November 10, 2020
Let’s chat about living with your new neighbours (Toronto Edition)…
Within any Concord condo, you’ll find that you have a number of neighbours living on your floor, in your building or within a shared complex. Mutual respect is of the utmost importance while establishing relationships and setting boundaries and expectations. The main four topics will be discussed below to help you and your neighbours get off on the right track:
– Understanding Shared Spaces
– Noise and Quiet Hours
– Garbage Chute Etiquette
Understanding Shared Spaces
Shared spaces aren’t limited to the incredible amenities that Concord includes in our projects; shared spaces also include the lobby, mailroom, elevators, hallways, stairwells and parking garages. Anything that is part of your condo building or complex that isn’t within your unit (or balcony) is a shared space and it should be treated that way.
Consider how cleanliness, noise level and your understanding and adherence to the rules put in place in contributing to an overall great living experience for you and your neighbours.
Treat the amenity spaces with respect. Ensure you clean up after yourself and follow all guidelines in place. For example, within the fitness facility:
– Use the sanitizer/antibacterial spray to wipe off the equipment after you’ve used it.
– Place equipment in the allocated spot after use.
– Use the equipment properly to avoid damaging the equipment (and potentially hurting yourself).
Areas like stairwells, lobbies, mailroom and elevator are all relatively high traffic areas within your building. The biggest thing to remember when using these spaces is to not leave anything behind. Whether it’s junk mail from your mailbox, garbage from a delivery or mud from your shoes, ensure you leave the space as you found it and leave nothing behind.
Garbage Chute Etiquette
Concord Condos that feature garbage and/or recycling chutes are quite common among Toronto and North York projects. Chutes are found on every floor of the building, however, it is important for residents to use the chute properly to ensure they continue to function with little maintenance and repairs for years to come. Some key tips to remember when it comes to helping maintain your floor’s garbage chute: – Don’t stack garbage or other items on the floor next to a chute.
– Be sure to push items down the chute so the next person doesn’t have to deal with it when they come to dispose their items.
– When items are too large for the chute, take them down to the main trash area for the building.
– If you have mistakenly put something into the chute that becomes stuck, be considerate and inform management or the concierge.
Respecting Noise and Quiet Hours
Some condo buildings have quiet hours set and ask residents to avoid making noises that may keep neighbours from sleeping. Typically these hours start between 10pm – 11pm and remain in place until 7am – 8am the following day. These hours are important on any given day, but typically boundaries can be overstepped while hosting and entertaining
guests. But being in such close proximity to your neighbours, it is always important to keep noise at a minimum. Balcony noise level is also something that is important to keep in mind, as the sound continues to travel to community neighbours as well.
Pet Friendly Living
More and more condo buildings are allowing residents to have dogs and other pets live within their unit. Pet owners should be aware and not inconvenience other residents with their pets. Accidents happen, but pets should not be using common areas like hallways and gardens as a place to do their business; if they do, the pet owner should be prompt in cleaning up after their pet. The balcony is also not a spot for pets to use as a washroom.
Pets want to be loved and attended to, residents who own pets should not leave their pet at home all day without company. This can result in excessive barking, which can disturb neighbours, and potentially even damage to your unit.
When you purchase or rent a unit in a Concord community, it is important to take these considerations into account so everyone can enjoy their living spaces. Concord condo residents should work together and respect one another, the building and contribute to the overall neighbourhood.
Your Safety is a Priority in your New Home!
Now that you are a condo homeowner, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the safety and maintenance requirements in your home, not only to protect you and your loved ones, but also your investment.
The Ontario Building Code is a great resource that you can reference seasonally for an in depth outline for safety tips. We’ve summarized the tips below for your convenience.
Smoke Detector / Carbon Monoxide Detector
Each suite has a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector; both must be operational at all times. As a homeowner, it is your responsibility to replace the batteries when needed. A helpful tip is to check your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector when the clocks change during Daylight Savings.
Your dryer’s lint screen should be cleaned after every use for optimal functionality and your own safety. Be sure to do a full inspection of the dryer drum and lint trap often.
Laundry Water Shut Off Valve
The water shut-off valve is located in the laundry closet and should be turned off after each use to prevent leakage, flooding and other water damage. Any damage to property, personal and secondary items incurred as a result of improper use is the responsibility of you, the homeowner or tenant. See below for a video instruction guide on turning on and off your laundry water shut off valve.
If your suite comes with a sprinkler, note that there is no maintenance required, however, please keep in consideration not to do the following below:
Please Do Not:
● Please do not paint sprinklers
● Please do not damage the sprinkler heads or covers
● Please do not hang objects from the sprinklers, valves or other components
● Please do not obstruct the sprinklers
● Please do not cover the sprinklers
● Please do not remove the sprinklers or the covers
Note that any of the items listed above may impact the performance of the sprinkler
The sprinkler can be activated by impacting the heads. Be careful when moving furniture, tall objects or when working in confined spaces; such as closets. Activation of a sprinkler head will release a flood of water at high pressure, which may result in damage not only to your suite but also to other units in the building. In the event that you see a problem with the sprinkler system in your suite, DO NOT touch it, but contact your Property Manager immediately.
As you will notice, there is a gap around the door jamb of your suite entry door. This gap is not a deficiency. We recommend that you do not install any type of weather stripping around the suite entry door. This gap serves as one of the only sources of fresh air and helps maintain the air circulation in your suite, which in turn assists in preventing condensation. The corridor air also serves as a safety feature in the event of a fire. If a fire occurs in the building, the corridor fresh air units are immediately disabled, so that the smoke does not enter into the suite.
Ensure you thoroughly understand your maintenance requirements around your condo to keep everything running smoothly throughout your home and protect your investment for years to come.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the maintenance in your home, please refer to Concord’s Homeowner Manual.
Keep your Bathroom Clean!
You’ve recently purchased a Concord condo and it’s time to familiarize yourself with how to clean and maintain your new bathroom finishes to keep it looking fresh and clean for years to come.
Clogs in Drains
It’s important to keep your drains clean and work on preventing a clog before it happens. Things like mildew, hair and dirt can all result in drain clogs. At home tools like plungers
and drain snakes can work to release clogs. Sometimes sourcing a reputable plumber is the only answer.
Mildew / Mould
If you notice signs of mildew or mould, remove it as fast as possible to keep it from spreading to your grout and tiles. Mould occurs in areas of higher humidity so check your bathroom frequently. Natural cleaners such as Borax, vinegar and hot water work if the area is small, but for stubborn build-up stronger chemicals are required. Daily or weekly maintenance will help stop mildew and mould in the first place.
Your bathroom countertops are made of engineered stone, which is durable and easy to maintain. Its surface is nonporous and is highly resistant to stains and scratches. Caesarstone Quartz is heat resistant but not heat proof, therefore, do not place hot items without a protective layer. Clean your Caesarstone quartz counter with soapy water or commercially available engineered stone cleaners applied with a soft cloth or sponge. Follow by rinsing the countertop of residue and dry completely.
Avoid sitting on or placing heavy objects on the countertop so as not to create an excessive load that may result in cracking or other damages to your counter.
Your suite is equipped with an acrylic bathtub. Use a gentle, liquid cleaner diluted with water to remove dirt and soap scum. Do not use powders, abrasive cleaners or scouring pads on acrylic tubs as they may scratch or dull the surface. Never step in your tub with shoes on or store items in the tub.
All toilets are installed with a rubber gasket at the floor flange, which seals the toilet bowl and drain pipe. Infrequent flushing will allow the water to evaporate in the toilet bowl. As a result, the rubber gasket may dry out and become brittle, which could lead to water leakage and other damage. In the event that the water rises and appears that it may overflow, turn the water valve (located behind the toilet) to the OFF position.
Marble Flooring & Shower Walls
Marble tile is located in bathrooms, laundry closets and shower walls. Marble tile is very durable if proper care is taken. Regularly sweep or vacuum floor tile to remove dust and dirt. Use a neutral tile cleaner diluted in the recommended amount of water to mop floors and wipe shower walls with a soft sponge.
When it comes to bathroom maintenance, sticking to a routine and scheduled cleaning will help keep your finishes lasting for years to come.
Exhaust Fan (ERV)
Your suite is equipped with an Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV), which is an integral part of your suites ventilation design. Your ERV allows for the delivery of constant fresh air directly into your living room and bedrooms while exhausting the same amount of stale air from the washrooms. It should be used to remove lingering odours and moisture in the air.
The different materials in your suite expand and contract at different rates due to temperature changes. Caulking is used to seal areas that are susceptible to water damage keeping them watertight.
You must ensure that the caulking throughout your suite is maintained on a yearly basis. The most important areas include: along bathtub rims, bases and shower stalls.
The Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter is a safety feature required under the electrical safety code. Its function is to interrupt the electrical power to an outlet in the event of exposure to water and to protect against accidental electrical shock. You’ll recognize these outlets as they are the ones with the test and reset button and are typically located near the sink in your bathroom.
Water Shut Off Valve
The main water shut-off valves can commonly be found in the cabinet below the sink in the main bathroom or en suite bathroom. In some suites, the water shut off valve plate is located in the lazy susan. There is only one set of main water shut-off valves for the entire suite. To shut the water off, remove the plastic cover plate to expose two levers. Turn each lever so that it is at a 90-degree angle to the waterline.
There are individual water shut-off valves for each sink faucet in the cabinets below each sink in the bathrooms and kitchen.
Some units have cabinet drawers in the bathroom vanity below the sink and this drawer must be taken off the track in order to access the water shut-off valve.
Your cabinet door and drawer hinges will loosen slightly over time from opening and closing them. This is a normal occurrence and is not considered a deficiency.
You can fix this easily by making minor adjustments shown in the diagrams below: