Maintenance Monday – cleaning your windows

We do not provide a window cleaning service to your individual apartment windows, but you can easily clean your windows. First remove the storm windows and the slider. Second, remove the screen and clean the window with a squeegee and a sponge (like a car wash squeegee). If you have streaks and lint on your windows after washing them, try cleaning them with newspaper instead.

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Maintenance Monday – preventing kitchen fires

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Cooking fires are the most common cause of household fires. Here are eight tips from Apartment Guide to help prevent kitchen fires:

1. Stay in the kitchen. This may seem obvious, but, according to the National Fire Protection Association, unattended cooking is the number one cause of cooking fires. If you must leave a stove unattended, turn off the heat and move the pan to a cool burner.

2. Use a timer. Check food regularly, whether you’re simmering, baking, boiling or roasting. Using a timer can help remind you to check on your dish.

3. Keep the stove top clear. Keep dishtowels, oven mitts, paper towels—anything that can catch fire—away from your stovetop.

4. Dress for the occasion. Wear close-fitting clothes, and tightly roll up sleeves, when you’re cooking. Loose clothing can come in contact with burners and catch fire.

5. Wipe up spills. Cooking on a dirty stove, or in a dirty oven, is just inviting a potential fire. Grease buildup is flammable; clean your stove every time you cook and promptly wipe up any spills.

6. Don’t overheat your oils. Overheated cooking oil can start to smoke and bubble up, which can cause it to spill out and ignite. Not sure about the smoking point for your cooking oils? Refer to this handy chart.

7: Wait for grease to cool before disposing. Toss hot grease into your trashcan and it could go up in flames! Wait for it to cool before disposing of it in the garbage. Or, better yet, pour it into an old food can before tossing it out.

8. Keep your smoke detector working. A smoke detector is an important fire safety device and your first line of defense. Make sure your landlord has installed one. And make a mental note to change the batteries twice a year, when you change your clocks fordaylight savings time.

Maryland in June, what are you doing?

Summer is almost upon us and the kids are almost out of school. Whether you like festivals, food, movies or music, Maryland has it all this June!

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Baltimore’s annual Hon Fest is next weekend June 14 from 11am to 10pm and June 15 from 12pm to 6pm. The weekend is full of music, food and contests for Bawlmer’s best Hon. For instance, there is a Best Beehive Contest, an Elvis impersonator and of course Maryland crabs.

Speaking of Maryland crabs, the following Saturday is the Chesapeake Crab and Beer Festival at the Inner Harbor on June 21st. It is four hours of all-you-can-eat extravaganza with over 20,000 crabs, many beers, music, crafts and so much more.

For our residents at Burnam Woods Apartments, you can enjoy the Party on the Plaza at the Avenue at White Marsh every Friday and Saturday nights throughout the summer. It is an evening of free music under the summer stars. This week Baltimore Rockabilly plays Friday night and Elikeh plays Saturday night. Music starts at 7pm.

Our residents at Chatham Gardens Apartments can enjoy free outdoor movies every Saturday night throughout the summer in the parking lot behind the Wine Bin on Main Street in Ellicott City. Bring your chair and pack a picnic dinner. Movies start at 9pm. This Saturday the classic Wizard of Oz is playing.

Just down the road, our residents at Old Orchard Apartments can enjoy free music every Friday night throughout the summer at Frederick Road Fridays at 15 Mellor Avenue in Catonsville. Music starts at 6:30pm. This Friday is Out of the Blue is playing.

All of our residents can participate in our Patio and Balcony Contests this June. Get those patios and balconies cleaned up. Management will be coming around to “Judge” all. We’re looking for neatness, creativity, color, etc. Winners will receive a gift card. Chatham Gardens judging will be on June 12th, Old Orchard’s judging will be on June 17th and Burnam Woods’ judging will be on June 20th. Good luck!

Maintenance Monday – keeping your apartment cool

 

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In the coming Summer months, the temperatures will rise and your air conditioner will run and run causing your BGE bills to get more and more expensive. But there are some things you can do to keep your apartment cooler, so your air conditioner won’t run quite as much. Here are some apartment cooling tips from Ron Leshnower at About.com Apartment Living/Rental :

If your apartment becomes uncomfortable or unbearable when it gets hot outside, don’t assume there’s not much you can do about it. Even though you may rent an apartment and have limited control over the building’s air-conditioning system, there are still certain things you can do to help maintain a pleasant environment in your home.

Here are suggestions for keeping cool in your apartment that require little time and effort, don’t cost a cent, and could help reduce the amount of your monthly electricity bill:

1. Close or Open Doors

Depending on your air-conditioning situation, you may need to close or open doors to maximize the amount of cool air in your rental.

For instance, say you’re renting a small one-bedroom apartment and you rely on one air-conditioning unit in your bedroom to keep cool. You should be sure to keep your bedroom door open to allow cool air from your unit to circulate throughout your apartment.

However, if your concern is making sure the bedroom (and not the rest of the apartment) gets enough cool air (such as when you go to sleep at night), you might want to keep the door closed to prevent cool air from seeping out.

2. Close or Open Windows

If you’re running air-conditioning units, you should keep the windows closed. Otherwise, much of the cool air will escape and you’ll add unnecessarily to your electricity bills. If outside temperatures fall significantly (such as at sunset), you might want to open your windows and shut off your air-conditioners to take advantage of a natural, cool breeze.

3. Keep the Sunlight Out

If you’ve got blinds or curtains, keep them closed on hot, sunny days to conserve energy.

Also, if you have air-conditioning units, they’ll have to work that much harder to lower the temperature the more heat that enters through your apartment’s window. When you leave your apartment, don’t forget to shut blinds or close curtains, whether or not you keep your air-conditioners running.

4. Set Your Ceiling Fan to Cool

Many people who buy ceiling fans to cool a room don’t realize that most of these fans have a switch that changes the direction of the blades and actually makes the fans work to keep heat from escaping.

If you’ve got a ceiling fan, find out if your blades are circulating air in the right direction and, if not, how to change it.

5. Move Furniture Away from Air-Conditioning Units

Avoid placing a couch, dresser, or other large pieces of furniture directly in front of or to the side of an air-conditioning unit. Make sure any units in your apartment have enough space to send cool air forward and sideways, ideally at least to a 45-degree angle.

Maintenance Monday – RECYCLE

Recycling is finally coming to Chatham Gardens Apartments! Soon there will be recycling bins next to the dumpsters. Please separate your recycling from your trash. It only takes a few extra minutes, and will go a long way to help the environment and protect our resources. Be on the lookout for recycling instructions.

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For the residents of Burnam Woods and Old Orchard Apartments, you already have recycling bins in your community. Please continue to recycle.

 

 

 

Maintenance Monday – test your A/C now

With temperatures in the 70s, please test your air conditioner now to make sure it works before the real heat is upon us. Set your A/C so it comes on and let it run for a while to make sure everything is working correctly. If there is a problem, please call the maintenance department to get your air conditioner fixed now rather than waiting for the heat of summer when it will be uncomfortable without it.

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St. Patrick’s Day Snow

No one ever sang “I’m dreaming of a White St. Patrick’s Day,” but that is what we woke up to this morning. Please be careful out there. Watch your step on the slippery sidewalks and watch for the plow trucks while pulling out of your parking spot and driving through the courts. We will clear and treat the sidewalks and parking lots. Please remember to stomp your feet outside before entering your building, so you do not track in chemicals. Also, be careful when walking up or down the stairs on the tile so you don’t slip with your wet shoes.

(photo by Chatham resident Marguerite Buzza)

(photo by Chatham resident Marguerite Buzza)

When we start clearing the parking spaces, we ask the residents to please move your vehicles in order for us to clear multiple spaces at a time. We also ask you to kindly push the snow & ice off your vehicles onto the drive area, rather then back onto the sidewalks or in between the vehicles. (Even if the drive area has been plowed, we prefer you push the snow onto the drive area).

Please be respectful of the snow plows, and give them ample room to move about in the parking lots. When you are driving toward or behind the plow trucks and tractors, please keep a safe distance. Wait for a signal from the plow driver that it is safe to enter or exit. In return, please give them a warning when you are about to enter or exit. The drivers are multi-tasking with the operation of the plows and salt spreaders along with the driving of the vehicle.

Magnificent March at Century Corp

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There are lots of fun events this March at Century Corp’s Apartments at Old Orchard, Chatham Gardens and Burnam Woods. Now through March 17th, stop by the Leasing Office at Old Orchard Apartments to pick a lucky coin from the Pot of Gold to win a prize. In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day at Chatham Gardens Apartments, stop by the Leasing Office March 17th for some green cookies and Kool-Aid. And by popular demand, Burnam Bingo Night returns to Burnam Woods Apartments on March 21st at 7pm. You must be 18 years or older to participate. Lite refreshments will be provided. Happy March everyone! We are SO ready for Spring!

A New Sidewalk between Winesap and Stayman Courts at Old Orchard Apartments!

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There is something great coming for residents of Old Orchard Apartments who live on Winesap and Stayman Courts: a new sidewalk! The residents of Winesap Court will no longer have to trudge through grass, mud and snow or take the long way around to get to their cars. And the kids of Stayman Court will no longer have to walk around West Geipe Road to get to their bus stop. Now there is going to be a convenient, well-lit shortcut. A sidewalk between Winesap and Stayman Courts will make life easier for the residents of Old Orchard Apartments.

Maintenance Monday – keeping your garbage disposal clean

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Garbage Disposals are a great appliance, but they aren’t so great if you don’t keep them clean. Here are three great tips from our maintenance department on how to keep your garbage disposal clean and smelling fresh:

  1. Ice Cubes – Using ice cubes at least once a month will keep your disposal clean and smelling fresh. Simply fill the disposal/drain with ice cubes and turn the cold water on to a slow steady flow directly into the drain. Then turn your disposal on and let it run until the ice has been ground up completely.
  2. Bleach – Use 1/4 cup of bleach in the disposal during this process which will help clear out stale odors. Simply pour the bleach in the drain before filling with ice (this will prevent splash back of bleach), however it would be wise to wear an old shirt when cleaning your disposal with bleach.
  3. Grease – When disposing of grease from cooking, such as bacon grease, you should turn on the hot water and leave it running while rinsing the grease from you pan and dishes. Leave the hot water running for a suffecient amount of time to allow for the grease to completely clear the drain line.