Four jobs you need to do in the summer holidays

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With the six-week summer holidays starting next month now is the time to sort out the minor home improvements when the weather is warmer rather than in the cold of winter when there’s an emergency.

Midlands green energy expert Ron Fox suggests four domestic chores to be carried out this month.

Firstly, householders should make sure there is no damp in the home caused by poor ventilation with tell-tale signs such as condensation on the windows, water on the sills or black mould in the bathroom. The problem may be blocked airbricks or gutters.

The sealant between the tiles in the shower, bath and basins may have become discoloured, mouldy or even leading to leaks. Ron suggests taking out the old sealant and replacing with an antibacterial one.

“Once any damp has been sorted it may be worth putting the heating on a low, constant temperature to dry out the rooms, but if there is still a problem do contact me for further advice,” he added.

Secondly, it is worth checking the water stopcock. All it needs, said Ron, is to turn it twice a year to stop it seizing up. Close it a half turn to the right and then a half turn to the left. A couple of minutes’ work in the summer could save you many hundreds of pounds in the winter if a pipe bursts.

Thirdly, have your boiler serviced and get the water pressure checked now before the engineers go on holiday and don’t leave it until the late autumn. Ensure the person is qualified and is on the Gas Safe Register, said Ron, of Noreus Ltd on the University of Keele Science and Innovation Park (www.noreus.co.uk).

Fourthly and finally check your roof and chimneys and the simplest and easiest way is to hire a drone and a thermal imaging camera.
“Many householders do not realise how technology can help them as it is much easier than hiring expensive scaffolding, or a cherry picker or sending a person up a ladder on to what could be an unsafe area,” said Ron.

Also, some areas may be off-limits because of tight angles or out of sight in a valley between roofs.

“Once we have cleared a flight plan with the relevant authorities the technology allows us to pinpoint specific areas with far greater accuracy,” he added

“As there’s no need for anyone to leave the ground so there is no difficulty with health and safety.”

Ron, who uses a drone, says it detects missing or defective insulation; air leaks and moisture in cavity wall insulation and roofs; excess water on flat roofs; inefficient seals round doors and windows; wear and tear in solar panels and reveal where energy is being lost from the building.

“The thermal imaging camera will show up the problems inside the home without having to cut into plasterboard or concrete or search through the attic or the roof.”

For more details about having a drone check your house or to book a free thermal imaging survey, which will take about an hour and a half, call Ron on 0845 474 6641 or go to www.noreus.co.uk

Caption: Drones – the high tech and safe way to see any roof problems.

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