This winter, don’t forget that if you are a homeowner over the age of 65 and on means tested benefits you can get a FREE gas safety check to make sure your appliances and your gas supply is working safely.
Homeowners use the most gas during the cold winter months when heating needs are greatest, and we put a lot of pressure on our services to perform safely and efficiently.
North East Lincolnshire Council’s Home Energy Team is offering the free gas safety checks to homeowners who have not had a gas safety check in the last 12 months, and who meet the criteria. Residents can contact the home energy team on 01472 324703 or complete an online enquiry form at www.nelincs.gov.uk/homes-and-property/home-energy.
Many properties also struggle with condensation and mould throughout the winter months. If left untreated, mould can cause long-term damage to the property, and potentially have an impact on the health of those living there.
Condensation is usually the biggest cause of damp within homes. Reducing condensation-producing activities, ventilating your home to remove excess moisture and insulating your property will all help to reduce damp in your home.
· Dry clothes outdoors if possible. If you have to dry them indoors use a clothes airer in the bathroom with the door closed and either an extractor fan on or a window slightly open.
· Vent tumble driers to the outside (never into the home) or use a condensing type.
· Cover pans when cooking and use an extractor fan. Do not leave kettles boiling on the stove.
· Do not use paraffin or gas bottle heaters. They produce large amounts of water vapour and are very expensive to run.
· Always ventilate or open a window when using the kitchen or the bathroom and close the doors to prevent moisture in the air from spreading to other parts of the house.
If mould does develop, there are a number of inexpensive steps that tenants and landlords can take for a prolonged period which can do a great deal to keep mould problems at bay.
· Carefully remove mould with a damp cloth and dispose. Do not brush mould as this releases spores into the air.
· Regularly check under divan bed drawers and behind wardrobes, bedside cabinets and bedheads – wipe down any mould as above. You should also check clothing stored in cupboards, and wash affected items immediately.
· Wipe down affected areas using a good quality mould and mildew spray.
Landlords (and homeowners) should:
· Work to determine the cause of the problem.
· Carry out repairs to make good any defects identified at the property.
· After treatment, redecorate using a specialist bathroom or kitchen paint, where possible do not use wallpaper in bathrooms and kitchens. If wallpapering any area, make sure to use a good quality paste with an anti-fungicidal additive.
· Provide mechanical ventilation with a humidity sensor.
For more advice, contact North East Lincolnshire Council’s Home Energy Team on (01472) 326296, option 5, or [email protected]
Tenants should contact their landlord in the first instance if they experience any issues relating to their property as it is the landlord’s responsibility. If the landlord has not carried out any necessary repairs or responded to the request, the tenant should contact the Housing Enforcement Team on (01472) 324727.