“Common sense is not so common”Voltaire
It is impossible to know it all, specially with how to keep your home well, easily.
Also, avoiding an un-intended damage to the property goes a long way in avoiding mis-understanding or arguments with the property owner. We have used our experiences in compiling a list of tips and instructions to avoid damages or depreciation of a property. Hope you will find these useful and appreciate our little efforts to making a healthier society.
The above following instructions and tips can only reduce a risk of un-intended damage to the property, material and people. It does not guarantee though. You are advised to always do due diligence and read relevant manuals to best use the fittings and furnishings. When in doubt, seek professional help.
The article is a bit long, but will definitely be worth your time.
General Instructions for a well maintained house
Different floors need different materials and ways of maintaining and cleaning. The following are instructions for most common floor types. If not mentioned here, please reach out to us.
We recommend regular cleaning of these tiles with water and a neutral disinfectant such as Lizol or phenyl. These tiles get very slippery with accumulation of dirt, oil and organic matter. Keep the floor dry and free of oil at all times.
IMPORTANT: These tiles tend to get scratched easily. Make sure your sofas, beds, stands, fridges, washing machines, or any other item does not have direct metal contact with the floor.
These tiles are prone to cracking. Finding the same pattern is nearly impossible. Avoid damaging in the first place.
Marble and Granite
We recommend regular cleaning of these floor with water and a neutral disinfectant. These flors accumulate dirt easily and is hard to get rid of it. Keep the floor dry and free of oil at all times.
IMPORTANT: Never let ANY food material or beverage to come in contact with these floors. If anything falls accidentally, flush it with water IMMEDIATELY. You can use a mild detergent such as Surf if the strain does not go. If you do not clean immediately, you will be making a permanent stain on this.
Also, these floors tend to get scratched easily. Make sure your sofas, beds, stands, fridges, washing machines, or any other item does not have direct metal contact with the floor.
IMPORTANT: Most wooden floorings are made using 8mm panel boards that need proper maintenance. They can not be cleaned the way other floors can be. And, they are hard to fix.
Maintaining the Walls
A typical reason why walls become dull over time is because people touch with oily/ wet hands or dirty cloths directly.
Walls accumulate dust over time and so it is best to wipe the wall with a mild brush to dust off the surface and remove any cob webs. Cob webs accelerate the accumulation of dust.
Make sure to clean a stain immediately with a cloth wet with clean water.
Never make holes in the wall without using the right drilling bit. Also, modern walls cannot with stand nail and hammer.
Maintaining walls with wall papers
Most wall papers now a days are only partially water proof. That means that you can not clean them with a very wet cloth. Use a damp cloth to gently rub off dust.
Also, do not keep any hot things close to this type of wall as wall papers do have plastic coatings which can melt off or peel out. And it is very hard to repair such as damage as you may not find exactly the same design.
Maintaining the Bathrooms
Bathrooms are least focussed places in an apartment but 2nd most important place after the kitchen, key to your feeling nice everyday. Most urban areas have borewell water which is hard water. Hard water deposits carbonates, bicarbonates and sulphate salts of calcium and magnesium that are hard to remove. These salts also form spots that trap organic matter that is exfoliated when you take bath. Thus these spots form centres of bacteria growth which leads to different diseases.
We recommend to clean your bathroom thoroughly – commodes, every nook and corner, spin and span. Dispose of any material immediately. If gaps are formed between tiles, get the grouting done immediately.
Keep your bathroom dry and well ventilated.
In some cultures, people are judged based on how well they keep bathrooms and some times, the kitchen, especially women.
Using the Balconies/ Utility area
Always have drying rods, either the hanging from roof or the movable types. It is not a likeable thing for your neighbours to see clothes that keep flying into their spaces.
Never discard stuff in to the air. People in lower floors find in absolutely disgusting to see cigarette butts, bunched hair, pan spits, papers, banana peels, seeds of fruits etc. (and what not)
If you have a bright light in the balcony, make sure that light does not disturb your neighbours’ sleep late night.
Smoking in your balcony is fine. But what if the smoke billows into someones house?
If you keep a lot of stuff in your balcony, make sure it does not become a den for rats, lizards, insects etc. Your neighbours do not say in front of you.
Using the Wardrobes
Most wardrobes are made using deco-lam panels and medium density engineered wood. That means they can not bear heavy loads for long periods of time, without bending permanently. Keep heavy luggage at the base of the wardrobe and closer to weight bearing columns. Also, there may be sharp edges that lead to injuries.
Most wardrobes come with adjustable door hinges that may need to be re-adjusted if doors do not fit or make a creaking noises. Check with a carpenter immediately incase you notice this.
Keeping the Kitchen and spaces
You are what you eat. And mostly, what you eat is stored and cooked in your kitchen.
Unfortunately, most interior designers provide dust bins that can be hidden inside the modular kitchen. This practise is so un healthy, particularly if you do not segregate and dispose of the waste immediately.
Always use exhaust fans/ chimney to ventilate your kitchen and avoid breathing oil vapours.
Keep the modular kitchen wardrobes clean and dry. Avoid keeping wet utensils inside. This will prevent dust accumulation and rusting of the sliding mechanism.
We recommend kitchen deep cleaning once in 6-9 months depending on usage and other conditions. Healthy kitchens and bathrooms make a substantial difference to your life.
Garbage disposal and waste segregation
Make the life of those who come to collect garbage easy. They deserve it. Make their work more humane.
Segregate liquid waste and dry waste separately in 2 dust bins. Make sure you do not leave any food in the plate or container before leaving it in the sink. Do not leave any food or garbage rotting in your kitchen.
You do not want cockroaches, flies, dangerous bacteria in there, do you?
Cleaning the Windows and meshes
Keep your windows clean and dust free. Window tracks once damaged are extremely difficult to replace (there is no repair). Before rainy season, make sure water has freeway to drain out. This will prevent seepage issues. Keep the mesh dust free.
We recommend cleaning these once in a month.
Keeping the Common areas
It is all about not giving discomfort to others.
Never leave footwear in the common areas. For many, it feels disgusting. Have a foot wear stand and keep your foot wear odour free. The thing is others feel the odour much stronger than you do!
Even a foot mat placed in the common area creates a dirty spot. Why? – House keeping staff do not clean or like to clean or touch your dirty foot mat.
Pick up your garbage bins immediately after garbage collection. No one likes the view of a bust bin.
Also, avoid keeping things such as flower pots, bi-cycles, etc that disrupt free flow of men (and of course women) and materials.
If you have pets, make sure you follow the community guidelines. If your pet shreds a lot of hair, make sure this hair does not keep flying, probably also into others homes. If you pet dirties a place used by others, it is your absolute responsibility to clean up that place. Do not expect house keeping staff to clean up. They absolutely feel bad about it.
Follow the rules of the association. The list is usually big. We recommend you to keep a copy in your wardrobe, lest you should forget. No one likes to be pointed out before so many.
Maintaining and using Furnishings
Of Carpets, sofas, beds, mattresses
These are stuff that accumulate plenty of dust and become the hot spots for diseases. You should Vacuum clean them once in a month or two and Foam clean at least once in a year.
Also, do not leave any thing that can damage the fabric, such as cigarette butts, keys, knives, needles, nail cutters, iron box, make-up heaters etc.
Of White goods – Fridge, washing machine, ac, air cooler, Microwave
Always real the manual or seek help from experts. You have plenty of good material on solutions to different issues. But, if you maintain well, you wont face much issues.
IMPORTANT: There are several fake entries/ listings that you find on google search who claim to be authorised personnel. Go to the manufacturers website or see the manual for the right persons to contact or to do the right thing.
Maintaining a Fridge
Clean up your refrigerator once in a month at least.
Maintaining the washing machine
It depends on whether your washing machine is automatic or semi automatic. There are some things that are common, such a collecting the fibrous waste that gets collected in the filters, using the right detergent and running the right load.
IMPORTANT: Follow the manufacturers guidelines and seek the help of authorised personnel only.
Maintaining Hob and Chimney
This is the core of your home, actually. The gateway to your health and well being.
IMPORTANT: Get your hob/ stove serviced periodically to prevent fire accidents. Also make sure there are no cracks on the edges that seep water, spoiling the woods and accumulating dirt.
AVOID these at all times:
- Using hard chemicals on steel, wood, marble, granite surfaces or even scratched ceramic tile surfaces.
- Shifting of furniture, etc having sharp edges on the floor by dragging, pushing.
- Allowing non authorised personnel to fix issues.
- Not following the rules of the association and creating disturbance and inconvenience to others.
- Not informing the owner or the concerned person on owners behalf when an issue crops up.