Owning a property in Las Palmas is largely hassle-free. It’s not like we have to worry about cleaning out the gutters or insulating the roof.
However, there are a few things that come up regularly so here are my solutions to these common but uniquely Las Palmas property problems.
The ocean ate my computer
Everyone dreams of living close to the ocean but it does bring its own problems, especially in this era of delicate electronic devices.
The breeze in Las Palmas is loaded with fine droplets of sea water and while it’s said to be good for your health the salt they contain plays havoc with computers and other household devices.
Many Las Palmas locals solve the problem by sealing up their balconies and terraces and keeping any windows that face the sea closed. Effective this may be, but most foreign owners want to be able to sit outside and have their windows open.
The solution is to keep on top of the salt buildup on and inside your devices.
For example, if you have a fan-cooled computer you have to open it up and get a hoover on the insides every couple of months (relax, they are much tougher than they look). That way to suck out all the salt-laden dust that otherwise sits there and eats away at your microchips. While you’ve got your computer open it’s also a good idea to wipe down as many surfaces as ou can with a damp cloth for extra salt removal.
The same principle applies to all electronic devices. Get in behind the fridge and washing machine and clean off all the dust that builds up and collects salty deposits.
And if you own tablets and smaller devices, keep them in a sealed drawer or cloth bag when they aren’t in use.
Sand is scratching my parquet to shreds
Wooden floors are popular in Las Palmas because they are easy to clean and actually keep apartments feeling warmer during the cool winter evenings (your cold tolerance vanishes fast when you spend time in Gran Canaria).
But beach sand and parquet just don’t mix and a few months of walking in off the beach and you’ll start to see the marks on your shiny new floor.
The trick here is wage a constant and vigilant battle against sand well away from your front door. Use those beach foot washers and keep a different pair of flip flops for inside use. And sweep up the sand dry with a big soft brush rather than a wet mop.
The washing machine doesn’t work
I don’t know whether they get knocked around on the ship or whether they are designed to work at lower temperatures but once washing machines get to Gran Canaria they go all temperamental.
It’s the most common reason that guests at our holiday rental properties call us up and I’m now something of an expert at getting them to work again over the phone.
Stage one is to turn your machine off and reset the dial to zero.
Then turn it back to the program you want and turn it on. If nothing happens, the most effective fix is to give it a firm but gentle nudge with your knee. It sounds crazy, but it works more often than not.
It’s also worth checking the filters and outflow pipe for blockages before you call in a técnico.
The electricity keeps going off
The main power supply in Las Palmas is very reliable these days so if your electricity keeps going off it is likely to be a problem within your property. You’ll see that one of the switches in your fuse box has gone down.
If your electricity has gone off and the lights are still on in the neighborhood, you’ll see that one of the switches in your fuse box has gone down. If you have a modern fuse box it will say where the problem lies.
Often, the main fuse trips when you are using too many hungry devices at once. For example, the over and dryer at the same time. Or you have too many devices plugged into the same socket via a multi plug.
Another common problem in properties with outside space is that waterproof switches and outdoor fittings tend to corrode in the sunshine and salt air and let in water. If your fuses keep going off during and after rain, it’s likely that you have an exposed point somewhere on the roof or terrace.
The boiler broke (again)
The tap water in Las Palmas comes from desalinated seawater so it is full of minerals and still contains a bit of salt. It wreaks havoc on the insides of electric water heaters and there is very little you can do about.
Even the installation teams here say that it isn’t worth doing maintenance on a standard 30- or 50-litre boiler as they are so cheap to replace (100-150 euros including installation). If you’ve got a high-end or large boiler, then it’s worth paying for an extended warranty or for maintenance but otherwise, you just have to accept that your water boiler will break every few years and need to be replaced.
I’m Laura Leyshon and I’m Las Palmas’ resident estate agent. If you have any questions about buying or selling a property in the city, get in touch and I’ll reply ASAP.