How to Get Rid of Pantry Moths Forever | ApartmentSearch

Woman looking inside an open pantry

These days, it seems like every time you reach into the pantry for a bag of chips, you have to swat through a cloud of moths to get it. Pantry moths are no joke, and yet, they’re also pretty common. Tons of people encounter these pests every year but don’t know how to get rid of them for good. Fortunately, our team at ApartmentSearch has compiled some tried-and-true steps to help you knock out this insect infestation once and for all.

What are pantry moths?

A pantry moth is a small, gray or brownish bug that can appear in a kitchen pantry, cabinet, or cupboard. This tiny creature is likely from the Plodia interpunctella species and is also known as the Indianmeal moth, the flour moth, and the grain moth. These pesky creatures are one of several insects known for feeding on stored grains and other dry foods. And their modest size — only about half an inch in length and wingspan — can make them very easy to overlook.

However, if adult moths are present, there’s a good chance your pantry has also become home to eggs, pupae (caterpillars), and pupal shells. And since a single female moth can lay anywhere from 100 to 300 eggs, you probably have a bigger infestation on your hands than you realized. Talk about an unappetizing situation, right?

Where do pantry moths come from?

Pantry moths are found nearly everywhere in the United States and most often feed on grain products, cereals, pasta, and pet food. These insects typically gain entry to your home through dry goods that were contaminated at some point during the production process (i.e., at a food processing facility or packaging plant). While frustrating and unfortunate, this also means pantry moths are in no way an indication of poor hygiene or housekeeping efforts.

4 steps for how to get rid of pantry moths

Although they’re an undisputed nuisance, pantry moths are relatively harmless compared to other potential pests. With that said, there’s no doubt you’ll want to get rid of pantry bugs as soon as they appear. If you’re currently dealing with a moth problem in your own home, read on for our best tips and tricks to get your kitchen bug-free and back to business as usual.

1. Inspect the situation

The first step in getting rid of pantry pests is to inspect all the food in your cabinets and look for signs of infestation. Carefully check your food packaging, and keep an eye out for larvae or webs near your pasta, cereal, and baking mixes, as well as your nuts and sweets (which moths love). You might also find tiny larvae tucked along the edge of canned foods or spice jars, or hanging around your cat or dog’s food, too.

Toss out any grain or nut products that have been compromised — but be sure to take them to your outdoor trash so the problem doesn’t spread inside your home. If you feel comfortable keeping the affected cans, they can be wiped down with undiluted vinegar to kill the larvae.

2. Do a proper deep clean

After you’ve done a full inspection and thrown away your infested dry goods, it’s time to do a proper deep clean of your kitchen. This means pulling out all your shelf liners and replacing them if they can’t be thoroughly washed. Use your vacuum to clean out tight spaces like cupboard corners, shelf brackets, and hardware components (hinges, knobs, handles, etc.).

In addition, you’re wise to vacuum the walls, floors, doors, and baseboards of your cabinets to help cover all your bases. Do your best to remove the vacuum bag or dump the dust compartment in the outside trash (since you don’t want any larvae to grow in there). Lastly, wipe down each shelf with hot, soapy water or vinegar, and mop the floor with the same solution.

3. Switch up your storage

If space permits, you may want to switch up your kitchen storage and keep all your grain and nuts products permanently in the freezer or refrigerator. Since pantry months require a warm environment to breed and thrive, this strategy tends to be pretty effective. But if cold storage isn’t an option, you can also store your new groceries away from other pantry items. This might be a temporary move, too, just until you’re sure the problem has been eliminated.

What’s more, you can transfer your dry goods to mason jars or similarly tight-sealing containers. In doing so, even if you accidentally bring home something that’s been contaminated, the larvae can’t escape once they hatch (so you’ll reduce the amount you have to throw away).

4. Practice pest prevention

The last step toward ridding your home of pantry moths *forever* is to practice pest prevention.

To avoid infestations in the future, mix up your storage methods. You’ll also want to commit to deep cleaning a few times a year so things don’t get out of hand — and to catch any issues early on before they have a chance to hatch into something bigger.

Another great natural option is to fill some sachets with lavender, cedar, or mint, and hide them in your pantry. These scents are known to repel moths and will make your cabinets smell lovely at the same time! But be sure to replace them every few months so they stay effective.

Look for a bug-free home with ApartmentSearch

If you’ve followed our steps for how to get rid of pantry moths and nothing seems to be helping (not even your landlord), it may be time to look for somewhere else to live. Thankfully, ApartmentSearch can help you find a new home — that fits your budget — in no time at all.

Start exploring all the amazing listings from ApartmentSearch today, and get ready to enjoy a more comfortable and pest-free pad ASAP!

Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com

Safety Tips When Finding a New Roommate | ApartmentSearch

Two smiling and shoeless women facing each other and sitting on couch comfortably.Moving can be an exciting process! This is especially true if you’re looking forward to meeting new people and making new connections. To ensure a purely positive experience, we suggest erring on the side of safety when choosing a potential cohabitor. Before you split your bills with just anyone, do your due diligence when learning how to find a roommate safely by leveraging these four safety tips.

1. Stay Off the Internet (If You Can)

Are you asking yourself the question, “where can I find a roommate?” If so, your search may be shorter than you think. The safest way to find a new roommate is through a mutual friend or trusted connection. It’s reassuring to know that your roomie is vetted by a reliable source!

If real-world pairings don’t pan out, proceed online — with caution. Craigslist roommate finder is a commonly used tool for meeting your match. However, this method depends solely on surface-level interaction and intuition. Furthermore, scammers love to surf the waters of the World Wide Web, so make sure to never share bank information, passwords, or personal data to an alias on the internet.

2. Implement an Interview Process

If an internet search is your only option, implementing a roommate interview process will help to ease your mind. Before meeting up with a potential cohabitator, take the time to compile a list of thoughtful questions.

These can and should cover a wide range of topics, from practical questions to personal inquiries. The goal is to get a better sense of who your future roomie is as a person, as well as how they interact with other people and exist within their space.

P.S: Don’t forget your manners! To start on an even playing field, invite your interviewee to pose their own questions as well.

3. Hire a Professional

Using a professional service can be another way to ensure roommate safety. Conduct a quick online search, and you’ll find several roommate finder websites and agencies that take the guesswork out of this daunting task.

Some of these services even require background checks and provide matchmakers to facilitate first meetings. The caveat is that the more professional the service, the higher the price tag — a small price to pay for feeling safe in your home!

4. Make Nice Before You Move In

In addition to wondering how to find a good roommate, make sure you’re setting a good example as well! Meeting up before moving in accomplishes two things. One, it will help you and your roomie establish a friendly and respectful relationship before inevitable issues arise. Two, it will give you a last-minute opportunity to feel at peace with your move towards the future! We highly suggest this cautionary step.

ApartmentSearch May Provide an Alternative

You can count on ApartmentSearch.com to be a trustworthy companion throughout your moving experience. With its smart searching capabilities, you may even be able to find an affordable studio or one-bedroom that lets you skip a roommate situation altogether!

Get a broader sense of your options by checking out ApartmentSearch.com. Through browsing all of your new home possibilities, you’ll feel confident in the safety and certainty of your decision.

Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com

How to Tell if You Have Hard Water in Your New Apartment

Person filling up a water bottle with kitchen faucet

You’re all moved into your new apartment. The layout is excellent, the work commute is a breeze, and the kitchen is impressive. But after taking your first shower in your new home, you notice that your skin and hair feel drier than ever! And why did your dishwasher leave a cloudy residue on all your glassware?

If these things sound familiar, your new apartment may have hard water. Learn what “hard water” is, how it stacks up against softer water, and tips for dealing with it in your new space.

What is Hard Water

Hard water is merely a form of H2O with a higher than average mineral content — typically, a larger calcium and magnesium concentration.

Before our drinking water ever makes it to the tap, it comes from lakes, rivers, and other waterways. As it flows, it picks up additional minerals from rocks and soil, and if too much is collected, hard water can form. Although you may want supplemental magnesium and calcium in your overall diet, hard water can cause some complications in your home.

Hard vs. Soft Water

Hard Water

Minerals found in hard water are natural and generally safe to consume. However, there are a few negative concerns associated with hard water in an apartment, too.

  • White residue on dishes, shower walls, coffee makers, and other surfaces
  • Limescale buildup
  • Reduced efficiency of household appliances, plumbing systems, and water heaters
  • Lower water pressure
  • Damaged and quickly worn clothing due to the harshness of hard water
  • Poor soap performance
  • Skin irritation from soap scum that can become trapped in your pores
  • Drier skin and hair after showering

Due to many of these issues, your utility bills can increase from excess water used to rewash dishes, clothes, and other items, along with buildup in your plumbing systems.

Soft Water

After the long list of issues caused by hard water, it may seem that soft water is the better option. With its better soap performance, contribution to longer-lasting clothing, optimal water pressure, and other benefits, it still has a few faults of its own.

Soft water may have higher sodium levels, leading to a slightly salty taste.
It’s more corrosive and can slowly deteriorate your plumbing system’s useful life, which can cause high lead and copper levels in your drinking water.

How to Tell if You Have Hard Water

If you notice any of the issues listed above for hard water, you may want to test it in other ways as well. Here are a few methods for evaluating the quality of the water in your home:

DIY Soap Test

Test for hard water with a bar of soap and a bowl of water from the tap. Rub the soap between your hands in the bowl. If it lathers quickly, you likely have softer water. If getting a few suds to form proves challenging and the water becomes cloudy, hard water may be the culprit.

Perform a Wet-Strip Test

You can purchase these from many home improvement stores, but make sure the one you buy also tests for hard water. Fill a container from the tap and immerse the paper test strip in the water. Then, compare the strip’s final color with the kit’s chart.

Tips for Dealing With Hard Water

Since you likely won’t have the same access to your overall plumbing system as you would in a house, it may take a little craftiness to deal with the hard water in your home. Try these tips:

  • Soften your water by boiling it to remove and evaporate some of the minerals. (Note: This will usually work on temporary hard water only. Permanent hard water has a slightly different chemical makeup).
  • Remove hard water stains and limescale with white distilled vinegar. You can also use vinegar as a rinse agent in your dishwasher.
  • Get rid of soap scum with commercial products such as Kaboom or a homemade mixture of water, dish soap, and vinegar.
  • Install a home water softening system for your faucet. If you have a health condition in which higher sodium levels could prove harmful, try salt-free alternatives.

Whether it’s the water quality or the noisy upstairs neighbors, there are plenty of reasons to want to move on to the next place. Find an apartment that fits your needs and budget with ApartmentSearch, where you can filter available rental properties by price, layout, amenities, and more!

Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com

What To Do If Your Apartment Is Broken Into | ApartmentSearch

broken window with a view to the outside of an apartment

Few feelings are worse than the one you get when your apartment is broken into. You frantically search for your most valuable belongings. You’re angry and scared. You feel violated and vulnerable. But all isn’t lost. Find out what to do when you experience the worst: an apartment break-in.

Step #1: Stay calm.

It’s important to keep a level head in the event of an apartment break-in, whether it happens while you’re there or you find evidence after the fact.

Step #2: Be extra safe.

Call 911 immediately if you suspect that the burglar is still in your apartment. Do NOT go room to room searching for the thief, even if you think you’re prepared.

Step #3: Report the crime.

Once you know that you, your roommates, and your pets are safe, it’s time to report the apartment break-in to law enforcement. Phone your local police’s non-emergency number and tell them what happened. In the meantime, try not to move anything around.

Step #4: Survey the scene in your apartment.

If you notice anything peculiar in your apartment that might help the police in their investigation, make sure you tell them about it when they arrive at the scene. Some helpful things to know would be possible entry and exit points, items left behind that do not belong to you, and likely sources of fingerprints.

Step #5: Document the damage.

Make detailed notes and take pictures of anything the thieves damaged. This will help your landlord and your insurance company determine the amount and the method that you will be compensated for your lost belongings.

Step #6: Contact your landlord or property manager.

Notify your landlord or property manager about the break-in. They may be able to provide temporary residence or other resources to aid in your recovery. Discuss a strategy with them about improving apartment security.

Step #7: Talk to your neighbors.

Contact your neighbors as soon as possible to discover whether they witnessed anything unusual around the time when the break-in occurred.

Step #8: Contact your renters insurance provider.

Once you have a list of damaged or stolen personal property, call your renters insurance company to file a claim. The representative you speak to will most likely request a detailed account of what has been stolen or damaged.

Step #9: Take some time to de-stress.

Break-ins can be traumatic. It’s best to ease yourself back into normal apartment life slowly. If you need help re-adjusting, seek a professional counselor.

Step #10: Reduce your chances of another break-in.

Invest in some added security to make sure this never happens again. Hide your valuables, lock your doors, and keep a light on at night while you’re away. Take some extra precautions before you head out on extended trips. Most importantly, make it difficult for anyone but you to access your apartment.
A break-in doesn’t necessarily mean that you can break your lease, but in some circumstances it does. Talk to your landlord and head to ApartmentSearch to find a new apartment where you feel safe and secure.

Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com

What to Do When Your Apartment Floods from Upstairs | ApartmentSearch

Man mopping up wet hardwood floor in apartment kitchenYou thought apartment floods could only happen from the outside, in—from heavy rain or a hurricane. But now you’re dealing with a flood from upstairs and waterfalls from your neighbor’s burst pipes are cascading into your living room.

When other tenants live above you in separate apartments, your risk of a flood from upstairs increases exponentially. The fact is: if their apartment floods, your apartment most likely floods, too. Thanks a lot, gravity!

Find out what to do when disaster strikes, and how to get back on your feet.

5 Steps for Handling a Flood from Upstairs

Step #1: Recognize Common Sources of Upstairs Flooding

Before you look outside for the cause of the flooding, look up. According to PRO Restoration, the most common sources of indoor flooding include:

  • Burst pipes
  • Leaky water heaters
  • Clogged sewer or drain lines
  • Faulty washing machine hoses

Refrigerators, dishwashers, and toilets are also common culprits of upstairs flooding. If you can identify the source of a flood from upstairs, you’ll be able to help your landlord and repair workers find and fix the issue. You might even be able to stop the deluge by shutting off the proper water supply valves.

Step #2: Salvage Your Stuff

With an upstairs flood, chances are good that the water is coming into your apartment from a specific part of your ceiling. Move valuable items that are at risk of damage from the upstairs flood to a separate area of your apartment. If need be, transfer your stuff to a neighbor’s apartment, to your car, or to waterproof storage.

Step #3: Call Your Landlord for Help

Your landlord will want to stop the flooding as much as you do. After all, the apartment technically belongs to them! Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask your landlord for help. Oftentimes, they will be more than happy to provide skilled personnel, flood remediation services, fans, wet vacs, and more.

In general, your landlord is responsible for repairs related to ensuring your apartment remains in a livable condition. Flooding damage caused by an upstairs apartment most likely falls into this category. Ultimately, your lease will specify whether your landlord is responsible for making the repairs.

Step #4: Contact Your Insurance Company

Some landlords require all tenants to purchase renters insurance to reduce the risk of personal property damage claims. Even if your landlord doesn’t require renters insurance, you may want to consider before renting an apartment to better protect yourself financially.

If you do have renters insurance (high five!), call your claims department to see if they can help you replace your damaged possessions or make repairs. Photographing any evidence of the flooding and documenting all correspondence with your landlord will help streamline the process of your insurance payout.

Step #5: Take Care of the Repairs

Request that your landlord covers the cost of the repairs. If they refuse, you have a number of options. One is to hire your own handyman, then talk to your landlord about deducting the cost of the repair bill from your rent. Another is to make the repairs yourself, then submit your costs to your landlord for reimbursement.

If the upstairs flooding has made your apartment completely unlivable and your landlord is not making the necessary fixes, it may be time to take further action by seeking help from a local group representing tenants, reporting the issue to your city’s code inspection office, and/or taking your landlord to court.

After your apartment floods from upstairs, you may be ready to find a new one. Find (dry!) apartments for rent near you on ApartmentSearch.com.

Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com

Does Your New Apartment Have Hard Water? | ApartmentSearch

Person filling up a water bottle with kitchen faucet

You’re all moved into your new apartment. The layout is excellent, the work commute is a breeze, and the kitchen is impressive. But after taking your first shower in your new home, you notice that your skin and hair feel drier than ever! And why did your dishwasher leave a cloudy residue on all your glassware?

If these things sound familiar, your new apartment may have hard water. Learn what “hard water” is, how it stacks up against softer water, and tips for dealing with it in your new space.

What is Hard Water

Hard water is merely a form of H2O with a higher than average mineral content — typically, a larger calcium and magnesium concentration.

Before our drinking water ever makes it to the tap, it comes from lakes, rivers, and other waterways. As it flows, it picks up additional minerals from rocks and soil, and if too much is collected, hard water can form. Although you may want supplemental magnesium and calcium in your overall diet, hard water can cause some complications in your home.

Hard vs. Soft Water

Hard Water

Minerals found in hard water are natural and generally safe to consume. However, there are a few negative concerns associated with hard water in an apartment, too.

  • White residue on dishes, shower walls, coffee makers, and other surfaces
  • Limescale buildup
  • Reduced efficiency of household appliances, plumbing systems, and water heaters
  • Lower water pressure
  • Damaged and quickly worn clothing due to the harshness of hard water
  • Poor soap performance
  • Skin irritation from soap scum that can become trapped in your pores
  • Drier skin and hair after showering

Due to many of these issues, your utility bills can increase from excess water used to rewash dishes, clothes, and other items, along with buildup in your plumbing systems.

Soft Water

After the long list of issues caused by hard water, it may seem that soft water is the better option. With its better soap performance, contribution to longer-lasting clothing, optimal water pressure, and other benefits, it still has a few faults of its own.

Soft water may have higher sodium levels, leading to a slightly salty taste.
It’s more corrosive and can slowly deteriorate your plumbing system’s useful life, which can cause high lead and copper levels in your drinking water.

How to Tell if You Have Hard Water

If you notice any of the issues listed above for hard water, you may want to test it in other ways as well. Here are a few methods for evaluating the quality of the water in your home:

DIY Soap Test

Test for hard water with a bar of soap and a bowl of water from the tap. Rub the soap between your hands in the bowl. If it lathers quickly, you likely have softer water. If getting a few suds to form proves challenging and the water becomes cloudy, hard water may be the culprit.

Perform a Wet-Strip Test

You can purchase these from many home improvement stores, but make sure the one you buy also tests for hard water. Fill a container from the tap and immerse the paper test strip in the water. Then, compare the strip’s final color with the kit’s chart.

Tips for Dealing With Hard Water

Since you likely won’t have the same access to your overall plumbing system as you would in a house, it may take a little craftiness to deal with the hard water in your home. Try these tips:

  • Soften your water by boiling it to remove and evaporate some of the minerals. (Note: This will usually work on temporary hard water only. Permanent hard water has a slightly different chemical makeup).
  • Remove hard water stains and limescale with white distilled vinegar. You can also use vinegar as a rinse agent in your dishwasher.
  • Get rid of soap scum with commercial products such as Kaboom or a homemade mixture of water, dish soap, and vinegar.
  • Install a home water softening system for your faucet. If you have a health condition in which higher sodium levels could prove harmful, try salt-free alternatives.

Whether it’s the water quality or the noisy upstairs neighbors, there are plenty of reasons to want to move on to the next place. Find an apartment that fits your needs and budget with ApartmentSearch, where you can filter available rental properties by price, layout, amenities, and more!

Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com

10 Fire Safety Tips for Apartment Renters

Apartment fire alarm with read blinking light and smokeApartment life offers many conveniences. But there are also some risks involved. For example, you can’t control what the person in the apartment next door does, even though you both share a wall, a roof, etc. That proximity and shared space mean it’s even more important to avoid apartment fires by practicing fire safety.

Here are 10 crucial tips:

1. Make Some Noise

Noise can be a very helpful part of your apartment fire safety plan. We’re talking about two kinds of apartment noise here:

  • The kind of noise your smoke alarm makes when you test it at least once per month.
  • The kind of noise you’ll make when you speak with your building manager about obstructed exits, fire doors being propped open, and safety violations of all kinds.

2. Map Your Moves

Learn the locations of the nearest exits and fire extinguishers in your apartment building. Don’t stop there, though. Once out of the burning building, you’ll need to stay away so as not to create more congestion around the area while firefighters battle the blaze. Make sure you pinpoint that area on your map.

3. Boost Your Memory

Studies have shown that physically rehearsing something can help your body retain important — or even life-saving — information about how to move. This is what is referred to as your muscle memory. Muscle memory is especially beneficial in high-stress situations where you might otherwise be flustered.

4. Be a Team Player, Not a Hero

Real danger can bring out the best in us. But that doesn’t mean you should risk your life because you want to make sure one of your neighbors has escaped. Immediately notify the nearest firefighter once you are outside. Trying to rescue others may only create a larger problem for the firefighters.

5. Clear the Way!

Moving swiftly through a smoke-filled apartment or hallway is not the best time to be darting around your computer bag, the recycling you didn’t take out, and that stack of library books you need to return. Keep your apartment floor and hallways clear of clutter to eliminate all potential hurdles between you and safety.

6. An Ounce of Prevention …

Ordinarily, it’s safe to say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Which is to say that making sure something bad doesn’t happen is better than recovering from it. When an apartment fire is the topic, though, an ounce of prevention is worth much more than a pound of cure. For instance, do not leave frying foods unattended in the kitchen. Or if you smoke, ensure every cigarette butt is fully extinguished when you’re finished.

7. Shut It

Before you go to sleep, shut your bedroom door. Doing so can help minimize damage or physical harm from the fire itself or smoke inhalation. You only have about three minutes — or less — to escape a residential fire. Every second counts. If you can buy yourself even one extra second by closing your door, it sounds like a good idea! And if you wake up to a fire alarm or blaring smoke detector, don’t freak! Here are additional apartment safety tips for you and your family.

8. Fake It

Some apartment buildings ban open flames of any kind, which means candles are a no-no from the start. Some people ignore such rules, though, which can have devastating consequences. If YOU love the ambiance of a flickering candle, pick up the more convenient and far safer electric version. After all, an apartment on fire is a high price to pay for setting a mood.

9. Put Your Name on a List

Does a disability prevent you from making a swift escape? Ask your landlord or building manager if your name and apartment number can be placed on a list in the fire alarm panel or other location that’s secure but readily accessible by the fire department.

10. Be Neighborly

If your apartment building prohibits grilling under covered patios, walkways, or balconies, obey those rules. And make sure all exits are cleared of debris that could hinder escape or support. If you see any violations of such apartment fire safety precautions, refer back to #1 on this list and make some noise — to your landlord or building management company.

If being neighborly and alerting responsible parties aren’t enough to set your mind at ease, or if you’re looking to upgrade to a more modern apartment complex, it’s time to search apartments on ApartmentSearch.com. The process is easy and rewarding. After you sign your lease, let us know and we’ll hook you up with a $200 reward!

Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com

What to Know About Apartment Courtesy Patrol | ApartmentSearch

Patrol officer leaning on a railingCourtesy patrols are becoming increasingly common “amenities” at certain apartment properties. To many renters, the extra safety measure represents a little more peace of mind. But to some, having a “security guard” on-site brings up a lot of questions. If the need of a courtesy officer in your apartment complex brings up more insecurity than calmness, put your mind at ease as we explain what courtesy patrols are, why they exist, and how they can help you!

What’s a courtesy officer?

Often times, “courtesy officer” is a marketing euphemism of “security guard.” In other words, like a security guard, your apartment courtesy patrol officer is hired for the main purpose of providing security and helping maintain the quality of living in the community.

Apartment complexes have different ways of employing individuals to perform this job. Sometimes, property management companies hire courtesy officers directly, paying them an hourly wage and giving them steep discounts on rent to facilitate their on-call availability. Other times, apartment properties contract courtesy patrols from private security companies.

In some cases, property management companies may offer free or discounted rent (with or without hourly wage) to patrol officers from your county. In exchange, police officers live at the apartment complex, providing on-call security as they become a part of the everyday community!

Why are courtesy patrols necessary?

Even though crime has no address, courtesy patrols are typically more common in luxury apartments in large metropolitan areas and college towns, likely due to these areas having higher population concentrations and crime rates. In such areas, police departments may be understaffed or overworked, resulting in slower response times to emergency calls and/or assigning low priority to less severe incidents.

Accordingly, apartment complexes hire courtesy patrols to have dedicated help in dealing with security and quality of living issues quickly. Even though many of these guards don’t have the authority to arrest anyone (unless they are also local law enforcement officers), they can detain criminals until the police arrive, reports The Press Democrat. More than helping apartment properties deal with crime, the presence of a courtesy patrol is often enough to help prevent crime!

What can my apartment’s courtesy patrol help resolve?

Though the word “patrol” may lead you to think that courtesy patrols can only help with crime, their job duties encompass much more. They can also help preserve the liveability of your apartment complex by enforcing the community’s rules. Here are just a few things that your apartment’s courtesy patrol can do:

  • Address reports of excessive noise and loud parties
  • Enforce community facility rules (e.g., no glass in the pool area)
  • Remove loiterers or trespassers
  • Enforce parking rules by giving tickets, calling towing companies, etc.
  • Lock community facilities like the pool or fitness center after hours
  • Conduct regular foot patrols
  • Monitor package theft
  • Respond to package theft, burglaries, and car break-ins by reporting incidents to pertinent authorities
  • Keep a tab on an apartment property’s closed-circuit monitoring system and gated access

Where can I find apartments with courtesy patrols?

No matter where you live or what you do you deserve to feel safe in your apartment! If you don’t want to invest in an alarm system and would find comfort in having in-person security on-call, talk to your landlord or property manager about hiring a courtesy patrol. And if that doesn’t do the trick, find a new apartment with a courtesy patrol, gated access, and more security measures!

Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com

What to Do If Pipes Freeze in Apartment | Apartment Search

Water leaking from faucet with yellow backgroundFor many college students and first-time renters, the possibility of frozen pipes is the last thing on their minds when they return home for the holidays. Yet, those who attempt to save money by turning off the heat while they’re away may be in for an unwelcome surprise. Frozen pipes in apartment complexes are an all-too-common occurrence that can usually be prevented with a few simple steps. Here’s what to do if your pipes freeze in your apartment.

Can Pipes Freeze in an Apartment?

The short answer is yes; the pipes in your apartment can freeze. When this happens, it’s usually due to a combination of three factors: a rapid drop in outside temperature, poor insulation, and cold air inside the apartment when the thermostat is set too low. More often than not, the pipes that end up freezing are either connected to piping that runs outside the building or placed in poorly insulated exterior walls.

Unfortunately, as a renter, you have little control over your building’s insulation or pipe infrastructure — and even less control over unexpected cold snaps. Whereas homeowners can immediately shut off their water supply if they suspect any pipes have frozen, most renters simply don’t have access to their water main. On top of that, pipes that freeze inside walls are practically unreachable — unless you’re thinking of “remodeling” with a saw and sledgehammer.

The good news is that your landlord has a legal obligation to maintain running water in your apartment. Hopefully, that means they will be proactive about preventative maintenance, be quick to shut off the water if pipes do freeze, and inform tenants about how to keep their pipes from freezing in the future. Responsible property managers typically include information on winter pipe care in the lease and notify tenants about freeze prevention methods ahead of winter weather.

What to Do If Your Pipes Freeze

Prevention is key — burst pipes can flood apartments and lead to thousands of dollars in damages that the renter may be liable for. Sometimes, though, frozen pipes just happen. It’s not the end of the world, but it is a headache you’ll want to take care of quickly.

So what do you do if a pipe freezes in your apartment? Well, the best solution is to use these five tips to prevent pipes from freezing in the first place. But let’s say the deed is already done: it got really cold last night, and when you turned on your faucet this morning, nothing came out. Uh-oh. Here’s what you can do:

First, try to locate the frozen pipe if possible. If some faucets have running water while others do not, this may help narrow your search. Visually inspect any piping you can see for signs of condensation or frost. The case very well may be that the blocked pipe is frozen somewhere out of reach.

Let’s say you did find a pipe that’s frozen. How can you remedy the situation? Attempt to thaw out the pipe with gentle heat. Some DIY methods include pointing a space heater at the pipe (from a safe distance of three feet), going over it with a blow dryer, or soaking a towel in warm water and wrapping it around the pipeline. While you’re doing this, turn the corresponding faucet on low to drain water and dislodge any remaining ice.

(Note: Avoid pouring hot water down the drain to unclog a frozen pipe! The sudden heat on a frozen surface is likely to crack and burst the pipe).

If you can’t find any frozen pipes, your best course of action is to start raising the temperature in your apartment. Bump up the thermostat higher than normal and open any cabinets that house water pipes, such as in the bathroom and under the kitchen sink. The goal is to get warmer air circulating around your pipes. Also, set blocked faucets to drip to both drain water and give you an indication that the pipes are thawing out.

In the meantime, inform the landlord that your pipes may be frozen so they can address the situation. Since an apartment without running water is considered uninhabitable, property management is responsible for emergency maintenance or repairs.

If you have frozen pipes, apartment complexes will likely already be aware of the situation and notify residents of any water shutoffs or necessary maintenance. Remember, however, that part of a responsible renter’s job is to take steps to prevent pipes from freezing in the first place — saving both yourself and your property manager from the costly headache of a burst pipe.

Need to find an apartment community that has a better handle on preventative maintenance? Explore ApartmentSearch and find the right place to call home!

Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com