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Customer Service FAQs

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Customer Service FAQ's

Q
Bathroom Maintenance
A

Bathrooms are arguably one of the most crucial rooms in a home as far as cleaning and maintenance required. A dirty or damaged bathroom can quickly date a home. Here are some tips for maintaining all aspects of the bathrooms in your Viera Builders home:

Walls
Viera Builders bathrooms are made with ceramic tile walls, suitable for areas that have the potential to be exposed to water. As noted in the Viera Builders Homeowners Manual, the seams, joints, and sealers of the ceramic tile walls are not waterproof and require proper maintenance to prevent water seepage and damage of materials adjacent to and underneath tile.

Cracks in the caulking joints between tile and tub, in the shower stall corners, and at the floor are caused by the high degree of moisture present in every bathroom, as well as from the normal shrinkage of caulking material. Separation between the tub and wall tile is caused by home movement and by the weight of the tub when filled with water. Cracks in caulking joints are considered normal homeowner maintenance.

Clean wall tiles with a damp cloth and remove accumulated film with a soap free, non-abrasive detergent or tile cleaner. Keep wall tile seams clean by brushing with diluted bleach in a well-ventilated room.

Caulk cracks and separations of seams adjacent to tile with a flexible caulk, taking care to wipe the tile clean once caulking is complete. Use a high-quality clear silicone such as GE silicone II, which has a lifetime warranty against yellowing.

Mirrors and Medicine Cabinets
Clean bathroom mirrors with a spray glass cleaner and a soft cloth, wiping several times to remove all glass cleaner and residue. Do not use abrasive cleansers, which can permanently scratch and mar mirror or glass surfaces.

Shower and Tub
You may use any ordinary dishwashing detergent for cleaning shower enclosures. Do not use scouring pads or metal pads (Brillo, etc.) on the glass, brass, or chrome as it will scratch the surface. In the event of hard water mineral deposits, we recommend a commercial glass cleaner containing one tablespoon of household ammonia in a quart of water. Be sure to read the caution note on the label before using ammonia. Do not use steel wool or scouring pads on the metal portion of shower enclosure as it will remove the protective finish applied by the manufacturer and cause scratches.

Bathroom Maintenance Checklist:

  • Clean shower doors and shower curtains: These can accumulate a great deal of dirt and grime if not maintained regularly. An abrasive cleaner can be extremely helpful on shower curtains, especially towards the bottom where a black mold can develop. 
  • Toilet maintenance: Regular cleaning of the toilet is vital for both cleanliness and general health. This is also a good way to ensure that the toilet is functioning properly, and no water is leaking. 
  • Sink Maintenance:  Aim to scrub the sink down with cleaner once a week and include the fixtures.
  • Floors:  Sweeping your bathroom floor once a week to remove all loose dirt, hair, and dust bunnies before mopping is strongly recommended to achieve the most efficient clean. 

Other Considerations:
Mildew: Moisture and mildew problems can occur in any room where water vapor is present. To reduce mildew, turn on the exhaust fan or slightly open a window when bathing. Wipe off wet tiles when done, then hang up towels and washcloths to dry. To clean mildewed surfaces and reduce mildew odors, apply a liquid mildew agent in a well-ventilated room, followed by a disinfectant and thorough rinsing with clear water.

Soap Scum: In some geographic areas, “hard water” or water that is high in mineral content can contribute to soap scum buildup. To clean and remove this residue, wash the affected surfaces with a mild vinegar-and-water solution.

Rust Stains: The contact of wet metal on sink surfaces (for example, the bottom of a shaving cream can) may produce rust stains. To remove them, apply a powdered rust remover following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Q
Cabinet Care & Maintenance
A

As homeowners, we spend a great deal of time in the kitchen. Cooking, eating, and socializing take center stage. However, it is important to remember that taking proper care of your kitchen is what keeps it as everyone’s favorite place in the house. If you own a Viera Builders home, you know that one of the greatest features of your kitchen is your cabinets. Your Viera Builders kitchen cabinets are the backbone of the entire kitchen and should not be overlooked when it comes to care and maintenance. 

Cabinet Source
All Viera Builders homes are built with kitchen cabinets built by Timberlake Cabinetry. Timberlake Cabinetry is one of the largest and well-known cabinet manufacturers in the United States. Timberlake cabinets are sold directly to homebuilders through a network of builder service centers and distributors. With more than 200 cabinet styles and a full array of coordinating moldings and accessories, Timberlake brand cabinets combine style and affordability. The company offers a full range of styles and upgrade options that make customizing homes easy. For more information on Timberlake Cabinetry, please visit http://www.timberlake.com.

Braden Kitchens has been serving Florida’s Space Coast for more than 40 years.  Family owned and operated, they provide cabinetry services for both residential and commercial construction. A distributor for over 25 years, Braden Kitchens is one of the largest dealers of Timberlake Cabinetry in the Southeastern United States and have supplied Viera Builders since 2012.  

Should you have any questions concerning your Timberlake cabinetry, or would like to do any additions after closing on your home, please contact Randy Conway at (321) 636-4700 Ext 22, or randy@bradenkitchens.com.  

Cleaning Your Timberlake Cabinets
According to the Timberlake Cabinetry Warranty, your cabinets are extremely resistant to stains and surface damage that can be caused by common household items. 

Spills can be addressed by using a clean cloth and mild soap such as Dawn or Palmolive. Immediate attention to spills will guarantee that your cabinets will be looking their best for as long as possible. It is also recommended that you dust your cabinets periodically using a soft, slightly dampened, lint-free cloth.

In order to prevent damage to the durable finish of your cabinets, avoid using any wax material for cleaning or dusting, as the buildup is hard to remove, and the residue attracts dust and moisture. Also, do not use any polishes containing silicone, ammonia, citrus, oil-based cleaners, steel wool, soap pads, abrasive cleaners or cleaners containing bleach.

Your Cabinets and Their Environment
The Timberlake Cabinetry Warranty also states that excessive heat and moisture can damage your cabinetry. The finish that makes your cabinets so beautiful should not be exposed to heat in excess of 174 degrees. Avoid placing any appliances that create heat, such as coffee makers or toasters, under the cabinetry so that the heat does not rise and create discoloration or swelling of the wood.

Routine Cabinet Adjustments
Once a year, it is recommended that you inspect your Timberlake Cabinetry and check for any touch-ups needed. A touch-up marker for finish repairs, a fill stick for defect repairs, and extra door bumpers were included in the sink base cabinet when your Timberlake Cabinetry was installed

Natural Factors
Keep in mind that Timberlake Cabinetry uses natural materials, which means that not every cabinet can look the same. Factors such as naturally occurring color, grain, and texture differences, color deviations, difference between open and closed-grain areas, and variations in the finishing process are completely normal and should be appreciated as each piece of wood is unique

Q
Christmas Lights & Decorations
A

The holidays are a magical time of the year. Have fun as you shop, enjoy special holiday events, and spend time with your family. Many of you will be displaying outdoor Christmas lights and yard decorations.

Here are some tips:

Weatherproofing cord connections

  • Your power must be derived from a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter). The GFCI will sense faults and cut off the power if an overload occurs. The GFCI outlet or GFCI breaker will also trip for conditions that are not hazardous.
  • Use a waterproof extension cord cover
  • Choose (UL) approved waterproof lights to make sure your decorations meet industry standards.
  • Make sure your decorations are approved for outdoor use. 

Resetting a GFCI Outlet

  • Test GFCI outlets every few weeks. These devices are a safety device that interrupts a circuit if a current is overloaded. The outlets have a “Test” and “Reset” button on them for easy testing to determine if the circuit interrupt function is working. Resetting a GFCI outlet is required if the circuit trips and test the device as the test button breaks the circuit.
  • To make sure appliances are not damaged when re-starting the circuit, turn off any appliances plugged into the GFCI breaker.
  • Find the button that says “Reset” and press it.
  • Turn the appliances back on to ensure the outlet works

Overloading 15 or 20 amp circuits

  • Your circuit can safely carry 15 amps and should be protected by a 15 amp breaker. If it draws more than 15 or 20 amps, it may overload the circuit.


Checklist:

  • Plug all the lights in to make sure all bulbs are working.
  • Fasten your lights with insulated holders rather than nails or tacks.
  • Make sure to turn your lights off at night.
  • Look for the amp rating of the circuit in tiny numbers on the circuit breaker.
  • When using extension cords, make sure they are rated for outdoor use, and keep the connections above ground.
  • Test GFCI outlets every few weeks as noted above.  
  • To make sure appliances are not damaged when re-starting the circuit, turn off any appliances plugged into the GFCI breaker.
  • Find the button that says “Reset” and press it.
  • Turn the appliances back on to ensure the outlet works

Things to Remember

  • Never use indoor Christmas lights outdoors.
  • Don’t place lights on trees that touch power lines.
  • If you plug too many appliances into a circuit, it can cause an overload
  • Look for the amp rating of the circuit in tiny numbers on the circuit breaker switch or fuse. For a 20-amp circuit, the load limit is 2,400 watts.
  • Make sure to turn your lights off when you leave or go to bed at night.

Have a great, safe holiday!

“When the Viera Company envisioned Viera in the mid-1980s, the idea was to create a vibrant community — a place people would want to call home. Through its involvement with the community, the Viera Community Institute helps create the quality of life environment that will be Viera’s legacy for generations to come.”

Q
Doorknobs and Hinges
A

At Viera Builders, we know that you want a beautiful home. But we also know that the most important feature of a home is the safety and security it provides you and your family. The doorknob and hinges that Viera Builders has chosen for your home feature advanced technology that make them safer and more convenient for homeowners.

Viera Builders homes are built with Kwikset knobs and hinges. Kwikset is a company based out of Orange County, California and is part of the Hardware and Home Improvement division of Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc. They have been in the lock manufacturer business since 1946 and are now a leader in the industry, with both interior and exterior products that provide customers with quality, technology, durability, and style while guaranteeing the highest level of security.

Kwikset is the only lock manufacturer that delivers the SmartKey technology, which uniquely protects against lock picking and bumping; two of the more common forms of lock break ins. The SmartKey technology also provides homeowners with the ability to easily re-key the lock themselves, rendering lost or unreturned keys useless.

As with anything in a home, maintenance is the most important thing you can do to assure that your Kwikset doorknob lasts in good condition.  Kwikset products come with a lifetime mechanical and finish warranty to the original residential user of the doorknob, against defects in material and workmanship so long as the original user occupies the residential premises upon which the product was originally installed.

Regular maintenance is required depending on the type of door and its level of use. The most common types of repairs for door hardware are lubrication, adjustment, alignment, and weather sealing.

Maintenance

Every six months, hinges should be lubricated so that weather does not interfere with the hardware. Lubrication ensures that the door is operating properly and not affecting the door frame and the door itself. During the lubrication process, hinges should be inspected. The hinge screws tighten up over time and wooden door frames dry out, so the screws may continue turning and eventually need to be replaced.

Smartkey Re-Key Technology

According to Kwikset, the SmartKey lock is designed to alleviate the hassle, stress, and cost that result from having to re-key a lock, regardless of the reason. The driving idea behind the SmartKey re-key technology is that the advanced design limits accessibility and provides maximum security, but the time and skill it takes to re-key a SmartKey lock is minimal.

Step 1: Insert functioning key and turn ¼ turn clockwise.

Step 2: Insert and remove the SmartKey learn tool. Remove functioning key.

Step 3: Insert new key and turn ½ turn counterclockwise.

Your lock is now re-keyed! If you are having trouble with the steps above, it could be that either the key or learn tool is not fully inserted. If the process jams the lock and neither the old key or the new key will work, Kwikset recommends taking the lock set to your local Home Depot or Lowe’s to have it reset.

How to Reattach Lever Handle

The first thing most homeowners think when the lever of their Kwikset doorknob comes off is that the cause is a missing set screw. The set screw is most likely still there but screwed in enough into the interior of the post that it looks like it is missing and is no longer able to secure the lever. Here are a few simple steps to reattach the lever:

Step 1: Put the lever back on the exterior post so that the small hole in the lever lines up with the hole in the post.

Step 2: Take the hex wrench provided to you by Viera Builders and stick it through the hole in the lever to the inside of the lock.

Step 3: Move the hex wrench around until it connects with the hex head of the set screw that must be screwed out of the opposite side of the post to connect to the inside of the lever to hold it securely.

Step 4: Turn the wrench clockwise to get the set screw to screw out of the post.

Step 5: Continue turning the screw until it is firmly pressed against the inside of the lever and secure it to the post.

How to Use the Emergency Key

The Kwikset Privacy Emergency Key is an excellent feature of the indoor doorknobs used in Viera Builders homes. These are designed to open a privacy function from the outside of the door in the case of a bathroom or child emergency. All Kwikset doorknobs have a hole on the outside of the knob or lever to allow this key to unlock the lock.

Q
Drywall
A

Drywall is an often-overlooked part of maintaining your home’s appearance and value. Although Viera Builders homes are built to withstand the test of time, drywall can take a beating during harsh weather conditions. If you have children, walls can also take a beating with the constant bumps and scrapes. In addition, drywall cracks, plaster cracks or nail pops may occur over time. The good news is you can fix these problems quickly with a little effort. Here are some useful tips to help you repair and preserve your drywall while sustaining your home’s appeal and value.

Repairing Drywall Cracks and Nail Pops
As your new home starts to settle, the surface on your interior walls and ceilings may start to crack and the drywall filler over the nails holding the drywall in place might start to pop out, causing a bump on the surface. Fortunately, both problems are minor and easy to repair.

Drywall Cracks
You can patch and repair minor drywall cracks by first scraping away loose debris from the crack. Next, you will use the back of a putty knife to press a small, V-shaped indentation along the surface of the crack. Try to keep the indentation around 1/8-inch-wide and 1/8- inch-deep. To finish repairing the crack, simply cover the repaired area with spackling compound and allow it to dry. Once the area is completely dry, sand the area smooth with a fine sandpaper, preferably 1080 grit or higher. Be sure to wear a respirator. Once you’ve sanded the area to a smooth finish, paint the area as desired. If you have not used spray texture from a can, it is best to practice on a scrap piece of cardboard, before applying to your wall. Drywall cracks are normal and are not covered under warranty, with few exceptions.

Nail Pops
If your warranty no longer covers nail pops, you will need to repair them yourself, which is a quick and straightforward process. If the fastener is slightly protruding from the gypsum board, you can reset the screw using a screwdriver. Cover the area with spackling compound and let the surface dry completely. Once the surface is dry, sand and paint the area as you would with drywall cracks.

Cracks in Inside Corners of Drywall
Over time, inside drywall corners start to develop hairline cracks. The cracks are a normal occurrence and is part of regular maintenance. The good news is you only need a few items for this simple and basic fix. If the crack is a hairline or very small, simply run a bead of interior grade painters caulking from ceiling to floor. Once dry, paint and you’re done!

Spraying Drywall on Outside Porches with a Hose/Pressure Washer
Although you might see some professionals spraying the exterior ceilings of a home with a pressure washer or a high-pressure hose, it is never a good idea. Spraying the exterior ceilings of your home causes water to seep into your home’s walls. Although Viera Builders uses exterior grade drywall, water from a high-pressure hose or pressure washer can penetrate the seams of the drywall, no matter what grade of drywall is used. If you continue to spray the exterior drywall, it can lead to crumbling plaster, moldy insulation, and other undesirable results. A high-pressure tip on a pressure washer can also indent the exterior drywall on the ceilings.

Each Viera Builders homeowner is provided a detailed manual that gives you comprehensive information regarding the drywall in your home and what is covered under your home’s warranty. The primary goal of Viera Builders is to provide you with accurate information about your home, allowing you to preserve the value and the appeal that makes living in the community so unique.

Q
Electrical System
A

Regular maintenance performed on your Viera Builders home helps keep repair expenses low and your home’s market value high.  Your Viera Builders home is specifically designed so that you can take care of many of the components without hiring a professional. Below is a list of essential components that need routine maintenance and care.

Circuit Breakers

The circuit box panel is located inside the garage. The panel contains individual circuit breakers that will cut off when there is a surge in the electrical system. Clearly marked circuit breakers control appliances, wall switches, lighting, and the HVAC system etc. If the breaker is tripped, then try to reset it by shifting it to the off position and then to the on position. If the breaker continues to trip, then call a Florida state licensed electrical contractor to repair/replace it.

If you add an appliance to your home, then provide a circuit that is adequate to handle the current. Major appliances such as deep freezers need a separate dedicated line. Hire an electrical contractor to install additional wiring to accommodate the appliance if needed.

Outlets and Wall Switches

If your electrical outlet does not have power, then check if the outlet is connected to a switch on the wall. If that’s not the problem, then check to see if a circuit breaker is blown. If it is in a wet location, check to see if the GFCI has tripped, if so, reset it. If none of these things work, then there could be a wiring issue. Call an electrical contractor. Keep unused outlets covered up. Doing this reduces drafts coming through the outlets. It also prevents the possibility of electrocution.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI)

The purpose of ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) is to prevent electrocution. GFCIs are implemented in rooms where water is present. GFCIs cut off during a power surge to provide a buffer between the electrical charge and the circuit panel.

GFCI outlets are wired together on the same circuit. When one goes out, you’ll need to inspect other outlets on the circuit to ensure they are working. Notice that between the two plugs there are two small buttons. They are labeled test and reset. If an outlet fails, reset it using the ‘reset’ button. If that doesn’t work, and you’ve already tested all outlets in the circuit, then check the breaker or call an electrical contractor. As a rule of thumb test the GFCI once a month to ensure the outlet is providing protection for your family. To test your ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), simply press the test button in. You will hear a snap sound that trips the outlet and cuts power off to the two plug-in connections.

Pre-Wired Telephones, TV Antenna & Cable TV

Your Viera Builders home is pre-wired for telephone and cable TV. Additional wires can be added upon request. The company that installed your cables can also repair them. Company information is listed in the Viera Builders’ Homeowner Service Directory. If you choose to contact your own electrical contractor to install or repair cables, then neither Viera Builder nor its electrical contractor is responsible for the cables.

Light Fixtures

The homeowner needs to maintain all interior and exterior light fixtures. Maintenance will preserve the fixture’s beautiful finish and ensure that it is working properly. Maintenance instructions for light fixture care are provided to the homeowner.

Indoor and outdoor fixtures require the use of specific bulbs. When changing bulbs use the appropriate bulb for each fixture and do not exceed the maximum wattage allowed on the light fixture.

Q
Granite Surfaces
A

When Viera Builders builds new homes, we pride ourselves in installing the most functional, and attractive quality features. A great deal of care and thought went into selecting the high-quality products installed in your new home. 

The granite and quartz surfaces installed in Viera Builders homes were carefully selected to not only look great but were made to be extremely durable as well. The benefits of these surfaces range from sanitation to easy maintenance. Viera Builders chose these durable countertops because they have a classic look that does not go out of style and adds value to the homes.

All the countertops installed in Viera Builders homes are supplied and installed by ADP Surfaces Inc. of Orlando, Florida. They specialize in the custom fabrication and installation of countertops and have more than 25 years of experience. Their expertise includes countertop materials for custom kitchens, bars, summer kitchens, bath vanities, tub decks, fireplace surrounds, and steps.  Founded in 1989, ADP Surfaces Inc. has managed successful countertop projects in the Orlando area with some of Florida’s finest residential and commercial builders, interior designers, architects, and homeowners. The company combines traditional stone-working methods with modern technology to ensure a consistent product.

The solid granite countertops require appropriate maintenance and care so that they maintain their value and look great for many years to come. This can be accomplished by wiping the stone off with a mild dishwashing detergent and warm water, using a soft cloth for best results.

Too much cleaner or soap can leave a film and cause streaks, so use in moderation. Rinse the surface thoroughly after washing with the soap solution and dry with a soft cloth. Be sure to change the rinse water frequently. Do not use scouring creams or powders on any natural stone surface. To remove soap scum, use a non-acidic soap scum remover or a solution of ammonia and water. Frequent or overuse of an ammonia solution may eventually dull the surface of the stone, so use in moderation.

Although solid surfacing can be repaired, certain steps should be taken to protect it. Always use a cutting board instead of cutting directly on the surface. Hot pans and heat-producing appliances, when set directly on the countertop, can mar the product’s beauty over time. Here are some precautions to take when caring for your granite countertops:

-Dust surfaces frequently

-Clean surfaces with a mild detergent or soap

-Thoroughly rinse and dry the surface after washing

-Blot spills immediately

-Protect countertop surfaces with coasters, trivets or placemats

-Do not use vinegar, lemon juice, or other cleaners containing acids on marble, limestone, travertine, or onyx surfaces

-Do not use cleaners that contain acid such as bathroom cleaners, grout cleaners, or tub and tile cleaners

-Do not use abrasive cleaners such as dry cleansers or soft cleansers

-Do not ever mix chemicals together unless directions specifically instruct you to do so.

Whether this home is your permanent residence or a vacation home, it is important to understand the maintenance and warranty related to your new home. Your Viera Builders home is the result of our dedication to produce a home for you that you can be proud of, and with proper attention, can last many generations.

Q
Hardwood Flooring
A

Amazing weather, low cost of living and an excellent location has attracted many people to Viera in recent years. Both visitors and residents enjoy an average January high temperature of 71 degrees. With the Atlantic Ocean just 20 minutes away, Disneyworld an hour to the west, and St. Augustine two hours to the north, Viera residents never run out of things to do. For new Viera residents, or those looking to improve their quality of life, one home builder answers the call time and time again; Viera Builders.

Viera Builders use the highest quality materials during construction and take great pride in everything they do.  Below is a warranty recap on the beautiful hardwood flooring made by Mohawk, used in every Viera Builder’s home.

As the buyer/owner of a Mohawk Wood Floor, you agree to follow all installation, care and maintenance directions as related to the Mohawk Wood Floor. You also agree to allow Mohawk an opportunity to repair any claimed defects. Mohawk must be given the opportunity to inspect the flooring installation prior to any removal or repair that will be submitted for warranty coverage. The original proof of purchase must be supplied along with a warranty claim submission.

Care/Maintenance

Mohawk hardwoods are specially designed to be easy-care, low maintenance floors. Following these general guidelines will help maintain their strength and prolong their beautiful appearance.

A Clean Routine

Vacuum or sweep with a soft-bristle broom regularly, especially before using floor cleaners, to prevent gritty dirt and particle buildup that can scratch the floor’s surface. Don’t use vacuums with a beater bar or power rotary brush head. Wipe up spills and spots immediately with Mohawk FloorCare Essentials Hardwood & Laminate Flooring Cleaner applied directly to a clean white cloth. Carefully remove stubborn stains such as paint, oil, markers, lipstick and tar with an acetone-based fingernail polish remover. Use ice to harden tough substances such as candle wax or chewing gum and then gently scrape with a plastic scraper, such as a credit card. Be careful not to scratch the flooring surface. Wipe area clean with a soft, slightly damp cloth.

Protective Pads and Proper Precautions

Attach felt or similar protective pads to all furniture legs, particularly heavy pieces. When you’re moving furniture, appliances or other heavy objects, use floor protectors and wide-load-bearing leg bases or rollers; never slide or roll anything across the floor. Use wider floor protectors for heavier loads. If furniture has hard plastic or metal castors/wheels, replace them with soft rubber castors or use protective mats underneath.

Ten Harwood Do’s and Don’t’s

  • Do vacuum and sweep your floor frequently, especially in high-traffic areas.
  • Do not wet-mop, damp-mop, or clean your floor with water or other liquid.
  • Do not use hardwood floor-cleaning or buffing machines or steam cleaners.
  • Do not use oil soaps, liquid or paste wax, or other household products containing oil (such as citrus, lemon, or Tung oil), silicon, or ammonia to clean floor.
  • Do not use 2-in-1 cleaners with polish that may contain acrylics or urethane polish to restore gloss.
  • Do not use harsh cleaning aids such as steel wool pads, any scouring pads containing metal, or scouring powders.
  • Do keep pets’ nails trimmed and their paws free of dirt, gravel, grease, oil and stains.
  • Do remove shoes with spiked or damaged heels before walking on floor.
  • Do use a humidifier during heating seasons to help reduce wood shrinkage and maintain proper relative humidity (between 35%-55%).
  • Do use protective window coverings to block fade-causing UV rays and excessive heat from direct sunlight and rearrange rugs and furniture periodically to help your floor age evenly. Use this as a simple guide or get the full warranty at https://www.mohawkflooring.com/customer-care/warranty?type=Hardwood

Q
Heating Systems
A

Florida may be considered the land of endless summer but it can get chilly at night. The city of Viera has the potential to reach lows in the upper 30s in winter and that means that windows will be closed, and heaters will be running. Viera Builders homes are equipped with an electric, forced-air heating system that runs off a heat pump. This is a more efficient way of heating your home leading to lower electric bills.

The heat pumps that are installed in Viera Builders homes operate on the principle that outdoor air, even in winter, contains heat or thermal energy. During winter, the heat pump draws in outside air, extracts the heat, and then circulates it throughout the home. In the summer, the process is reversed, whereby the heat pump removes heat from indoor air, discharges it outdoors, and then circulates cooled air throughout the home. Heat pumps are also an eco-friendlier option.

An important setting to know about the heat pumps is the “emergency” setting. The emergency heat setting controls a feature known as supplemental heat. This works by using heating elements to supplement the heat pump when the pump is unable to draw enough heat from the outside air, should temperatures fall below 40 degrees. The heating elements are in the furnace unit’s air handler and will turn on to keep rooms at the desired temperature.

The first time the supplemental heating system is used each year, it may give off a slight burning smell. This is caused from residual dust burning off the heat strip and will only last for a short period of time. Supplemental heat can be turned on manually.  If the temperature is raised more than three degrees of the inside temperature, it will come on automatically to bring it up to temp quicker and more efficiently. During the first cold nights of the season be aware that it is very possible the supplemental heat may kick on and the burning smell is just the heating elements warming up for the first time in the season.

The heat pumps do require a small amount of maintenance that homeowners should be aware of. As noted in the Warranty Book guidelines, the exterior compressor and surrounding area should be kept clear to allow unimpaired air flow.  Bushes are not be planted near the unit and dirt, leaves, and grass clippings should be cleared away. Nothing be built over or around the air conditioner unless there is an 18.0-inch clearance on three sides and a 6.0-foot minimum clearance on top.

Heat pumps are not new technology, but they have evolved since the early models in the 1970s and 80s. What separates them from the original heat pumps is the variety that they now offer in terms of size, efficiency, and capacity. Viera Builders installs a Carrier or Trane Heat Pump System in newly built homes. For the hot days and cool winter evenings that central Florida experiences, the heat pump is the best solution to keeping residents comfortable.


Q
Hurricane Preparation
A

In preparation for hurricanes, we advise all homeowners to install their hurricane shutters. Your Viera Builders home is equipped with hurricane shutters provided by American Shutter Works. Your home also includes impact rated windows installed on the front and second story. The front door and sidelights are impact resistant as well. 

If you find your panels have become damaged or are missing any hardware please contact Tim Jenkins, owner at American Shutter Works on his cell at (321) 259-7703.

Due to the high volume of calls, you may have to leave a message, but customer service is the highest priority. Along with your hardware, a DVD was provided with information on how to install your shutters. If that is unavailable go to Americanshutterworks.com or click on this link https://youtu.be/glNVyUmseUM  to go directly to the installation video.

For more information on storm tracking and preparation tips please visit www.nhc.noaa.gov and follow the links on the bottom of the page. Should you have an emergency, please contact our after-hours emergency phone at 321–298-8429

You will be prompted to leave a message and our on-call staff will contact you when the message is received. 

Q
Irrigation
A

As summer approaches its time to make sure your irrigation system is ready for the hot weather months. Your yard could be at risk of drying out or damage from under watering or over watering. In order to have a well-nourished lawn there is a balance that needs to be maintained. We would like to offer you some general tips and advice about maintenance of your irrigation system.

The best time to water your lawn is in the morning hours while the lawn is still cool. This allow your yard to dry when the sun comes out, making it less susceptible to diseases. With the increased humidity you can count on afternoon thunderstorms. Most likely, your irrigation system will need to be adjusted.

Viera Builders provides Hunter irrigation timers on your home. They are simple and easy to use. Please visit the Hunter website at hunterindustries.com to learn more about adjusting the timer.

When we build your home, we properly distribute your sprinklers to provide optimum coverage required for a well-maintained lawn. You may notice some areas of your yard that may not look as good as other areas. Often this is due to sprinkler heads that have moved out of adjustment or clogged filters.

To clean the filters, follow these simple steps:

1. Locate the pink/purple irrigation box close to the sidewalk with the shut-off valve.
1

2. Inside the box you will find a quarter turn ball valve.
2

3. Turn the handle one quarter so the handle is not in line with the pipe.
3

4. Now, locate the two pink/purple boxes close to the home.  If you only have one box, go to step number 16.
4

5. Inside one of the boxes you will find the solenoids that open and close the separate zones.
5

6. The other box is the one you want. Inside is your filter, if it’s equipped.
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7.  You will need to remove any standing water or dirt from around the base of the filter to prevent any dirt from entering the system.
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8. You should be able to see the bottom of the filter base.
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9. Now you are ready to remove the filter housing. Grasp it firmly with your hands and turn it counterclockwise. Do not use pliers or other tools as this might damage your equipment.
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10. Once you remove the clear housing, the filter is ready to be removed. Do so by pulling it straight out.
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11. This one shown will need to be cleaned.
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12. Clean by simply washing with water and gently rubbing it with your hands.
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13. This filter is now ready to keep debris from entering your sprinkler heads.
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14. You are now ready to put everything back together. It is critical that you make sure that the O-ring in the bottom of the filter housing is in place before you reassemble.
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15. Once you reassemble everything, turn your ball valve clockwise and check for leaks. You are now ready to clean your head filters.

16. There are several types of heads we put on our homes. These are by far the most common ones.
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17. These heads should be hand-tightened. You should be able to turn it counterclockwise by hand to remove it. If not, use an adjustable wrench to remove it and when you go to put it back on, tighten by hand.
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18. These types of heads are similar and have the same type of filter.
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19. They are all cleaned the same; by lightly agitating under running water until the screen is clean.
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20. This last one is a bit tricky and will require some help.
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While the zone is running, reach below the sprinkler head from the side not spraying (if you’re lucky) and have your helper turn off the zone.
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Unscrew the sprinkler head and clean like the others. Be sure not to let the riser go until you screw the sprinkler head back into place.
20-2

Q
Keep Your A/C in Tip-Top Shape
A

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Summers in Florida are too hot to go one day without air-conditioning. That’s why it’s a good time to inspect and maintain your system while it’s still blowing nice and cold. Even if you have a maintenance contract, it’s still a good idea to be familiar with your equipment. Whether you have a standard or upgraded system, they all require the same type a of preventative maintenance to keep your home cool.

The most frequent maintenance item and first line of defense is the air filter. All systems are equipped with an air filter that must be changed between one and six months depending on the type, use, pets etc. Most Viera Builders’ homes are equipped with Merv 11 disposable filters. These are high-quality filters that only require changing every three to six months. It should be checked at three months and every month after that.
AC2
While changing the filter, this is a good time to inspect the condensation line. This PVC pipe is located on the front of your air handler and runs all the way to the outside of your home (usually close to your outside unit). As coils remove moisture from the air, they drip condensation into a pan at the bottom of the air handler. That water is then drained to the outside by means of gravity, so it does not take much to stop the flow. Approximately every three months, we recommend slowly pouring about a cup of white vinegar mixed with approximately 10 ounces of warm water down the cleanout located at the front of the air handler.
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Make sure there’s no grass or plants growing too close to the location where the pipe discharges on the exterior of the home. If this line does become blocked, the backed-up water will trip the safety switch and the thermostat control display will be blank. If this happens, it can be corrected simply by clearing the obstruction with a wet/dry vac outside where the water discharges.
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The outside unit needs attention also. Outdoor condensing coils can become very dirty if the outdoor environment is dusty or if there is foliage nearby. You can easily see the condenser coil and notice if it is collecting residue on its fins. Make sure there’s no dirt building up on the coils and trim back any foliage at least 2 feet. This will allow for proper airflow that the condenser needs.
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Keep in mind, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Follow these preventative maintenance tips and your AC will thank you by providing you with a cool home all summer long!

Q
Keep Up with Your Roof
A

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As homeowners, we assume our roof is in good working order and don’t think about it until an issue arises. This is especially true if there are no apparent leaks and the roof looks nice from the street. We often only react to problems when they come up. That approach can lead to emergency repairs that become expensive. The truth is, a home without a healthy roof is a maintenance disaster waiting to happen. You want to catch small issues before they become larger problems that require more extensive repairs as a result of water damage. There are many benefits to maintaining a healthy roof including protecting one of your biggest investments, maintaining a high property value, saving on energy bills and most importantly, knowing you are ready for what the Florida weather has to offer. With a routine inspection and a semi-annual gutter cleaning, you can avoid costly repairs in the future.

The types of things to look for are:

- Branches touching the roof.
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When tree branches are touching or hanging over your roof, they can damage the shingles. Leaves on the roof can block gutters and can rot and damage the roof over time. Prune back any tree branches away from the roof.  

  • - Cracked tiles or lifted/missing shingles

    • Picture3

      Severe winds may cause some fiberglass shingles to lift slightly; however, they will settle back into position during warmer weather. Visually check the roof (from the ground) after a bad storm to determine if shingles are torn, broken, or missing and have the roofing contractor immediately replace them to prevent water penetration and damage.

      - Stains on or around the ceiling.

      Picture4

      Even a small stain on the ceiling can be a sign of a bigger problem. By the time a stain manifests inside the home, the roof may have been leaking inside the attic much longer. Check inside the attic in the cool of the morning for any staining or dark spots that may indicate a leak. Catching this early will save you from a much larger repair.

      Picture5

      Remember, inspecting your roof does not require you to get on your roof. In fact, the less you walk on the roof the better. Look at the roof from the ground for any lifted or missing shingles. Also, check for any damaged or missing drip edge or soffit on the overhang. If you take a little time to do these simple inspections, you could save yourself from costly repairs in the future.

      Q
      Viera Lawn Maintenance
      A

      Viera Builders takes pride in the beautiful lawns they establish for their community. Because we want the best, Viera Builders used Floratam sod for your yard because of its superior performance in hot weather and humidity. The dark-green leaves of Floratam are larger than other St. Augustine grasses, providing a thicker, lusher look to a lawn.

      Your Floratam Lawn and Thatch

      The Floratam sod used by Viera Builders is quite hardy once established, but it needs plenty of sunshine and doesn’t do well in shady conditions. A vigorous grass, it doesn’t need to be overwatered or overfed, because this can cause thatch to build up on the surface of the soil. A light layer of thatch protects grass roots and keeps them shaded and moist, but a heavy layer prevents roots from drying out between rains and this can result in root rot.

      A thick layer of thatch on a lawn, especially in areas of high humidity like Florida, can also encourage the growth of insects, such as chinch bugs, that like to feed on Floratam grass. Fungus also thrives in the overly moist decomposing layer of thatch.

      Floratam grass should be fertilized with nitrogen once every month or two, depending on the season’s growth. Nitrogen should be broadcast over the lawn at a rate of one pound every 1,000 feet. Do not use more than four pounds of nitrogen in one growing season because this will result in the development of a thick thatch layer.

      Mowing Your Lawn

      When mowing your Floratam grass be careful not to cut it too short. Grass that has been sheared too closely can become stunted and this will expose too much of the soil underneath. Exposed soil can encourage weed sprouting and growth. Weeds grow much faster than grass and can eventually crowd out a lawn that’s been maintained at a level that’s too low for optimal growth.

      Watering Your Lawn

      In Florida, where humidity levels are high, watering your lawn too often can cause problems. With an overabundance of water, grass will not develop a deep root system needed to survive in drier conditions. Too much water can also cause fungus problems and rampant weed growth.

      Chinch Bugs and Your Lawn

      The most common insect that attacks Floratam grass in Florida are chinch bugs. These pests literally vaporize the grass, sucking out all the vital juices. This causes the grass to turn yellowish-brown and die, forming big dead patches in the lawn.

      You can identify a chinch bug infestation by the dead, dry looking spots that appear on your lawn. It appears as if the grass suffers from drought, however all the moisture has been sucked out of the leaves by the chinch bugs.

      The Food Can Test

      If you suspect chinch bugs are ravaging your lawn, but aren’t sure, you can perform the can test. Take a regular metal food can and cut off both ends. Place the can on the ground and push it into the soil. Bring out your garden hose and fill the can with water with a continuous stream for about ten minutes.

      If you have a chinch bug infestation the insects will float to the top. Adult chinch bugs are approximately one-half inch in length. They have black bodies with white wings and the young nymphs have a distinctive white stripe across their abdomens.

      Pest Maintenance

      If you have a chinch bugs infestation in your lawn, hiring an exterminator is the easiest way to deal with the problem. A professional will know which pesticides work the best.

      If you decide to treat a chinch bug infestation yourself, follow these steps:

      Apply liquid insecticide to the lawn in summer to kill off the young nymphs before they mature, mate, and produce another generation of bugs.

      Follow all instructions on the label and wear protective gear.

      Excess thatch should be removed from the lawn before applying the insecticide so the liquid can soak into the soil.

      After applying, water the lawn well to ensure the insecticide penetrates the ground.

      Don’t let children or pets play on the lawn immediately after applying the pesticide. Follow the instructions on the product label regarding this issue.

      Q
      Mid-Summer HVAC Maintenance
      A

      One of the best things about living in Viera is the great weather. However, the mid-summer weather can mean high-digit temperatures, which means your HVAC system will be working overtime. Although your Viera Builders home has been built with only the highest quality materials and fixtures, when it comes to Florida summers, even the best HVAC systems require some TLC. Doing regular maintenance on your HVAC will help to ensure that your air conditioning is working properly to keep your home cool all summer long as well as prepare it for the upcoming cooler temperatures of winter. Here are a few tips to help reduce the need for repairs and to ensure your home maintains a comfortable temperature all year round.

      Evaluate the Filter Needs

      One of the easiest, yet most effective ways to maintain your HVAC system during mid-summer is to change the air filter. During this time of the year, there are higher quantities of insects, pollen and debris that can find their way into your HVAC system. It is recommended that you change the filter at the beginning, middle and end of summer. If you have pets, the filter should be changed more often. While changing the filter, this is a good time to inspect your condensation line. This PVC pipe is located on the front of your air handler and runs all the way to the outside of your home (usually close to your outside unit). As the coils remove moisture from the air, they drip condensation into a pan at the bottom of the air handler. That water is then drained to the outside by means of gravity, so it doesn’t take much to stop the flow.

      Keep Your Eye on the Condensing Unit

      The condensing unit is located outside of your home, which means it is open to leaves, dirt and other types of debris that can clog the airflow as well as reduce efficiency. Cleaning the condensing unit mid-summer will help to prevent a build-up inside the unit that may cause it to work harder than needed. To clean the condensing unit:

      • Every three months slowly pour a cup of white vinegar with approximately ten ounces of warm water down the cleanout located at the front of the air handler.
      • Use a garden hose with a light water stream to spray off the fins. When spraying the water, be careful not to damage the fins.
      • Remove all weeds, grass, tree branches and debris that is around the outside of the unit.

      Professional Maintenance

      Replacing the filter and cleaning the condenser unit are essential as part of your mid-summer maintenance for the HVAC system. However, along with this DIY maintenance, it is important to also have your HVAC system inspected and cleaned during mid-summer by a professional. The air conditioner has worked hard at keeping your home cool and comfortable, so normal wear and tear is to be expected. A a mid-summer inspection and cleaning by a professional should include:

      • Thermostat settings
      • Inspection of electrical connections and testing the voltage on system components
      • Lubrication of all moving parts
      • Inspection of the condensate drain
      • Checking system start-up and shutdown controls to ensure proper operation

      Preparing Your HVAC System for Cooler Weather

      Although Florida has months of warm, sunny weather, it does get cool during the winter and you may need to switch to heat as winter approaches. Not only is mid-summer maintenance beneficial for keeping your home cool during the summer, but it also prepares the HVAC system for the cooler months. 

      Doing DIY and/or professional mid-summer maintenance on your HVAC system comes with a host of benefits including better cooling and energy efficiency. Best of all, it will help to prevent unexpected and expensive repairs. Keep in mind that there are a number of intricate components that go into a HVAC system, so although you can tackle some of the tasks required in maintaining your HVAC system, all serious issues with the system should be assessed and addressed by a professional.




      Q
      Paint
      A

      With your Viera Builders home, there are plenty of surfaces on the exterior and interior where paint has been applied and over time this will require maintenance and upkeep. To have a better understanding of what your home will need in the future it is important to understand what paint you have on your walls, the company that manufactured the paint, and the warranty provided. Here is an easy guide to the paint in your Viera Builders home.

      Warranty and Paint Company

      We build all Viera Builders homes with the high-quality paint made by Sherwin-Williams, and they have a 15-year limited warranty against product failure on their paint products. You can refer to your owner’s manual for more detailed information. One thing that we love about Sherwin-Williams is there commitment to great service. Sherwin-Williams keeps a catalog of paint colors that is applied to each home. If you are looking to update your interior or exterior space, you can simply visit one of their local stores, provide your address and they will be able to give you a list of the colors in your home. There is a Sherwin-Williams store located on Lake Andrew Drive as well as one on Murrell Road in Rockledge.

      Exterior Paint

      The exterior paint on all Viera homes is 100% Acrylic Satin. After examining all the various paint finishes for exterior paint, we have determined it has the level of quality we are looking for and the satin sheen holds up better than other finishes. Exterior paint on a home acts as a moisture barrier and protects the materials underneath from moisture penetration. With our warm, humid temperate climate, this is key to keeping your home in good repair.

      A good practice for maintaining the exterior of your home is to walk the outside of your home every six months. This can be included with other home maintenance items on similar schedules, such as checking your fire alarm batteries. As you walk your home, look for cracks, paint removed by weed eaters, missing caulking, or any damage that might allow water to find its way into your home. Along with these bi-yearly checks, it is important to repaint your home every 7-10 years to add additional layers of protection to your home.

      Interior Paint

      The interior paint of your home has a different finish because it has a different function. In most communities, the standard interior paint in your Viera Builders homes is a flat finish. Flat paint reflects light evenly and does not highlight any imperfections or brush strokes. This paint does require touch ups and cannot be wiped clean without showing a mark on your walls. This is a great opportunity to call up Sherwin-Williams to get a small sample of your interior colors to have on hand. Because wet areas, such as bathrooms and kitchens are prone to spills and messes, these spaces are painted with a low-sheen (rather than flat) paint color. This ensures a good moisture barrier that you can easily wipe clean.  

      Use Your Warranty Manual for Reference

      Each Viera Builders home has a detailed home manual provided with more information about the interior and exterior paint in your home.  As always, we want to provide you with the most accurate information about your home so that you can maintain the high-quality you have come to know and love about your home and the Viera community. If you have any questions about the paint in your home or need further direction, let us know and we would be happy to help you.


      Q
      Plants, Palms and Trees in Cold Weather
      A

      Our Viera neighbors hailing from northern climates may find it a bit odd to discuss cold weather in Florida. After all, it’s our subtropical climate that attracts so many people to our beautiful state. However, central Florida does contend with colder temperatures in the winter, just not as extreme as those to the north.

      Because Florida does have relatively cold months, it is important that you properly maintain your landscaping through cold weather so it will rejuvenate in spring. We make sure that the plants around your new Viera home will be live at settlement. Your landscaping is the only living, breathing part of your home and requires food, water, and care such as trimming and pruning. Because we are not in control of this, landscaping is not covered under the warranty.   We offer the following tips for protecting your lawn, trees, and shrubs in cold weather.

      Lawn

      Your sod, which will be alive at closing, will be a strong cultivar of either St. Augustine or Bahia in common areas & lake banks. Each type has differing watering needs, so do verify which kind of sod we installed at your home.

      • St. Augustine (Floratam) — This cultivar requires more water than Bahia. It’s one of the most popular and economical of turf grasses in Florida with its blue-green hue, good winter color retention, and quick spring revival.
      • Bahia — This turf was developed from pasture grass and requires considerably less water. It performs very well in sandy and nutrient-poor soils. Bahia serves very well as a sod for erosion control and water conservation.

      Although our temperatures remain mild in winter, the shorter hours of sunlight and cooler temperatures result in slower growing or dormant lawns from the start of November until the end of April. You should apply a winterizing fertilizer before the end of October, so the lawn gets a vigorous start in spring.  If you miss the October application, let it be. Fertilizer added later in the fall may cause the grass to grow during the winter which may weaken it because it will not receive enough sunlight to succeed. Be sure to select fertilizers developed especially for your type of grass.

      For winter months, re-set your irrigation timers so that the lawn receives water only when it appears to need it. You can tell your grass is thirsty if it takes on a bluish gray color and the leaves fold inward.

      Trees, Palms, and Shrubs

      We take care to select healthy plants indigenous to our climate, so proper care should be easy. Watering, fertilizing, weed and pest control and occasional pruning should be the extent of your duties to maintain healthy landscape vegetation. If you have little experience with your particular plants, you can  search the University of Florida: Institute of Food & Agricultural Science (UF|IFAS) for their many useful articles on Florida-specific lawns and gardening.

      Simply nurturing your trees and shrubs to maintain robust health goes a long way toward their winter upkeep. However, until the trees and shrubs gain deep root systems, it’s a good idea to provide adequate frost protection. Plants that die due to cold weather will not be covered under warranty. Two good methods, used in combination, should protect the tender plants from any damaging freezes.

      • Mulch — by adding mulch around the base of your trees and shrubs, you accomplish three important things. First, you insulate the root systems from the cold. Second, you add nutrients to the soil. Finally, you slow the rate of water evaporation from the soil. Tree bark, dead leaves, grass clippings, pine needles and wood chips make excellent mulches.
      • Fabric Coverings — When the forecast warns you of an approaching frost, you can spread fabric such as old blankets, sheets, and tarps over your shrubs and young trees before nightfall. This will hold in the heat from the ground and prevent ice crystals from forming on the plants. Be sure the dirt has some moisture since dry dirt holds less heat than wetter soil.

      By following these guidelines, you can usher your landscaping safely through the cold season. We encourage you to learn as much as you can about maintaining Florida lawns, trees and shrubs so you can customize your strategy for the best results over time. Please leave the tree, shrub or sod in place to maintain the landscaper’s warranty. Otherwise, enjoy the zone of nature surrounding your Viera home.

      Q
      Plumbing Tips for the Homeowner
      A

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      With your newly built Viera Builders home, you probably put a lot of thought into decorating, color schemes and furniture arrangement. Plumbing maintenance may be the furthest thing from your mind, but it shouldn’t be. Even the high-quality plumbing system Viera Builders installed in your new home requires maintenance. If performed properly on a regular basis, you will save time and money. The steps are simple and the signs are obvious. We encourage homeowners to take the time to look for them.

      One of the most common plumbing issues is a backed-up drain. Avoid allowing fat, cooking oil or grease down your drain. This can result in an accumulation of gunk that might generate odors and blockages. Use your garbage disposal when rinsing heavily soiled dishes. Any built up odors can be easily remedied by grinding a few lemon rinds and ice in the disposal.

      picture2

      Running the bathroom exhaust fan the entire time the shower is on, and until steam has dissipated, will prevent excessive condensation that can cause problems with your wood cabinets and light fixtures.

      picture3

      Only flush toilet paper down your toilets. Wet wipes have become increasingly popular and although they clearly state they are safe for plumbing systems, wipes as well as feminine products account for a large percentage of toilet blockages.

      picture4

      Remove any hair accumulating around shower drains. A pair of tweezers or needle nose pliers will pull out most hair clogs if it hasn’t gone beyond the drain. In most cases, hair will catch on the crossbar in the opening of the drain.

      picture5

      Prevention is the name of the game when it comes to plumbing leaks. If you are going to be away from the home for more than 48 hours, turn off your main water supply. Doing so will prevent your home from flooding in the event of a pipe rupture.

      picture6

      Checking for leaks on a regular basis is another way to prevent bigger issues. This one is easy and should be performed frequently. Check under your sinks for any signs of a leak such as cabinet warping, discoloration or musty smells. Also, check for any signs of staining on ceilings or walls, baseboard separation or wet carpeting. If the leak is inside the wall this will be the first sign. In the event a leak is detected, action should be taken right away to prevent damage to your home or potential health impacts.

      Q
      Pools & Screen Enclosures
      A

      One of the perks of living in Florida is the phenomenal weather. It’s always swimsuit season here, and if you are a Viera Builders homeowner, then you may have the luxury of having a swimming pool in the comfort of your own backyard. Providing the pool with regular maintenance is the best way to avoid costly repairs down the road.

      Water

      Water is the most important element of the swimming pool. Evaporation loss will vary from 1 to 2 inches per week due to weather conditions, so keep note of that when maintaining the water level of the pool. The water should also be tested weekly, preferably at the same time of day and after the pump has been running at least five hours. Samples should be taken from below elbow depth, about 18 inches. Consult with the pool contractor for proper chemical balance. Here are the general guidelines as stated by the Homeowner’s Manual:

      -First 30 days- maintain proper water balance- pH 7.2 and alkalinity at 80 ppm or below

      -30 to 60 days- maintain proper water balance- pH 7.4 to 7.6 and alkalinity 80 to 120 ppm

      -After 60 days- maintain proper water balance- ideal levels; pH 7.4 to 7.6, alkalinity 80 to 120 ppm; calcium hardness 200 to 400 ppm; stabilizer (cyanuric acid) 40-60 ppm; sanitizer (free chlorine) 1 to 3 ppm

      The Pool Finish

      The bottom of the pool is finished in a rough ‘Diamond’ finish. This finish may feel rough to the touch and you or your children may want to wear swim slippers to alleviate any discomfort until you get used to the feel of the finish. This finish must be maintained by brushing. When brushing the pool, open the main drain and close the skimmer, then brush walls, steps, and swim-outs first. When brushing the floor, work from the shallow end toward the deep end and the drain. On the pool deck, use a water-diluted bleach. Hairline cracks in the pool decking are common due to weather conditions and settlement. A crack under ¼ inch is considered normal and requires no repair.

      Filters and Pumps

      Pool filters should be cleaned once a week. Remove the cartridge filter, hose it down, then clean the hair/lint trap basket. The pool pump must be in the OFF position. The pool pump has been installed with a timer that should be set to run eight to ten hours in the summer and six hours in the winter. For proper use and to achieve the most comfort from your pool/spa, please understand that the pool pump must be used anywhere from 10-15 hours per day during the coldest months of the year. As the outside air heats up, you will be able to run the pump less hours.

      Temperatures

      Under normal circumstances a heat pump collects heat from the outside air down to the 45-50-degree range. For climates such as Florida this means that in most cases, the pool/spa can be maintained to a comfortable degree most of the year. Should the air temperature fall below 45 degrees for a few hours or longer, efficiency and water temperature will drop accordingly. This may result in cooler water temperatures. Please be assured the water will get warmer as the air temperature rises during the day and as the heater continues to function.

      Screen Enclosure

      If a pool/spa cover is available, please use it during cool and cold evenings as well as during the day when the pool/spa is not in use. This will help to heat the water and maintain the heat once it has reached a comfortable temperature. The screen enclosure around the pool area on Viera Builders homes is an aluminum, rust-free structure with charcoal-colored nylon screen attached.

      Most patio, lanai, and screen enclosures in Florida are constructed with ceramic coated steel screws. Over time, weather and other outside factors cause ceramic coated steel screws to rust, giving an unappealing look to your screen enclosure.  Rusted screws can also loosen and/or break and affect the strength and durability of your screen enclosure’s overall structure. For this reason, we recommend that you have the screws replaced as soon as you notice that they’re rusting.

      Q
      Semiannual Maintenance
      A

      If you buy a Viera Builders home, you are buying an extremely well-built home from a builder who cares. A Viera Builders home is more than just a house, it’s an investment. However, even well-built homes need maintenance to keep them at their best. Viera Builders recommends that homeowners take part in annual and semiannual maintenance on homes in order to protect your investment.

      The fall and spring season can be a marker for semiannual maintenance. This includes general maintenance such as paint touch ups, caulking & sealing, which helps preserve the value and protects your investment. 

      Below is a checklist that the Warranty Team at recommends twice a year.

      Exterior:

      1. Check windows for cracked caulking. If the caulking needs repair, all the old caulking must be removed in order to properly caulk the window.

      2.Check the lower corners of your home for damage from weed eaters and touch up with paint as necessary.

      3.Check for stucco cracks. With the change of the weather, stucco cracks are common. They can cause thousands of dollars of damage in a very short time and must be addressed right away.

      Here is a simple process for addressing stucco cracks:

      -Brush away any loose stucco or chipping paint.
      -Use a quality concrete and Masonry sealant such as Sherwin-Williams WL70010GT and force and it into the crack.
      -Use your finger or a spatula to remove any excess caulking and allow the sealant to fully dry.
      -Touch up with paint.

      4. Check the drainage around your home. There should not be any standing water in your yard 48 hours after a rain.

      5. Clean out your gutters to ensure that drainage is functioning.

      6. Inspect your roof for damaged shingles or vents.

      7. Check and see if any of your tree branches are touching your homes walls or roof and trim accordingly.

      8. Clean and repair deck/patio if needed. A semiannual pressure wash is usually necessary for decks and paint touch up may also be necessary.

      9. Clean out your garage. They often get filled with unnecessary items and a semiannual clean can keep it clutter free and organized.

      10. Check driveway/pavement for cracks and loose or damaged pavers.

      Interior:

      1. Check windows for damaged or cracked caulking.

      2. Check countertops where they meet the backsplash for dried out or missing caulking. If necessary, select the proper color caulking for new application.

      3. Check around bathtubs and in the corners of the shower walls for cracking or separation. This is an area you want to check regularly to prevent water damage.  Use the correct color of sanded caulking for this application. Be sure to remove old caulking before applying.

      4. Check the toilets for water level adjustments inside the tank.

      5. Check for leaks or corrosion at your tankless water heater.

      6. Clean water inlet filters for clothes washers and check the hoses.

      7. Vacuum any lint from the clothes dryer ducts and surrounding areas.

      8. Clean grill and fan blades of the exhaust and ceiling fans.

      9. Trip the circuit breakers on the breaker box and ground fault interrupters monthly to insure proper protection.

      10. Vacuum sensor location of smoke detectors.

      11. Exercise the ball valves that control the water supply to the home and to the reclaimed irrigation service of your yard.

      12. Change your AC filter/s and clean the condensation lines (This should be done quarterly).

      Q
      Sliding Glass Doors Maintenance
      A

      The purchase of a Viera Builders home comes with many perks, one of which is the extensive warranty. Because we build with pride and quality products, we’re happy to offer guarantees on the many components of each home. Your sliding glass doors comprise part of the complete package that we guarantee to be in good working order when you move in.

      Your doors are manufactured by MI Windows and Doors. MI offers a lifetime residential warranty on the mainframes and a 20-year warranty on the insulated glass and components. However, like any warranted item, you have an owner’s duty to care for your sliding glass doors which includes regular and easy maintenance.

      At Six-Month Intervals
      Every six months, you should closely inspect your sliding glass doors. Look for:

      • Cracks in the caulking surrounding the frame. As caulking has a limited lifespan, you’ll need to replenish it once it shrinks and cracks. You do this by carefully removing the old caulking, cleaning the area and adding a new bead.
      • Weather stripping in need of replacement.
      • Any issue in the smooth opening and closing of the doors. If it feels sticky or sounds louder than it used to, you may need to clean the tracks and lubricate with a spray silicone. You should clean and lubricate on a routine basis.
      • Damage to screens and their frames. The screen track may also need a little cleaning and silicone spray.
      • Loose or malfunctioning door hardware. Tighten screws and lubricate locks as needed.
      • Stuck rollers. Sometimes sand can become wedged in a roller that prevents movement. You may need to replace the roller. This wouldn’t be a warranty issue, but rather one of ordinary wear and tear.

      Regular Glass Cleaning

      To maintain your clear view, clean the glass often. A good method is to use soapy water to wash the dirt and grit off the glass and frame. Rinse, then follow up with a spray glass cleaner and a soft cloth. However, keep in mind that certain popular consumer glass cleaning products can create a permanent haze over time. A better type of commercial spray cleaner comes from glass companies, such as what they use to polish windshields. Usually, they sell their product to the public.

      Also, explore the benefits of good microfiber cleaning cloths. If you buy professional shop or janitorial towels, after rinsing the soapy water off, you can simply dry the glass with the microfiber towel and skip the glass cleaner spray altogether. Be sure to wash your microfiber towels alone and not with any terry cloth or other fabrics that expel lint. Microfiber is a lint magnet, and once the strands become full of foreign fibers, the towels cease to absorb well.

      Never use newspaper to clean your glass. It will leave scratches and possibly abrade any low-emissive coatings.

      Condensation

      In the colder months, you may notice condensation on your sliding glass door. If the air outside is cooler and drier than the air inside, especially during an odd season when the temperatures drop below freezing, the warmer, moister air inside the house can condense on the glass. Since this is not caused by a malfunction of the door, you need not worry. Once it warms up again, the condensation will evaporate.

      On the other hand, if you notice condensation between the insulated glass panes, then a problem has occurred. Interior vapor means the seal between the panes broke, and outside air has entered the space. If the door never sustained damage or rough usage, it may well be a warranty issue, and you should make a service request.

      Problems

      If you think you have a problem with a sliding glass door that may be covered under warranty, we want to help. Please call our Warranty Department at 321-426-7548 to submit a service request. Since difficulties with sliding glass doors rarely constitute an emergency, please refrain from calling the emergency number and do allow us two days to respond to your request. We’ll schedule a service appointment sometime between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on a weekday. If possible, your service superintendent will try to make repairs at the appointment. If the issue requires service from MI Windows and Doors, we’ll send off a work order for you. With regular, easy maintenance, your sliding glass doors should operate well for years to come.

      Q
      Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
      A

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      When it comes to your family’s safety, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are on duty 24 hours a day seven days a week. They sit silently in the background waiting to alert you at the first sign of danger. They can alert you to high levels of carbon monoxide as you sleep, or alert you that the cookies are done, well…overdone.  Statistically, 60% of fire-related deaths occur in homes that do not currently have a working smoke detector. That’s why it’s so important to periodically confirm they are in good working order. Your new Viera Builders home comes with smoke detectors installed in every bedroom with a minimum of one per floor and combo smoke/carbon monoxide detectors in the adjoining hallway. They are battery operated and hard wired. The hard wiring allows the detectors to communicate with each other so when one goes off, they all go off.

      Maintaining your smoke detectors is simple. Test them once a month, keep a fresh set of batteries in them and keep them free of dust. The best time to change your batteries is Daylight Saving Time. When you set your clocks back one hour, install a fresh set of batteries in all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Smoke alarm maintenance requires you to use a ladder. Please take care. As you change the batteries, you will need to do a master reset on each one. This is done by holding down the test/reset button for 3-5 seconds.

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      The light will stop flashing and turn solid green. While changing the batteries, this is a good time to remove any dust or cobwebs that may have settled around the detectors with your vacuum’s long upholstery wand. If possible, vacuum out the smoke alarms’ interior compartments as well (in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions). Dust in a smoke detector can cause it to activate when not necessary or worse, not go off when you need them to. If you have a loss of power, you will have to do a master reset to every smoke and combo detector.

      Q
      Stay Hurricane Ready All Season
      A

      We at Viera Builders love the gorgeous Florida landscape and lovely warm climate, but hurricanes present a valid threat in this state. A hurricane can cause widespread damage, with lengthy blackouts and lack of readily available food and drinking water, so we need to be prepared to deal with this situation all season long. Your Viera Builders Handbook has a whole section devoted to Hurricane Preparedness, I\including evacuation routes and zones, primary evacuation shelters, how to prepare to go to a shelter, special needs, pet owner information and important phone numbers to keep handy. This should be your “go to” reference in an emergency.

      Prepare Ahead of Time

      All Viera Builders homes come with hurricane shutters. We also install impact windows on the front and the second story. Before hurricane season starts, you should make sure to dry fit your storm shutters to insure you can properly protect the windows of your home from high winds and flying debris. It’s a good idea to make plans to use a room on the interior of the house as a Safe Room. Keep your emergency kit here for quick access all season long.

      Before a hurricane, plan where to store trash cans, outdoor grill, and lawn furniture, to keep them safe from flying debris and damaging high winds. Other items, such as large wind chimes, hammocks, kid toys, and dog houses should also be stored out of the wind if possible.

      If your outdoor grill has a propane tank, make sure to unhook the tank and store it separately. After the hurricane passes, you can use the grill for outdoor cooking if you have no electricity. A camping stove can also be used. Do not attempt to use a grill or outdoor stove indoors.

      Putting Together an Emergency Kit

      Having an emergency kit already prepared helps save time when seconds count. If you have pets, they will need an emergency kit as well.

      Your emergency kit should include:
      Bottled water
      Canned and dried foods and other non-perishable foods that aren’t affected by high humidity levels
      Disposable plates, cups, napkins, and utensils
      Can opener
      First aid kit and any extra medications you may need
      NOAA weather radio with a hand crank or battery-powered
      More than one flashlight
      Extra batteries for flashlights and weather radio

      Protecting Your Valuables

      Keep small valuables and important papers in a small safe or safety deposit box. During hurricane season you can store this box in your Safe Room or where it will not be damaged by possible flooding. If local authorities request you to evacuate your home, be sure and take the safe or box with you.

      Make sure to make copies of these important papers and store them on your cell phone or a computer memory stick. This type of storage may be safer than a safety deposit box at your local bank, in the event of widespread flooding.

      Care of Children

      If you have children, make careful plans for their safety in the event of a hurricane. Keep some games and toys on hand to occupy their time if power outages make it impossible to watch TV or play video games. If you are required to evacuate, be extra careful your child doesn’t wander away and get lost.

      Care of Pets

      If you have pets in the home, make sure to make plans for their well-being. Make plans to keep your pet in a cage for the duration of the storm rather than allowing them to roam free and get into trouble.

      In case you need to evacuate your home, make sure your pet’s emergency kit is packed and ready to go at a moment’s notice. Keep pets inside the house if possible, so you don’t waste precious time looking for a lost pet if you need to evacuate.

      Be Familiar with Evacuation Routes

      Plan out evacuation routes ahead of time and keep maps in a handy place. Pick out your safe destination ahead of time, be it a hotel or a relative’s house. Find the locations of the closest emergency shelters. Make sure to keep your gas tanks full throughout the hurricane season and store food and water in the car.

      Contact Utility Companies

      Before hurricane season begins, contact utility companies and refer to your homeowner’s manual for instructions on how to turn off the utilities in your home if you need to evacuate the area. Taking this action will prevent any water or electrical damage to your home.

      The Threat of Flooding

      If flooding is a danger in your area, you may want to consider moving your valuables to a higher area inside your home during hurricane season.
      Pay close attention to the weather reports during hurricane season. Weather conditions can change quickly, and in the case of flash flooding, driving can become very unsafe. Stay away from areas that are low lying and can fill quickly with water.

      Q
      Stucco Cracks & Water Intrusion
      A

      Viera Builders Homes are constructed to be beautiful, comfortable and functional dwellings. As a homeowner, we know you want to take pride in your home and give it the TLC it deserves.

      Maintenance and adhering to warranty requirements may not be the most exciting part of owning a home, but it’s what keeps the home looking and feeling just as new as the day you moved in.

      Maintenance of the exterior is as important as taking care of the home’s interior space. Cracks in the stucco can take away from the overall appeal. Cracks generate water intrusion and thus have the potential to affect both indoor and outdoor areas.

      Cracks must be sealed. If this is not done, the result may be water intrusion.

      Why Cracks Occur

      Cracks can develop in patios, driveways, porches, walkways, and garage floors or foundations.

      • This often happens with temperature changes. Changes in temperature cause concrete to expand and contract.
      • Cracks may also occur because of the expanding and contracting of the soil on which the concrete rests.
      • Moving vans or heavy trucks may also crack driveways. There is no known way of eliminating these conditions because these conditions are characteristics inherent to concrete.

      Cracks left unsealed will allow moisture to seep into your home. Moisture penetrations can include:

      • Plumbing lines
      • Doors and windows
      • TV lines
      • Security systems
      • Gas lines
      • Telephone lines

      Areas of stucco that sustain damage must be properly repaired to prevent water intrusion. These spaces must be repaired with a sealant as recommended by the stucco system manufacturer. If you are unable to do it yourself, call a professional.

      Annual and semiannual maintenance is worth it and should include both indoor and outdoor projects.

      Here is a general checklist that the Customer Service Department at Viera Builders recommends. These tasks should be performed twice a year in order to maintain the value of your home.

      Checklist:

      Interior:

      • Make sure there are no cracks in the caulking around the windows.
      • Check around bathtubs and shower walls for cracks.
      • Check weather stripping around doors and sliding glass doors and adjust accordingly
      • Address any cracks that develop in the block walls of the garage.

      Exterior:

      • How is the drainage? Clean out your gutters to ensure that drainage is functioning appropriately.
      • Standing water should not remain in your yard more than 48 hours after a rain.
      • Check the roof for damaged shingles.
      • Are any of your tree branches touching the walls of your home? If so, trim accordingly.
      • Clean and repair deck and patio. A semiannual pressure wash is sometimes necessary.
      • Garages often get filled with unnecessary items and a semiannual clean can keep your garage organized.
      • Check driveway and/or pavement for cracks.
      • Check caulking around windows. If the caulking needs repair, all the old caulking must be removed in order to properly caulk the window.

      With the change of the weather, stucco cracks are common. They can cause thousands of dollars of damage in damage in a very short time and must be properly addressed right away.

      Here is a simple process for addressing stucco cracks:

      • Brush away any loose stucco or chipping paint.
      • Use a quality concrete and Masonry sealant such as Sherwin-Williams WL70010GT and force and it into the crack.
      • Use your finger or a spatula to remove any excess caulking and allow the sealant to fully dry.
      • Touch up with paint.
      Q
      Water Heater
      A

      If you like conserving energy and an endless supply of hot water, then you are going to love the tankless water heater installed in your Viera Builders home. As people learn more about the benefits of tankless water heaters, they are becoming more and more popular. Tankless water heaters provide the comfort and convenience of having a continuous supply of hot water and they are a great solution for homes with busy families. Your new Viera Builders home is equipped with the latest Rheem tankless water heater technology. The system consists of an interior keypad typically located in the garage and an exterior unit mounted outside of the home. Their award-winning tankless design features exclusive safety features including a self-diagnostic program, advance sensors that prevent overheating and an automatic shut off system in the event of an error.

      As an on-demand system, no energy is wasted when there is no demand for hot water. With the digital display at your fingertips you can easily adjust the water temperature to the comfort level that is right for you. This is a feature every parent with young children can appreciate. When setting your water temperature, keep in mind it can take anywhere from 45 seconds to a few minutes to receive peak hot water at your spout depending on the distance the spout is from the unit and the time of year. It is not possible to raise your thermostat to a temperature higher than 120° as doing so may result in severe burns from scalding. Consult your instruction manual before setting the temperature of the water heater.

      Because the unit is tankless, it requires very little maintenance. It is recommended that the burner be inspected annually by a qualified service technician. Check the air intake and outlet for blockage or other debris such as bushes/leaves, spider webs or lint. The air intake requires a minimum of 12 inches of clearance between the air intake opening and any obstruction.

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      It is also recommended to clean the water filter supplied with the unit monthly.

      1. Turn off the water heater.

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      2. Disconnect the power to the unit by turning off the power here.

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      3. Turn off water supply to the water heater.

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      4. Relieve the water pressure by opening the pressure relief valve.

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      5. Unscrew the water filter from the base of the cold-water inlet line and carefully slide it out of the line.

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      6. Clean the filter under running water. To remove severe sediment and dirt, use a soft brush.

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      7. Replace the clean filter in the cold-water inlet line and tighten by hand until it is snug.

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      8. Turn on the water supply, turn on the outside power supply and turn on the water heater.

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      You should establish and follow a routine preventative maintenance program. Properly maintaining your water heater will give you many years of dependable, trouble free service.

      Q
      Window Condensation
      A

      The winter months can bring about some noticeable changes around the house. One of the most common occurrences in the winter months is window condensation. Moderate window condensation is completely normal and should not cause any concern. Viera Builders homes are built with low-E insulated aluminum windows, which use the most updated glass technology with a microscopic transparent coating, and even these modern windows “sweat” sometimes.

      Household humidity is a modern problem. Window condensation can appear as a little fogging or frosting that comes and goes on the lower corners of windows. Although it may seem to be an issue, it is simply a result of Viera homes being built in a much more economical and energy-efficient way than homes of the past. Whether it is one window or all windows, there is nothing to be alarmed of. Here are some things to consider if you are experiencing window condensation.

      Why does window condensation occur?

      The moisture that is visible during the winter months occurs because the Viera Builders homes were built to be the most efficient they can be. That means that the actual houses are “tighter”, and the modern materials used to build them such as glass, tiles, and wall coverings are very dense and do not easily let the moisture inside the home out. The moisture is drawn to the window but is not able to escape so it collects on the window, resulting in the window condensation that you see.

      What is normal?

      A certain level of humidity inside the home is necessary for the health of you and your family. So, it is not an option to completely get rid of moisture within your Viera Builders home. The small amount of fog build-up in the corners of your windows during the winter are an indication that your home is probably in range of the proper amount of humidity. However, you can test the amount of humidity in your home if you are not sure. A hygrometer is used to test the humidity levels for a home and can be found at hardware stores. 

      What to look out for

      Humidity is necessary in your Viera Builders home, but too much can cause damage to the house and that is what homeowners need to be aware of. Heavy condensation on windows is something that needs to be dealt with immediately because it can drip and cause stains on woodwork and damage to wallpaper or plaster. An excess of moisture in the home can also cause a phenomenon where the vapor pressure forces itself through wood, plaster, brick, and cement within a home and cause damage. If your home has any window treatments such as large curtains, or plantation shutters, those may increase the window condensation, but should not cause any alarm.

      What to do about excessive humidity

      If you find that your Viera Builders home does in fact have an excessive amount of humidity during the winter months, you may need to use a dehumidifier to bring the levels within an appropriate range.

      The humidity levels of a home cannot afford to go unchecked. If you believe you may be experiencing an excessive amount of condensation on your windows, check your levels and evaluate your moisture situation.

      Viera Builders
      7380 Murrell Rd., Suite 202
      Viera, FL 32940
      (321) 633-3113