Care & Use Information
The following information has been gathered in response to requests from residents looking for guidelines at move-in and move-out times. If you have any questions about the use and care for items not on the list, please call Boardwalk Investments.
Many of our properties have care manuals for appliances, etc., provided by the owners. Please refer to them first whenever there is a problem, answers are often found in there guides.
PLEASE REPORT UNSAFE OR HAZARDOUS SITUATIONS IMMEDIATELY!
Ceramic Tile-Mold Tub and Shower Walls
- Dilute 1 part white vinegar in 5 parts water for cleaning all ceramic tiles and molded fixtures.
- NEVER use scrubbing cleanser like Comet or AJAX on molded fixtures, as there products will permanently scratch the surfaces.
ONLY AUTOMATIC dishwashing soap is to be used!!! Do NOT use regular liquid dish soap in the dishwasher, it will flood out.
- AVOID letting food, hair, and excess soap get down drains.
- Clogged drains caused by hair, grease and soap are the tenant’s responsibility. Some dishwashers will clog from food left on dishes when put in the machine.
- An excellent drain cleaning/clearing solution recipe is: 1 cup of salt,1 cup of baking soda, 1 cup of vinegar, followed by 8 cups of boiled hot water. This treatment is recommended monthly to avoid buildup, and be careful with the hot water.
- Hardware stores carry “hair catchers” for sink and tub drains that keeps drains free of hair.
- Please burn only hardwood in the fireplace and woodstoves to minimize the build-up of creosote, etc. in the chimney. Creosote build-up is a fire hazard.
- Be sure a fireplace screen is in place when a fire is burning to prevent hot ashes from burning the floor or floor coverings.
Furnace and Water Heater Maintenance
- All tenants are responsible for cleaning or replacing the furnace filter at least once a year, preferably at the beginning of the fall or winter. Problems caused by failure to clean/replace the filter may be the tenant’s responsibility.
- Dust can accumulate at the furnace vents as well as at the fan vents. A small broom brushed across the vent opening will clear away any dust and help the furnace or fan operate correctly.
- Prior to the heating season, please arrange PG&E to check your furnace/heater to be sure that it is in good operating condition. If they identify needed repairs, please contact Boardwalk Investments immediately. This is a complementary service. PG&E can be contacted at (800) 743-5000.
- ALWAYS run water while the disposal is operating to avoid damage to the unit. Let the water run long enough to grind all the material in the disposal. Then let the water run for about 10-15 seconds after turning off the disposal. Learn to recognize the sound the machine makes when completely free of garbage.
- Disposals are designed to grind organic items only. Exceptions include: banana peels, artichoke leaves, celery stalks, flower stems, coffee grounds, bones, or any item that is particularly tough. NEVER put paper, plastic, glass, aluminum foil, or grease in the disposal.
- If it stops working always be sure to check the power switch (usually under the sink), try the reset button (somewhere on the machine), and remove all contents. If the above does not work, you may purchase a “z” key at a hardware store, which allows you to unjam the disposal. Do NOT call maintenance before trying all of the above. Problems caused by users are the tenant’s responsibility.
Gas Wall Heaters
- If your residence has a gas wall heater, it is prudent to turn off the gas at the unit when the heater is not needed. On any gas appliance, new or older, if the pilot light goes out you may detect a gas odor, which should dissipate in a few minutes from airing out the room. If the odor persists call PG&E immediately.
- To avoid fire, DO NOT place anything near heating system, including the water heater or heating vents.
- NEVER use a mop for cleaning or applying oil. Use a soft cloth only. It is best to sweep and dust regularly.
- Periodically clean floors with Murphy’s oil soap following directions on the label.
- Use throw rugs in front of the sink and the stove to protect these areas from water and grease.
- Make sure drip pans are kept under all plants.
- Keep all plants off of the floor with pot risers otherwise the floor will be stained
To avoid costly damage from nicks and cut in counter tops, please use a cutting board at all times.
Tenants are responsible for replacing burnt out light bulbs with appropriate bulbs in light fixtures in the unit. Do NOT use a higher wattage bulb than what is recommended for the light fixture.
Marble and Granite
- NEVER use any acidic or abrasive cleaning products including vinegar. It is best to use warm water and a sponge with a small amount of dishwashing liquid such as Dawn or Joy.
- Marble is a porous material. Be careful that water run-off from plants is not left standing on the surface. It will PERMANENTLY stain the marble.
When cleaning mini blinds, don’t soak them - the finish may bubble and peel. Spray them with mild soap and water solution and wipe them. Weekly dusting or wiping can also save a lot of work later.
Bleach is the best product for removing mold that forms around the edges of showers, tubs, on tile walls, around metal windows, and anywhere there is moisture. The easiest way to remove mold is to cut paper towels in half and fold them into one-inch strips. Dip each strip into the bleach bottle and hold your finger against it as you draw it out. Lay the bleach-soaked strips directly on the mold and leave them there for several hours. Remember to use rubber gloves and air out affected rooms.
Oven Racks and Pans
The easiest way to clean oven racks and pans is to put them in a heavy duty garbage bag (do this outdoors), add 2 cups of ammonia and seal the bag. Let it sit for a couple of hours, then carefully open the bag (without inhaling the strong odor). Remove racks and pans and the grease will wipe off with very little effort.
- NEVER use abrasives on brass or gold fixtures.
- It is best to wipe fixtures clean after each use.
- If brass needs to be polished, please use a product specifically designed for use on brass.
- Many homes and apartments have low-flow toilets. We strongly recommend that you keep a plunger nearby. Low-flow toilets tend to clog or back up if too much paper, etc. is flushed. Tenants must be prepared to plunge the toilet to clear clogs and avoid damage from over-flows.
Power, Furnace, & Hot Water Outages
- If power goes out in your unit or house, first check to see if the whole area is without power. If it is out in the area, chances are, PG&E already know about it, but you can try calling them to report it.
- If the power is only out in your house/unit, check the circuit breaker box or fuse box. One or more circuits may be tripped and you may see the switches in the off position. If no switch is off, turn each switch off then on to reset the circuits. If this doesn’t solve the problem, call PG&E at (800)743-5000.
- If either your furnace or water heater is not working, call PG&E first to have them check it out and/or relight the pilot. If there are additional problems, they will inform you as to what needs to be repaired. Call Boardwalk Investments with the information they provided you.
Refrigerator Coils/Drip Pans
- Keep coils on refrigerators (especially sub-zeros) free of dust.
- Coils need free air flowing around them to operate efficiently. Failure to keep coils clean may cause the appliance motor to burn out. The replacement of a burned out motor due to dirty coils may be the tenant’s responsibility.
- Some refrigerators have drip pans under them. If not kept clean, the pans can start to develop a strong odor. Please take the time to get acquainted with the appliances in your unit.
Sliding Glass Doors, Screen Doors, and Shower Tracks
- It is imperative that dirt and debris regularly be cleaned out of the sliding door tracks, rolling over dirt, leaves, and pine needles that frequently accumulate in the tracks can damage the wheels on sliding doors, especially the heavy glass sliders. Please make it part of your cleaning routine to clear the tracks.
- Please do not use oil or WD40 to lubricate slider doors or screens. They only attract dirt and gum up the wheel mechanisms.
- In order to retard the growth of mold in the tracks and at the bottom of the shower doors, keep the tracks clean. Use an old toothbrush and do a regular monthly cleaning, it’s much easier than doing one major cleaning at move-out time!
Tenants are responsible for keeping fresh batteries in smoke detectors. We recommend changing batteries at the beginning and end of daylight saving time.
- Tenants must take care to avoid water damage caused by allowing water to sit on counters and floors.
- Care must be taken to ensure that shower curtains are inside the tub, and that the curtain or shower doors are completely closed when taking a shower. Water on tile floors can seep through the grout and cause dry rot on the floorboards below. We recommend putting a mat, towel, or rug on the floor to step on when exiting the tub or shower.
- Water can easily be splashed into the space behind the faucet in the kitchen or bath and damage the counter surface. Please be sure to keep these areas dry to prevent damage.
Wood Decks/ Porches
Potted plants and flowers add beauty and appeal to a property. If you have planters or pots, please put “riser” under them so that they are raised up off the deck a few inches to allow air flow beneath the pot and to prevent water run-off from rotting the deck.