[INFOGRAPHIC] The practical guide for preventive maintenance of your apartment

apartments

Economy and property valuation

As mentioned, the economic factor is one of the main reasons to keep your property conservation procedures up to date. Thus, preventive maintenance should not be considered an expense, but an investment that will help you avoid major expenses in the future.

Combined with everyday care procedures, these actions will safeguard your assets — both to preserve your family’s comfort and safety and to keep your property valued. It is also important to mention the property guarantee, which usually has, among its validity conditions, the requirement to carry out preventive maintenance.

Risk and loss reduction

Frequent use wears down the property in the same way as a machine. As it is a more durable good, it is possible that the damage will evolve silently, only appearing in the case of an irreversible situation, which will require an even higher cost of repair.

The biggest problem, however, is when the damage comes in the form of an accident. Of course this is an extreme situation, but this is important to illustrate how issues of this nature are avoidable when working preventively. Maintenance must anticipate risks by working on the problem before it gets worse.

Peace of mind for your family

Another important issue to consider is that, living in a condominium, the certainty that the facilities in your apartment are up to date guarantees more peace of mind for you and your family.

A leak in your unit, for example, can wreak havoc on another property. In addition to the double damage, since you will have to pay for both repairs, the situation can also create an upset with the neighbor. And this is a discomfort that affects your family members as well.

In addition, a serious problem in a room makes it unusable for a long period, until work is completed to repair the damage.

As we have seen, preventive apartment maintenance only brings benefits. That’s why it needs to be included in the daily schedule of the home—it’s an essential investment!

Who is responsible for preventive maintenance?

When the condominium is established, several responsibilities are defined between the tenants, the manager and the advisory and fiscal councils.

Thus, some rules related to maintenance can be stipulated, taking into account the technical standards ABNT NBR 5674, “Building maintenance – Procedure”, and ABNT NBR 15575, “Dwelling buildings – Performance”.

We will then detail the responsibilities of each of those involved in the preventive maintenance of the apartment.

Developer

  • Provide the Property Use and Maintenance Manual, with all the important information for the correct use of the building, in order to meet what is expected of the property in terms of durability and performance.
  • Provide assistance during the period covered by the property warranty, making the repairs that may be necessary, without charge to the owner, as long as the legal deadlines relating to the case have been respected.

Owner

  • Observe and comply with what is stipulated in the Owner’s Manual.
  • Perform preventive maintenance, with the hiring of qualified professionals accredited by the construction company.
  • Allow access by professionals appointed by the construction company to carry out the technical inspections.
  • Respect the deadlines stipulated in the Consumer Protection Code for reporting defects in construction, requesting technical assistance from the construction company and keeping the record of inspections and maintenance.
  • Keep the Owner’s Manual updated and, in case of resale of the property, pass it on to the new resident.

Another very important standard is ABNT NBR 16280. She mentions the need for owners to make a renovation plan before any changes are carried out.

This ensures that the condominium works together with the owners so that they do not make any type of modification or anything that could damage the structure of the building. It is a point that the owners of autonomous units should also pay attention to.

The standard points to the opportunity for the construction company to get involved and follow the entire process if they want to. However, the legal responsibility with the building after its construction and delivery rests with the manager, and no longer with the developer.

The company, however, is responsible for providing the system guarantee, for the project and for the execution. Basically, those responsible for maintenance are the condominium and the customers who bought the apartments.

Which items require the most care?

There are items that deserve special care when it comes to maintenance. For example, the grouting of ceramic pieces, because if it is not intact, there can be infiltration problems for neighboring units — especially those below the apartment. Other points that give more problems and deserve attention are:

  • drain cleaning — if the owner does not properly sanitize this part, the bathroom can be flooded during the shower. The drain can become saturated or generate a backflow problem;
  • siphon sanitation;
  • the conservation of bathroom hydraulic parts;
  • the adjustment of the flushing sanitary ware;
  • unit ventilation to prevent mold — ventilation must be maintained in units that do not have a window in the bathroom, ie where people shower with everything closed. These environments accumulate a lot of moisture, generating complaints.

What practical tips serve to carry out some of these processes properly?

There are some easy procedures to be applied by the property owners when dealing with the above items, not being necessary to hire a person to carry out the work. They are punctual care that generate great results and help to keep the apartment organized. Check which ones are ahead!

Repair the grout and seal

Cyrela’s Preventive Maintenance Guide indicates that this item must be checked every six months. If you have any point on the grout that is scrapable, it is important to have a tool called a scraper to perform this procedure.

The tool is easy to purchase at a construction shop. To install a new grout, you don’t need a mason or technician. Just apply it as per the manufacturer’s specifications.

Clean bathroom drain

Drain cleaning is very simple. It is possible to do it, for example, monthly. For this, it is interesting to remove the drain cover. If there is an accumulation of dirt, clean it with your own utensils, not throwing the residues into the hydraulic channel.

Care must be taken not to use anything sharp. For example, knife and broom handle. These items can damage the drain, which is even worse than not having maintenance done.

Deal with mold

About mold, the recommendation is that you always have daily ventilation in the apartment. For this, it is recommended to open the windows and doors at least once a day. Let it ventilate:

  • room;
  • Restroom;
  • living room;
  • laundry;
  • kitchen cabinets — the back of the cabinet is a good place for mold to accumulate.

Install closet properly

It is important not to install the cabinet bottom on the wall. Place a piece of wood in between to prevent moisture from building up on the bottom as well as on the clothes inside.

Install and sanitize the siphon

To clean a siphon, close the water valve, screw the part (or the siphon cup, if your model has one) and clean it. You can use a cleaning cloth. Also sanitize the drain valve outlet (sink outlet). If you need to secure the part when replacing it, as well as reinforce the seal so as not to leak, use thread sealing tape.

What is the warranty table and what are the cares regarding the end of the warranty period?

The warranty table is included in the Owner’s Manual. It contains the warranty dates for all items of the property, and is based on building standards, which is also a standard.

In summary, in the table above you will find various warranty periods for elements of the property, such as the waterproofing system, for electrical installations, among other elements. Check the warranty period for each one and remember that the term starts to apply from the issue of the project’s occupancy permit!

The main recommendation you can give is to take care of what is yours. It is possible to draw a parallel with the example of a car. It is very common for a vehicle that has traveled 10,000 kilometers to need to change the oil, and the owner knows it.

It is necessary to have this same “culture” in relation to the apartment, that is, the notion that corrective maintenance is much more expensive than preventive maintenance.