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Home Care Guide

So you've moved into your brand new or recently remodeled Meadowlark Design+Build Home. We hope you love it! But how do you care for those beautiful new features and finishes? The Meadowlark Home Care Guide gives you all the info you need to care properly for your new home, from floor to countertops, hardware, and beyond. 

Read through the guide, or jump to the section you're interested in using the links below:




Use mild dish soap and water on a soft sponge or microfiber cloth. Wring out excess water, (granite can be stained by standing water), and wipe the entire surface. To prevent water damage and streaking, dry the countertop with paper towel or a soft cloth.

COUNTER POLISH: Use a reputable counter polish if you desire to increase the luster of the countertop.


Avoid the items below, they can etch and dull the finish of your granite. They can also wear away your sealer over time.

• Household acids including vinegar, lemon, lime, and citrus

• Ammonia or ammonia-based cleaners like Windex

• Bleach

• Steel wool

• Scrubby sponges



How to Care for Your Wood Surface

Solid wood countertops and butcher blocks require care specific to the type of finish applied. Both finishes are susceptible to damage from heat so be sure to keep hot pans, pots, and other items off your wood countertop.

Food safe mineral oil:

Surfaces with this finish will need to be re-oiled on a regular basis to protect the integrity of the countertop and to protect against water

intrusion and staining. Typically, a reapplication of oil is required every one to two months and should be done as soon as you notice the surface looking "dry". Simply flood the surface with mineral oil (available at drug stores), let it soak into the wood for a few minutes, and wipe dry. Be sure to safely dispose of oily rags as they can self-combust.

Spills should be wiped up immediately and liquids should not be allowed to stand on the surface for any extended time.

Clean with warm, soapy water and wipe dry. A small amount of bleach or vinegar may be added to increase cleaning power.

Any imperfections - stains, dents, etc. - can be sanded out and the top made to look new again. To do so use 150 grit sandpaper on the affected area (being sure to sand in the direction of the grain) and re-oil to make look like new.

Permanent finish:

Permanent finish is a maintenance-free product that is water-proof and resistant to most household chemicals and foods that typically stain. Special care much be taken in the first month of use. The finish has not fully cured and will be more susceptible to damage.

Use only soapy water to clean your countertop during this period. Clean with warm, soapy water and wipe dry.

Household cleaners may be used after the first month.

Do NOT chop on a countertop with this finish.



Giving your floors a good dusting with a microfiber mop or cloth is your best daily defense against scratches and surface damage. Microfiber cleaning pads often use static electricity to trap dirt, particles, and other household allergens. 

Avoid using water and vinegar, soap-based cleaners, wax, or steam cleaners on hardwood floors. Vinegar and water can dull the floor’s finish over time, while soap and wax leave a residue. Steam cleaners put heat and excessive water on your floor, which can lead to cupping and long-term damage. 



Porcelain is extremely stain resistant, but as a rule, all spills should be removed as quickly as possible, including staining agents, acids, alkalis & colorants.

Always rinse thoroughly with water & dry immediately after cleaning.

DAILY CLEANING: Use a slightly damp microfiber cloth.

REGULAR CLEANING: Use a neutral liquid detergent with a microfiber cloth or soft sponge.

STUBBORN SPOTS: Always test on a small, inconspicuous area first. Rinse thoroughly with water & dry immediately after cleaning. Use a slightly abrasive sponge and one of the recommended stain removers when necessary:

• Mild dish soap

• Mr. Clean

• Neutral floor cleaner

• 409

• Spic & Span

• Fantastic

• Windex

• Lysol

• Soft Scrub

• Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

• Bar Keepers Friend

DO NOT USE: Do not use steel wool as this will leave metal marks on the surface. While you should avoid cutting on the surface altogether, do not use ceramic knives on your porcelain countertops.



Clean with mild soap and water using a mop.



Clean surfaces with a mild cleaner such as dish liquid. Always use a cotton cloth. After surfaces are dry, use a reputable stainless steel polish or brass polish.
  • Stainless steel polish recommendation: Sheila Shine

  • Brass recommendation: Never Dull

DO NOT USE: Do not use abrasive applicators such as Scotch Brite or microfiber towels.



Quartz is designed to be a very low-maintenance and durable surface that is not easily damaged. Keep yours looking new by following the care & maintenance instructions below:

DAILY CLEANING: As needed, simply wipe down your quartz surfaces with a damp cloth and dry completely to avoid water spots.

STUBBORN SPOTS: While quartz is non-porous and will not stain, sometimes stubborn spots can linger longer than you would like, especially with white and lighter colors. In order to get rid of these spots, use a soft cloth or sponge with a non-abrasive cleaner, such as Soft Scrub Liquid Gel. Apply cleaner to cloth or sponge, not directly to your quartz surface, and wipe the surface. Repeat until you have removed the spot. Thoroughly rinse the surface and wipe dry to prevent water spots.


Wipe grease spots with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol and wipe the spot. Repeat as necessary until desired results have been achieved. Always follow with cleaning using mild soap or detergent as outlined above, then thoroughly rinse with cool water and dry with a soft cloth or paper towel.

RECOMMENDED CLEANING PRODUCTS: While we are partial to our Pristine Clean, there are a variety of other products that are safe to use on your quartz countertops. Please avoid the products listed below, as not all products are created the same and certain variations may include harmful chemicals or additives that could damage your quartz.

DO NOT USE: Never use any of the following to clean your quartz counter. The list below is intended to be illustrative, not comprehensive. If a cleaning agent, tool, or technique is not explicitly suggested in the cleaning methods section above, it is NOT recommended for your quartz counter.

• Abrasive cleaning pads such as Scotch Brite or the equivalent (any color).

• Magic Erasers or equivalent melamine sponges.

• Steel wool, SOS, Brillo, etc.

• High-acid cleaners such as tub & tile cleaner, mold remover, rust & hard water stain removers, toilet bowl cleaner, drain cleaner, etc.

• Powdered oxalic acid (e.g. Bar Keeper’s Friend)

• Alkaline cleaners such as bleach, ammonia, oven cleaner, etc.

• Oil soaps



Wipe cabinets down with a cotton cloth and water mixed with a mild cleaner, such as dish soap.

DO NOT USE: Don't use abrasive clothes or chemicals on painted or wood cabinet surfaces.



  • Use Rain-X® or Lemon Oil on the inside of the glass to help prevent water spotting between cleanings

  • Mild abrasives may be used on the glass to remove lime or rust buildup

  • Use a squeegee after each use to remove standing water


DRAIN MAINTENANCE - Sewage smells and other off odors

  • Basement drains may start to smell, generally when a P-trap has dried out. This happens when they don't get much use and the water evaporates.  Every few months, put water down every fixture drain in the basement, such as in the bathrooms and laundry room,  and look for any floor drains in the utility areas and do the same.
  • A small amount of mineral oil can be added to drains. Because it's not organic, it doesn't putrefy, and it's lighter than water, so any water will go through the oil. You don't need much of it, just enough to be above the p-trap, but don't overdo it because you don't want it in the septic tank as it doesn't break down like organics.
  • This should help solve sewage smells and other off odors in a house. 




Increase your hot water heater's efficiency and longevity with regular maintenance.  Flushing the tank and checking the anode rod should be performed annually. Sediment buildup shortens the life of your water heater and adds to your energy bill by reducing its efficiency.

  • Drain the tank to flush out sediments that have settled to the bottom of the tank. This can be carried out by a professional company or by you if you're handy enough. 



Proper wood deck care and maintenance are essential for homeowners, especially in colder climates where water penetration and salt exposure can accelerate weathering. 

Regularly inspect your deck for signs of wear, including loose boards, protruding nails, or rotting wood. 

Clean your deck at least once a year to remove dirt, mold, and mildew, which can cause deterioration. Consider applying a high-quality wood stain or sealant every year (or at minimum every other year). Use a product designed to protect against moisture, UV rays, and salt, as these elements can be particularly harsh in colder regions. 

Sweeping away debris and leaves regularly is also crucial, as they can trap moisture and encourage decay. By investing time and effort in these simple maintenance tasks, you'll prolong the life of your wood deck and continue to enjoy it for years to come, even in challenging weather conditions.


Ejector Pump


Annual checks should be performed to confirm it is working.  Depending on how much one runs, it could last 1–5 years.

If your ejector pump has a battery backup system, test batteries every 3-6 months. 



 carbon monoxide alarm is considered a home safety necessity. The device is tuned to detect dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, which is vital because carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless, and can be lethal. Here are a few suggestions to ensure your CO detectors are in good working order:

  • Use a dry dusting cloth to wipe the housing of your detectors
  • Replace the battery a minimum of twice each year
  • If your unit doesn’t seem to be functioning properly, replace it
  • A CO detector’s life expectancy is typically five years, so replace accordingly




Is your smoke alarm still working? A smoke alarm with a dead or missing battery is the same as having no smoke alarm. A smoke alarm only works when it is properly installed and regularly tested. Take care of your smoke alarms according to the manufacturer's instructions. Below are some general maintenance tips.

General Alarm Maintenance 

Here are some general maintenance tips for different types of alarms:

  • Alarm powered by a nine-volt battery or AA batteries:
    • Test the alarm once a month.
    • Clean the alarm monthly. Replace the batteries at least once every year.
    • Replace the entire smoke alarm every 10 years.

  • Alarm powered by a 10-year sealed (or “long-life”) battery:
    • Test the alarm once a month.
    • Clean the alarm monthly.
    • Since you cannot replace a sealed battery, replace the entire alarm after you hear the end-of-life signal (5 chirps).
  • Alarm hardwired into your home's electrical system: 
    • Test the alarm once a month.
    • Clean the alarm monthly.
    • Replace the backup battery at least once every year.
    • Replace the entire alarm every 10 years.

 False Alarm

If a false alarm is activated, one of the following may be the reason:

  • The sensing chamber may be dirty
  • Humidity, steam, or other environmental factors
  • An electrical condition may be causing power to the unit to be interrupted

You can access more information on how to resolve intermittent beeping or chirping HERE.

Cleaning Your Alarms

Clean your alarms at least once a month. This ensures that smoke or CO can reach the alarm's sensing chamber.


Gently vacuum the outside of the alarm using your household vacuum’s soft brush attachment. A can of clean compressed air (sold at office supply stores) may also be used.


  • Excess moisture can damage the unit.
  • Never use water, cleaners, solvents, or air compressor machines to clean your alarm.

For more information on fire safety in your home, please go to the US Fire Administration website.



Do NOT put salt down on concrete for the first winter.  Use “driveway safe” salt beyond the first year. 



 Keep your dryer working efficiently. Proper maintenance involves more than just emptying the lint screen, so it's important to know how to clean a dryer, including the vent, drum, and exterior. Follow the steps in this link to clean your clothes dryer inside and out and keep laundry day on track.