Calling all landlords! If you’re currently renting any properties within the private rented sector, the government has made a change to the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) regulations and it is more than likely to affect both you and your tenants. From the 1st April 2018, most landlords, unless legally exempt, will be legally obligated to ensure that their privately rented properties have a minimum EPC rating of E. This means that any landlord with an EPC rating of F or G will have to make modifications to their properties in order to raise their rating; if they fail to do so they run the risk of being sanctioned with a fixed penalty fine of up to £4000.
The change, which was set out by the Minimum Energy-Efficiency Standards (MEES), will be applicable to most new lets and renewals of tenancies within the private rented sector from the 1st April 2018, however it won’t be extended to existing properties until 1st April 2020.
What does that mean for landlords?
The new legislation seeks to reduce “fuel poverty” in England and Wales, a term used to describe the state of being unable to adequately heat one’s home. The government also hopes that the new regulation will reduce our carbon footprint and promote an overall more energy-efficient way of life.
The new legislation will legally prompt landlords to invest in energy-efficient measures in order to improve their EPC ratings. Retrofit measures include A-rated boiler systems, external wall insulation systems and ground source heat pumps. These measures can indeed be expensive however they could also work in your favour as you may be able to increase your property’s value as well as its appeal to potential tenants. Furthermore, with there being talks of the government raising the minimum EPC rating to a C by 2035, retrofitting your property could prepare you for both upcoming and future requirements.
How can landlords get an EPC for their rented properties?
If you’re a landlord with a property within the private rented sector, you can get an EPC rating by arranging an appointment with a domestic energy assessor who will come and inspect the household. It has always been a legal requirement for landlords to provide an EPC as soon as they place the property on the market; the certificates last for 10 years and you risk facing an approximate £200 fine if you fail to provide a valid EPC to your tenant. Prices for EPC’s usually start at approximately £35, you should be able to find a local assessor on the EPC website.
How does the new legislation affect tenants?
The new legislation was initiated by MEES to improve the energy-efficiency of homes within the private rented sector to improve the standards of living for tenants as well as making their daily household habits more environmentally-friendly. The new regulation also promotes a wider awareness of the importance of energy-efficiency within the household, highlighting the benefits of being informed. For example, a home with an energy efficient new boiler could reduce energy wastage and enable huge savings.
How can tenants access their homes’ Energy Performance Certificates?
The online EPC Register should provide you with access to the EPCs for all properties.
The government is constantly seeking new methods to promote energy-efficient, cost-effective lifestyles. So, if you’re a landlord with a property in England or Wales, it would be wise for you to start considering what you can do to improve
Did you know that the way you drive can impact your fuel economy? From accelerating more smoothly to closing your windows on the motorway, here are a few simple things you can do.
Aggressive driving such as speeding, rapid acceleration and braking often wastes fuel. It can lower your fuel economy by 33% at motorway speeds and by 5% around town. Sensible driving is also safer for you and others, so you may save more than money on fuel money.††
Windows and roof Rack
If driving at 60 miles per hour or more, keep the windows up. Open windows create a lot of aerodynamic drag, which can add to your fuel usage when driving at high speeds. Also, remove the roof rack if you’re not using it, for up to 10 percent savings on fuel.****
Don’t let your car idle for prolonged periods of time. If you get stuck in a traffic jam, consider switching off your engine, provided it is safe to do so.
Keep your car well serviced, and make sure you check the oil levels regularly to help keep the engine happy.
Lose some luggage weight
Removing 45 kg of stuff from your vehicle could increase fuel efficiency by 2%.††
Make sure you check your tyre pressure at least once a month and before you set off on a long journey. Under-inflated tyres can increase your fuel consumption by up to 4 percent.***
Air conditioning is known for using power, which consumes fuel and emits CO₂.** If you’re driving at a low speed, switch it off and open your windows instead.
Choose your fuel carefully
Using a high quality fuel from one of the major networks such as Esso can increase fuel efficiency, ultimately meaning you get more miles for your money
Esso fuel engineers spend hours and hours testing different ingredients and formulas, because they know the smallest change can make a difference. Like the molecules in Esso regular Synergy diesel that have been specially designed to help clean vital parts of your engine (like your car’s fuel injectors) and help look after your engine. You may have heard that nasty engine deposits can build up in your engine over time which prevent your car from performing at its best and can reduce your fuel economy. In fact, when it was tested it on everyday cars it helped improve fuel economy by an average of 1.8%.*
Finally, save money with an Esso Card™ fuel card with a special offer for Checkatrade members.
Apply for an Esso Card™ fuel card and save UP TO 5P PER LITRE† off pump price.
Checkatrade have teamed up with leading fuel card provider, WEX Europe Services in order to negotiate highly competitive pricing for their members.
As a valued Checkatrade member you are eligible to apply for an Esso Card™ fuel card and receive a highly competitive fixed weekly price of UP TO 5P PER LITRE off pump price. Along with this great offer – the first 100 members to be accepted for a fuel card account will receive their first tank of fuel on us!
To take advantage of this offer go to the Checkatrade Members area.
*Esso Synergy Diesel Claims based on (1) internal or third party vehicle engine testing; and/or (2) government publications; and/or (3) industry or scientific literature. Testing based on diesel vehicles purchased on the UK used car market and independently tested at Mahle, UK. Fuel economy was assessed in the condition vehicles were received. Testing occurred over 4000 km using Esso Synergy Diesel and the average increase in fuel economy in the cars tested was 1.8%. Benefits may vary depending on factors such as engine type, engine condition, driving style, and diesel previously used. **Esso Synergy Supreme+ claims based on (1) internal or third party vehicle engine testing; and/or (2) government publications; and/or (3) industry or scientific literature. Esso Synergy Supreme+ Unleaded Petrol has a new formula and double additive treat rate, compared to Esso Synergy Unleaded Petrol. Check manufacturer’s guidance on octane requirements. Benefits may vary depending on factors such as engine type, driving style, and petrol previously used. Esso Synergy Supreme+ fuels are available at selected Esso service stations only. ***International Energy Agency. ****European Commission. †Terms and conditions apply; please see the website for more details.
Now stocked in 5000+ UK stores nationwide, with distribution agreements in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA, Gripit has established itself as the trusted trade solution for working with plasterboard. Quick and easy to install, a single blue Gripit fixing holds up to 113kg safely, ideal for all hanging jobs – from curtain rails, shelves and kitchen units, to TV’s, radiators, boilers and bathroom suites.
Many fixings on the market rely on modifying or strengthening walls, while others need timber studs or brickwork anchor points, which limits where they can be positioned. Gripit Fixings can be fitted straight into plasterboard (including dot & dab, double thickness and insulated board) with no need for specialist tools or compromises, saving you time, effort, materials and wastage. Once in place, the Gripit’s universal collar automatically adjusts to the thickness of the plasterboard and its unique backing wings unfold inside the cavity space to create a vice-like grip and ensure a secure anchor.
Gripit’s range of plasterboard Fixings are 100% British with manufacture and distribution taking place our of their Wiltshire Head Office. Completely reusable and including a 25-year guarantee demonstrates confidence in the strength and longevity of these fixings and should be considered as a long term solution that replaces disposable, single use alternatives.
But don’t take our word for it, why not try them for yourself by registering for one of 250 x free sample packs of (4 x Gripit Blue) available to Checkatrade members. Simply visit the members area, select the Gripit ‘FREE Sample Pack’ offer, submit your contact details and you’ll be fixing heavy stuff to plasterboard in no time.
NEW – Tool Kit Essential
NEW to the Gripit Family, and certain to become a tool kit essential is MarXman. This professional marking tool that is the perfect drilling companion for electrical, plumbing and building jobs and allows the user to mark fixing points through fittings of various diameters and depths (up to 45mm) incl. brick, metal, wood, pebbledash, porcelain and ceramic. Very simply, position the nozzle into the fixing hole and push down to activate a burst of fluorescent green chalk pigment that can be seen on any surface and is completely removable – simple!
Find out more about Gripit here: www.gripitfixings.co.uk
Take a look at Heatworks handy advice guide to help answer all of your boiler questions.
Types of Boilers
There’s a range of different heating requirements, these depend on your requirements and preferences, so if you need a new boiler in your home, take a look at Heatworks’ guide on the different types available to you.
- Combi Boiler
- Regular (Conventional) Boilers
- System Boiler
What is a combi boiler?
Combination boilers, known as combi boilers, can combine the dual functionality of heating your property and producing hot water from one boiler system.
Combi boilers are very popular in homes across the UK for a number of reasons, over half of domestic boilers which are installed in Britain are combi boilers. The combi boiler works as part of a closed hot water system, it heats water up as it flows past a heating component in the boiler. The water is then distributed to your showers and taps using the mains water supply and pressure.
These types of boilers are known for providing hot water on demand and the performance levels are efficient unless a situation where multiple outputs are being used at the same time. The main things to look out for when buying a new combi boiler includes the central heating output, this dictates the amount of energy that the boiler generates to keep hot. Hot water flow rates depend on the level of power that the water can distribute in the home. Heating Engineers can provide advice and advise you on the necessary boiler specification you should invest in.
Unlike regular and system boilers, with combi boilers, no additional equipment is required, so there’s no need to worry about extra space being taken up. There’s also no need for a hot water cylinder or cold water cistern, the process of installing the boiler will also be a lot quicker, which will also reduce your costs. If you choose to have a combi boiler installed, then you’ll need a flue, this is to take the waste gases outside of your home. You may want to consider a set of heating controls to get your heating working how you wish.
What is a regular boiler?
Regular boilers are known as conventional or heat only boilers, they’re known as being traditional, especially when it comes to older peoples’ properties, you’ll often find these types of boilers in their homes. They’re known for taking up space, this is due to the use of the hot water cylinder or cold water cistern.
Regular boilers generate heat from the central heating system directly, the hot water that’s produced from this will be stored in a hot water cylinder until it’s required. Stored supply of hot water is drawn through when it’s needed in the water outlets, such as your kitchen or bathrooms.
Regular boilers include a boiler, heating controls, a hot water cylinder and an expansion cistern. Heating Engineers are able to recommend the exact items you’ll need if you are replacing and upgrading your boiler system.
What is a system boiler?
System boilers can be considered as similar to regular boilers, they provide the heat for your central heating system as well as producing hot water that’s stored in a hot water cylinder until it’s required. System boilers were designed to make boiler installations a quicker and more streamlined process. This is down to the fact that the components require efficient heating and hot water which is built into the boiler itself.
A feed and expansion cistern isn’t required with system boilers as hot water will be pumped directly from the system boiler to the radiators and hot water cylinder. It supports the process to make it more efficient and financially beneficial.
System boilers can work as part of open-vented and un-vented hot water setups, a Heating Engineer will be able to explain this and address any questions you may have.
Take a look at our heating controls guide, this aims to provide you with everything you need when it comes to finding the right heating controls for your home. There’s a range available so we’ll run through some of the more popular models which are available for different boilers.
What types of heating controls are available?
Did you know there’s a difference between a timer and a thermostat, there’s hundreds of heating controls out there which all offer a range of different functions…
A timer is one of the more basic types available, these generally offer on/off timing options over 24 hours. For example, if you’d like the heating to come on at 7am and turn off at 7pm every day of the week, then a basic timer is suitable.
Programmers are similar to timers and provide a lot more options when it comes to your heating control operations, you can ‘program’ when you’d like the heating to come on. The difference between programmers and timers is that they operate your heating at the same time period each and every day, but a programmer allows you to heat for different times on different days of the week.
Room thermostats are one of the more simple heating devices, they allow you to control the temperature of your central heating system and usually sit centrally in a hall way or somewhere else easily accessible in the property. Room thermostats don’t allow the option to automate control but they do mean you can control the current temperature.
Programmable thermostats are a popular type of heating control as they mean you can control both when your heating turns on and what temperature it operates at. They also provide flexibility with a variety of timing periods including 24 hours and 7 days.
Internet (SMART) heating controls
Internet enabled heating controls are one of the latest innovations in heating controls, once they’ve been installed, everything is controlled through an app using a device like a smartphone or tablet. The heating temperature is then accessible from anywhere in the world if you have access to the internet.
Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Heating Engineers at Heatworks, who have a wealth of experience when it comes to new boiler installations.
Content supplied by: heatworksuk.com
Moving out of a rented property can be an exciting time, especially if you’ve purchased your first home all of your own. Or you could simply be moving to another rented property in a nicer area or starting a new chapter of your life living with a partner.
But arguably the most important task of all is the end of tenancy cleaning. If you don’t leave your property in the condition you found it in when you moved in all of that time ago, you could find yourself losing money.
Cleaning a whole property from top to bottom can be a huge undertaking, and it’s important to do everything right if you want to get your full deposit back from your landlord. But where on earth should you start?
We have prepared the ultimate end of tenancy checklist for you.
1. Go through your inventory
Your first task should be to go through the inventory provided by your landlord. This should specify exactly what was in the property when they handed the keys over to you, from what bedding was provided to exactly how many teaspoons were in the cutlery drawer.
2. Move all of your furniture
You will need to clean your home from top to bottom before moving out, from any lingering cobwebs on the ceiling to grime on your skirting boards. The best way to ensure you haven’t missed anything is to move all of your furniture and clean underneath/around/above absolutely everything.
3. Take all crockery and cutlery out of the cupboards
Similarly, your landlord may notice if your crockery and cutlery isn’t as clean as it could be, and it’s not the most pleasant welcome for incoming tenants if they’re coming into a property with mucky items.
4. Use natural deodorisers
It’s a nice touch to leave your home smelling fresh before the next tenants move in, but there is a risk if you use artificially scented chemical cleaners to do this that people could wonder what mess you were trying to hide and whether there’s anything they need to be worrying about.
5. Leave cleaning the bathroom until last
Alongside the kitchen, where you’re likely to feel obliged to brew up for anyone who’s helping you with the move, the bathroom is a room that will need to be in use until you leave. Even if you’ve been camped out sat on the floor for hours waiting for your removal van, traffic/too many of those brews/nerves could see you needing a last-minute visit to the toilet, even if you’ve already cleaned it.
6. See to the garden
If there’s a garden or outdoor patio or balcony attached to your rented property, you will most likely be responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of this too.
If you’ve let things get a little out of hand and the weeds are growing and clutter is building up outside, remember to take the time to clean up and do a little gardening before you leave.
7. Call in professional help
If this is the first time you’re moving, you won’t necessarily know exactly what needs doing, but the FastKlean team has years of experience of helping tenants to leave their homes in the standard of cleanliness that landlords expect. Contact the team to find out more today.
Checkatrade member profile: https://www.checkatrade.com/Fastklean/
Carpets don’t come cheap, whether you have one fitted at home or in the workplace. It stands to reason, therefore, that you’ll want your carpet to stay looking good, for as long as possible.
One of the most effective ways to achieve this is by knowing how to look after your carpet properly. Yet, with a lot of confusing and conflicting information doing the rounds regarding carpet cleaning, it’s no wonder that this is often easier said than done. Here are five common carpet cleaning myths debunked.
Myth 1: Your carpet only needs professional cleaning if it gets stained
Nobody likes to see unsightly stains blemish the appearance of their carpet, so, inevitably, this will be a time when you’ll call for professional carpet cleaning assistance. But, it shouldn’t be the only time your carpet gets an expert detoxing. Even if your carpet is free from stains, there could be contaminants lurking deep within its fibres that you can’t see, and which a vacuum cleaner isn’t able to suck up. Dust, dust mites, pet hair, mold spores, bacteria and other pollutants can live unnoticed in a carpet, but can affect the health of your carpet, and even the health of those around you. For this reason, getting your carpet professionally cleaned on a regular basis is essential, even if it doesn’t look soiled.
Myth 2: It’s easy to clean a carpet yourself
We live in a day and age where the internet has made it possible for us to easily manage many tasks in the home, particularly with the prevalence of online videos and tutorials. This is all well and good, but when it comes to carpet cleaning, it’s always a wise idea to call in the professionals if you’ve got a stain that needs shifting. The problem with using common cleaning solutions on carpets is that they might not be suitable for a specific stain. In some cases, you might make the stain worse by rubbing it in, or using too much of the product so that the stain settles into the carpet for good. If you value your carpet, don’t take any risks, and, instead, opt for expert help.
Myth 3: Choose a carpet cleaner who offers the best price
Let’s face it, we all like a bargain, and choosing the cheapest carpet cleaning company around might seem like good financial sense – but, think again. Not all carpet cleaning companies are created equally, and there is a wealth of difference between the quality of services you can find available, and the equipment and products used to clean carpets. If you want to ensure your carpet is getting the best cleaning treatment possible, basing your decision on price alone is never a sensible idea. Instead, choose a carpet cleaning company that boasts excellent reviews and quality credentials, and uses high tech equipment by skilled and experienced cleaning technicians.
Myth 4: Carpets take days to dry
Many people are put off getting their carpet professionally cleaned as they wrongly assume that the drying process is long and protracted. This is only the case if a carpet has been exposed to excessive moisture from inferior cleaning practices, or poor quality cleaning equipment is used. With the advent of cutting-edge cleaning technology, many carpets can now be dried within a couple of hours, although this can take a little longer depending on the specific problems or the fabric of the carpet. Certainly, if you choose a carpet cleaning company that uses the latest technology and best practices, your carpet will be cleaned and dried in the quickest time possible.
Myth 5: Carpet cleaning can ruin a carpet
There is a common misconception that regular carpet cleaning can somehow damage a carpet’s fibres, but this isn’t the case. The only time that carpet cleaning may ruin a carpet is if incorrect products, equipment or techniques have been used. In fact, with professional carpet cleaning and the right tools for the job, regular cleaning maintenance removes contaminants and can actually help to extend a carpet’s lifespan. Again, checking the credentials of the carpet cleaning company you use is vital to ensure you safeguard the health and longevity of your carpet.
This blog was provided by Carpet Bright UK – https://www.carpetbright.uk.com
See their customer reviews at http://www.checkatrade.com/CarpetBrightUK/
Despite a temperate climate, the UK still sees its fair share of harsh weather during the winter months – and this means it’s vital to prepare your home well ahead of the upcoming cold snap to avoid any unwanted issues that can arise when the bad weather arrives.
From frozen pipes and cold draughts to leaky roofs and poor insulation, in today’s post, we’ll provide you with a guide on how to ready your home for winter – ensuring your home stays warm and comfortable for the whole season.
Service your boiler & heating systems
With temperatures already dropping, it’s likely your heating system has already been cranked up to keep your home toasty – but it still pays to get it serviced before the weather gets any worse. This will ensure your heating is working at optimum efficiency, as well as flag up any minor problems that could cause a breakdown.
Check your radiators
Checking your heating system is also a good time to test your radiators to make sure there isn’t any air in the pipes that could affect the temperature. If you do find air pockets, it’s a simple fix for yourself or a plumber and can make a huge difference to the effectiveness of your heating. When the heating system is on full, feel each radiator for cold spots, then use a radiator key to open up the air valve on the side to release the air. Afterwards, you’ll instantly feel the difference in warmth, something you’ll be thankful for as we head into the colder months ahead.
Improve your insulation
We lose a surprising amount of heat in our homes through windows, doors and roofs, so taking the time to add some extra insulation to these areas could improve the heat efficiency of your home – and maybe also save you money on your energy bills!
From additional roofing insulation to thermal curtains and blinds, insulating areas where the most heat is lost will work wonders when it comes to keeping you warm this winter. You may also want to consider insulating your rooms with underfloor heating, too. Whether your house has floor tiles or wooden planks, underfloor heating provides an extra layer of insulation, as well as an energy-efficient heating system.
Prepare your plumbing
Frozen pipes can wreak havoc in homes – not only because you’ll be without water until they thaw, but the ice can also cause pipes to burst as it expands inside. The key here is to minimise the chances of freezing: shut off and insulate outdoor taps and pipes, leave a trickle of water running on taps with an unheated supply and insulate any exposed pipework. You may even want to drain the system entirely if you’re heading away from your home for an extended period over winter.
Tackle cold draughts
Houses inevitably get draughts from time to time, especially older properties. A pre-winter check of windows and doors will help tackle issues head on. Whether you opt for replacing problem windows or doors, or try DIY fixes like insulation strips, draught-excluders or re-caulking, you’ll find fewer draughts lead to a cosier home and a smaller energy bill.
Clear your guttering
Dead leaves, moss and debris can get clogged up in your guttering and drains, which causes water to get backed up. So, ahead of winter, we’d recommend you clear gutters and drains and repair any damaged pipework to ensure excess water is efficiently drained away from your property. For an easier job in the future, you can even look into installing gutter and drain guards to reduce the amount of debris building up in the first place.
Repair roof issues
Whether it’s loose tiles, damaged lead flashing or rotting support beams, as your first line of defence against the elements, it pays to tackle roof issues right away. With heavy rainfall and freezing temperatures, a little problem can soon become a bigger and more expensive one – so, ensuring your roof is fully weatherproofed and prepared for winter will help you avoid any unwanted leaks.
British weather is temperamental, but, with this guide, you’ll have everything you need to arm your home with a strong defence that can withstand the elements all winter long.
Blog kindly provided by Tiles Direct – https://www.tiles-direct.com/
Painting and decorating the interior of your home can be fun and exciting but also lengthy and messy. Covering the carpets with dust sheets and so on can help reduce the risk of spilling paint onto them however sometimes it will find its way through and you may end up with a paint stain on your lovely carpets.
Luckily is no need to panic!
There are ways that you can remove this paint without the need of professional carpet cleaners.
Depending on what paint you are dealing with will decide what method to use to remove it.
Oil Based Paints
If the paint stain is dry, you will need to use a steamer to soften the stain. These can be purchased from most homeware stores and are not too expensive.
Apply the steam directly to the stained area for a few minutes then take away and start to pick at the paint with a needle or pin. This will begin to break it up a little.
You may need to re apply the steam a few times and simultaneously pick at the paint to remove all of the stain.
Using this method, you can remove the paint stain without causing any damage to the fibres leaving your carpet stain free and looking clean and fresh.
Latex Based Paint
Begin by blotting up as much leftover wet paint as possible with a clean piece of kitchen roll. Remember to blot, DO NOT rub as this will cause the paint to be pushed further into the carpet’s fibres which will make it harder to remove.
Mix up a bowl of lukewarm water adding 1 teaspoon of washing up liquid. Always use mild washing up liquid and not ones that contain bleach.
Next, working from the outside of the paint stain inwards, blot with the washing up liquid mixture on a clean cloth.
You should start to notice that the paint will be transferred onto the clean cloth. You may need a few cloths, make sure to use a clean part of each cloth after every blot. You don’t want to smear the paint back onto the carpet.
Once the stain is removed, let the area dry completely then finish by vacuuming the area to fluff up the carpet fibres.
You will be left with a clean fresh smelling carpet.
Water Based Paints
If the paint stain is still wet, start by blotting the area with a wet paper towel. DO NOT scrub the stain as this will cause it to spread and you may end up with a bigger stain than before.
However if the paint stain has already dried, mix some hot water and a teaspoon of washing up liquid into a bowl then apply the solution to the stained area and let it sit for a few minutes.
This will soften the paint and make it easier to remove in the next step.
Once the paint has softened, start to scrape the paint up and away from the carpet fibres using a butter knife or a pin. You may need to add some more of your hot water solution as you go to keep the area wet and help stop the paint from drying.
If the paint does not come away from the carpet fibres, you may need to use a carpet steamer whilst you continue scraping the paint to help soften it further.
Once you have successfully removed all of the paint, allow the area to completely dry and then vacuum it.
Hopefully this has helped but if these methods don’t work for your carpets then you may need to consider contacting a Professional Carpet Cleaner to ensure that the stain is removed successfully. Premium Clean Ltd offer an amazing Carpet Steam Cleaning service as well as having friendly hardworking Carpet Technicians waiting to help with any carpet queries that you may have, providing information and advice wherever needed.
Kiril Natov (Premium Clean Ltd. – Director)
Tel: 0203 0040 643 / 0777 45 18 219
Most carpeting today is engineered to provide a long and useful life and to enhance the indoor environment. Carpet offers advantages over other flooring systems, such as reduced fatigue for the person walking over it, sound absorption, heat insulation and providing a more comfortable surface for children to play on. Also, carpet acts as a huge air filter by trapping dust and other particule matter within the pile for easy vacuuming.
Regular maintenance is an important part of the life cycle of carpets and furniture. If proper maintenance is neglected, the carpet’s appearance will suffer, shortening the carpet’s life and raising long term costs.
Perhaps the most important aspect of carpet cleaning is reducing the amount of soil entering the home in the first place. This can be a difficult task or an easy one depending upon the family structure and mode of living. Children, pets and sometimes husbands, make it more difficult to keep carpet clean but there are certain steps you can take to reduce overall soiling.
Most people enter their homes through the garage, so it is important to keep the floor clean by sweeping and washing the garage floor down every few months or so (a great job for kids).
You can also utilize any scrap pieces of carpet you have by cutting them into 2 to 3 foot wide strips from 4 to 8 feet long and placing them on either side of the car. This way when you park and get out of the vehicle, you’re walking on the carpet straight from your car to the house – a first line of defense.
Once inside the house, it’s a good idea to have an area rug at the doors and long runners in the hallway and going into the house. The objective is to have rugs and runners at every entry point to capture dirt and moisture before it gets into the home’s intimate living areas. Runners and rugs are also much easier to clean more frequently than an entire carpet.
Another simple idea is to make it more inviting and easier for people to remove their shoes by placing a small bench, stool or chair at the entry point so people can sit without having to bend over or balance on one leg as they try to take off shoes. Alternatively, you could keep a supply of shoe cover footies at the door. Clean Expert Ltd supply these as a courtesy after every carpet cleaning.
You can purchase professional mats that capture soil and water from entering the building. These will have a slightly coarse texture and can brush soil from shoes and hold large amounts within their pile. These mats can be frequently and easily cleaned by being taken outside, beaten and hosed off using a mild laundry detergent, such as woolite, before being hung over a fence to drip dry.
The choice of floor mats can be daunting but in our experience, even if you don’t want to spend out on a professional mat, it’s better to have a scrap piece of carpet than nothing.
Vacuuming is the most significan t element in the maintenance and the overall appearance of carpeting but while vacuum cleaners are designed to remove dry soil, 20% of the soil brought into your home is oily and or wet.
Walking on soiled carpet permits dry soil to travel further in the pile and backing of carpeting. Frequent vacuuming will remove this soiling before it goes deeper into the pile and heavily trafficked areas should be vacuumed daily with other areas being done every 2-3 days for the best results.
Food and drink should be avoided or kept at a minimum on carpeting and any spills and spots should be addressed immediately. Clean Expert Ltd suggest you put anything but water on a spot and then call a professional to come clean it because often a person will use a broad based spotter that can set the stain making it more difficult to remove. A spot cleaning visit typically costs from £25 to £50.
Key Tip; Outdoor shoes should never come into contact with indoor carpets.
Training husbands and children to remove shoes as they come into the home can be a chore, but with sweet talk, kindness and the odd bribe – it should be achievable. If not, for the safety of your carpets….crack the whip once in a while!
The last and best thing to do to keep your carpets clean is to use the services of a professional carpet cleaner on a regular basis. High traffic areas such as entries, hallways, family rooms etc. should be cleaned every 4 to 6 months while other areas such as bedrooms and basements need to be cleaned every 6 to 12 months.
Blog kindly provided by Checkatrade member, Clean Expert Ltd – http://www.checkatrade.com/Cleanexpert/
Weather can cause damage to roofs, and with roofs being a key part of keeping us warm and dry it’s important we look after them.
Here are some pointers on how to health check your roof, whilst the weather is good. Most of these can be carried out safely from the ground but for a more extensive inspection you would be advised to seek a professional trades person.
Roofs are exposed to the worst elements of the weather all year round and wear and tear will take place over your roofs lifetime, so make sure it’s checked from time to time or hire a professional through Checkatrade.
The 6 main areas to check when inspecting your roof are:
- Roof tiles
- Lead flashing
- Moss growth
- Inside inspections
Missing or Damaged Roof Tiles
Quite often roof tiles become loose, cracked or even break. The only way of inspecting the entire roof is to psychically go up onto the roof itself to obtain a full view. We wouldn’t recommend this for health and safety reason but you can find 1000’s of roofers all over the UK available on Checkatrade that comply with current health and safety legislation.
Specialist equipment is needed to carry out such inspection and this will include:
- Safety Harness
- Suitable shoes that grip well
- Safety rope usually a 700kg breaking strain
- And an extension ladder that is in excellent working order.
Lead flashing is used to seal tiles practically around areas that join together. If we take a moment to think of all the things that make up a roof, chimneys, skylights, and vents, these will all need to have some form of flashing. over time this flashing can get damaged and if you notice any cracks it’s best to replace these sections.
It is possible for flashing to move position over time, so checking it’s in the right position is also important.
One of the most common problems that people face is blocked gutters and if these persist over time it can cause serious damage. Water can build up and find its way running down external walls. If too much water finds its way down these walls, over time it will start to damage the foundations of your home. So making sure the gutters are connected properly and all the pipes are joining is important. Having the right depth gutter for the right pitched roof is also advisable. Many different materials are used to make gutters and these differ from cast iron, lead, zinc, galvanised steel, painted steel, copper, painted aluminium, PVC (and other plastics) and occasionally from concrete, stone, and wood. Professional roofers will have knowledge in how to maintain and repair these different types of gutters.
If you have noticed moss on your roof, you may think that it is not doing any damage, but the truth is it does, it can cause moisture damage to tiles. In most cases, after dry weather, you can brush moss off with a broom. However, it may have caused further damage so seeking advice from a professional is advisable.
Inside inspections are usually a visual inspection, looking around the inside of your loft and trying to spot signs that are unusual. Water rings/stains and dark patches of possible rot. If you see sunlight through your roof, it may be that your tiles have moved. Not all roofs have insulation, so it might be that you will be seeing the back of the tiles that make up your roof. It is advisable to have your roof insulated as it will retain heat in the house and hopefully help to keep energy bills low.
It’s important that your roof can circulate air and if your vents are blocked by leaves, moss or insulation it can cause moisture build up and condensation with will damage your roof from the inside. So check that the vents are clear and you then you shouldn’t experience any problems.
To find a recommended trades person for any job around your home – check them out before you call them out at checkatrade.com
By Diane Stafford – Consumer Marketing @Checkatrade