Frequently Asked Questions - All FAQs

FAQs - All FAQs
  • Your sump hose should consist of three components, a plastic adaptor, a metal clasp, and the hose itself.
  • First step is to insert the adaptor into the pipe, thread side in, and ensure it is screwed in nice and tight.
  • Next, simply slide the metal clasp over the end of the sump hose, and slide the end of the hose over the adaptor.
  • Using your screwdriver or drill, tighten the screw on the clasp until your hose is firmly in place.
  • Your final step is to run your sump hose in the direction of the slope of your property (either to the front or back) to ensure you are directing water away from your house.
  • You should be installing your sump hose onto your house in the spring or as the snow starts to melt to ensure that water is directed away from the foundation.
  • A good time to take your sump hose off is any time the temperature drops below 0 degrees Celsius.
  • We recommend that you check your sump pump is working at least once a year. The best time to check is in the spring or as the snow starts to melt.
  • Besides hearing or seeing your sump pump working, there is a sequence of steps you can follow to ensure all components are in working order.
  • The first item to check is the pump itself. Simply unplug the cord from the outlet; you will see two cords plugged into each other, one for the float which is the part in the wall, and one for the pump which is plugged into the back of the float plug. Detach the pump cord and plug it directly into the outlet and you should hear it kick on...
  • Once you are finished checking the pump, plug both cords back together and into the wall outlet as you found them.
  • The sump pump should always remain hooked to a power source; at no point through the year should it be unplugged.
  • The second item to check is the float. This is the component that should engage the pump once a certain water level is reached. To check the float, unscrew the top of the sump pit with a screwdriver or drill, as I have done here. Reach into the sump pit with your hand and manually lift the float until you hear the pump engage...
  • Finish by re-attaching the cover on the sump pit with the four screws, one in each corner.
  • You should be checking or changing your furnace filters on a regular basis to ensure your furnace is circulating clean air and running efficiently.
  • First step is to ensure you shut your furnace off with the switch located either on the unit or on an adjacent wall.
  • Simply slide out the furnace filter to check the quality and color of the filter. You will be able to tell based on the color, transparency and build-up of dirt particles if it is time to change the filter.
  • All furnace filters will have information of their size as well as directional arrows on the edge explaining which direction it is to be inserted. The arrows will point the direction of the air flow, and towards the furnace unit.
  • Once everything is in place simply switch back on your furnace
  • Grout is something you will want to check on a yearly basis as it can settle, crack and erode depending on traffic, cleaners, etc. In your warranty manual you should have the color of grout in the "Your Home" section in the back of the binder under "color selections". If it is not there you can call your warranty contact and they will help you find it.
  • Once you have your grout color you can go to Ideal Tile and purchase a small amount of grout. Simply add a small amount of water and add it to the crack or gap, and gently wash area. After several hours of drying (check instructions on grout container) wash the area completely to get rid of excess on surrounding area.
  • Silicone or caulking is something you will want to check on a yearly basis as it can dry and crack or breakdown due to normal wear and tear.
  • When silicone is damaged your first step will be to use the putty knife or utility knife to gently scrape away the existing silicone from the area and wipe down with the damp cloth to ensure the work space is clean. Then use a dry cloth or paper towel to dry the area.
  • Next you want to familiarize yourself with the caulking gun. On the back you will see a release button that you will need to use at the end of each silicone line to keep from getting excess silicone onto other nearby surfaces which is difficult to clean.
  • Keep in mind the key to good silicone is that "less is more".
  • When you start a bead of silicone you will want to start in one corner and in one fluid motion carry it all the way to another corner or edge.
  • After the silicone is applied, wet your finger in the damp cloth and to ensure there are no ripples or breaks in the silicone drag your finger in a similar fluid motion along the silicone bead.
  • Wipe any excess silicone off your finger onto a dry paper towel, and repeat the process for as many areas as needed.  
  • Sometimes when tiles are being laid by the installer, a natural level difference occurs. There are many styles of laying tiles. The one we use ay unique home concepts is a natural lay.
  • Another cause of tile height difference occurs when two different styles of tile meet. Because of the different thicknesses of tiles, you may notice the same difference after it has been installed.
  • This height difference can be measured with a specialized tool, and has to be within a certain amount to meet code. If it has been measured and is within the acceptable amount, then it is a not a defect.
  • Condensation is the result of humidity and temperature. When the humidity in the air is met with cooler temperatures it is converted into a liquid form instead of a vapour. This is why we see condensation on the glass of a cool drink in a hot room, or the water droplets on the windows when you have minus weather outside. If you have condensation in your home, it does not mean there is anything wrong, and there are things the home owner can do to control it.
  • If there is no air movement in the room or against the window the damp air will settle against the window and convert into water droplets, and if exposed to cold temperatures for a long period of time can turn into ice. Running the furnace fan for a longer period of time when the temperature outside is in the minus can help keep the humid air off the windows, therefore lessoning the amount of condensation build up.
  • Another way to help is by keeping your blinds at least an inch or two up off the window jam. This will allow the air to more easily get to the window, allowing more air exchange and keeping the moisture down around the windows.
  • In severe temperatures (-30 or lower) you may also see a frost or moisture build up on your door knobs and around the door. Metal is a great conductor and will absorb the cold temperature outside and carry to the inside portion of the knob easier than a wall or door slab. This is normal and can be controlled the same way as the steps you take for your windows.
  • These tips are no guarantee that it will ELIMINATE the moisture, but it will lessen the effects of condensation build up. As a precaution we advise that you also wipe down any excess water after outside temperatures increase, as the water can run into the window trim and can cause swelling in the wood.
  • Sometimes in a garage you can notice pooling. This can occur in different places for different reasons, but for the most part is a normal occurrence.
  • Our garage concrete is installed by bull float method to allow air bubbles to stay in the concrete, leaving a rougher finish to help avoid slips. This method is to code and is what home builders are to follow to pass inspection.
  • This method is done by hand and so there can sometimes be small dips in the concrete where water may "pool" when the ground is wet. This is not necessarily a defect and New Home Warranty allows for some minor pooling as long as the general slope is uniform to the direction the home builder has chosen. If you have a pit and grate in the center of the floor, than the floor will slope towards it, if you do not have a pit, then the concrete should be sloped towards the overhead door so it can escape.
  • If you do not have a floor drain, than you may sometimes have pooling against the overhead door. When the concrete is being troweled, the installer will hand trowel the door entrance to be a different slope so that when the door is closed the water on the outside stays outside. Due to the change in slope, you may have minor pooling by the door. It is the homeowner's responsibility to squeegee the small amount of water outside, or to allow for it to evaporate.
  • In winter you can have what is called "ice damming". This occurs in the winter where the melted water meets the cold door and freezes. Or the snow outside has built up so that the melting water can no longer drain past the garage threshold. The door can sometimes be frozen shut, which can damage the weather strip. Another side effect is water building up inside the garage. If the garage is not heated this water can freeze and be a slip hazard. This water is the responsibility of the homeowner to squeegee or shovel outside.
  • In a house there are weak points of insulation that do not protect as well against the cold or heat. The two worse ones are windows and doors and if you have a door or window in a garage than you will have the same thing. In a garage an overhead door is also considered weaker insulation.
  • In the winter especially you will have snow melt off your vehicle and evaporate into the air, creating a large amount of condensation. When it is below freezing outside the moisture in the air crystalizes on the overhead door, because it is the coldest surface. The colder it is outside, then the higher amount of frost build up you will have on the inside of your garage. This anomaly is even greater if the garage is not heated.
  • This occurrence is normal, and can be controlled, but never fully avoided.
  • We suggest sealing your driveway at least once a year, before the temperatures get too low in the fall.
  • First, you should clean your driveway with a pressure washer to ensure it has as little debris and stains as possible before sealing.
  • Once your driveway is completely dry (should leave for 24 hrs), you can either buy a sprayer from a hardware store, or use a roller to apply the driveway sealer. Note: ensure you use a sealer that is specified for concrete, and follow the instructions on the can before using.
  • We suggest sealing your driveway before winter so that you can help better protect your concrete from any salts on the roads or salts used on walk way. Salts can cause your concrete to spall and chip.
  • We still suggest not using a deicer with salt in it. This is just one more preventative measure to ensure a long life for your concrete.