7 Sustainable Maintenance Practices Every Apartment Tenant Should Embrace
by Marie Nieves
Renting an apartment is an arrangement that offers countless benefits. The absence of ownership responsibilities and maintenance costs are only some of the things that cross the mind.
However, the tenants are not completely excused from this chore. On the contrary – most lease agreements will plainly state that tenants need to take care of the rental property in a responsible and homely manner.
But, even if we put these contractual obligations aside, the apartments that are well cared for are far more enjoyable to live in as well as less susceptible to any kind of problems. So, if you are just moving into a new rental apartment, these few lines should give you great motivation to take its maintenance very seriously.
And now, let’s see how you can do that in the most efficient ways that are in line with modern sustainability practices.
Take care of the pests
This one really doesn’t require any help from your landlord, so put it at the top of your maintenance to-do lists. So, first, try to clean your apartment as thoroughly as possible, since pests usually prefer to dwell in areas that feature low hygienic levels. If this preventive measure doesn’t work, you can try to physically remove the invaders (in the case of rodents or slugs) or use humane non-lethal traps.
And if that still doesn’t work or you are dealing with swarms of insects, resort to organic insecticides and poisons like vegetable oil spray, soap spray, garlic spray, vinegar, and, of course, chile pepper spray.
Get a handle on basic plumbing chores
Major plumbing fixes and upgrades should never be performed without the help of a hired pro, let alone if you are living in a rental apartment. However, knowing how to deal with some basic plumbing responsibilities can prove to be of tremendous help in keeping larger problems at bay and extending the time professional plumbers need to cut the problem at its root.
What then should you learn to do? Well, you can start with the measures like:
- Identifying water leaks
- Replacing toilet flappers
- Replacing showerheads
- Locating and handling shutoff valves
- Clearing a clogged drain with a plunger
- Measuring water pressure
The instructions for each of these activities can be easily found online.
Take care of the waste in a sustainable manner
You should make this one of your priorities even if the building in question doesn’t have the necessary infrastructure for recycling or safely disposing of waste. So, for a start, try to embrace a more frugal mindset and keep fewer things lying around. The items, tech, and clothes you don’t need can be donated to some charity.
Also, you can’t lower the amount of paper you are using and instead try going more digital. As for the organic waste like food remains, you can try compositing the mass and using it to fertilize the plants. The opportunities for sustainable waste management are endless.
Invest in smart tech
We are, of course, talking about the devices that are designed to keep your apartment safer, more sustainable, and healthier like smoke detectors, smart extension leads, air purifiers, etc. If you take a look at the current offer of apartments for rent, you will see that these things have pretty much become a staple on the current real estate market.
So, if your rental doesn’t enjoy these benefits you can buy them and make future maintenance routines much simpler. And since most of these devices work on a wireless, IoT basis, you will be able to bring them with you if you change lodging.
Performa small furniture and door repairs
This is yet another instance where professional help is more than advisable since pieces like doors, shelves, and windows can cause severe structural damage if handled poorly. However, you shouldn’t stand and watch your shelves come off simply because you failed to tighten the screws, either.
What makes this issue even more mundane is that you don’t even need a heavy toolkit to handle these chores – most of them can be addressed with quality automatic knives. So, keep an eye on all cracks and loose screws and put an end to them before they blow out of proportion.
Clean the apartment in the traditional way
Smart devices combined with HEM (Home Energy Management) systems can go a long way in cutting the amount of energy you spend on a bare minimum. But, if you want to go truly sustainable, do the things like we used to do before all the cleaning tools were even an option.
That means, get your mop, rags (here’s a way to use old clothes), brooms, and buckets, roll up your sleeves, and get to work. Aside from the fact you will keep the apartment crystal-clear while producing zero impact, you will also get a good workout. To go even further, you can try using reclaimed greywater.
Learn more about seasonal maintenance duties
Those would be the chores that are performed only a couple of times a year and are incredibly easy to forget. So, they go unnoticed while the problems that result from this negligence only keep piling.
Take for instance things like cleaning the gutters, flushing a water heater (usually two times a year), replacing filters in the air conditioner, or refreshing shower caulk. If left unchecked all of them can cause severe problems down the road. Get in touch then with your landlord and see when these things were performed the last time. If the next deadline starts nearing the end, be quick to react.
Well, we hope these couple of suggestions will nudge you in the right direction when it comes to the proper maintenance of your future rental apartment. And you should really take this responsibility very seriously. Even if they are temporarily your homes, rental apartments are exactly that – your homes.
So, they should be approached in the same devoted and sustainable manner as if you were the owner of the house or apartment. The fight for a sustainable society doesn’t pick any specific type of property.
Author bio: Marie Nieves is a passionate blogger with an eye for design, a flair for storytelling, and a love for culture. She contributes regularly to various blogs and online magazines, all while satisfying her wanderlust by exploring states and countries near and far.