help with your property
How to deal with a Maintenance Emergency
We don't have an emergency contact telephone number for the following reasons:
We had so many calls to the line about kettles and light bulbs as emergencies which resulted in expensive call outs of emergency contractors that we stopped the service.
So, what do you need to do in a REAL emergency?
There are only really two things that absolutely can't wait until the next day.
PROBLEM NUMBER ONE - SEVERE WATER LEAK
Either from above or your property leaking into the flat below
- Advise the relevant property that there has been a leak. A large volume of water is usually from a bath being emptied and a waste pipe has come loose OR a washing machine waste pipe is loose.
- Ask the flat above if that is the case to NOT use that bath or washing machine until they can have a plumber to look at what is causing the problem.
- The next working day - let us know about the problem, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org marked "Urgent" and we will pick the issue up as soon as the office opens.
- IF the problem can't be stemmed and is constant and severe then it may be a leak connected to a main water feed. In which case, if you do know a plumber then get them to attend. If you don't then common sense needs to prevail and call a plumber out to stop the problem. That invoice can then be dealt with by us.
PROBLEM NUMBER 2 - NO HEATING OR HOT WATER
If this happens in a particularly cold snap and our office isn't open it's very likely our tried and tested contractors are also not working. Where possible we need to avoid you calling out contractors that we just do NOT know. So if possible we would ask that you are able to last through until the office is open again.
- In an absolute emergency situation. Go and purchase some form of heating so that you are able to at least have one heated room. Please make sure you retain the receipt and if possible the packaging for the item.
- Hot water - Boil the kettle for washing up purposes.
- For washing purposes - a bucket of hot water and a jug can work very well in the bath. (This is just short term!)
Please note that these incidents happen very very rarely and it's easier for us to deal with the very occasional emergency in this way - rather than having a misused Emergency Contractor Line.
Some help and advice:
Condensation is actually produced by us through breathing, cooking, showering etc. Even when we are asleep we emit 1 pint of moisture into the air.
All that moisture then has to go somewhere. It will end up on the coldest surface there is. This is why mirrors steam up and windows show water on them. You will also notice it more on external walls of buildings as these will be colder than the others.
The best way of minimising this is to ensure plenty of ventilation whenever you can, so getting ready in the morning is a good time to have your windows open just to allow the moisture to escape from the flat.
In the event that a property is not ventilated, you will create a humid atmosphere and will start to see mould forming on the cold areas where moisture is just accumulating.
A humid atmosphere can then also be accentuated by things such as wet washing sitting around a flat while the windows are closed and heating is on.
Your heating plays an important part in managing the issue. A low constant heat will be more effective in warming your walls and thus creating a surface that is not so cold. The time when condensation becomes most noticeable is when we have the first cold snap and people haven’t really put their heating on yet, then really warm air inside the flat is hitting really cold walls. Just help the flat as much as you can by having the heating low and constant – yet still ventilating in the morning as much as you can.
Things to accentuate Condensation / Mould
- Lack of ventilation
- Wet washing sitting around
- Heating being on in irregular hot blasts
- Lack of regular bleach/cleaning in bathroom areas
- Furniture pushed tightly into corners will restrict the airflow around them and you may find mould forming behind them
Things you can do to help Condensation / Mould
- Ventilate a room as much as you can
- If you have an internal bathroom don’t shut the moisture in there, leave the door open and ventilate the main room
- Ensure that you use the extractor fan in the bathroom. They are designed to extract a lot of moisture from the air
- Clean a bathroom with a bleach/cleaning solution at least once a week. Preventing mould forming will stop more mould forming
- Creating a low constant heat
- Keeping furniture away from walls – just enough to allow sufficient airflow
If you are doing all these things and still having problems with mould then speak to us. We can then speak with your landlord and additional steps can be taken such as checking extractor fans if you don’t think they are working. Or in basement flats assisting ventilation with airbricks or trickle vents in sash windows.
In extreme cases of condensation where you are taking all possible preventative measures and still having problems then it may mean that there is a hidden leak contributing to the level of moisture in the room.
What happens on snow days
Over the past few years we have encountered snow days a lot more often and have found that the following is the best way to operate the office.
One or two members of staff who are able to walk to work will get to the office by 10am. They will then leave at 3pm to avoid having to negotiate icy pavements and roads in the dark !
If you purchase electricity cards from our office, you will be able to during these times. 10am – 3pm.
Some help and advice:
Many of Brighton’s buildings are old and can be very exposed and vulnerable to severe weather conditions. Combined with the British weather, we do experience a lot of calls in relation to leaks.
Most of the problems will tend to be roof related or areas adjacent to bay windows that may have flat roofs above them. Although it is important that you report these issues, you must be aware that they will rarely be resolved instantly. These issues are usually managed by Managing Agents of the whole buildings.
Managing Agents will generally want to use their own contractors to investigate the cause of the problem. This is usually carried out quickly once the owners of the flats (our Landlords) get involved.
Our job is to ensure that we pass the information you are giving us onto the Landlord as quickly as possible. Where possible we will then keep you updated with the plans of the Landlord and the Managing Agent.
In the meantime, between us, we need to manage as best as we can. If a temporary repair is possible, we will liaise with your Landlord and try and authorise this.
get in touch
115 Western Road
+44 (0)1273 72 72 78
Monday to Friday: 9.30 - 5 (phone & email)
Office is manned 10 until 1
Visits to the Office are by Appointment Only