Customer Service and Warranty
When you make a commitment to a new Ryland home, Ryland makes a commitment to you. Our Ryland Homes Warranty Program includes:
- One-year wall-to-wall coverage
- Two-year electrical, plumbing, heating, cooling and ventilation system coverage
- Ten-year major structural defect coverage
Coverage is limited to defects in materials and workmanship. Refer to the Ryland Homes Warranty for full details and limitations on coverage. Items covered under manufacturer or supplier warranty are not specifically covered by Ryland Homes. However, for the first year, we'll assist you in obtaining service if you are unable to do so directly with the supplier or manufacturer.
See our list of Frequently Asked Questions and Homeowner Resources for common household maintenance tips or to submit a warranty claim form.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Q. Are appliances covered under the Ryland Limited Warranty?
- A. No, appliances are directly warranted through General Electric appliances. Ryland Customer Service will assist you with any claims in the first year, but you should contact GE directly. Requests for GE service may be done online at www.geappliances.com.
- Q. Can I use my attic as storage?
- A. No. The framing components in your attic area were not designed to carry additional weight. Storing items in your attic may void your Ryland Structural Warranty as well as cause drywall damage on interior ceilings.
Copies of Closing Documents
- Q. Can Ryland provide me with documents related to my home?
- A. Ryland provided this information to you during the sales, construction and settlement process. We can check our electronic files, but may not be able to assist you since we don’t store all records electronically for extended periods of time.
- Q. Are concrete cracks warranted?
- A. Concrete by nature is prone to minor cracks and is considered a common occurrence. Minor cracking is normal and should be expected due to shrinkage, settlement and expansion and contraction of the concrete. Control joints are placed in concrete to help control cracks and provide an area for them to occur. It is recommended to fill cracks with a flexible concrete sealant based on the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Q. Will drywall cracks and/or nail pops be repaired?
- A. Minor drywall cracks, corner-bead cracks, and nail pops on interior walls and ceilings are caused by home settlement and drying of wood framing materials. Ryland Homes offers a one-time repair of any drywall settlement cracks in excess of 1/8” in width and all nail pops during the first year. Ryland Homes recommends that the Homeowner schedule these repairs toward the end of their first year. It will be the Homeowner’s responsibility to sand and repaint the affected areas.
- Q. I have a small crack in my brick mortar. Does this mean I have a foundation problem?
- A. A small crack in the mortar of your brick veneer is usually not a sign of a foundation concern, but rather of minor expansion and contraction of the building materials. Also, brick and stone may develop a whitish staining over time known as efflorescence, which is also a normal occurrence. To lessen and possibly remove this staining, scrub with a stiff brush and a tablespoon of vinegar mixed with warm water. The brick on your home is a veneer and is considered non-structural.
- Q. What are the small holes in the bottom portion of the brick wall?
- A. The small holes or gaps you see in the brick mortar joints are called “weep holes”. By design, these holes allow moisture that has accumulated behind the brick to escape. Keep the weep holes clear of landscaping, mulch or debris.
- Q. Why is there a smell coming from my drain?
- A. The various plumbing drains in your home have a U-shaped trap that prevents sewer odors from re-entering your home. They do this by trapping a small amount of water in the line that blocks the sewer gasses. If you have a plumbing fixture or floor drain that is rarely used, run a small amount of water into the line every month to maintain the water level in the trap. You should also check under sinks and around any plumbing fixture monthly to verify that a leak has not occurred. A small leak, left unchecked, can cause major damage to cabinets and flooring as well as allow the growth of mold.
- Q. Why are my garage and exterior outlets not working?
- A. Your home is equipped with circuit breakers (located at the main electrical panel) to prevent damage to the wiring during an overload. The most common cause of an overload is having too many appliances plugged into a single circuit. To reset a tripped breaker, locate the breaker of the tripped circuit. It will be the one that is set between the on and off position. Flip the breaker completely to the off position and then flip it to the on position. Your home is also equipped with GFCI or GFI circuits that are located near a water source such as in bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, garages, and on the exterior of the home. Each circuit will have at least one outlet with a test breaker that serves all the outlets on that circuit. To test, press the T or test button, there should be a click as the circuit trips off. To reset, press the R or reset button until another click is heard. When a GFCI circuit has tripped, it can most often be reset at one of these outlets. If the outlet was not tripped, check the circuit breaker in the main electrical panel.
- Q. Why does my vacuum cleaner consistently trip my bedroom electrical breaker?
- A. Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCI) are installed according to the National Electric Code in bedrooms and other specified areas in your home to help protect circuits against electrical fires caused by faulty cords and appliances. AFCIs are sensitive devices and Homeowners may occasionally experience “nuisance” tripping. The most common causes of nuisance tripping are damaged cords or plugs on lamps, small appliances or other devices. Some newer vacuum cleaners and exercise equipment may not work on AFCI-protected circuits.
- Q. The water pressure at my kitchen faucet seems to be dropping. Should I call the plumber for service?
- A. Before calling the plumber, unscrew the faucet aerator and check for debris in the aerator screen. Also check to make sure the water shutoff valves for the faucet are fully open.
- Q. How do I use my fireplace?
- A. Your home may include a wood or gas-burning fireplace. When using a wood-burning fireplace be sure the flue is opened to allow the smoke and gases to escape. Once the fire is lit be sure the screens or doors are closed to prevent sparks from getting into the house. Gas fireplaces use gas only. Never try to burn paper or wood in these types of fireplaces. Also, your fireplace may give off an odor during the first few times it is used. This smell is packing grease used to protect the unit before installation. This is a normal occurrence and should stop after a few uses.
- Q. Why do my hardwood floors sometimes make a creaking noise when I walk on them?
- A. Hardwood flooring is a natural product and its natural qualities make them desirable. Much like any wood product used in the construction of your new home, the hardwoods will expand and contract according to the humidity level in your home. Controlling humidity levels according to the hardwood manufacturer’s recommendations will help control the dimensional stability of the hardwood.
- Q. What products should I use to clean my new hardwood floors?
- A. Sweep or vacuum your floor regularly since built-up grit can damage the surface of the wood. The vacuum head must be a brush or felt type. Be certain the wheels of the vacuum are clean and do not damage the finish. Do not use a vacuum with a beater bar head. Remove spills promptly using a soft cloth and cleaning products recommended by the manufacturer. Never wet-mop, damp-mop, or clean your floor with water or other products. This can severely damage the flooring and damage resulting from these actions will not be covered under warranty. Do not use hardwood floor cleaning machines or steam cleaners.
- Q. How do I care for my vinyl floor?
- A. Vinyl floors can be vacuumed, swept or wiped down with a cloth. If liquid is spilled on the vinyl, wipe it up quickly to prevent staining and loosening of the vinyl from the floor. Dirt and mud should be swept up. Never use harsh cleaners such as turpentine, kerosene, or alcohol on your vinyl. High heels and other small pointed or sharp objects can dent or even cut your vinyl floor. Most manufacturers of flooring have specific care and maintenance products for their flooring. In some cases, if these products are not used it may affect the warranty of the flooring.
- Q. What is the best way to maintain my new carpet?
- A. Frequent vacuuming and spot treatment of stains as soon as they occur.
- Q. Why is my carpet shedding?
- A. Your home’s carpet will have a certain amount of shedding for the first few months after installation. This is a normal occurrence and should be vacuumed regularly to remove the loose fibers. As a general rule you cannot over vacuum your carpet.
- Q. Do I need to seal the grout at my ceramic tile?
- A. Water can penetrate grout seams and joints and can damage materials adjacent to and underneath the tile. In order to help prevent water penetration and grout staining, apply a silicone-based sealer after you move-in and periodically thereafter according to the manufacturer recommendations.
- Q. What do I do if my garbage disposal jams?
- A. If your garbage disposal jams, be sure to turn the disposal off and disconnect the power supply or shut off the main circuit breaker. Next, manually free the blades from the obstruction. Some disposals have been equipped with a disposal wrench that can be used for this purpose. The insertion point for the disposal wrench is located at the center of the bottom of the garbage disposal. Once the blades are free, press the reset button and test the unit. Always run cool water into the unit when in use.
- Q. How do I shut the gas off to my home?
- A. The gas meter to your home is located on the exterior side of your home. The shut-off valve for the gas supply to your home located here. To shut off the gas in an emergency simply turn the valve ¼ turn so the valve crosses the line. Whenever the gas has been shut off some gas appliances may need to be relit when the gas supply is returned. All gas appliances should be checked for proper operation when the gas is returned. We recommend this be done by a licensed professional.
Hot Water Heater
- Q. What temperature should the hot water heater be set at?
- A. Water temperature is set between 120°F and 125°F from the manufacturer, as required by code. While lower settings reduce utility operating costs, bear in mind that dishwashers, which have their own heating element, do not sanitize properly with settings below 125°F.
- Q. Does my water heater require maintenance?
- A. Small amounts of scale deposits will collect and settle to the bottom of the water tank. Remove this residue by periodically draining the tank. For electric water heaters, shut off the power first using the appropriate circuit breaker in the electrical panel box. Then open the valve at the bottom of the water heater, allowing a quart or two of residue to drain out until the water runs clear. If you live in a hard-water region, a water softener will reduce the need for more frequent draining. Do not completely drain an electric water tank without first shutting off the water heater circuit breaker. Otherwise, the heating element will burn out. For gas water heaters, it is recommended to have the unit periodically evaluated by a professional contractor.
- Q. How often should the HVAC system be serviced?
- A. Your furnace, A/C and / or heat pump should be inspected and cleaned by a heating professional twice a year, preferably once in the spring and once in the fall to keep the components in good working condition. Most reputable HVAC companies offer a service contract that would provide for normal maintenance.
- Q. How often should I replace the filters in my HVAC system?
- A. Air filters should be replaced every 30 days. To remove and replace air filters, turn the furnace and fan off using the thermostat control or shut-off switch, then pull out the old filter. Be sure to install new filter with the arrows pointing in the direction of the airflow.
- Q. How can I run my HVAC system more efficiently?
- A. To prevent over taxing your system, start the air conditioner in the morning and let it maintain the desired temperature all day rather than lowering the temperature in the afternoon. Keep windows and doors closed and keep window coverings closed to block out heat from the sun. Where applicable, the cooling system should be able to maintain a temperature of 78 degrees.
- Q. Why is the top floor of my home warmer than the lower floors?
- A. Hot air rises, causing upper floors to be somewhat warmer than lower floors. This can be minimized with seasonal balancing of air flow by adjusting air dampers and/or individual room air supply registers. Partially opening and closing dampers and registers will release and restrict more air flow, respectively, and force more or less conditioned air to other areas of the home. You may also increase circulation by ensuring furnace filters are clean and utilizing ceiling fans. Closing blinds and drapes to deflect afternoon sunlight will also help to minimize increases in interior temperature.
- Q. Why is my yard not flat?
- A. Ryland grades your yard to allow storm water to flow away from your foundation to prevent potential water damage.
- Q. I have settlement around my home.
- A. We will fill settled areas affecting proper drainage in excess of 6 inches, one time only during the warranty period. You will be responsible for the removal and replacement of landscaping.
Major Structural Defects
- Q. What is covered by the Major Structural Warranty?
- A. The Major Structural Warranty covers Load-Bearing Components of your new home.
Load Bearing Components are:
- Roof framing members (rafters and trusses)
- Floor framing members (joists and trusses)
- Bearing walls
- Lintels (other than lintels supporting veneers)
- Load-bearing beams
- Foundation systems and footings
Examples of Non-Load-Bearing Components, damage to which does not constitute a Major Structural Defect are:
- Non-load-bearing partitions and walls
- Floor covering; sub-floor materials; or wall covering material
- Brick, stucco, decorative cementitious finish, stone, or veneer
- Any type of exterior siding
- Roof shingles, sheathing and tar paper
- Heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, plumbing, electrical, and mechanical systems
- Appliances, fixtures, or items of equipment
- Doors, windows, trim, cabinets, hardware, insulation, paint, and stains
- Concrete floors in attached garages and basements that are built separately from foundation walls or other structural elements of the home
- Q. How often should I repaint my home?
- A. Stucco, wood trim, non-vinyl siding, and eaves all have painted surfaces. Many things effect how often you will paint your home. Some dark colors are more affected by sun exposure and may need recoating more often than lighter colors. Some areas of your home receive more exposure to sunlight and the elements than the rest of your home. Depending on the harshness of the climate where you live, peeling and cracking paint can occur more frequently than in other areas. This is the first sign that a home needs to be repainted. Peeling and cracking paint can allow moisture and other harmful elements to penetrate the wood framing and foundation of your home. It is wise to inspect your home often for these tell-tale signs.
- Q. Is my home treated for insects?
- A. Some states require that your home be treated for termites. Where applicable, the termite treatment is warranted during the first year and Ryland Homes recommends periodic maintenance thereafter through a certified licensed pest control contractor.
- Q. What do I do in the event of a plumbing leak?
- A. If a plumbing leak is discovered in your home immediately shut off the water supply to the affected area. Individual shut off valves at the fixture will isolate that location and allow the rest of the plumbing system in the home to be used. If the leak cannot be isolated in this manner shut off the main water supply to the home. If the leak is covered under your Ryland Homes warranty, notify Ryland using the procedures outlined in your warranty manual. If the leak is not under warranty, call a licensed plumbing contractor to correct the problem.
- Q. What do I do about cracks in the grout of my shower?
- A. Cracks in the grout/caulk are considered normal due to settlement of the home. It is important to keep these areas sealed with a good latex caulk. Inspect your shower frequently, and re-caulk as needed.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
- Q. Why are my smoke and/or carbon monoxide detectors chirping?
- A. The detectors in your home operate using power from your home’s electrical system. In addition, each detector has a battery backup to supply power to the detector during a power outage. The detectors should be tested every six months using the test button and the batteries replaced at that time.
Snow/Ice on Concrete
- Q. Can I use salt to melt snow and ice on the exterior concrete?
- A. No. Salt and other de-icing chemicals will severely damage exterior concrete surfaces and cause pitting and spalling. These chemicals may be tracked in by your vehicle’s tires or accumulate in your vehicle’s undercarriage. Remove snow and ice promptly from the concrete surfaces. If a thin layer of ice cannot be removed we recommend the use of sand or cat litter to provide safe traction.
- Q. Is it okay to use “in the tank” toilet cleaners?
- A. You should use regular type toilet bowl cleaners and not those that are placed in the tank. They have chemicals that react to the rubber valves and gaskets in the tank and may cause a leak. Any consequential damages caused by these leaks are not covered under your warranty.
- Q. Is there something wrong with the flow in my toilet?
- A. Your toilets are the low flow variety that are mandated by federal law. These toilets use only 1.6 gallons of water per flush and thereby greatly reduce your water consumption.
- Q. How do I request warranty service?
- A. All non-emergency service requests must be submitted in writing to your local office either via fax, e-mail, or regular US Mail. To submit an e-mail request online, click here or visit www.ryland.com, select Homeowner Resources at the bottom of the page, Customer Service and Warranty Directory, select your market and community and then follow the prompts to complete your request. Emergency calls are accepted via phone call to the local Ryland office during normal business hours. After requesting emergency service via phone a homeowner should also follow-up in writing to their local office. For after-hours emergencies please contact the proper contractor shown on the Emergency Contact sticker provided to you at closing.
- Q. What is considered an emergency?
- A. Some warranty items are considered an emergency. Most emergencies are either electrical, plumbing or heating related and are normally handled by the appropriate contractor or utility company. The names and service telephone numbers of these important people are listed on the Emergency Contact sticker. Before calling for help with an emergency, please review the appropriate electrical, heating, or plumbing section in your Homeowner Manual to determine if the problem can be resolved simply.
- Q. Can I schedule warranty service work on the weekends or evenings?
- A. In an effort to provide the most cost effective service to all of our customers, warranty service requests must be scheduled during normal business hours Monday thru Friday.
- Q. I will not be home for the repairs. Can someone else let you in to do the work?
- A. Ryland requires access to the home by a responsible adult 18 years of age or older. Ryland personnel and contractors will not perform any work if minors are present unaccompanied by an adult.
- Q. How do I know if something is covered by my warranty?
- A. Warranties are provided through Ryland Homes and product manufacturers. Your Homeowner Manual will explain what items in your home are warranted and the extent and duration of the coverage.
- Q. When does my warranty period start?
- A. Your warranty period starts on the Effective Date, which is the date of the transfer of title or date of occupancy by the first Homeowner, whichever occurs first.
- Q. How do I care for my windows?
- A. Your windows do not require a great deal of care; however, you should vacuum the window tracks once a year to keep them clean of dirt and debris. Also, periodically check to make sure that the weep holes on the bottom exterior of your windows are clear to allow water to drain from the window. Failure to keep these clear could cause water to enter into your home.
- Q. I have a fog between the panes of glass on my window.
- A. You have a seal failure between the panels of glass. Typically, this type of glass failure is covered by the manufacturer of the window. You should contact the manufacturer for replacement.
- Q. Why do gaps form at caulked areas such as the stairs and around wood trim?
- A. Ryland Homes uses wood trim moldings. Separation of some wood moldings is normal and caused by home settlement and expansion and contraction of building materials due to changes in humidity. Maintain these areas by periodically re-caulking with a latex caulk.