Birwood

  • 01/15/2016

    Mildew in My Unit

    Due to more recent media attention, mildew tends to scare renters. Mildew naturally occurs wherever there is high moisture and a food source, but is not a danger if cleaned up and treated properly. Getting rid of mildew and keeping it gone is a joint effort. We are responsible for making sure that there are no sources of water intrusion, while you are responsible for routinely maintaining and cleaning all surfaces with appropriate cleaning products, as well as avoiding activities that cause humidity and increase the likelihood of mildew.  

    What causes it? 
    Mildew is a result of conditions inside your unit, such as lack of ventilation, hot, steamy showers, or other activities that increase humidity. It could also be the result of water infiltration or leaky pipes. 

    Where does it occur? 
    Most mildew occurs in kitchens and bathrooms as those are usually the places with the most moisture from showers, cooking, and of course pipes. In colder weather mildew can occur on windows and any place in the building that is an outside wall. 

    How do I know if it is a leak or just excess humidity? 
    If you notice water falling from the area, there is a good chance it is a plumbing or roof leak and you should notify our office right away. If you think it might just be excess moisture, clean the area, take steps to control your moisture and report it if you notice it coming back in the same location. 

    How do i clean it?
    Mix 1 cup bleach with 1 gallon of warm water and lightly scrub the area while wearing gloves. There are also mildew cleaners at local hardware stores that you could purchase and use as directed instead (make sure to test in an inconspicuous area to make sure it won't ruin the surface). After cleaning, wait 10 minutes and repeat the process at least two more times to ensure it has all been removed. 
      
    If it is just moisture what do I do? 
    Moisture is something that occurs naturally, in fact just breathing and sweating produces 1.5 gallons of moisture a day. Showers and cooking also generate a large amount of moisture in a home. Most apartments have bathroom vents, stove hood fans, or windows to help vent this excess moisture (if you think they may not be working properly notify our office). Using these during and after cooking and showering can reduce moisture levels. Notifying the office of any plumbing leaks will also decrease moisture in your home. During the winter months indoor humidity tends to rise as the outdoor temperature drops and there is less air circulation in a unit. To help with this it is important to make sure all heating registers are unobstructed. You can open blinds/shades more often to allow air circulation on windows that tend to collect moisture or frost. Wiping up an areas that you notice tend moisture collecting (such as bathroom ceilings or window frames). Outside walls can be a common place for mildew to form in the winter months if there are large items or stuff packed against it. Clean up the area and make sure those outside walls get proper air flow. You can also purchase and run a dehumidifier.  

    There are lots of helpful tips in your lease and in our previous blogs. Or you can always call the office if you aren't sure. 



    Window Mildew
    Bedroom Wall Mildew
    Bathroom Ceiling Mildew

  • 01/15/2016

    Frosty Windows have you Worried???

    If your windows are frosty it could be a sign that you have to much humidity. Although maintaining humidity levels in ones home is a year round issue, it tends to reveal itself more in the winter months when homes are closed up and the outdoors are so cold. 
    Condensation appears when the windows surface is colder than the room temperature. The same reason your mirror gets foggy when you take a shower, or your soda sweats in the summer. The most effective ways to combat this is to:
    1 - Reduce the Moisture
    Just your family's breath and sweat can add 1.5 gallons of water a day, so don't breath! Practically speaking you can make sure your bathroom and stove hood fans are working and use them during and after showers/cooking. To test this you can take a sheet of toilet paper, turn your fan on and put the paper up to it. If it sucks up to the fan then all is well. If not then submit a maintenance request so we can get it back to proper working order. Make sure your home isn't too warm. If you have to open a window because the heat in your unit is too high then you probably should call our office so we can make sure the thermostat is set and working correctly. If your fan & heat works and you still have to much moisture you could always use a dehumidifier. 
    2 - Circulate the Air
    If you have heavy drapes, blinds or shades covering your windows, you are trapping the cooler air & moisture near the window. Ever notice that most heating sources are below windows? That's because windows tend to be the colder area of the room. So open those blinds/drapes and make sure vents & radiators are unobstructed so the warm air can circulate. 
    3 - They are Just drafty Old Windows
    Although we would like to make sure every home has the newest of everything, we all know that there is a cost to everything. New windows are a huge cost, so while property owners save up to replace roofs, windows, and all those other maintenance requests, you can help a drafty window by using window insulation kits found at your local hardware store. The money it costs to purchase these handy kits will be saved on the heat bill and your comfort. We want to remind you not to screw anything into the window frame. Most of these kits come with double sided sticky tape (make sure when you remove them in the spring that you get all the tape off). There are plenty of helpful Youtube videos on how to remove the tape without ruining the frame.  
    Whats the Big Deal? 
    Some of us don't mind a little frost...after all it is winter. Well, frost goes from ice to water and sometimes back to ice. Water almost anywhere causes mildew. So if you have wood windows then the moisture and frost rot the wood, and no matter what kind of window you have the excess moisture can lead to mildew if not maintained or wiped off. Your property owner will thank you for your care!!!

  • 12/22/2015

    HOLIDAY HOURS


    We would like to remind you that Birwood has the following holiday office hours:
           December 24th - 9am to 2pm
           December 25th - CLOSED

           December 31st - 9am to 5pm
           January 1st - CLOSED

    Wishing you a safe and Happy Holiday!!! 

  • 12/22/2015

    Reminders for Heating Your Unit


    As the cold approaches....we wanted to make sure you were properly informed of your part in helping us make this heating season as smooth as it can be.

    • If you are a unit that controls heat for other units we ask that the heat be set at a minimum of 67 degrees Fahrenheit and a high of 72 degrees Fahrenheit. We ask that all residents NEVER set heat below 65 degrees Fahrenheit (especially if going out of town) as weather can be unpredictable and temperatures below this will increase the chances of pipes freezing.  
    • All window air conditioners must be removed. If an a/c is seen in a window they will enter to remove it during this time period and fees associated with this removal will be charged to the resident. 
    • Be sure all windows and storms are down for the winter. Windows open in a unit after November 1st will be closed by our staff and the resident will be charged $37.50. To keep heat in units you can draw the blinds after sun set or purchase window wrap at your local hardware store. Please follow directions on the package for correct installation to prevent damage to the trim or glass. 
    • To prevent FREEZING PIPES: you can open cabinet doors to pipes that are on exterior walls. Check faucets often to keep water flowing. Keep all exterior doors, windows, and garage doors closed when not in use.
    • DO NOT USE a cooking stove or oven at any time to heat the interior of your unit. There are risks of fire, carbon monoxide poisoning, and damage to the stove. Contact our office if you are having heating problems. 
    • If you plan on using a space heater please contact our office to fill out an agreement on its usage. 
    • Please make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are functioning properly. Notify our office if they are not. 
    • If you have radiators, DO NOT adjust the valve located on the bottom of the radiator as this could prevent heat from traveling to other units and could cause damage to the radiators. 

    If you are having heat problems please check the following prior to calling the office:
      1. If you have to much heat you can...turn down the thermostat, adjust the air valve (silver "bullet" shaped valve on middle or top of radiator) on steam radiators, put a blanket over steam/hot water radiators (this is not a fire hazard). 
      2. If you have no heat you can...change the battery in the thermostat, make sure all vents and radiators are uncovered and have space to circulate air, make sure radiator bullets are open and radiators are warm.

    We want to thank you in advance for your assistance in maintaining reasonable heat costs. If you need help or have questions about the above matters (unsure what type of heat you have or would like a picture of which valves can be adjusted) please contact us at info@birwood.net or 608-241-4449. Have a safe and warm winter season. 

  • 06/26/2015

    Holiday Hours

     
    Birwood Offices will be closed Friday, July 3rd in observance of Independence Day.
     
    The Birwood staff wish you a safe and happy 4th of July and thanks those who have served!
     

  • 06/11/2015

     
    Mattress and Box Spring Recycling is Back
     
    The Streets Division is happy to announce that the mattress and box spring recycling program is back.  Effective immediately, all mattresses and box springs placed at the curb for large item pick up will be recycled.

         The new, no fee recycling program will make things easy to recycle mattresses and box springs.  All residents have to do is place mattresses and box springs at the curb on their large item day and street division crews will get them recycled. 
     
    Large items are collected every other week, the same day as regular trash. Large item day occurs on the week when recycling is NOT collected.

         Residents can also bring their mattresses and box springs to the drop off sites at 1501 W. Badger Rd and 4602 Sycamore AV.  The sites are open seven days a week from 7:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.  On Tuesday and Thursdays the sites are open until 8 p.m.  The sites will be closed on holidays.

         The mattresses will be recycled by Bay Area Recycling for Charities (BARC), a not for profit firm located in Traverse City Michigan. BARC is able to recycle the steel springs, wood frames, polyurethane foam and cotton padding.  Only the outer cover is discarded.
     

  • 03/09/2015

    Warmer weather Thaw and Refreeze Concerns

    Attention Tenants:

    This is the time of year that we all look forward to where the weather starts to get warmer and the snow starts melting.

    However, be advised that temperatures may still drop below freezing at night resulting in the formation of hazardous black ice and slick spots. Snow and ice that melts during the warmer temperatures of the day have the potential to refreeze overnight.

    Please be aware and use caution when walking on sidewalks, parking lots and entryways around your apartment. Buckets of salt will be available at the apartment entryways for your convenience.

    If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our office at (608) 241-4449

    Thanks,

    Birwood Property Management 

  • 03/01/2013

    Birwood Property Management

    WELCOME TO BIRWOOD PROPERTY MANAGEMENT!

    We strive to know tenants by name, not by address or apartment number. By showing respect for our tenants needs, we have found that they in turn respect the property.

    Our mission is to provide the highest quality property management services to our clients and tenants. We currently manage approximately 400 units in Madison and the surrounding communities, ranging from single family homes to multi-unit apartment homes.

    Check out our Available Units to learn more about what we have to offer.