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Is An Electric Car Right For Me?

Electric car adoption has been rising for a while. Now, with the UK government set to end the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2030, even more people are considering the switch to electric.

The switch to electric vehicles seems inevitable, but 2030 seems far enough away to stick with petrol or diesel for now. So why should you make the switch? In this guide, we’ll discuss electric vehicles (EVs) and whether they are right for you, and why you might want to switch to electric sooner than later.

 

Are Electric Cars Cheaper Than Petrol?

Generally, an EV will have pricier purchase costs than petrol and diesel counterparts. The higher price point is a result of EVs using lithium-ion batteries. The process of turning raw lithium into useful material that can be used in EV batteries is long.

This extended process is necessary to create effective batteries, but it raises costs. Another factor is that fewer electric vehicles are made than alternatives, so the production costs are spread across fewer vehicles. As demand increases, we should see the effect of higher production costs per car decrease.

Where the savings for electric cars come into play is the running costs. Maintenance, fuel, and tax costs are significantly cheaper for electric vehicles. The push towards electric vehicles by the government means there are incentives in place too. The UK government’s ultra-low-emissions vehicle grant can help you save on the initial cost of an EV. Check out their website to see what vehicles qualify and how much you could save on them.

Despite a potentially higher initial cost, the ongoing savings can make EVs better value over the vehicle’s lifespan.

 

How Electric Cars Benefit The Environment

The government’s push toward electric cars is part of their net-zero goals. Petrol and diesel vehicles are leading contributors to air pollution. EVs produce no carbon dioxide when driving, leading to better air quality in towns and cities. Even when you factor in production emissions, the reduced emissions from driving make EVs a greener option over the vehicle’s lifetime.

There are continued advances making electric vehicles and even greener options. Currently, a third of the emissions from the lifetime of an electric vehicle come from production. As technology continues to advance, these emissions will be reduced. There have also been advances in reusing and recycling electric batteries.

Electricity produces fewer carbon emissions than petrol and diesel. The gap in these emissions increases with moves towards low carbon and renewable electricity sources. With ongoing advances in various technologies, the carbon output of electric vehicles is continually decreasing.

 

How Easy Is It To Switch To EVs?

We’ve discussed how EVs may be lighter on the wallet than you may have thought. And the environmental benefits are a huge incentive for making the switch to electricity. But how easy is it to switch?

Switching from petrol or diesel to electric may be easier than you expect. EV charging points are becoming more commonplace, meaning you’ll have plenty of options to charge your vehicle. You can also have an electric car charging point installed at your workplace or home. This is another expense you would not have with a petrol or diesel car.

However, electric car charging point installations are surprisingly affordable. You can save money on an EV charging point with government grants too. The option to charge your car at home or work is certainly convenient.

 

How Well Do Electric Cars Drive?

So far, we’ve covered costs, environmental impact, and how easy it is to make a switch to electric. But for many people, these points are redundant if the cars aren’t fun to drive. Thankfully, many EVs perform excellently. And there are great options at every price range.

Electric cars are highly responsive. This means you don’t need something with all the bells and whistles to have a positive driving experience. Their powerful motors respond well, which is great for acceleration. EV batteries are placed on the car’s floor, allowing for a low centre of gravity. This, combined with a stiffer suspension, can give a sporty feel whilst remaining comfortable.

Of course, the specifics for each car vary and the best way to know if you like how well a car drives is to drive it. If you’re considering switching to an electric car, take a few out for test drives.

 

Are Electric Cars Worth It?

Electric cars have a lot to offer. The higher initial cost can be offset with lower running costs. Grants for electric cars and EV charging stations add to the affordability.

Plus, you can do your bit for the environment. You can make the change to electric easily and don’t have to sacrifice your vehicle’s performance to do so.

How to Prepare Walls Before Painting

Painting a wall starts far before you even open the paint can. When painting a wall, it’s important to do prep work first. In the right light, even the smallest of imperfections in a wall become glaringly obvious. And many of them cannot be easily reversed as the problem lies with a lack of preparation before painting.

If you want a super-smooth coat of paint on your walls without blemishes, marks, or cracks, you cannot afford to skip pre-paint preparation. In this guide, we take you step by step through preparing your walls before a lick of paint even touches them.

Follow these steps to remove wallpaper, fill holes, remove marks and fix a range of other imperfections which could affect the final look of your freshly painted walls.

 

Painting Wallpapered Walls

If your walls aren’t wallpapered, skip to the next section. If they are, however, this section is important. Whilst you can paint over wallpaper, it’s unlikely to give you the best finish. For a better look, it’s best to remove the wallpaper.

How you remove the paper will depend on how it was put up. If the wallpaper was hung by pasting the wall, it could simply be peeled off. This shouldn’t require any tools. If the paper was hung by pasting the back of the paper, you’d need to do a bit more work to get it off – these steps are detailed below.

Tools for removing wallpaper

The first thing to do is gather up your tools. You’ll need:

  • Stripping knife or orbital scorer
  • Bucket
  • Sponge
  • Steam stripper
  • Wallpaper stripping solution
  • Sandpaper
  • Sugar soap

 

Removing the Wallpaper

  1. The first stage is to score your wallpaper. Use your orbital scorer or stripping knife to score diagonal crosses. Be careful not to push onto the plasterboard.
  2. The next step is to use a sponge to soap the wallpaper. Wet a few metres at a time and leave five minutes for the paper to soften. Take care around switches and sockets.
  3. Following this, use the stripping knife to remove the paper by sliding it into the cuts you created in step one.

If the paper is not coming off easily, you can break down the wallpaper paste using a stripping solution. Soak the paper with the solution and leave it for the time specified in the instruction. This should make it easier to remove the paper with your knife.

Alternatively, you could use a steam stripper. Use the steamer on the wallpaper starting at the bottom until it appears damp. Don’t leave the steamer in one place for too long to avoid blistering the plaster. Once the paper is steamed, you should remove it with your knife.

Finally, remove any remaining pieces of wallpaper with sandpaper.

Repainting Walls

If you are painting already painted walls (or have removed the wallpaper from the walls),you’ll need to prepare it before you can apply the new paint. The main stages in this process are filling holes, sanding the wall, and cleaning the wall.

For the next steps, you will need:

  • Sponge
  • Sugar soap
  • Flexible filler
  • Flexible filling knife
  • Fine sandpaper

Fill Holes

Filling holes is simple and only requires a few steps.

  1. Firstly, using sugar soap, clean the holes you’re going to fill. This will clear out dust, preventing the filler from sticking to the wall.
  2. Next, using a flexible filling knife, apply the filler. Fill the holes until the filler is smooth with the wall.
  3. Finally, once the filler has dried, use sandpaper to smooth down the filler.

 

Sand The Wall

For the next stage, you want to continue sanding. Lightly sand the whole wall making sure to sand down any peeling paint.

 

Clean The Wall

Once the wall is sanded, you can use the sugar soap again.

  1. Use the sugar soap to clean the whole wall. This will remove marks such as fingerprints and break down grease.
  2. Using warm water, give the wall a clean down, washing away any soap.

 

Plastering: DIY or Hire a Pro?

Removing wallpaper and filling holes is a fairly basic DIY. However, you may find your paint project being put on hold for another task; replastering.

Replastering won’t be required every time you paint a wall, but it’s important not to forgo it when it is needed. Always stay on the lookout for signs of damage. Plaster can bulge or crack. Loose plaster can also affect your attempts at painting a wall. And then there’s damp, which can create staining and may require striping the plaster to repair.

Compared to removing wallpaper, cleaning stains, and filling holes in your wall, plastering can be a bit trickier to get right. It’s possible to take a DIY approach to plastering, depending on the damage and your experience.

Although you may prefer to hire a professional plasterer. Plasterers are trained to get it right (the first time) and have all the right materials. They are also trained for health and safety, which is essential in a job involving ladders or potential exposure to live electrical wires. The temptation to DIY a plaster project can be high. You may think it’s an easy way to save money. The reality is that many of the poorly plastered walls professionals work on result from DIY projects and attempts to save money.

Once the plastering is done, allow the plaster to dry before painting. Remember to use a roller to give the plaster a coat of sealant before applying paint. This will prevent the plaster from soaking up the paint and mean you will need to apply fewer coats.

 

Enjoy Your Paint Project

Preparing your walls for painting is a little bit of work, but it’s worth it. You’ll be far happier with the finished wall when you’re done. Follow the steps in this guide, and your fresh coat of paint will be a mark-free crisp colour with a super-smooth finish.

The Importance of Deep Cleaning & How It Can Improve Your Health

Spending a lot of time in dirty environments can be detrimental to your health. This post looks at how an unclean home or workplace can lead to negative health consequences.

A build-up of dirt, grime, mould and bacteria can lead to illness which can spread throughout a home or workplace. We will also look at deep cleans – a cleaning process designed to tackle dirt, bacteria, and mould in a way a general clean cannot achieve.

 

Kill Germs (Viruses and Bacteria)

Unclean surfaces are abundant with germs. Bacteria and viruses are one of the biggest dangers of an untidy workplace or living space. Dirty surfaces allow bacteria to thrive and increase the risk of many illnesses. Desks and carpets can be breeding grounds for bacteria. Door handles and other shared surfaces make it easy for bacteria to pass between people. Without regular cleaning, your office could face widespread and ongoing illness.

 

Remove and Prevent Mould

Mould grows where there is an accumulation of water. This can result from a spill that is not cleared away or water vapour. The health impacts of mould are quite drastic. They range from itchiness and rashes to repository problems. People can have allergic reactions to mould too. It is vital to have mould cleaned away and take measures to prevent it from growing.

It is important to clean up spillages immediately and properly to prevent mould growth. All surfaces should be cleaned and wiped dry. Ventilation is also key to preventing mould. Mould is most common in kitchens and toilets so pay particular attention to these areas.

 

Declutter Your Workspace

Whilst you could consider clutter as “untidy” rather than “unclean”, it is still important to address it. Tidying away clutter may be outside the scope of a deep clean, but it is no less important to your health. A cluttered home or workplace creates trip hazards. Furthermore, depending on the type of clutter and where it is, it could have significant implications for fire safety.

You need to consider where combustible materials are kept. You also need to ensure clutter is not preventing easy access to fire exits and fire extinguishers. You can address this more thoroughly with a workplace fire risk assessment.

 

What Is A Deep Clean?

A deep clean is a thorough cleaning designed to address the issues outlined above. Killing harmful bacteria and removing mould can have a huge impact on employees’ health. A deep clean decontaminates a building or work area using professional cleaning equipment. This means everything is cleaned, even the tricky to clean and hard to reach places. Furniture or places that may be looked over in a general sweeping clean are given particular attention.

With a deep clean, your upholstery will be disinfected, carpets decontaminated, and touchpoint (such as door handles) sanitised. This is all done with disinfectant solutions designed for these specific applications.

A deep clean also includes a bio mist fogging. This fills the room with a fine mist which then settles on surfaces. The mist quickly kills bacteria, viruses and spores. The fogging technique, like many deep cleaning processes, utilises specialist equipment that your cleaners should be licensed to use.

The obvious health impacts of an unclean office make a deep clean a priority. And no one is more equipped to achieve the necessary cleaning standards than a professional cleaning team equipped with the right equipment and disinfectants for the job. You cannot afford to take your cleaning regimen lightly, the health risks are too high. Fight dust, dirt and grime, kill bacteria and ensure even those hard to clean areas are disinfected.

What Is Lightning Protection, And How Does It Work?

If you’re the decision-maker for your business or organisation, you’re responsible for protecting property, staff, and customers. Lightning is an unexpected but unavoidable hazard that you can’t predict! While getting hit by a strike is unlikely, the consequences can be devastating. Comprehensive lightning protection targets the exterior of your building and equips your premises to handle extreme weather.

Lightning protection is a simple yet easily forgotten step you must take to ensure your team’s health and safety. So, what is lightning protection, and how does it work?

 

What Is Lightning Protection?

In short, lightning protection is a system you add to your building to reduce damage lightning strikes cause. Contrary to popular belief, the facilities most at risk from damage with a strike are premises without electricity or plumbing to ground the electric shock. You’ll also be surprised to know buildings with metal roofs are significantly safer since any electricity absorbed will be safely transferred to the ground below.

That being said, no matter what, the primary aim of any lightning protection system is to protect your business’ internal electrics. You can never guarantee your property could handle a shock without installing safety measures. With a practical approach to managing lightning, you can be confident your assets will remain undamaged. Damaged electrical equipment throughout your premises may result in a fire or fatal electrocution, so it’s a big deal.

 

How Do Lightning Protection Systems Work?

The current from a lightning strike will always seek out the path of least resistance. Any system installed to redirect electricity must become the easiest path for a strike to follow. A typical lightning protection system contains lightning rods, metal conductors and ground electrodes. Each component works together to offer a low resistance path to the ground. The system safely directs high voltage currents away from the building structure itself.

 

Are There Different Lightning Protection Systems?

Lightning protection systems are available both internally and externally, meeting different aims. External lightning protection systems need to intercept direct lightning strikes, safely discharge the current through a down-conductor, and distribute the electricity into the ground. An internal lightning protection system prevents electrical equipment from dangerously sparking with overloaded electricity. For adequate security against extreme weather conditions, you’ll need to combine an inner and an external lightning protection system. Both the interior and exterior of your property are equally vulnerable.

 

Do I Need A Lightning Protection System?

If you’ve completed any electrical installations on your premises, a lightning protection system is a sensible safety measure to introduce to your property. Lightning strikes are natural phenomena that occur with no warning. They cause unpredictable damage to buildings and life. You’ll never regret fitting a lightning protection system if a bolt strikes you.

 

How Often Should I Service My Lightning Protection?

Testing and certification of your lightning protection should take place annually, at the very least. Professional testing will inform and preface the servicing of your system since an assessment will indicate where the equipment is wearing down. Remember your earth electrodes need to withstand extreme weather conditions throughout the year, so some of your systems may have deteriorated after twelve months! Suppose you’re heavily reliant on electrical equipment to run and maintain your business. In that case, you can aim for one test every six months and catch issues before they escalate. Servicing, therefore, will also need to take place once or twice a year.

 

Who Can Perform Lightning Protection System Repair?

For trustworthy testing, servicing and repairs, you need a qualified professional. At Kiasu Workforce, we install, maintain and test any lightning protection system to meet the current legal standards and specifications. Most crucially, our lightning protection services promise you’ll have the ideal infrastructure in place to protect vulnerable premises and equipment, your people, and your business. Contact us today to discover how we can support your health and safety.

Everything You Need To Know About Fire Doors

As a business owner or a landlord, you’re responsible for the health and safety of your tenants. The duties can seem overwhelming, particularly if you’re inexperienced in fire safety. Luckily, Kiasu Workforce is here to explain everything you need to know about fire doors. In this guide, we’ll cover your legal responsibilities and advice to help you safeguard your property.

 

What Is A Fire Door?

In straightforward terms, a fire door is a structure that will restrict the spread of flames. In day-to-day operations, they’ll act like a typical door, but they’re composed of material that is heat resistant. Fire doors can be critical in passive fire protection, giving staff longer to escape a fire since the spread is restricted. Both internal and external options are available, and they should always be kept closed in case of emergency. A fire risk assessment will help you determine suitable placement for fire doors.

 

How Do Internal Fire Doors Work?

Internal fire doors are fitted throughout domestic and commercial buildings to contain a fire. Fitting fire doors throughout your premises create separate zones of passive fire protection. You would restrict fire to one section of your building before it could reach anybody else. Any door that is declared fit as a fire door comes alongside a rating to indicate how long they’ll last before they burn through. An FD30 rating means your staff or occupants would have thirty minutes to evacuate before the material gives way.

 

How Do External Fire Doors Work?

An external fire door slightly differs in function from an internal. External doors are primarily installed for an easy escape, so they needn’t be kept closed all the time. Additionally, exterior doors needn’t have fire-resisting properties since they aren’t stopping fire spread between rooms. Some external fire doors present a security issue because they need to be unlocked and accessible. So you maintain security, exterior fire doors can be alarmed to prevent intrusion.

 

Do I Legally Require Fire Doors?

Working fire doors are a requirement by law in any commercial property, and they are critical in effective fire stopping. Fire exit recommendations state that every part of your premises should have two independent escape routes. You may find large rooms require two fire doors.

 

How Often Should I Examine My Fire Doors?

Under the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005, fire doors need to be inspected and maintained once a year at a minimum. Depending on your premises, the responsible person managing the property is encouraged to decide how often fire safety inspections feel appropriate. In busy buildings with constant activity streams, such as schools and shared office spaces, monthly checks are more sensible than annual.

Off the record, you can check your fire doors as often as weekly. A quick glance-over of any fire stopping equipment could catch damage before it escalates and save countless lives in an emergency.

 

Can I Complete My Own Fire Door Surveys?

Yes, you can complete your assessments independently. You’ll need to cover numerous concerns during your surveys, even the informal weekly checks. Note faulty hinges, broken smoke seals, incorrect signage, and any visible faults to the door that could compromise its strength. If you aren’t confident you’ll recognise indistinct weaknesses, arrange for a professional assessment.

As mentioned previously, once a year is the legal requirement to review each door, but a lot can change in those twelve months. You must get your fire doors professionally serviced and repaired if you note any damage.

 

Do I Need Professional Assistance?

Fire door installation is a process to take seriously. Any gaps around your internal or external doors could threaten your staff’s lives in an emergency. Contact us at Kiasu Workforce to arrange fire safety support from our London-based team.

A Guide To Road Markings (Find Out How They Really Work)

According to data collected by the RAC, an estimated 35.9 million people drive in the UK. Our roads are unique, and our specific choice of road markings is like no other. It is mandatory to pass a full driving theory test before attaining your full license. It is also likely that you may not remember what every road marking is or what they mean precisely.

There are over thirty different road markings on our roads, and they all require maintenance, so they remain clear to any driver at all times. If you notice any road markings are faded or unclear, you must contact your local council to arrange for them to be re-painted. Kiasu offers a range of road marking facilities for road and car park markings. We can cover existing road markings or paint an entirely new set of markings or parking bays.

Thermoplastic resin is the material of choice when it comes to road markings. It is quick-drying, durable, and bonds with the road surface. The resin is then mixed with Titanium Dioxide pigment for any white road markings and Chromate alternatives for yellow and other coloured markings. The key benefit of thermoplastic paint over cold plastic or water-based alternatives is its drying speed. Thermoplastic paint can dry in less than ten minutes, ideal for busy roads where traffic needs to flow efficiently.

Paint markings can be applied with dedicated road marking vehicles or manually with a laying pram. Cars are more suitable for busier roads with wider lanes, such as dual carriageways. They work by following a straight line and a computerised control system lays the paint onto the tarmac. Manual road marking is more common in residential areas or 30mph zones. Fewer cars and slower moving traffic mean fewer hazards, and you can afford to take more time to paint the road markings. However, this does require a highly skilled Steersman who has mastered the technique.

An essential factor in making your road markings is their visibility in dark conditions. You must include a form of reflectivity to be seen as clearly as possible by drivers at night. Sodium silicate glass spheres are dropped on the paint and secured when the paint eventually dries to achieve a reflective marking. These spheres create a glistening effect on the surface of the road markings that the light can bounce off. For particularly adverse weather conditions, reflective spikes and alternative textures are added to the lines in the road. These extra measures make road lines more visible, and the raised surface indicates when you are driving on or over the lane markings, as they will produce a loud noise.

Road markings are ultimately put in place to keep traffic flowing safely at all times, so if they become worn or are less visible, then this can create a hazard. Every driver needs to be aware of each road marking and what they mean to drive safely in the UK. If you have any worn-out road markings in your local area, you can call us here at Kiasu. We can make or reapply road markings on public and private roads and car parks in and around London.

PAT Testing Explained; Everything You Need To Know

It is a legal requirement to ensure your electrical appliances are routinely tested. Under the current Health and Safety regulations, you must regularly maintain your equipment to prevent the risk of danger to those using it. The testing frequency differs depending on the type of appliance and how frequently it gets used.

 

What Exactly Is a PAT Test?

PAT testing stands for ‘Portable Appliance Testing’. It refers to the routine inspection and testing of portable devices to ensure they are safe to use. Regular PAT testing is one of the key ways to avoid electrical accidents. It is a crucial factor in keeping your employees safe.

For an appliance to be deemed ‘safe’, they need to undergo a visual survey followed by a more thorough inspection. Once your appliances have been tested, they will be marked as either a pass or fail. A record will then be made stating the date of the test and its outcome.

 

Which Appliances Require PAT Testing?

A portable appliance typically weighs around 18kg or less and has a remote power supply. These are often handheld devices such as chainsaws, electric drills, and vacuum cleaners. Even though the term ‘Portable Appliance Testing’ implies it is only for portable devices, it covers an even broader range of electrical appliances.

You can conduct a PAT test on fixed machines, wires and cables, IT equipment, and portable devices. Under the current PAT legislation, testing should be carried out on any equipment that has to be plugged into an electrical outlet or has a plug attached to it.

 

How Often should My Appliances Be Tested

IT is recommended that you carry out checks frequently enough to limit the risk of it becoming unsafe to work with. If you find some equipment is more prone to faults than others, then these need to be a priority and checked on a more regular basis.

The person surveying your electrical appliances must have a comprehensive understanding of that particular equipment. It is no use having your test carried out by somebody who does not fully understand how your machinery works or the faults it is prone to. You must ensure a highly experienced and qualified individual carries out your testing. Kiasu’s team can provide the best PAT testing in London and the surrounding area.

 

Whose Responsibility Is It To Arrange Appliance Testing?

When it comes to PAT testing, the responsibility is yours. The law states that anyone who owns electrical appliances for use by other people needs to ensure they are regularly tested and certified safe for use. This includes all employers, landlords, and even those who are self-employed.

PAT testing is not compulsory, but the law states that any employer must maintain their electrical equipment and keep it in complete working order. There is no specification for how this should be done, only that it must. If an employee or a tenant were to use a device and sustain an injury due to an electrical fault, you would be liable if you had not performed regular checks.

Electrical faults are unavoidable, but arranging for thorough and regular testing can improve the safety and reliability of your appliances. Because you must prioritise the health and safety of your employees, it is highly beneficial to use a certified PAT testing service.

 

Kiasu can identify any signs of appliance damage and test switches and fuses. We will also inspect the condition of live wires and conduct complete visual inspections. We will carry out all checks efficiently and discreetly so you can carry on with work as usual.

Contact our London-based team for more information and arrange your consultati

The Different Types Of Tiles and Where They Should Be Used

If you are thinking about renovating your bathroom or updating your kitchen, the thought of tiles will have likely crossed your mind. If you haven’t had tiles before, learning all of the different types can be daunting. That is why we have brought you a guide to the world of tiles. We will cover a range of different tile types and where they are best used to help you make those all-important decorating decisions.

 

Types of Tiles

Did you know that you can tile both indoor and outdoor floors and walls and even roofs? Tiles are one of the most durable and versatile decorating materials. They can look effective when installed well. Here are the most famous varieties of tile and their ideal usage.

Ceramic

Tiles are traditionally made of ceramic, similar to bowls, plates, and other pottery. Ceramic tiles are waterproof, low-maintenance, and highly durable. This makes them great for rooms that get used a lot. They are affordable and will last a long time, so you won’t have to worry about constant repair or maintenance. If you want your tiles to last even longer, then consider choosing a glazed ceramic tile.

Where To Use: Outside porches and entryways, bathrooms, and kitchens.

 

Cement

Cement tiles can be used just about anywhere. They come in a wide range of patterns and designs to add a bold design feature to your home. The technique for cement tiles was popular in the nineteenth century. They have remained a typical interior design feature ever since. These tiles, unlike ceramics, are not fired in a kiln or glazed over. Each unique pattern is created by pouring pigmented cement into pre-designed moulds. Due to their porous qualities, the pattern can become even more prominent as the tiles oxidise. These tiles can be sanded and sealed repeatedly, a great way to keep them looking fresh. They are naturally anti-slip too.

Cement tiles are notoriously challenging to lay correctly, so having an experienced tiler can ensure that you are getting the job done correctly. Our team of expert tilers here at Kiasu can lay your tiles with precision and efficiency and maintain them to stay looking their best.

Where To Use: Indoors and outdoors, wetrooms and flooring.

 

Granite

Granite is a highly durable material, which makes it perfect for tiles. They are a good choice for busy houses with small children and pets. Their extra strength also prevents them from fading in sunlight. If you invest in excellent quality granite tiles, they will last you a lifetime. They are often deemed more modern due to their shape. Unlike the typical square tile shape, they often use larger rectangular tiles. There is no need for paint or varnish as granite’s natural flecks and texture creates a design in itself. If you are looking for a tough and cost-effective tile, granite is the best option.

Where To Use: Utility rooms and kitchens.

 

Marble

Made from limestone, marble is a crystallised material with unique patterns depending on the formation of the stone. It has a highly polished finish, making it susceptible to scratches, so it is best used in more decorative areas. Marble is highly porous, so it can be buffed and polished to look fresh. It is available in different colours, with white being the most popular and versatile. However, it is worth noting that the bright white finish means stains can show up more quickly. Marble comes at a higher price point, but installing them may be able to add value to your home.

Where To Use: Conservatories and kitchens, dry conditions.

 

Mosaic

Mosaic tiles are a great way to add an eye-catching feature to your home. You can get as creative as you like when designing your colour schemes and patterns. They are available in various materials such as porcelain, glass, and even marble. They can be cut into different shapes and put together to form a unique appearance. The mosaic technique is one of the oldest tiling methods globally, dating back to ancient Greece.

Mosaic tiling is intricate work, and the small tiles can become damaged and need replacement. Having a skilled tiler can ensure your mosaic tiling can be well laid, maintained, and replaced if need be. Our London tiling company comprises the most knowledgeable experienced tilers with extreme attention to detail.

Where To Use: Walls, decor, artistic features.

 

Contact our expert tiling team here at Kiasu for all of your tiling needs. We will be happy to lay any tiles you desire anywhere on your property.

5 Property Maintenance Tips For Landlords

All landlords are responsible for providing a safe and fully working environment for their tenants. This means fixing any maintenance issues as soon as they occur. There will be many problems that arise which are unavoidable, and the more properties you own, the more you are sure to be faced with.

Issues can also occur when it comes to tenants. Most property renters respect and take care of the building they are paying to live in. Still, every so often, there can be difficult tenants. They may cause damage to your property accidentally or deliberately. Hence, an awareness of these issues and how to deal with them is crucial so you can ensure your property stays in the best possible condition.

 

Here are some top maintenance tips for landlords:

1. Plumbing

This is the most frequent maintenance issue you will face as a landlord. Depending on the size of your property or the number of properties you own, you could be responsible for a great deal of plumbing. In one building alone, there could be multiple bathrooms. This is why it is worth your while knowing how to address any issues in this area. Depending on a tenant’s plumbing knowledge, they may be flushing harmful waste down the toilets or sinks that block the pipes.

If you find you keep having the same problems, then you can install signs above your toilets and sinks to remind your tenants of what they can and can’t put down the drain. It may be a simple case of heading round with the plunger. However, ongoing harmful items in your waste system can cause much more expensive problems with your entire plumbing system. Having your drains checked for contamination can help with these issues.

 

2. Boilers & Heating Systems

Ensuring you have a fully working and efficient heating system in your properties is beneficial not only for those paying the bills but for landlords too. The lower the energy bills, the happier the tenant, and the more likely they will have more money for rent increases. Your tenants have the right to hot running water on demand, especially when paying for the privilege. You must make sure that any problems with the boiler are amended as soon as possible.

You must also get your boilers serviced by a fully qualified gas engineer so it is registered gas-safe for your tenants. Heating systems and radiators can run into issues now and again. These may involve minor tweaks such as bleeding your radiators, or they could require more attention. If there are problems with your heating and it isn’t the boiler, then you may need to arrange for your system to be flushed, or worse, buy replacement radiators. Kiasu offers a range of plumbing and heating services, including repairs and installations for your London-based property.

 

3. Fire Safety

This is the most important aspect of renting out a property. You must ensure that your tenants have everything they need to help prevent, put out and alert them of fire. When you first acquire your rental property, you should perform a full risk assessment. This helps ensure you are doing everything to keep any future tenants as safe as possible. Arranging for a fully qualified company to perform these assessments and address any fire risks in the property will make this easier.

 

4. Structural Repairs

It is worth carrying out structural surveys and maintenance to ensure your property is in top condition between changing tenants. Some of these can be time-consuming tasks that cause a disturbance, so it is better to do them when the property is vacant. However, this sometimes cannot be avoided. Do not worry; tenants are still required to pay rent, even if construction occurs. If they are needed to move out for repairs or refurbishments to happen, you can discuss their fees directly with them.

 

5.  Deep Cleaning

At the end of any tenancy, those renting your property are legally required to perform a thorough clean. Depending on the terms of your contract, you may deduct money from the deposit to pay for any outstanding necessary cleaning. It is always worth hiring a professional cleaning company to deep clean your property. They are trained to use slightly harsher chemicals to eliminate bacteria causing health issues such as Legionella. It is now more important than ever to ensure your property is safe from germs and viruses to help avoid the spread of Coronavirus.

 

If your property requires any of the above maintenance, you can arrange for our expert team at Kiasu to come and carry out the work so you don’t have to. We have a considerable task force with a broad range of skills in all property maintenance areas, so you can be sure to find the help you need at just the click of a button. Contact us today to arrange maintenance for your London-based property.

Does Your Property Need Emergency Lighting?

A vital feature of any building’s safety system is emergency lighting. It is a particular type of battery-backed lighting used as the primary light source during a power outage. It also functions when the electricity has been cut off for emergency purposes such as a fire. Emergency lighting is a necessity for any public building, office, or industrial space. It ensures that people will be guided to a safe location clearly when all other lights are out. This is different from standby lighting, which is used to maintain work during a power outage.

The two main kinds of emergency lighting are maintained and non-maintained.

Maintained lighting is wired to the mains electricity so is continuously on. This makes it clear to see at all times, so perfect for buildings where people may be unfamiliar with the surroundings. It then relies on the battery as its primary power source when the electricity is off. This battery is rechargeable and can typically last up to three hours.

Non-maintained emergency lighting only runs on battery power and is activated only during emergencies. These are ideal for offices or buildings where the occupants know the designated exit routes and fire doors. This lighting will only work for the minimum three-hour emergency time frame.

 

Where Is Emergency Lighting a Requirement?

Any non-domestic property is legally required to provide emergency lighting. This is per government building safety regulations. Those responsible for a building are also responsible for the safety of everyone inside at any given time. It is crucial that a building remains safe to navigate during an emergency or electrical outage, so people can safely evacuate. The Fire Safety Advice Centre stresses that the legal guidelines regarding emergency light installation are the minimum standard requirements for a building. You can choose to go the extra mile by putting an entire lighting system in place.

 

Which Type Should I Install?

There aren’t any laws stating which buildings must have a particular type of emergency lighting system. However, they are designed with different functions in mind, so some are better suited than others. If you are looking for emergency lighting for a residential environment or hospital setting, you are best opting for a maintained system. There will be times where the main lights may be dimmed or turned off entirely overnight. This makes it beneficial to have constant emergency lighting to be in use at all times, not just during an emergency. In these environments, in particular, occupants can be unfamiliar with the building or become easily disoriented.

A general rule is the more extensive your building, the more lighting you will require. If there are multiple fire exits, all will need to be illuminated in an emergency. It is sufficient to use borrowed lighting if you are in a much smaller building, such as a small retail space. This involves using the light from the street, daylight or streetlamps, to illuminate your property via the windows. In this case, it is vital to have at least one emergency escape light next to the exit of the building.

If you are considering emergency lighting for a school, then the case of whether it is essential or not is a grey area. Due to schools only being occupied during the day and having many windows, they can rely on daylight during power outages. However, the sunlight may not be sufficient during the winter months, and we advise additional emergency lighting. Likewise, if any facilities do not have access to borrowed light, these would most certainly require emergency lighting.

 

You must ensure that your emergency lighting is installed by a certified electrician specialising in the field. If you are planning for your own building’s emergency lighting, then you can give us a call. Here at Kiasu, we are passionate about your building’s fire safety measures. We have a team of fully trained expert engineers who can design, fit and test any type of emergency lighting system to meet all regulations. No task is too big for us, and we will ensure that all of your fire safety needs are met.