What the Maintenance Team Taught Us This Summer

easy fixes for common maintenance issues in apartments

This Summer, we tasked our maintenance team with explaining how they take care of common maintenance issues in apartments at The Pointe Brodie Creek. We wanted to know what residents asked about the most and which repairs they might find most helpful.

In doing so, we learned a lot and decided to share their tips on social media. We released their tips in a series of Stories called “Fast Fix Friday” on Instagram and Facebook. Every week, residents learned firsthand how to handle easy fixes like switching on circuit breakers and resetting a garbage disposal.

If you missed the action, no worries! All their tips are compiled below for you to reference anytime you experience one of the following 10 common maintenance issues.

#1: Power Outages

When thunderstorms descend on Little Rock, lightning can strike at The Pointe Brodie Creek. Do you know what to do if the power goes out?

Power Outlets

The first place you might have to look are at your power outlets. Our apartments feature GFI outlets in the kitchens and bathrooms, which protect you and your appliances from electric shocks. If you ever notice one of your appliances is not working, it could be because the outlet shut itself off in a surge.

When this happens, a little button will pop out and the light next to it will turn red. To reset it, just press that reset button. You should be good to go!

Breaker Boxes

If your lights or major appliances go out in a storm, there is an easy way to turn them back on once the weather passes.

Go to the breaker box located inside your laundry room behind the door. When you open it up, you will see that the numbered switches correlate to labels on the inside of the door panel.

Find the label for the area you do not have power (example: kitchen oven) and see if the switch is pushed off the center. If it is out of line, that means the switch has been turned off.

Flip the switch all the way to the opposite side (to turn it off), and then flip it back on again to match the other switches. You should now have restored power where you need it!

#2: A/C Thermostat

Our maintenance team’s biggest tip when it comes to managing your thermostat is do not turn the fan on! Always keep your thermostat set to “Cool” in the Summer or “Heat” in the Winter.

Why? Turning on the “Fan” setting just pulls in air from outside. We all know how humid it gets in Arkansas, so the fan will pull all that moisture into your apartment. Yuck!

Your air conditioner also works as a dehumidifier, so keeping it on and running will maintain the pleasant air in your apartment.

Setting Your Thermostat

Another tip our maintenance team has is to set and forget your thermostat. Keep it set at a comfortable temperature, even when you are not at home. Going up or down a couple of degrees is fine, but more than that will cause your A/C to work overtime when you come home, spiking your electricity bill.

Turning on the Heat

As we get ready for Fall and Winter, we also want you to be prepared to use the “Heat” setting on your thermostat.

The first time you turn on your heat for the season, it is normal to smell a funky, burning aroma. Dust accumulates on the heat strips in the air conditioner during the summer, and it will burn off quickly when you turn them on. It does not mean your A/C is on fire!

If your heat is not coming on quickly enough, you can use the “Emergency Heat” setting to warm up your apartment faster. That does use up a lot of energy, however, so only use it in emergency situations.

If the smell does not go away, or you experience any other issues with your air conditioning, please put in a service request and our maintenance team can stop by to help.

Please note: If your thermostat will not go below 80 degrees in the summer or above 60 degrees in the winter, this is considered a maintenance emergency. Please contact the office during office hours or use the emergency maintenance line after-hours by calling (501) 221-3377.

#3: Water Filters

Every apartment at The Pointe Brodie Creek features gorgeous, stainless steel GE appliances.

The GE refrigerator includes an ice dispenser and a water dispenser, which has a built-in water filter. These water filters are on a six-month timer, as a courtesy to remind you to replace the filter for optimal water clarity.

If the red light on your refrigerator comes on, do not panic! This is just a reminder to check your water.

If your water tastes fine and dispenses easily, you can hold down the reset button for three seconds to turn off the red light. But, if the water tastes odd or dispenses too slowly, it means the filter needs to be replaced.

Just put in a service request and we will replace the water filter for you.

#4: Dishwasher

One of the most common maintenance issues our team runs into are problems with dishwashers. Usually, it is not an issue that needs repairing. The solution often is a matter of educating residents on how best to use the dishwasher for optimal cleaning.

Again, our apartments feature GE appliances, which are very energy-efficient. To help save energy, they are not made to dry your dishes completely or remove set-in stains.

But, that does not mean it is impossible. Here are the maintenance team’s tips on getting your dishes clean and dry:

  • Scrap off all food remnants on your dishes and rinse them in hot water before placing them in the dishwasher.
  • Before you start the dishwasher, run the hot water in your kitchen sink. The dishwasher will pull in that water when it starts running, which helps get your dishes cleaner than cold water.
  • Make sure the utensil basket is either sitting inside the bottom rack or sitting on the dishwasher door not blocking the soap dispenser. If a long utensil blocks the door to the soap dispenser, it will not be able to open and release your dish-washing soap.
  • Turn on the “Water Temp Boost” and “Heated Dry” settings on your dishwasher before you start it.
  • Add in a rinse-aid like Jet Dry® in the dispenser next to your soap dispenser.

#5: Light Bulbs

Residents are responsible for changing all the light bulbs in an apartment except for three:

  1. Appliance bulbs (like the bulbs under your microwave or in your refrigerator)
  2. Cabinet bulbs (under the cabinets in your kitchen)
  3. Track lighting (on the ceiling in your kitchen)

If any of these three light bulbs go out, just send in a service request via your resident portal and we will replace them.

For any other light bulb, we can also install them for you if you just purchase the replacement bulbs. We understand that some light fixtures are harder to reach on your own, and we would be happy to help you.

If you are not sure which light bulbs to purchase, we have a product list we can share with you. Please feel free to contact our office team for details!

#6: Toilets

The toilet in your bathroom has two buttons: one for #1 and one for #2. In either case, when you are ready to flush the toilet, make sure you hold down the respective button for three seconds.

Just like your appliances, your toilets are energy-efficient. To save water, they run off a low-flush, 1.5-gallon water tank. Holding down the flush button helps the toilet expend enough water to fully flush.

We highly recommend keeping a plunger on-hand in case the toilet ever clogs. You can find an efficient, inexpensive one easily at Wal-Mart, Kroger, Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc. But, if you try to dislodge a clog and a plunger does not help, submit a service request so the maintenance team can address the issue.

Please note: A clogged toilet is not a maintenance emergency unless you live in one-bedroom apartment. If at least one toilet is functioning properly in your apartment, a maintenance technician will not come in after-hours to unclog it for you.

#7: Garbage Disposal

If you ever turn on the garbage disposal in your sink and hear no noise, we have an easy fix for you:

  • First, make sure the garbage disposal is fully plugged into the power outlet underneath your sink.
  • Second, check the reset button, which will either be on the button or the side of your garbage disposal. It the button has popped out, just press button, to reset it.

If either of these steps do not fix the disposal, just submit a service request.

#8: Smoke Detectors

Every apartment at The Pointe Brodie Creek has one smoke detector in the living room and one in every bedroom.

If you hear one or more of the smoke detectors beeping or chirping, do not panic. This is not an emergency. If your smoke alarm goes off, it will be much louder. That is the only indication you have a fire in your home.

Now, when the beeping starts, it just means the battery in your smoke detector is running low. Put in a service request, and a maintenance technician will be out to replace the battery as soon as possible.

While there are ways to take out the battery and stop the beeping, we do not recommend you doing so. It is illegal to tamper with your smoke detector, so do not put yourself and your neighbors at risk by breaking the law.

#9: Sprinklers

Your sprinkler system is straight forward: If a fire erupts in your apartment, the sprinklers will come on in every room and flood your apartment with water in minutes.

For that reason, you should never hang anything on the sprinkler head, block the sprinkler head, or drill into the wall underneath your sprinkler head. The water lines to the sprinklers run directly below the sprinkler head, so do not drill into that area on either side of the wall.

#10: Shower Heads

Is the water in your shower spraying in all directions? This is one of our most common maintenance issues, and it is very easy to fix.

If the water coming out of your shower head is not steady, it means you have some water build-up there, which is natural. Just take a towel or brush and clean the face of the shower head. That should remove the tiny bits of build-up.

The maintenance team also recommends cleaning your shower head at least every two weeks, or you run the risk of accumulating mold and mildew. Gross!

Do you have a maintenance question or concern we did not address here? Comment below if you would like us to answer it for you!

Remember that if you ever have a maintenance issue, you can submit a service request via your resident portal. All maintenance emergencies should be called into the front office during office hours or via the emergency maintenance line after-hours at (501) 221-3377.

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