Pahlisch Homes believes informed homeowners make happy homeowners. If you don’t find your answer in the new home maintenance questions below, our Customer Care Department will be happy to assist you. 


How do I maintain my concrete from cracking? 

Concrete is a durable material, but it requires upkeep in harsh Oregon and Washington winters. Be sure to seal your concrete to minimize damage from freeze-thaw cycles and avoid chemical deicers as these break down the material. 


What’s the best way to care for my countertops? 


Tile countertops are versatile but require extra care. Although ceramic is heat resistant, you should never place hot pans directly on countertops. Spills happen, but be sure to wipe away excess moisture as this can damage tiles and stain grout. As with any countertop, use a cutting board instead of cutting directly on the tile to avoid scratches and gouges. 


Quartz is an elegant, low maintenance solution for your kitchen. Because it’s non-porous, stains and liquids won’t penetrate the surface, and clean-up is as simple as a towel swipe. Be sure to avoid abrasive chemicals like bleach or oil-based soaps when cleaning, as these can degrade the smooth surface. It’s also a good idea to avoid direct contact with high heat, so no setting hot pots directly on the countertop. 


Natural stone countertops like granite are easy to upkeep, with a few rules. Like ceramic, make sure you wipe up spills quickly to avoid staining and always wipe with a soft cloth or sponge. Be sure to avoid direct contact with hot pots as high heat can damage the surface. We also recommend you seal your granite about every six months. 


How do I keep my doors and windows from leaking air? 

Leaks can lead to higher electricity bills and frustration, especially during colder months. Inspect the caulking and trim on doors and windows regularly and check window screens for tears. As a rule of thumb, if you feel a breeze, outside air is getting in. 


What happens if the drywall cracks? 

This is one of the most common new home maintenance questions. Most new builds have a settling period that occurs from normal contraction and expansion during the first year. You can expect to find a few drywall cracks in this time. These are easily filled with spackle, but you can prevent further cracks by keeping your home at or above 65 degrees in winter. Palisch repairs all drywall settling cracks as part of your one-year warranty. 


What do I do if the power goes out? 

First things first, check your breaker. If your breaker is in the middle ‘tripped’ position, rather than on or off, it’s usually due to an overloaded circuit. If this happens, unplug all electrical items connected to the circuit before resetting the breaker. After this, switch the breaker from off to on and test the areas where power had gone out. 


What’s the best way to maintain my flooring? 

Ceramic, Marble, Slate, and Quarry Tile

For these floors, stay away from soap or detergents as these can break down the materials. Stick with homemade or natural cleaners like lemon juice or vinegar and hot water. If you notice cracks in the grout, fill it in with same-color grout.  


Vinyl is an extremely durable material, but you should still never use an abrasive material to clean the floor. Using a damp mop and natural cleaning solution will keep floors looking new. 


Hardwood floors can become dented or scraped by pets’ nails, rough-soled shoes, and lack of furniture floor protectors. Keep floors clean with natural cleaning solutions and reduce humidity and dampness that could cause your floor to swell and buckle. 


When do I need to caulk grout? 

It’s normal for grouted ceramic tile to have cracks––especially at tile joints that happen on the counter or bathtub. If you notice cracks, caulk grout with the same color as needed.


How do I maintain my HVAC system? 

Regular maintenance of your HVAC will keep it in good working condition. This includes external inspection, replacing filters every one to three months, and clearing the HVAC’s drain pipe. 


Is there a way to prevent ice damming? 

The Pacific Northwest is home to some harsh winters. Ice damming is a build-up of ice on a home’s eaves that worsens as ice melts and refreezes. Prevent issues and potential roof damage by keeping gutters clean and having a professional remove snow from your roof.  


How do I care for my Pahlisch Homes landscaping?  

During peak growing season, lawns take in about an inch of water per week. Typically, watering is more effective in the early morning and evening hours. To maintain your sprinkler system, check the valves for leaks each spring and blow out in-ground sprinklers before winter. Be sure to also check exterior faucets for leaks and remove hoses to prevent them from freezing and bursting. 

We take pride in our Pahlisch communities and carefully plan the landscaping for each home. If your home has not yet been landscaped, be sure to maintain your runoff water and avoid draining onto your neighbor’s property. If you live in an area with heavy rain, check if water is standing at your foundation or seeping through your crawl vents. 


How do I maintain my exterior paint?  

Paint takes a lot of abuse from the sun and elements. Keep your home looking fresh with annual touch-ups that include scraping, sanding, and repairing any peeling patches. If your home has wood shingles, re-stain these as necessary. 


What are plumbing best practices? 

Of our new home maintenance questions, plumbing best practice ones are among the most important. 

Main Water Shutoff

The main water shutoff to your home is located in your garage, where the water line enters your home. If a leak develops inside the walls, shut off water at the main shutoff inside the home.

Secondary Water Shutoff

All fixtures, with the exception of hose bibs, tubs, and showers, have valves to cut off the water supply. These shutoffs control the water from the valve to the fixture. If a leak develops in these areas, turn valves clockwise to shut water off. Do not block in case of an emergency.

Main Gas Shutoff

The main gas shutoff is located outside on the riser of the main gas line near the meter. If a gas leak is suspected, leave home, shut off the gas from the meter, and call the gas company immediately from a neighbor’s home or a cell phone away from home. Do not block in case of an emergency.

Secondary Gas Shutoff

All gas appliances have a shutoff valve located on the flexible pipe supply line. In the case of a leak, turn the knob perpendicular to the supply line. Always remember that the knob on a gas line indicates the flow of gas. When parallel with the flex pipe, the line is open. Do not block in case of an emergency.

Freezing Pipes

We insulate all water pipes in the floor and walls of the home with properly rated insulation to deter freezing under normal conditions. However, under extreme weather conditions, pipes may freeze. To avoid a pipe freeze, open cabinets that contain water shutoffs, open doors to bathrooms to allow heat circulation, keep your garage door closed, make sure all foundation vents are closed, and remove hose bibs. 


How can I be prepared for an emergency? 

An emergency can arise at any time, so preparation is key. Some ways to do this include replacing batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, creating and practicing family emergency plans, and changing fire extinguishers. Be sure each family member is aware of emergency numbers to call. 


Contact Our Customer Care Department

Have more home maintenance questions? Use the form or contact info below and someone from our team will be in touch shortly. 


(855) 446-6763