Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Fix a Toilet That Won't Stop Flushing

Sloan valve toilets, a common fixture in vintage apartments, use less water, but give a more powerful flush. 

Occasionally, the toilet gets stuck flushing constantly. When this occurs, it’s most often because a bit of natural sediment from the water pipes is lodged in the diaphragm that opens and closes. It keeps the system open causing one flush after another.


 Firmly tap the top of the Sloan valve until the toilet stops flushing.

The quick fix is to gently tap on the flat surface on top of the hexagon (six sided) nut on the very top of the pipes, above the flush handle. You can use a shampoo bottle, a hammer, a shoe, or can of soup.

The idea is not to break it open, but just to shake things enough to loosen the stuck bit. It may take 10-20 taps. If this works, that’s all that’s needed – nothing more to fix. If it doesn’t, please contact Hayes Properties as soon as possible. The running water will affect your water pressure and your neighbors’ ability to shower.

For the love of all that is holy, do not hit the porcelain bowl! Past experience tells us to include that disclaimer.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Graffiti Headache

You walk out back to throw away the trash and see graffiti. As you contemplate the meaning of street art versus vandalism, it occurs to you that no matter what you call it, someone just spray painted your building.

What to do next? Chicago instituted a program to eliminate graffiti and gang-related vandalism. Here are some steps to take to reach out directly to this city service:

  1. Requests can be made online with the Chicago Graffiti Blasters, or through the non-emergency phone number, 3-1-1. Outside the city, dial 312-744-5000.
  2. Be sure to include details in your request; it helps to submit a photo for clarification.
  3. Contact your property management companyHayes Propertiesto inform them about the incident. There are some cases where the city can't help, such as when graffiti is on painted surfaces. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Bikes 101

Locking Up Your Bike

Biking is one of the healthiest and most efficient ways of getting around Chicago. It’s also a phenomenal way to see this beautiful city of ours. Since many Hayes Properties tenants are cyclists, we are interested in making sure bikes properly taken care of at our buildings.

  1. Bikes should be locked up or put away in our storage spaces or in our basements and laundry rooms.
  2. Please stay clear of all walkways and doorways as well as your neighbors’ storage spaces.
  3. Do not attach your bike to fences whether they belong to us or a next door neighbor.
  4. Even if it is in a basement, we recommend locking your bike. To ensure the bike is locked, move it next to a fixed object and place the u-lock or chain around the object and the rear wheel and part of the frame.
  5. Here’s a link to step by step instructions courtesy of Kryptonite Locks
  6. Take care that basement doors lock behind you when you leave.
Can’t locate the basement in your building? Call us!


Monday, December 23, 2013

Bed Bug Prevention and Treatment in Chicago

Bed bug infestations are on the rise in Chicago. Arm yourself with preventative strategies as well as methods to detect any problems early.

Although difficult to treat, bed bugs can be eliminated. There is no single act or remedy; rather, successful treatment requires a multifaceted approach. The best results come from cooperation between tenants and landlords.

To mark the beginning of the new Bed Bug Ordinance in Chicago, we’re posting resources for local tenants. Check back soon for updates.

At the first sign of bed bugs:

1. Call your landlord if you suspect bed bugs are in your apartment. 
Hayes Properties residents should call the office immediately at 773-929-7050.

2.  Do not purge your belongings. Throwing out furniture and mattresses doesn’t get rid of bed bugs and can spread them throughout your apartment as well as transmit them to others in your community.

3.  Clear clutter and secure any discarded items in a tightly closed plastic bag before you bring them down to the trash.

4.  Keep your bedroom vacuumed, but do not leave the bag in the machine. Change it frequently and discard it in a sealed plastic bag. Once your apartment is treated, refrain from vacuuming around baseboards because it can remove the dust that the exterminator applied.

5.  Put bedding and clothes in the dryer for a full cycle to kill the bugs. Dry on the hottest setting (“Normal” for Hayes’ laundry rooms) for one full cycle. Bring items back up in a fresh, sealed laundry bag. Commercial dryers at Laundromats reach very high temperatures and are especially good for pillows, bedspreads, and bulky items.

6.  Use care when bundling laundry. When removing bed sheets, roll them down instead of pulling them off, put them in a plastic bag to transport to the laundry room, and wash in hot water right away. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Vintage Apartment Locks

How Mortise Locks Work
Like the majority of vintage buildings, most of our apartments are outfitted with mortise locks. These allow for some flexibility in the function and use of your lock.

If you look on the narrow part of the door, there are two brass buttons. Push one of them in and you can lock the door simply by closing it. Push the other button, and you will need to turn the bolt with a key in order to lock the door from the outside.

Sticky locks can be loosened with some patience and a little resourcefulness. Try using graphite as a lubricant. Draw on a key with a pencil as though you are coloring it in. Work it into the lock gently to see if it turns. In an emergency, try a little WD-40 in the lock. Of course, Hayes Properties residents can always call the office for maintenance at 773-929-7050.

Hayes Properties, Inc. Chicago, IL
All written content and illustrations are copyright Hayes Properties, Inc. or their respective authors.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Boiler Certificate from 1928: Found Objects

This plaque was posted in the basement of the building at the corner of Racine and Montana Streets, aptly named The Montine. While the boiler was replaced long ago, this notice posted October 11th, 1928 still stands decades later and speaks to the history of this Hayes Properties building.

To put things in perspective, it was posted ten years before the start of World War II. Calvin Coolidge was president during the latter half of the roaring ‘20s. Women had just gotten the vote eight years earlier in August of 1920. The notice was posted exactly one year to the month before the stock market crash of 1929.

Chicago’s population was about 3,376,438 at the time, compared to today’s estimate of 2,707,120. Housing development increased during this time of economic prosperity. The City of Big Shoulders was the second largest city in the country. Can you guess which was first?

Hayes Properties, Inc. Chicago, IL
All written content and illustrations are copyright Hayes Properties, Inc. or their respective authors.