sink, p-trap, tailpipes. If you are mechanically inclined you may attempt to stop a leak by tightening the plastic nut. They are generally a 1 inch plastic nut. Hand tighten by turning to the right. Most of the time items stored under the kitchen or bathroom sink knock the pipes loose. A temporary solution for such a leak is to place a bucket, pot or pan under the leak until it can be repaired. If you can do this just until we are able to repair the leak, it will prevent damage from occurring to the floor

The Disposal:
A garbage disposal should work for and extended period of time maintenance free. If you hear the disposal humming but not moving, a foreign object is more than likely jammed in it. Foreign objects: If we find bottle caps, glass, etc. jammed in the disposal, you as the tenant will be charged for the repair. NEVER place cooking grease or grease of any kind down the garbage disposal. When putting rice, vegetables, and scraps into the disposal, turn on the water first, then turn on the disposal and feed the scraps slowly into the disposal. If the disposal jams up, turn it off and use a butter knife to push the scraps through the drain hole clockwise. If you cannot get the disposal to turn on at all, check the power at the outlet (GFI), and then try the red reset button on the side of the actual disposal under the sink.

Before loading the dishwasher, make sure all dishes are rinsed well. If you leave large pieces of food on the dishes, the pump can wear out and cause the drain to back up. Usually a lot of water will pour out onto the floor. Use the directed amount of dishwashing soap. If you use too much it will overflow onto the floor. If you have a chronic leak, contact the office immediately and make sure to wipe up any water from the floor area.

Ranges & Ovens:

If you have a gas range, you may find that the burner will not ignite, from time to time. This may be caused by grease accumulating in the igniter valve. Be very careful when cooking not to allow grease to splatter and gather in and around the burner. If you feel so inclined, you can raise the top of the range and blow into the valve or use a small toothpick in an attempt to clean the valve of grease. Sometimes an oven may not come on the clock/timer is in the “off” or “manual” position. These settings will override operator commands, and must be adjusted to allow the oven to ignite. Never clean a self-cleaning oven with over the counter oven cleaners. If you are not sure of how to use the self-cleaning oven contact our office and we can attempt to help.

Bathroom/Kitchen Sinks:

There are hot and cold supply lines and shut off valves under the sink for every faucet. Be sure to familiarize yourself with these. It is important to keep this area clear of debris. If a supply line is leaking, shut the valve off and contact the office. If the valve itself is leaking, put a pot or pan under it and contact us immediately.


The biggest problems with tubs and showers are hair clogs. Try to clean the drain area if you see hair building up to prevent a clog. If you notice a faucet leak call immediately. If your showerhead has poor water pressure, you can unscrew it and flush it out under the sink to clean out built up sediments. Use a good shower curtain to prevent water damage around the outside of the tub. If you notice any caulking or grout that is deteriorating around the tub/shower area, please contact the office immediately, so that we can minimize water intrusion.


There is not much that can go wrong with toilets. They do require new parts, but not very often. The main concern is foreign objects getting stuck in them. Do not flush feminine products or any other large items down the toilet. If a stoppage occurs because of this reason, the tenant will be charged for all costs to repair. If you notice any discoloration in the flooring around the toilet or if it seems to be rocking at the base, the wax seal may be broken or deteriorating and you must contact the office immediately.

Air Conditioning Systems/Heater:

If you cannot get your system to start at all, check your circuit breakers and the GFI switches in your house. You may also want to check if you have an electricity “peak corps” box installed on your unit. These are installed by the utility company to shut off your system when there is an overuse of power in the community. It is evidenced by a small green box, installed on the top of your air-conditioning unit. If you have airflow, but very little, you will want to make sure your filter is clean. It is your responsibility as a tenant to replace or clean filters on a monthly basis. This not only keeps the system running efficiently, it will keep you electricity bills lower. Airflow can also be hindered when the coils on the outside unit have become clogged. This is very common when dogs or other animals that shed are in close proximity to the unit. Try to keep animals and debris away from the outside unit. Air conditioners have a cooling system identical to a refrigerator. It is important to not turn the unit off then back on right away. Wait at least 10 minutes after shutting the system down to allow the pressure in the refrigeration system to equalize once again.

Carpets & Floor Care:

Dirt, not normal wear and tear is the single largest contributor to the demise of carpets. Be sure to vacuum on a regular basis. At least three times a week. If you do stain the carpet, work immediately to remove it as much as possible. The longer a stain stays imbedded in the carpet the harder it will be to remove later on. There are many household products that are effective in stain removal, from liquid detergent to hydrogen peroxide, you can look up many of these systems on the internet under carpet stain removal, or in a book on household cleaning. Never clean the carpet without testing a very small portion of your cleaning compound on an out of the way piece of carpet to ensure discoloration will not happen. Be very careful when moving large objects and furniture across linoleum and hardwood floors. Use a dolly for large appliances and furniture pieces or slide a rag or sock over the legs of furniture when moving across flooring. Never clean hardwood floors with solvents you are not sure of, or if you have not been instructed on their proper care by the owner.


If you notice any stains forming on your ceiling or wall area contact the office immediately. If a large leak occurs causing a bubbling effect in the ceiling material, make a small puncture in the bubble with a knife and place a bucket under the leak immediately. Never hesitate in calling the office regarding roof leaks. We have a 24-hour emergency paging system in place for these types of situations.


On occasion we do get below freezing weather. It is a good idea to leave a faucet running very low. This keeps the water moving through the pipes and does not allow it to freeze. Call us right away if there seems to be a broken pipe anywhere in the property.


from Lexington