We’re all looking for ways to be more environmentally friendly at home and work. We can make many changes to lower our carbon footprint, save water and more, and the results are multiplied in bigger premises such as commercial buildings. We all know about turning lights off when a room is not in use to save electricity. And your office may have already gone paperless. But in this guide, we will share a few switches that can have a considerable impact. These changes are largely one-off switches and only require a little ongoing maintenance to continue seeing the benefits.
Save Water With Eco-Conscious Bathrooms
Opt for push taps in the bathrooms to reduce water wastage in your building. Dual flush toilets are also a good way to avoid using more water than necessary. And, of course, be proactive with property maintenance and repairs. Don’t leave leaks untreated. Call a plumber and fix the issue as soon as it arises to avoid ongoing water waste.
Switch To An Energy-Efficient Boiler
A heating system is one of the biggest sources of energy consumption in any building. Swapping an older boiler for a new energy-efficient option will prevent heat loss and wasted energy reducing your energy bills and your carbon footprint. A commercial boiler will need more output than a domestic one, but it is important to choose a suitable model for the space you are heating to avoid overspending. At Kiasu, we can assist you with choosing the right energy-efficient model and commercial boiler installations. Make sure you keep up with boiler servicing and maintenance to maintain efficiency and continue to reap the benefits (and avoid emergency boiler repairs).
Use Environmentally Friendly Travel Options
Road transport makes a significant contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. So incentivising employees to take alternative, more eco-friendly travel options is a great way to go green. Cycle-to-work schemes, for example, could make it easier for employees to swap four wheels for two – which will positively impact the environment and their health.
Provide For Electric Car Users
For many, walking or cycling to the office may not be practical. But even for drivers, some options are more eco-friendly than others. We’ve all heard about the environmental benefits of electric vehicles. However, the major hindrance with EVs is accessibility to charging. Admittedly this is far less of an issue than in past years with many charge points throughout the country. But you can do your part to help people make the transition to EVs. EV charging points are surprisingly affordable and a fantastic way to accommodate more eco-friendly travel options.
Use Eco-Friendly Products And Suppliers
Finding ways to make eco-friendly changes in your business is incredible. Now it’s time to find other like-minded people. Working with companies that share your love for the planet is a brilliant way to minimise your carbon footprint and more. Suppliers are key to your business’s environmental impact. The initial switch may be a bit time-consuming, but once the change is made, the positive impact will begin to mount up month after month.
Speak To Our Commercial Maintenance Team
At Kiasu Workforce, we deliver property maintenance to commercial buildings nationwide. We have a team of experts available to deliver plumbing and heating services, including some of the eco-friendly solutions discussed above. To learn more about how we can assist with commercial boiler installations, EV charging stations, and more call us on 0208 988 1662
Learn More About Commercial Property Management
Explore our blog for more advice on getting the most from your commercial property. We have many insightful guides on property management covering topics such as refurbishment, cleaning, fire safety, and plumbing. Here are a few of our favourite reads:
Do you find your home is too warm in the summer but too cold in the winter? There are a few potential reasons for this, and they can be fixed. And don’t panic, it won’t require leaving your heating on all winter and air conditioner on all summer.
Your home’s insulation is a key factor behind why your home’s temperature fluctuates with the seasons. It’s a common misconception that insulation simply helps your home retain heat. If this were true, it would explain the hot summers, but you would expect to avoid drastic drops in temperature in the winter. Conversely, a lack of insulation might lead to a very cold home in the winter months but avoid overheating in warmer temperatures.
But you don’t just experience a home that is either too warm in the summer or too cold in the winter. It’s both. So what’s really going on? And how does insulation actually work? Insulation slows heat transfer. It reduces the rate at which energy is transferred through your walls, floors, and ceiling. This means the warm temperatures outside are slower to seep into your home in the summer, and in the winter, the indoor heat is slower to escape. One of the most popular benefits of insulation is that it can save money on energy bills. It is, therefore, mostly discussed in terms of preventing heat escape in the winter. This is why it may be misconstrued that insulation simply traps heat or keeps a property warm.
Reducing Heat Transfer
Insulation throughout the home is a great way to mitigate fluctuating temperatures. However, there are other ways to avoid a home that’s too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer. As discussed above, insulation helps retain heat in the winter and keeps it out in the summer by reducing heat transfer. And there are a few other ways to reduce heat transfer in your home.
Air leakage is another leading cause of heat transfer in and out of your home. Air sealing these gaps is another highly effective way to reduce heating and cooling costs. Two of the easiest ways to do this are with caulk and weatherstripping. Caulking is ideal for filling gaps around window frames, whilst weatherstripping can be used for doors or windows that open.
Another way to reduce heat transfer to and from your home is to install double-glazing windows. Double glazing uses two panes of glass separated by an air bubble. The gap between the panes reduces heat from passing through the window, meaning you will lose less heat in the winter and have less heat gain in summer.
The benefits of slowing heat transfer in your home extend beyond creating a more comfortable environment. It has significant environmental and financial benefits too. With insulation, double glazing, and reduced air leakage, you will use your heating less in the winter (and air conditioning less in the summer). The subsequent savings to your energy bill can be significant. And less energy will also lower your carbon footprint.
You should look at your heating and cooling systems to further increase these benefits. Each is essential to your home’s energy efficiency, and proper care and maintenance will work alongside insulation to maximise your energy bill savings.
Improving Boiler Energy Efficiency
Your boiler is the backbone of your home heating, and whilst insulation will prevent heat from escaping, you still rely on your boiler to warm your home in the first place. And if it is doing so inefficiently, you will be using more energy than needed, therefore overpaying to heat your home.
Firstly, you should opt for an energy-efficient boiler. If your boiler is old and outdated, a new boiler installation could make a huge difference. Boiler repairs and maintenance are essential for maintaining peak performance. However, replacing older models that cannot meet the high standards of more modern energy-efficient models is likely much more worthwhile.
Once you are equipped with an efficient model, you should schedule annual boiler servicing. This is key to detecting issues before they become bigger problems. During a service, any dirt will be removed to avoid corrosion and your engineer will check your boiler is setup in the most efficient way. To prevent your boiler from seizing up, avoid prolonged periods without use. In the warmer months, turning your heater on for 15 minutes once per week can help keep it running effectively and avoid breakdowns.
Bleeding your radiators will also improve their heat efficiency, further helping to keep your energy bills low. If bleeding your radiators does not appear to help, they may require a power flush.
Work With Our Boiler Experts
If you need an experienced team of boiler engineers you can trust, choose Kiasu Workforce. High-efficiency boiler installation and regular boiler repairs are crucial to improving your energy efficiency. But these tasks should only be undertaken by certified experts. Our GasSafe engineers always provide exceptional service, and with no call-out charges or additional travel costs, there is no surprise we’re the go-to boiler repair company for many properties across London.
Learn More About Boilers And Energy Efficiency
Have you checked out our blog? We have many valuable articles on facilities management and property maintenance. Here are a few of our top picks for learning more about energy efficiency and reducing your energy bills:
Cleaners and cleaning companies have previously been branded as low-skill and low-paid jobs. However, since the Covid-19 pandemic, people’s attitudes are starting to change. Cleaners were recognised as key workers, and their job was treated with much more respect. Here are just a few of the ways our perceptions of the cleaning profession changed through the pandemic.
Cleaning Is Now Viewed As Essential
The most obvious reason for the change in the perception of cleaners is there was a change in the perception of cleaning. It was at the front of everyone’s mind. Ensuring surfaces were properly wiped down was a top priority. People became far more vigilant and therefore were much more aware of the work cleaners were doing. This work was also given a lot more value. It was no longer simply a case of looking clean – it was about staying safe. Cleaning went from a nice-to-have aesthetic service to an essential aspect of healthcare in the public mind.
People Learnt The Extent Of Cleaning Services
Another aspect of the cleaning industry highlighted over the pandemic is the true extent of cleaning services offered. As with any industry you are unfamiliar with, it’s not always self-evident what certain roles entail. For those unfamiliar with cleaning- mopping, vacuuming, and rubbish removal may spring to mind. However, before the pandemic, there were likely few people whose minds went to large-scale one-off deep cleaning and disinfecting. And though it’s probably still not most people’s first thought, many more people will have seen a broader selection of cleaning services. Having seen a more broad range of cleaning services over the pandemic, many people likely have a greater appreciation for the role and what it entails.
More Deep Cleans
A future of hybrid working – albeit one that is further away than some may have initially thought – may reduce demand for office cleaning. In the shorter term, however, the need for deep cleaning looks set to increase. The importance of routine deep cleaning was brought to the forefront through the pandemic. The increased awareness of the service and its incredible benefits make it a must-have for many office managers.
Staff Shortages Emphasised Demand
Nothing highlights the importance of something as much as not being able to access it when you need it most. And cleaning is no exception to this. An increased demand over the pandemic clashed with staff shortages to unveil a supply and demand issue within the cleaning sector.
Higher Pay And Tackling Labour Shortages
The cleaning sector needs to find ways to fill labour shortages, and higher salaries may be needed to steer candidates away from otherwise higher-paying and more flexible roles elsewhere. However, this would only work if the market supported a higher cost of cleaning services. With the value of cleaning being more evident than ever, given a choice between forgoing cleaning services or paying more for them, can we expect consumers to choose the latter option? And would higher salaries and a willingness to pay more for cleaning services finally dismiss the “low-paying” label attached to the cleaning profession?
Cleaners’ Work Hours Drew Attention
The pandemic has also put the spotlight on the hours worked in cleaner roles. The shift to at-home working has extended into a full-blown call for work flexibility. People are seeking more accommodating work hours – a 9am start is a push when you have the school run at 8.30am, after all. And of course, many workplaces are abuzz with talk of 4-day work weeks.
With a shift towards flexibility, it’s fair to assume there’s a greater appreciation for those working less flexible roles and more stringent work hours. And few jobs exemplify this as much as cleaners. Cleaning roles often require working around the hours of other employees. Office cleaners, for example, may need to begin work as early as 5 or 6am, to clean offices for a workforce starting work at 9am. Or they may be required to work evenings to clean after other employees leave at 5pm. And the hours for cleaning roles may be even less optimal for other venues, such as hotels and restaurants.
Will Hybrid Working Cost The Office Cleaning Industry?
The switch to work from home brought about through the pandemic may have raised the appreciation for roles without such options. However, the flip side of this coin for cleaners is potentially lower occupancy in offices. As fewer people worked in offices, we would anticipate decreased demand for office cleaning services. Thankfully, for the office cleaning sector, the impact of working from home may not be as severe as expected, as highlighted in this RICS report from August 2022. The unsuitability of work from home for certain roles, personal preference for office-based working, and slower adoption of hybrid working policies mean there is still a thriving commercial office market. And consequently, there is still demand for office cleaning services going forward.
Book An Office Deep Clean
If the pandemic has opened your eyes to the importance of office cleaning, get in touch. Our regular office cleaning service, combined with routine deep cleaning, will keep your office clean and safe from harmful bacteria and viruses. To learn more email us at [email protected] or call us on 0208 988 1662.
Learn More About Office Cleaning
For information on cleaning (among many other areas of facilities management), visit our blog. It is filled with useful articles and guides to help you create safer office environments. To better understand why deep cleaning is so important, we recommend these related articles:
You may be aware from news coverage in recent months that the UK is in the midst of an energy crisis that is only set to get worse. This news is daunting for everyone, particularly those who don’t have the means to cover a massively inflated energy bill. Perhaps you’ve already noticed the cost of your bills increasing, you’re avoiding using your central heating for as long as possible, and you’re looking at ways to cut costs in other areas to budget for your increased bill. Whatever you are doing to help cover the additional costs, there is a lot you need to know about the current energy situation and how it’s going to worsen in the coming months.
Inflated energy bills will affect everyone, from homeowners to landlords, so everyone needs to learn more about their bills and energy usage. We aim to shed some light on the current UK energy crisis and advise you on how to combat the extra costs, whether you’re a homeowner, business owner, or landlord.
What is an Energy Crisis?
It has been hard to avoid the pressing news of the energy crisis, even for those who don’t keep up with current affairs. It is an almost daily topic in British media channels, with more updates and information being regularly released. The UK Government is trying to tackle the issue in Parliament, looking at how they can subsidise the extra heating and electricity costs the nation is facing. The situation is not unique to the UK, however, and there are countries across the world that are facing similar problems when it comes to inflated costs.
An energy crisis is when the demand for fuel is greater than the supply. This means that energy providers cannot keep up with the energy demand. The increased demand leads to an increase in the cost of wholesale gas and other fuel sources. Energy crises have happened in the past for several reasons. The current situation is strongly linked to an ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Up until this year, Russia was one of the leading gas suppliers to Europe, but due to recent tension between Russia and NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) countries, they decided to cut off the supply.
Why is the UK the Worst Affected Western Country?
The UK has been the worst hit with a surge in energy costs because of how we access our electricity. Prices have gone up across Europe, but other countries, such as France and Germany, have managed to prevent the costs from rising to critical amounts. Unfortunately, as well as how we access our power, the UK also has the most energy-inefficient homes in Europe and some of the coldest weather.
The UK’s main source of heat energy is gas, unlike other European countries. Less than half of German and French households rely on gas for heating and electricity. To put it in perspective, 40% of the UK’s energy sources come from gas, whereas in Germany, this is only 6%.
Which People Will Be Most Affected?
The average UK energy bill is said to have increased by 54%, which causes huge problems for those whose budget only covers their old energy bill. The rise in energy bills comes in conjunction with a national recession, affecting people’s income, tax costs, and the general cost of living. This leaves many wondering how they will afford their energy bills in the coming months. Unfortunately, the price hike is only set to increase. The UK government initially offered financial support with an Energy Price Guarantee from October 1st, 2022. The scheme will prevent people from paying no more than £2,500 annually for energy.
However, recent weeks have seen a drastic change in this policy, which will now only be available until April 2023 as opposed to the initial 2-year timescale. This lack of government support will cause a massive increase in the average energy bill cost, up to £4,347. The UK’s poorest 10% are set to see 17.8% of their income funding their energy bills, while the top earning 10% will see 6.1% of their income go towards gas and electricity. The indirect effect of the rise in bills is also impacting the cost of living. This will increase the average UK household’s spend by another 2%.
Coping With Increasing Energy Prices
People across the country face a financial crisis like never before. Many are going to every extent to reduce their energy usage and bring down their bills. Energy bills are becoming the biggest outgoing for families, businesses, and landlords, so finding ways to reduce the spending will hopefully bring prices down. There are a few changes that can be made to help reduce energy usage in your property, such as:
Cutting down on electricity (switching off lights, replacing old appliances, using energy-efficient bulbs, etc.)
Making these small adjustments can have a helpful impact on energy efficiency in your property and reduce the overall cost of your monthly energy bill. There is also help that you can access if you are struggling to afford your bills. Knowing the benefits you may be entitled to will give you some extra income to help you through the coming months is essential.
Advice For Facing the Energy Crisis
Not only is the country facing an energy crisis, but it is also facing an economic recession at the same time. The Bank of England has estimated that we will feel the impact of this recession for at least 2 years. The current chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, has also told of his plans to make the recession as short as possible to help people through.
There is no doubt that this period of uncertainty will affect many people, and no one is exempt from seeing an increase in their outgoings. Whether you are a homeowner, own multiple properties, or run a business, you will undoubtedly already be facing increases in your energy bills. There is advice that we can provide for those struggling to help ease some of the strain in the coming months.
Anyone who owns their own home is facing a huge surge in energy bills. The daily cost of running the home has increased, much to people’s worry. Staying on top of your bills and bringing the price down in any way you can is essential for getting through this period. The government is providing one-off payments of £400 this Autumn to help subsidise increased costs. This money that was promised to take people through the next 2 years has sadly been retracted, so alternative methods must be used to help bring down bills.
Analysing the efficiency of your property is key to seeing where you are spending unnecessary money. Things such as broken window seals, old heating systems, and draughty doors will all contribute to your house feeling colder. They also make your heating system less efficient, costing you more money for less output.
Owning a business can be challenging at the best of times. The energy crisis will no doubt have put a strain on trade. Fewer people have disposable income to spend, and the price of running facilities is higher than ever. If you’re struggling to afford your bills, you must raise the issue with your energy provider. You can arrange a payment plan to help spread the cost so you can stay in business. The government also provides grants so you can improve your building’s efficiency.
Turning the lights and heating off outside of opening hours can be a helpful way to bring costs down. Also, installing a thermostat can help you stay on top of the temperature. If you are a restaurant or food business, you can look at ways of utilising the heat from your cooking appliances. Upgrading your appliances to more energy efficient alternatives will also help to reduce the cost of your bills.
Owning multiple properties during a cost of living crisis may feel like a mistake. Perhaps you have already thought of selling your additional properties. If you have tenants, however, this may be tricky. It may ease your mind to know that you can do things that don’t involve giving up your properties. Managing energy bills is possible if you properly maintain your properties to minimise the energy needed to heat them. Things such as draught-proofing, insulating, and installing double-glazed windows can help buildings retain maximum heat. This is particularly important if you own older houses without modern insulation.
If you have tenants who pay the bills, which is usually the case, then the additional costs will only affect them. However, the drastic increase in energy costs may mean they need help to afford rent. Coming to an agreement can help ease both their mind and yours, ensuring both the energy bills and the rent remains affordable.
Improve the Energy Efficiency of Your Property With Kiasu
If you need help improving energy efficiency in your home, rented properties, or business, then contact Kiasu. We offer various property maintenance services, including boiler repair, replacement, and electrical work. Having up to date appliances and modern systems in place will bring down additional energy costs and hopefully get you through the energy crisis.
Dealing with mould in your property can be tricky. Although mould doesn’t always pose an immediate threat to health, it has the potential to cause structural damage to a building. If left untreated, it can lead to numerous health issues in the future. Large mould infestations are often visible or will give off a particular smell.
How Does Mould Form Indoors?
Mould is a fungus (microscopic organism) that develops in moist environments. It’s a crucial part of the ecosystem but not something you want in a home. Their role is to break down organic materials, which makes them a threat to health. Mould can spawn almost anywhere where there is enough moisture present. You will often find it on ceilings, wallpaper, soft furnishings, clothes, tiles, plants and food.
Mould and mildew develop within 24-48 hours of moisture exposure. After an area of the property has already been exposed to water, the mould will continue to grow until measures are taken to prevent further moisture from reaching the area. There are multiple causes for mould formation inside a property. Any form of water damage will lead to a mould issue. This can include more extreme water damage, such as flooding, or water damage from roof leaks. Increased moisture and damp air can also cause mould, for instance, residual steam in a bathroom after showering or cold and damp basements.
Sign You Have Mould In Your Home
There are many types of mould out there, but they are not something anyone wants inside their home. Mould can cause structural issues, allergies and health complications as it gradually destroys whatever it grows on. This is why it’s essential to learn the telltale signs of mould and mildew in a property, so it can be managed and prevented in the future. Here are the key indicators that there is mould growing inside a home:
Visible mould spores
The easiest way to spot indoor mould is to look for it actively. You will likely be able to see visible spores in the affected area. These are typically in ceiling corners and damp rooms, such as bathrooms. While spotting mould makes it easily identifiable, if you can see the spores, the problem has already progressed to a significant mould infestation.
Feeling under the weather
A good indicator of a mould before it goes through the walls is feeling unwell. Cold and flu-like symptoms are common for people living in mouldy surroundings. It can be difficult to know whether the symptoms result from a virus or stress. Still, if the cause is difficult to identify, checking for damp areas, cracks and leaks could help you solve the problem.
There is a lingering damp smell
Before visible spores develop inside a property, a mould issue can often be identified by a damp, musty smell. Mould species give off an odour when they are multiplying. Basements and attics usually have this smell because they are typically damp and dark.
Frequent nosebleeds & headaches
Unfortunately, ill health is a real risk regarding mould infestations. This is why resolving the issue as soon as possible is important. Having more nosebleeds than usual or experiencing more frequent headaches can all be indicative of mould in the home. Breathing in damp air can eventually take its toll on a person’s respiratory health.
There is a leak somewhere
Leaking roofs, burst pipes, and a lack of proper ventilation can all lead to mould formation. Flooding can cause excess moisture, leading to damp. If the affected area hasn’t been dried out quickly enough or there is a concealed ongoing leak, it won’t take long for mould to develop. It is important to keep checking these areas.
Ongoing respiratory issues
Mould can trigger asthma or cause asthma-like symptoms in an allergic reaction. Shortness of breath and general difficulty breathing indoors could mean a potential mould issue. Feeling unwell can lead to people staying indoors in their homes, but if this is the mould’s source, it will only worsen the symptoms.
How To Test Your Property For Mould
Mould spores are often unmistakable, particularly if it is a large issue. Once a particular area has been identified as potentially mouldy, there are several tests that can be carried out to help confirm that mould is the underlying issue.
Clean the area
Both mould and dirt have similar visual characteristics depending on the extent of the issue. To confirm whether the marks on a wall are, in fact, mould or it is merely a build up of dust and dirt, do the following. Wiping the area should remove either one, but if the marks are mould spores, then they will return within a few days. Taking diluted bleach to the affected area will lighten mould spores quickly, which can also be a good indicator.
Check for structural issues
Dirt or stains won’t cause damage to the structure of a wall. However, if the marks on a wall result from mould, there is likely to be rot present also. Taking a small sharp tool to the area will soon determine the issue. If the material is soft and crumbles, then the culprit is most definitely mould.
Check for plumbing & external leaks
Mould spores near water pipes, plumbing fixtures or external walls mean there is an ongoing issue with excess moisture in those areas. If it’s a plumbing issue, then getting it repaired should cause the mould to dry out. If the mould is on the inside of an external wall, check the same area outside for possible vents or gaps.
The Dangers of Mould
Damp and mould in any property can pose a major health risk to its inhabitants. Respiratory problems, allergic reactions and asthma can all occur as a result of mould. These can even develop into respiratory infections, which can become serious if left untreated. Unfortunately, the issue will continue to get worse unless the mould is found and the cause of it is remedied. Treating mould is straightforward, but treating the health issues it can bring may not be easy. This is why it’s so important to solve indoor mould issues as quickly as possible. Exposure to toxigenic mould (black mould) can be fatal. However, this particular type of mould is extremely rare and is the product of very specific conditions.
Mould itself does not damage a building structure, but it can only form in the presence of damp. Excessive moisture in the fabric of a building can impact it over time. Damp is present long before visible mould appears, so it may have already done significant damage. The longer the moisture is there, the longer it has to affect the property’s structural integrity.
Preventing Indoor Mould
Prevention is always the best option when it comes to mould. There are several ways to keep mould at bay inside a property, helping to keep the structure of the building and its inhabitants free from its effects. If the issue has already taken hold, then acting fast and taking the right measures will stop the mould in its tracks.
Once mould appears inside a property, household cleaning products are rarely effective enough to eradicate the issue. Due to the potentially dangerous properties of mould, it is recommended to hire a specialist to remove and treat the mould safely and effectively so that it doesn’t become a recurring problem. Seeking the help of someone who is experienced in mould removal will not only make tackling the job easier, but they will also be able to identify the source of the mould. If black mould is present in a property, then it is imperative that it is not disturbed and is only removed by a professional.
The most effective way to prevent mould from occurring in a property is through regular property maintenance. From dealing with plumbing problems and leaky pipework to building repairs and refurbishments, mould can be prevented by taking proper care of a building. Avoiding leaks and ensuring heating is working effectively will also help to address the issue.
If you are interested in how property maintenance can help you stay on top of mould and water damage issues, then get in touch with Kiasu Workforce. We have a team of expert plumbers, builders and more to help you manage your London property.
Offices and their facilities are some of the most commonly used areas you will find. While you may imagine that most areas within an office are clean, many are dirtier than you may expect. Yes, any office is regularly cleaned and may look clean on the surface. However, many people working in the same area can be a breeding ground for germs. It can create a surprisingly unhygienic environment for all.
What do you think is dirtier, your toilet seat or your office keyboard? Well, today, we’re going to find out. This article will explore how dirty an office can get, and the extra measures you can and should take to ensure your office is as clean as possible.
How dirty is your office?
Many people can’t believe the truth, but the fact is that your office is way filthier than you think! The average workplace is almost 100 times dirtier than a chopping board in your kitchen. A workplace is made up of people who all have their habits and standards of hygiene, meaning the workplace is a breeding ground for all types of germs. As the number of germs and microbes in the workplace has grown in every area, it can be a nightmare to try to keep this clean and manageable.
It may surprise you that the average workplace in the UK holds approximately 400x more germs than the toilet seat in your home. The main question that usually comes to mind when people discover this is, “How is that even possible?”. Well, many reasons contribute to this.
Firstly, many workers admit that they don’t wash their hands regularly. What makes this worse is that some workers admit to not washing their hands after going to the toilet! When they reintegrate into the office environment, all of the germs on them spread across the environment.
Other contributing factors are everyday workplace activities that have a significant effect on the cleanliness of the workplace as a whole. Things that are seen as daily activities like eating at your desk and keeping unnecessary items on your desk that need to be binned can allow germs to linger. These items would be acceptable if the workplace was cleaned after each activity. Still, the truth is that this is simply impractical in most situations.
Approximately 85% of infections sp read in the workplace because of uncleaned surfaces.
Shockingly, 1 in 3 workers admit to not washing their hands after using the toilet!
1 in 4 people have faecal bacteria on their hands right now.
With these facts being true across countless workplaces in the UK, it is easy to see just how easy it is for germs to take hold.
How to keep your office clean
Now that you’ve heard just how filthy an office can become (even if you can’t always see it), it is essential to understand what can be done to counteract this. Creating a plan to preserve a clean, hygienic working environment is vital. Many basic methods can be used to ensure that workplace germs are kept at a minimum and those hygienic problems are kept at bay.
The first and easiest thing you can do is remove all excess, un-needed items from your desk. When you have unnecessary items strung across your desktop, it allows germs to build up and create a negative environment for you to work in. Removing clutter that isn’t needed from your desk removes areas for germs to breed. As well as this, you create a happier working environment for yourself.
Maintain your worktop
Now that you’ve de-cluttered your workplace, it is crucial to keep on top of things to make sure you don’t provide an optimal environment for germs to breed and grow. The best way to do this is to give your desk a quick wipe several times throughout the day and remove any potential germs that may spread throughout the day.
Keep windows sparkling
Cleanliness doesn’t only affect your physical health through infection. Certain aspects can also have an impact on your productivity and motivation levels. Natural light is one of the primary sources of productivity in the workplace. If you want to keep workers happy, motivation high and productivity consistent, keeping your windows clean is a small but effective way of achieving this.
Clean handles & switches
Did you know that germs found on a single door handle or light switch have the potential to pass a virus around a whole office within just one day? With germs that can spread at such an alarmingly rapid rate, it is crucial to regularly wipe down door handles and light switches. In such commonly accessed areas of the office, eliminating the risk posed by hidden bacteria must be an absolute priority.
Want to know more?
If you’d like to know more about the hygienic hazards faced daily in the workplace and what can be done to combat them, get in touch! Our team of experts are on hand to answer any questions you have. Alternatively, you can look at our office cleaning service and how we can help you maintain your workplace, keeping it as hygienic and happy as possible.
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Renovation work is a certainty in any property. Naturally, wear and tear take hold of a property, and things need to be upgraded over time. There will always be a need for renovation work, especially when it comes to commercial properties which see increased levels of general wear and tear. When looking to renovate a commercial property, it can be challenging to understand where the responsibility lies, whether it be with the landlord, tenant or business owner.
When it comes to who has responsibility for the maintenance of a commercial property, the answer is not as black and white as you may think. Many factors go into a commercial property renovation, and all have different levels of responsibility for different parties. This article will discuss where the responsibility lies when renovating a commercial property and how to approach this subject with your landlord or tenant.
Responsibility for Structural Renovation
Structural renovation is essential to a commercial property. With so many people occupying commercial premises, it is vital that the building is kept as safe and structurally sound as possible to ensure the safety of the occupants inside. When we look at the structural issues that can arise with a commercial building, the responsibility lies heavily on the shoulders of the landlord to fix any issues.
Commercial property landlords must deal with and repair any structural issues that arise, such as damage or general degradation of the foundations, flooring, exterior walls, etc. As the landlord owns the property, they are responsible for making all necessary structural repairs and amendments to the property when required.
Responsibility for Fixtures & Fittings
“Fixtures and fittings” is a category which can cover many items in a commercial property, so we will break this down. Any fixtures and fittings that are fixed to the walls and have anything to do with electricity or heating are the sole responsibility of the commercial landlord. As the owner of the building, it is their responsibility to ensure that all fixtures and fittings are installed safely and maintained to a high standard, keeping safety a priority.
Any other fixtures and fittings that do not fall into this category (e.g. pictures on walls, clocks, etc.) are the responsibility of the tenant to install and maintain. If any items like this break, it is the responsibility of the tenant to replace these.
Responsibility for Fire Safety Fixtures
Fire safety is an aspect of the property in which responsibility falls on both sides. As fire safety in general in a commercial property is the responsibility of a “responsible person” within the workplace, this will usually fall on the tenant or business owner.
While it is the business owner’s responsibility to maintain fire safety, it is the responsibility of the landlord to supply the necessary fire equipment for the building and all of the occupants. It is also the responsibility of the landlord to renovate and maintain any communal areas within a commercial property, as these areas belong to no business exclusively. When a renovation takes place in any part of the building, it is the responsibility of the business owner to supply all necessary fire equipment.
Responsibility for Electrical Renovations
Working with electricity and renovating electrical works within a building can be extremely dangerous. For this reason, tenants should never complete electrical renovation work within the building. Under the Landlord and Tenants Act 1985, it is the responsibility of the landlord to ensure all electrical works are carried out safely, as well as ensure all electrical components are maintained to a high standard.
While tenants are not responsible for the maintenance of any electrical fixings, they are responsible for any electrical property in the building they own. This relates to computers, electrical fans and other equipment that may be used in business operations.
Responsibility for Gas Works
The responsibility for gas works is much more fluid than anything we have discussed. It relies on the terms set out in the lease before the agreement was finalised. It will usually be the responsibility of the tenant to maintain gas equipment according to the instructions set out by the manufacturer. This also includes any gas equipment that the tenant has installed.
This will only differ if it is set out in terms of the lease. It is also the responsibility of the landlord to replace any damaged gas equipment they have had installed. Any equipment installed by the tenant is their responsibility alone.
Responsibility for Maintenance & Repairs
Responsibility for maintenance & repairs is split between building stakeholders. The difference is that the landlord will look after anything structural and will be responsible for renovating any structural items within the building, like floors and foundations. Anything that is non-structural will fall on the tenant. This includes items like air conditioning units and any plumbing issues.
This is on an individual basis and can vary depending on the terms set out in the lease at the time the property occupancy began. It is always wise to read through your lease to check which responsibilities you are obliged to take on.
We know it can be challenging to define where responsibility lies in a situation that can change so much on an individual basis. Although many variables relate to the responsibilities of the tenant and landlord, here is a summary of the responsibilities that will not change. The definitive responsibilities of the landlord are:
Structural renovations like flooring and foundations.
The primary responsibilities of the tenant or business owner that will rarely change are:
Fixtures not attached to walls.
Maintenance of gas equipment
Maintenance and inspection of fire equipment.
Are you a landlord or tenant and need help maintaining your commercial property? Here at Kiasu workforce, we’ve got you covered. If you’d like more information on the wide range of maintenance services we can offer or have any questions regarding the maintenance of your commercial property, get in touch!
Our team of property maintenance experts are on hand to answer any questions you may have and help you take the first step toward a stress-free property maintenance experience.
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Nobody wants to waste a professional’s time, so it’s essential to know when to call one in an emergency. It is not always obvious whether you need a professional’s help when it comes to plumbing. There are times when you may think you need a professional, but it’s something you could fix yourself! It always helps to know when a plumbing issue has a DIY fix to avoid needlessly calling a plumber.
However, it is just as important to know when to leave it to the experts. Trying to fix an issue you’re not equipped to handle could make it worse. And you’ll need an emergency plumber to clean up an even bigger (more expensive) problem.
Common Diy Plumbing Fixes
Issues you could fix without a plumber include:
Installing Shower Heads
Repairing a Running Toilet
Fixing a Leaky Tap
Unclogging a Toilet
Unblocking Shower and Sink Drains
Some blockages may require a plumber. However, if it is not apparent where the blockage is, it is worth trying a DIY fix first. For instance, an unblocking product may fix a sink blockage. It is generally worth trying before calling a plumber. Similarly, whilst a blocked toilet may require a plumber if the blockage is further down the pipework, you should first try to fix the problem with a plunger.
Attempting simple DIY fixes first is usually a good call. You could fix the problem, and even if you do not, you’re unlikely to worsen the issue significantly. You should avoid more drastic “repairs” as this could end up causing more harm and leave your plumber with an even bigger problem to fix. If it doesn’t require ripping up flooring, opening walls, or removing appliances, it is likely safe to attempt a DIY fix.
Call An Emergency Plumber
Not all plumbing issues are created equal. While some are resolved by simply using an unblocking product, others require an expert with intricate knowledge and the right tools.
If you notice flooding, you will need an emergency plumber. This is a sign of a serious leak or even a burst pipe. Flooding can cause severe damage, so the issue must be resolved as soon as possible.
You will require an emergency plumber for a blocked toilet (that you couldn’t fix yourself). It is a potential health hazard and needs addressing immediately. If the toilet is overflowing, it can also cause damage to your property.
If you have no running water, you will need the problem identified and fixed quickly. Not having a clean water supply qualifies as an emergency, so call an emergency plumber to resolve the issue fast.
Just as turning your taps on to no water is an emergency, so is being unable to turn them off. This is a serious flood risk and needs remedying immediately. Turn off your water supply to reduce the damage and call an emergency plumber to identify the issue.
Call A Non-Emergency Plumber.
Fixing an issue yourself or calling an emergency plumber are not the only options. Sometimes a problem can wait a day to be fixed. Sometimes the right move is to call a non-emergency plumber. Examples of when this may be the best approach include a clogged sink, a leaky tap, or a running toilet.
A plumber should also handle installations, preventative plumbing maintenance, and inspections.
When it comes to a plumbing issue, there are a few approaches. Knowing which one is right is key to efficiently and cost-effectively resolving the problem. Try your hand at a DIY fix when you can, and remember to distinguish between an emergency and non-emergency.
A property renovation is a big project and a challenge for even the most experienced DIYer. DIY enthusiasts love to get stuck into a project, but it is crucial to do the prep work first. This guide will look at four essential things you need to know before beginning your renovation.
The best place to start with any project is to outline what work needs doing. A renovation is no different. When looking at a property to renovate, you will need a clear picture of the issue that needs fixing. Coming across unexpected problems, you haven’t planned or budgeted for is one of the quickest ways to ruin any renovation project.
Before any home renovation, commission a building survey from a chartered building surveyor. This will identify the significant issues with the property. It will also offer guidance on any further surveys your property could need, such as an asbestos report. It is vital to gather all the information upfront to get a clear picture of the project. You will need this for planning the works, budgeting and pretty much every other aspect of the project.
Pricing and Budgeting
One of the first things you need to know before beginning a renovation project is how much it will cost. If you don’t know how much money to set aside, you could find yourself halfway through a renovation without the funds to complete the work.
It is also important to have a clear idea of your budget. If your renovation hopes are too ambitious for your budget, it’s best to find out early. Scale back your ambitions (for now) and work to the budget you have. Or, if your budget doesn’t stretch to the essential fixes, find a different project that your wallet can accommodate.
Gathering quotes is a big part of pricing up a project. You will need to know what work you’re hiring for and what you can DIY to do this effectively. The following section will cover this in more detail.
DIY Or Hire A Professional
Many parts of a renovation are off-limits to the DIYer. Experts are needed throughout a renovation for everything from electricals to plumbing. Anything that is primarily decorating is open to most DIYers. If you’re more experienced fitting shelving and cabinets, replacing sinks, countertops and laying carpet are all ok. It is important to remember to know your skillset. If you can do something but a professional could do it better, consider the professional. Deciding between a professional and DIYing is often a budgetary concern. However, if the budget permits, hiring someone can have a noticeable difference depending on your experience.
There is an extensive list of work that should only be carried out by a professional. Often these works pose potential hazards or require specialist knowledge to complete effectively. Many of these works will even require particular qualifications to meet legislative requirements. These works include:
This list is not exhaustive. However, these categories include many tasks that require a professional.
Health and Safety
Once you’ve decided what work needs doing, you will need to assess the risks. Many home renovation tasks pose safety risks. Its vital to understand these. Hiring professionals for the relevant job is one way to mitigate the risks, but there will still be many that need addressing during your project. Be mindful of all works being carried out, not just the ones you are doing yourself. Ensure you wear the correct PPE when working on a task or when around other work. Always get help where necessary. Even something as simple as lifting materials may require two or more people to perform safely.
Home renovations can be big projects and vary in scope. Whether you are giving your home a new lease of life with some decorating or carrying out a full renovation, bear in mind the four points in this guide. Understanding the required work, who will do it, and how much it will cost are essential for all projects. And health and safety is of the utmost importance in everything from a minor DIY venture to an audacious construction project.
Air conditioning is a fundamental part of any building. Whether it is our home or workplace, we cherish our AC in the warm summer months. But how exactly does this brilliant piece of technology work? This guide shows you an overview of the cooling process most ACs utilise. Then we’ll take you through a crash course on AC types so you can better understand which system is suitable for you and your air cooling needs. Get to grips with AC and know what each system has to offer before you get an air conditioning installation.
How Air Conditioning Systems Work
Air conditioners work by taking in air from your home through vents. This air then passes over an evaporator coil which cools the air by absorbing the heat. The cooling process occurs in the AC system’s condenser – the outdoor unit. A fan blows the remaining cool air into your home while the warm air is expelled outside.
Types Of Air-Conditioning Systems
The way air is collected and distributed varies depending on the type of air-conditioning system. There is a broad selection of AC system types catering to all kinds of buildings, requirements and budgets.
We have outlined and explained how each of these systems works below.
Central Air Conditioner
Central air-conditioning systems take in air from your home and cool it by releasing hot air outside. The cooled air is then distributed throughout the building using d
ucts. This system creates a more even temperature throughout the home. Central air-conditioning systems typically consist of an indoor and an outdoor unit. There are exceptions to this that we will discuss next.
Packaged Air Conditioners
Packaged air conditioners are a type of central air-conditioning. However, they differ from other AC types. Whilst most other AC systems use multiple units, Packaged ACs are two-in-one. Packaged systems are only located outside the building instead of using an indoor and an outdoor unit.
The other style of air conditioner, ductless air-conditioning, cools a single room. A ductless AC system is made up of an indoor unit and an outdoor unit. It is possible to cool several rooms with a ductless system. Each room will require an indoor unit. You can have up to five indoor units that work with a single outdoor unit.
Ductless Multi-Split AC Systems
Ductless multi-split air-conditioning systems connect up to five indoor and one outdoor unit. They are an excellent choice for buildings without ductwork. Although the upfront cost of the additional units can be more expensive, in the long term, they may save you money as they are typically more energy efficient.
Ductless Mini-Split Air-conditioning
Mini-Split air-conditioning systems work like multi-split units. However, where a multi-split system has a 5:1 ratio of indoor to outdoor units, mini-split are 1:1. The cool air is pumped into the one room where the indoor unit is located. Ductless units can be installed in the wall providing better airflow. Or they can be installed in the ground. This reduces airflow, but you will notice the effects more quickly.
Window Air Conditioner
Window air-conditioning, like central air-conditioning units, is often installed half inside and half outside. They are used to cool a single room. Generally, they are inexpensive, although they do have a few drawbacks. They can be noisy and are often not the most aesthetically pleasing.
Dual Fuel System
An alternative to air-conditioning, dual fuel systems provide a heating and cooling solution. Instead of an air conditioner, they use a heat pump and a furnace. A heat pump system can both heat and cool.
The Benefits Of Air-Conditioning
In addition to keeping your home or office at a comfortable temperature, AC offers a few extra perks. For example, a good AC system can also improve air quality. The reduction in humidity is also a great benefit. Less humidity has the additional effect of reducing mould growth. As mould poses many potential health risks, this cannot be understated as one of the many additional benefits of good air-conditioning. The cooler, dryer atmosphere is also less appealing to many insects, so your AC could even prevent ants from wandering into your home.
The benefits of AC will depend on a few things. The type of system you install and its suitability for your property and goals will be the most significant factors. This will also affect any potential drawbacks such as noise pollution. A cheap system may feel like a great idea, but the noise may outweigh the savings.
Air conditioners come in many shapes and sizes. The broad selection of systems has something for everyone and buildings of all types. With the right system, any building can benefit from cooler, cleaner air and enjoy AC’s many benefits.