Frequently Asked Questions
Your Davidon home is made up of many systems that require care, maintenance and occasionally repair to keep all elements running smoothly to keep you and your family comfortable and safe. You may find that you have questions on how to best maintain, clean and protect the equipment and materials in your home. Please check our list of Frequently Asked Questions to see if we've answered your question here. If not, please contact our Customer Service department and we'll be happy to assist.
- How do I get my appliances repaired?
- What are some ways to lower my energy bills?
- What are some ways to keep my home safe?
- How often should I clean out my gutters?
- What are the exterior colors of my home?
- How do I insulate my plumbing to prevent freezing?
- Odor from your garbage disposal?
- Does your whirlpool tub need a system cleaning?
- Want that new carpet to last as long as possible?
- Want your ceramic tile flooring to look its best?
- Want to enjoy the natural beauty of hardwood flooring?
- Want to protect that expensive electronic equipment?
- Wonder what that white stuff is on the exterior of your home’s foundation, stucco, or masonry?
- Maintaining that overhead garage door?
How do I get my appliances repaired?
The manufacturers of your kitchen appliances, furnace, or air conditioner are responsible for the warranty of the equipment or appliance. Please contact the manufacturer directly for warranty service. Links to some manufacturer’s websites are referenced on Davidon Homes’ Customer Service and Homeowner Maintenance Guidelines. When contacting manufacturers for service, be sure to have the model number of the equipment available for quick reference. Print and use the Appliance Serial Numbers form to note your appliance and equipment model and serial numbers.
Also be sure to complete and mail in the warranty information cards for your appliances. Please be aware that many appliance manufacturers utilize your phone number as a reference for your account and you may be asked for a number to identify your home, location, and appliances.
What are some ways to lower my energy bills?
It doesn't take much to lower your annual utility bills. Minor adjustments to your household routines can save you money on your energy utility bills.
The use of lighting accounts for approximately 11% of the average household electric bill. Consider switching from standard incandescent bulbs to the more energy efficient compact fluorescent lights (CFLSs). These bulbs are more efficient, last longer, and put out the same amount of light as standard bulbs.
In colder climates or during winter open your shades or curtains, particularly on south facing elevations, during the day and close them at night. This will allow the solar energy to warm your home. Likewise in warmer climates or during the summer months, keep your curtains and shades closed during the day to help keep your home cooler.
When cooling your home in the summer, consider setting the thermostat to 78 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. For every degree you raise your thermostat setting, you will reduce cooling cost. The opposite is true for every degree you lower your thermostat. Since approximately 45% of your energy bill is dedicated to your air conditioning, the savings can be significant.
Whenever possible always try to do a full load when washing clothes or dishes. To further save energy, it is recommended to use the 'energy saver' setting on your dishwasher.
Some utility companies will change your meter to a “time-of-use” meter. Depending on your household routine, a time-of-use meter may reduce your utility costs. Time-of-use meters charge less for electrical service during non-peak periods (typically 6:01 p.m. to 11:59 a.m. and weekends and holidays), more during the peak demand period of noon to 6:00 p.m. Check with your electrical utility provider to see if you qualify for a time-of-use meter.
What are some ways to keep my home safe?
With the comfort of owning your home comes the responsibility to keep the home safe for you and your family. It is not difficult to follow a few rules and precautions to preserve the safety of your home.
Fire Safety & Smoke Detectors: NEVER use an open flame of any kind to test the detectors. You might accidentally damage or set fire to the unit or to your home. The built-in test switch accurately tests the unit’s operation as required by Underwriters’ Laboratories, Inc. (UL). If you choose to use an aerosol smoke product to test the smoke alarm, be certain to use one that has been listed by Underwriters’ Laboratories, Inc. safety standards, and use it only as directed. Use of non-UL listed products or improper use of UL-listed products may affect the smoke alarm’s sensitivity.
CAUTION! Do NOT stand close to the alarm when the horn is sounding. Exposure at close range may be harmful to your hearing. When testing, step away when horn starts sounding.
It is important to test your detectors every week to make sure it is working properly. Using the test button is the recommended way to test the smoke alarm. Press and hold the test button on the cover of the unit until the alarm sounds (the unit may continue to alarm for a few seconds after you release the button). If it does not alarm, make sure the unit is receiving power and test it again. If it still does not alarm, replace it immediately.
When testing a series of interconnected units, you must test each unit individually. Make sure all units alarm when each one is tested.
Regular Maintenance. The detectors have been designed to be as maintenance free as possible, but there are a few simple things you must do to keep them working properly.
- Test them at least once a week.
- Clean the smoke alarm at least once a month; gently vacuum the outside of the smoke alarm using your household vacuum’s soft brush attachment. Test the smoke alarm. Never use water, cleaners, or solvents, since they may damage the unit.
- If the smoke alarm becomes contaminated by excessive dirt, dust, and/or grime, and cannot be cleaned to avoid unwanted alarms, replace the unit immediately.
- Relocate the unit if it sounds frequent, unwanted alarms.
- When the battery backup becomes weak, the smoke alarm with chirp about once a minute (the low battery warning). This warning should last 7 days, but you should replace the battery immediately to continue your protection.
Choosing a replacement battery. Your smoke alarm requires one standard 9V battery. You may also use a lithium battery for longer service life between battery changes. Actual battery service life depends on the smoke alarm and the environment in which it is installed. Regardless of the manufacturer’s suggested battery life, you MUST replace the battery immediately once the unit starts chirping (the low battery warning).
Most smoke detectors in new homes are hardwired. A simple rule to follow is to change the batteries when you change your clocks for Daylight Savings Time.
Responding to an alarm. During an alarm, you will hear a loud, repeating horn pattern. If the unit alarms and you are not testing the unit, it is warning you of a potentially dangerous situation that requires your immediate attention. Never ignore any alarm. Ignoring the alarm may result in injury or death.
- Never disconnect the AC power to quiet an unwanted alarm. Disconnecting the power disables the alarm so it cannot sense smoke. This will remove your protection. Instead open a window or fan the smoke away from the unit. The alarm will reset automatically.
- If the unit alarms, get everyone out of the house immediately.
Electrical Shock Hazard: Attempting to disconnect the power connector from the detector when the power is on may result in electrical shock, serious injury, or death.
When an interconnected system of AC powered units is in alarm, the alarm indicator light on the unit(s) that initiated the alarm will blink rapidly. It will remain OFF on any remaining units. If the unit alarms and you are certain that the source of smoke is not a fire—cooking smoke or an extremely dusty furnace, for example—open a nearby window or door and fan the smoke away from the unit. Use the silence feature to silence the alarm. This will silence the alarm, and once the smoke clears, the unit will reset itself automatically.
Fire Extinguishers: Consider buying a few fire extinguishers for your home and place them where they can be readily accessed in case of an emergency. The most common extinguisher for a household is one with an 'A-B-C' rating. This type of fire extinguisher is able to put out all types of fires including wood, petroleum, and chemical fires. Make sure to keep these extinguishers charged by checking the pressure gauge on top of each unit. In order to prevent a fire from breaking out, never leave a stove or oven unattended, never overload an electrical socket or extension cord, and regularly empty the lint filter in your clothes dryer.
Emergency Planning: In the event of any type of an emergency you should develop a prepared plan of action for you and your family. Have the phone numbers for the local police, fire department, poison control center, and EMS written down in a permanent location as well as programmed into your home phones' speed dial entries. It is advisable to also program these same numbers into your cell phones. Establish ‘ICE’ (In Case of Emergency) numbers in all cell phones. Program local fire and police numbers in cell phones as calls to 911 from cell phones often go to a highway patrol central dispatch location that may not be located in your area.
Child Safety: It is of extreme importance to 'childproof' your home if you have children, and especially infants. Always store dangerous chemicals in a safe location, and out of reach of children. In all drawers and cabinets that contain sharp objects, medicines, and cleaning products, install safety latches or locks to prevent children from accessing these areas. Use safety gates to keep children from falling down stairs and to keep them out of rooms that may be dangerous for them. If you have a pool, never allow children to play in or around it without strict adult supervision, and consider installing secondary pool enclosure safety fences around pools or spas within your fenced yard.
Gas Safety: If your home is equipped with natural gas, you may wish to consider installing a carbon monoxide (CO) detector. Carbon monoxide is extremely dangerous, has no odor or taste, and cannot be seen by the naked eye. Just as with smoke detectors, test a carbon monoxide detector often and replace batteries at least twice a year.
How often should I clean out my gutters?
Your gutters are designed to minimize rainwater from deteriorating your home. Keeping gutters clean is essential for gutters to be effective and to function properly. The following easy steps will help you get the debris removed from your gutters.
It is helpful to have some form of a scoop to remove debris from the gutters. A small gardener’s trowel will work or you can make a scoop from a plastic bottle or half gallon milk carton by cutting off the top half of the container. A ladder is also necessary in order to reach the gutters. Wear gloves to protect your hands from any sharp debris and to provide extra grip on the ladder. Do not walk on a tile roof. If you own a 2-story home or have high gutters that are awkward to reach, you may wish to contact a roofing company or a gutter cleaning service. Never overreach when standing on a ladder, and always maintain your balance.
Start by removing by hand, or with the scoop, the debris that regularly accumulates in the gutters. A trashcan placed by your ladder will allow you to easily dump the debris below you. Or consider using a 5-gallon bucket secured to your ladder.
After the gutter is clean, spray it down with a garden hose to wash out any small residual debris. Do not wash excessive debris, silt, or large sized material or leaf litter into the downspouts. This may create obstructions in your downspout or drain lines connected to the downspouts.
Check and clean your gutters at least once a year or more frequently if you notice overflows or an excessive buildup of debris.
What are the exterior colors of my home?
Click on this link and then click on the subdivision name where you live to obtain the exterior color schedule for your home. Please be aware colors may change over time due to ultraviolet rays and weather exposure. While many home improvement or paint stores may be able to computer color match a sample from the exterior of your home, your sample may be faded or discolored due to age, dirt, and exposure to weather. If the subdivision where you live is not listed, please contact our office through our customer service warranty request link and provide us with your address, phone number, and contact information requesting your exterior color schedule, and we will do our best to provide you the original information. Color schedules for older subdivisions may no longer be available.
If you are planning to repaint the exterior of your home and you plan to change the exterior color scheme, please be sure to contact and obtain approval from your Homeowners’ Association Architectural Review Committee prior to repainting your home.
How do I insulate my plumbing to prevent freezing?
A frozen pipe can cause extensive and costly damage to your home. When a pipe freezes, the water inside of it turns to ice and expands, putting a large amount of outward pressure on the pipe. This can potentially cause pipes, both metal and plastic, to burst. Because of this common threat, it is essential to take precautions prior to the winter season.
Preventing Frozen Pipes
- Disconnect, drain, and store outdoor water hoses.
- Insulate all hose bibs by covering them with either pipe sleeve insulation or an insulation box that can be found in most home improvement stores.
If your home was built in a climate zone that is regularly subject to freezing temperatures, Davidon Homes and our subcontractors took steps to minimize the potential for plumbing pipes to be subject to freezing conditions. However, following the above recommendations will further minimize the potential for damage due to freezing temperature conditions.
Odor from your garbage disposal?
Over time, food particles may accumulate in the grinding chamber of your garbage disposal. An odor from the disposer is usually a sign of grease and food buildup, caused by insufficient water flow during and after disposal use. To clean the disposal, turn it off and disconnect the power supply. Reach through the sink opening and clean the underside of the splash baffle and inside upper lip of the grinding chamber with a scouring pad. Place the stopper in the sink opening and fill the sink halfway with warm water. Mix 1/4-cup baking soda with water. Reconnect the electrical supply to the disposal and turn the disposal on while removing the stopper from the sink.
Does your whirlpool tub need a system cleaning?
To remove accumulations of bath residue from the whirlpool system, it is recommended that a whirlpool bath be purged at least twice a month. A product like Systems Clean, manufactured by Jacuzzi, is highly recommended. You may purchase this product through Jacuzzi by visiting their website at this link: Jacuzzi. This or similar products are available also at most whirlpool bath distributors.
After using the bath, leave the bath water in the tub. And add hot water so the level is at least 2' above the highest jet. Turn on the unit, without the aerator. Pour the contents of Systems Clean Packet 1 (taking care not to spill the material on surfaces adjacent the tub, the floor, or onto yourself) into the tub, near the circulation intake. Repeat the process with the Systems Clean Packet 2. It is very important to use Packet 1 before Packet 2 to avoid a strong odor.
Want that new carpet to last as long as possible?
The most important step in caring for your carpet is vacuuming. Vacuum thoroughly and frequently, particularly in high-traffic areas. Bear in mind that walking on soiled carpet permits the soil particles to work below the surface of the pile where they are far more difficult to remove. Soil particles, dirt, and debris can damage the fibers of your carpet. Frequent vacuuming removes these particles from the surface before this happens. Experts and manufacturers recommend vacuuming carpets daily, especially in high traffic areas. Have your carpet professionally cleaned on a regular basis, but be sure to utilize a reputable cleaning company and a cleaning process appropriate for your specific carpet. Check the carpet manufacturer’s maintenance instructions on their website or by consulting your Davidon Homes Homeowner Maintenance manual provided to you with the purchase of your home.
Want your ceramic tile flooring to look its best?
Proper maintenance is the key to a trouble free ceramic tile floor. Damp mop your flooring at least one time per week and more often for heavy traffic areas. A mixture of 1/4 cup of white household vinegar to 2 gallons of clean tap water may be used. Never use a detergent or soap as it may dull the surface or promote the growth of mold. A good quality entry floor mat will help protect your ceramic tile from wear. Be sure to clean entry mats regularly.
Want to enjoy the natural beauty of hardwood flooring?
With proper maintenance, hardwoods will add warmth and beauty to your home for many years. Use a damp cloth to blot spills and spots as soon as they happen. Never apply water or use a wet mop to clean a hardwood floor. For tough spots, such as oil, paint, markers, lipstick, ink, or tar marks, use an approved hardwood floor cleaner as recommended by the flooring manufacturer. Many hardwood floor manufacturers and installers recommend that you clean your hardwood floors with BonAmi hardwood floor cleaner. Always avoid allowing liquids to stand on your floor. Sweep, dust, or vacuum the floor regularly with a hardwood floor attachment (never a carpet floor or beater brush attachment) to prevent accumulation of dirt or grit that can scratch or dull the floor finish. Occasionally wipe the floor with a damp (NOT wet) mop or cloth.
If placing area rugs or floor mats on hardwood floors, check the backing material of the area rug or mat. Rubberized backing on area rugs and floor mats can damage or discolor the finish on your hardwood floor. Check the hardwood floor manufacturer’s website for maintenance suggestions and the use of rubber-backed floor mats or area rugs on your hardwood floor. You may also consult your Davidon Homes Homeowner Maintenance manual provided to you with the purchase of your home for more information on the care and maintenance of your hardwood floor as well as the use of rubber-backed floor mats or area rugs.
Want to protect that expensive electronic equipment?
Surge protectors can help protect against power surges and should be used in conjunction with your electronic equipment. Surge protectors provide limited protection for individual equipment only and are not designed to safeguard your home's wiring or electrical panel. Fluctuations in the electrical supply to your home may occur at anytime and are beyond the control of Davidon Homes. Consult your utility provider if you experience frequent power interruptions, surges, or electrical damage to your appliances or electronic equipment.
Wonder what that white stuff is on the exterior of your home’s foundation, stucco, or masonry?
It is most likely efflorescence, a water-soluble salt that is deposited on the surface of stucco, concrete, brick, and other masonry products due to the evaporation of water. To remove efflorescence, allow the surface to dry thoroughly, and then vigorously scrub with a stiff bristle brush and clean water. Rinse thoroughly. Never use a wire brush. For more difficult efflorescence problems, scrub thoroughly with a solution of 1 part white household vinegar to 5 parts water and rinse thoroughly. Be careful not to damage painted surfaces on some stucco finishes.
Maintaining that overhead garage door?
A garage door is the largest moving object on your home. It is often operated by an electronic door opener. Proper installation, operation, and maintenance are necessary to provide safe, trouble-free operation. Lubrication is recommended at a minimum of once per year for pulleys, rollers, and hinges. Care should be taken when lubricating an overhead roll-up garage door. When applying lubricant, avoid any contact with the spring. Visually inspect springs and cable or drive chain or screw for wear and binding once each year. Contact a professional garage door company if damage is suspected or to service your garage door annually. Do not adjust tension on springs—contact a professional garage door company to perform this service.