Sanctuary Housing repairs handbook

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1 Sanctuary Housing repairs handbook

2 Gas leaks and gas safety checks If you smell or suspect a gas leak, you should: if possible, immediately turn off the gas supply at the meter (see diagram), unless Mains gas on and off lever this is located in the cellar or basement; on off open windows and doors to let the gas escape; leave the property; and call National Grid on You should NOT: use any naked flames such as matches or cigarettes that may ignite gas; operate any electrical switches, telephones or mobiles. Gas checks and servicing Once a year we will arrange for a qualified gas engineer to visit your property and carry out a gas safety check. We will check the gas supply and any appliances owned by Sanctuary to make sure they are working correctly and are safe to use. If you agree an appointment with us and then fail to keep this appointment we can charge you for the cost of the visit. For everyone s safety, it is important that this check is carried out. If you break an appointment or do not let an engineer in you will be putting yourself, your family and your neighbours at risk. We are prepared to take legal action if this happens to make sure the check is completed. i Other information

3 Carbon monoxide Faulty gas appliances, including flues or ventilation can produce carbon monoxide fumes. These are poisonous and can kill. Gas safety checks are one important way to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. You should also: keep rooms ventilated; make sure vents are not blocked or closed; use Gas Safe registered installers to connect any of your own gas appliances; and follow the instructions provided by manufacturers when using gas appliances. Carbon monoxide detectors Repairs handbook 1

4 Contents TENANTS AND REPAIRS INFORMATION 3 Reporting a repair 4 Contacting us 5 What happens next? 6 How long will it be before the repair is done? 8 Will you charge me for some repairs? 9 Repair responsibilities 14 Adapting your home to meet your needs 14 Can I make my own improvements to my home? 15 What is Sanctuary doing about asbestos? 15 Are you happy with the service? REPAIRS IN YOUR HOME 16 Repairs in your home 17 Basins and sinks 19 Baths and showers 21 Doors 24 Drainage 25 Electrics 28 Floors, walls and ceilings 30 Garages 31 Gutters and downpipes 32 Heating and hot water 37 Kitchen units 38 Locks and fittings 40 Outside the property 43 Roofing 44 Stairs 45 Toilets 46 Water services 47 Windows and glazing HANDY HINTS 51 General advice 52 Blocked waste pipes how to clear them 53 Condensation 55 Electrics 58 Extractor fans 58 Fire safety and smoke detectors 61 Frozen or burst pipes 62 Heating 71 Toilet overflows OTHER INFORMATION 1 Carbon monoxide 72 Repairs reported and appointments Inside front cover Gas leaks and gas safety checks Inside back cover Where to find equipment Outside back cover Receive this information in other languages or formats 2 Tenants and repairs information

5 Reporting a repair Before you report a repair Before you report a repair to us, you should: check that the repair is not your responsibility (see pages 8 to 12 for more information); and use the diagrams in part 2 of this handbook to help to identify what the problem is. When you contact us you should let us know: the details of the item that needs repairing; details of error codes if the repair relates to your heating system; or any other information you think we may need. We will discuss the repair with you and tell you: if the repair is your responsibility; or if the repair is our responsibility we will arrange a convenient appointment for us to do the work and tell you when the repair should be completed. Making sure your home is kept in good condition is a shared responsibility between you and Sanctuary Housing. We will make sure the structure is kept in good condition but you are responsible if the structure needs repairing because of damage you have caused, for example, if you break or remove an internal door. You are responsible for such things as decorating, replacing bath plugs or getting into your property and changing the locks if you lose your keys. See pages 8 to 12 for more information on repair responsibilities. How can you help us? You can help us to organise repairs in a number of ways: Write down and remember the location of your gas meter, electricity meter and water stop tap. (You can make a note of this on the inside back cover). Keep your repair and inspection appointments or let us know in advance if you cannot be present. (You can make a note of any appointments and job numbers in the space provided on page 72). Repairs handbook 3

6 Treat our staff and contractors as you expect to be treated yourself. Abusive language or behaviour will not be tolerated under any circumstances and we may refuse to complete the work because of this. Follow any safety advice and instructions given to you by our staff or contractors. Make sure you have adequate home contents insurance cover. We have insurance if something happens to the building, but it is your responsibility to make sure you have insurance for the contents. Make sure someone over the age of 16 will be at the property for the appointment. Move delicate or expensive items from where we will need to work so they are not accidentally damaged or broken. Move your furniture, carpets (or other floor coverings) and belongings from the area, if we have asked you to do so. Make sure we can carry out the work by keeping pets and children out of the way. Contacting us You can report repairs to the Customer Service Centre (CSC) 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. All of the phone numbers are free phone (0800) or a lower rate (0300) from mobiles. Repairs can be reported in a number of ways: Call us (emergency repairs should be reported this way so they can be attended to as quickly as possible): Phone or Visit our website Use Minicom those people with hearing difficulties can use the Typetalk facility by phoning If you would prefer to speak to us in a community language, please let us know and we can organise a translation service. 4 Tenants and repairs information

7 Send a letter write to Sanctuary Housing, 160 Francis Street, Hull, HU2 8DT us Send a text message Visit your local office Speak to a Sanctuary member of staff What happens next? Our Customer Service Centre team will talk to you about the repair and discuss what needs to be done. If it is our responsibility we will arrange for someone to visit. This will either be a contractor or an operative from Sanctuary Maintenance. We may arrange an appointment for someone to inspect the repair before any work is organised. If we need to carry out an inspection we will explain this when you call and we will arrange a convenient appointment. It is important that you tell us what the problem is and how serious it is. We may recharge you if you exaggerate how urgent the repair is. If someone has damaged an item and you report this as normal wear and tear we may also charge you for the cost of the work. i We will give you a job reference number and agree an appointment, please keep it safe, and note it down in the space provided on page 72. Making sure you are at your property for the appointment will mean the repair is done on time. If you are unable to keep an appointment you must let us know as soon as possible. If you are not at home we will leave a card asking you to contact us. If you fail to keep an appointment with us and do not notify us in advance we may charge you for the cost of the visit. i We will contact you if we are going to be delayed or need to rearrange your appointment. Please also note we may need to do the work at another time. For example, in bad weather conditions our contractors cannot work at Repairs handbook 5

8 heights or use ladders outside as this is a safety risk. If this is the case we will let you know as soon as possible. Keep safe, check ID cards All of our contractors and Sanctuary Maintenance staff carry an identification card saying who they are. They will show this card when they arrive and explain why they are visiting. To give you peace of mind you can also agree a password with us. The person visiting will tell you this password so that you know it is someone from Sanctuary. If you are unsure, call us to confirm that they are one of our contractors or operatives. Anyone who is genuine will be more than happy for you to check. The ID badge should look like this: Peter Leadbetter Sanctuary Maintenance Expires: 00/00/0000 Example How long will it be before the repair is done? We want to take care of your repair promptly and effectively. To do this we need to prioritise all of the repairs by how urgent they are. We have three repairs categories: 1 Emergency repairs made safe within 24 hours Emergency repairs are those that need to be done because there is: a serious health and safety threat to people living in or near the property such as a dangerous electrical fault; a risk of serious damage to your property such as water leaking through the ceiling; 6 Tenants and repairs information

9 a problem with important services such as the water or electricity supply; or a security risk if someone could get into your property because of a broken window or an external door that does not shut. We will visit within 24 hours and make the situation safe. However, it is likely that we will need to arrange another visit to fully complete the repair. For example, if a window is broken we will board it up to make the property secure but visit again to replace the glass. 2 Appointed repairs carried out within 28 calendar days Appointed or responsive repairs that are not emergencies are things such as a partial loss of electricity or a leaking gutter. These will be carried out within a maximum of 28 days. 3 Planned repairs carried out as a programme of works Some maintenance works might take longer than 28 days. For example, where there is no health and safety risk and the required work does not disrupt your quality of life. Sometimes we may group repairs together to create a programme of works. For example, if there are lots of properties on one estate that need new guttering, we may group this work together. This means we can minimise the disturbance for everyone and make the best use of the money we spend. If this happens, and we require access to your home to complete the work, we will work with you to agree a date for the work to be carried out. Each year we carry out an extensive programme of improvement works to our properties. This includes replacing things such as kitchens, bathrooms and windows. We hold information about all of our properties including, for example, the age of kitchens. We use this information to work with staff and residents to plan a programme of improvements. Repairs handbook 7

10 If your property is included in an improvement programme we will contact you at least two months before the work begins. We will talk to you about the work required, when it will be done and provide a range of choices for fittings and decoration colours. To find out whether your property is included in an improvement programme you can check on our website at or contact the Customer Service Centre. If you report a repair to us such as a damaged kitchen worktop, we will check to see if this is due to be replaced as part of a programme of works. If it is, we may bring this work forward. If the repair is not urgent we may ask you to wait until the programmed works take place, as long as it is not causing you any serious inconvenience. Will you charge me for some repairs? We are responsible for repairs to the property which are caused by normal wear and tear. If the damage has been caused by a break-in or vandalism, we will carry out the work to make your home safe. Before we do this you will need to contact the police and get a crime reference number. If you or anyone in your home causes damage to the property, it is your responsibility to repair this or pay for the work to be done. If we need to do the repair to make sure you and your household are safe, you will be asked to pay for the cost of the work. When you leave your property, if we need to carry out repairs to put right any damage that has been done, you will also be charged for the work. i 8 Tenants and repairs information

11 Repair responsibilities Making sure your home is kept in good condition is a shared responsibility between Sanctuary and yourself. Which repairs are Sanctuary responsible for? Keeping the outside of the property, the structure and items inside such as baths and toilets in good condition are Sanctuary s responsibility. If these need to be repaired because of general wear and tear it is our responsibility to ensure they are fixed. If you live in a sheltered housing scheme, repairs to communal areas such as gardens will be the responsibility of Sanctuary. Installing or repairing a battery-operated smoke detector within a sheltered scheme will also be our responsibility. The tables on pages 10 to 13 give you an example of some of the repairs that Sanctuary or you are responsible for. More information on your responsibilities will be found in your Tenancy Agreement. Repairs handbook 9

12 Repair type Basins and sinks Tap is leaking Tap will not turn on or off Basin or sink is blocked Plug and chain is broken or missing Basin is loose, cracked or broken Baths and showers Plug and chain is broken or missing Repair responsibilities Water is seeping between bath and wall Electric shower does not work Shower head is blocked Communal areas Entryphone is not working Concrete or tarmac path is damaged Doors Replacement keys and gaining entry to your home if you have lost your keys Door is sticking Water is getting in around door frame Drainage Manhole cover is loose Gully is blocked (Sanctuary is responsible after you have tried to unblock this) Who is responsible? Us You 10 Tenants and repairs information

13 Repair type Electrics including lighting Repair responsibilities Mains-powered smoke detector is not working Battery smoke detector is not working Electric socket is loose Who is responsible? Us You Light bulb needs replacing Fuse box or consumer unit is not working properly Appliances such as cookers, fridges and TVs Floors, walls and ceilings Skirting board is loose Floorboards are loose Wall tiles are loose Decorating Small cracks in plaster on wall Small repairs to plaster on ceiling Large repairs to plaster on ceiling or wall Garages Replacement keys and gaining entry to your garage if you have lost your keys Metal garage door is loose Gutters and downpipes Plastic downpipe is loose Gutter is blocked Repairs handbook 11

14 Repair responsibilities Repair type Heating and hot water Storage heater is not working properly Gas fire is not working (if owned by Sanctuary) Boiler is not working properly Jacket to cylinder is damaged or missing Kitchen units Unit door will not open or close properly Drawer front needs repair Worktop is loose or damaged Locks, latches and fittings Handle is broken Replacement keys if you have lost them Outside the property Metal or timber gate will not open or close properly Step is loose Concrete or tarmac is damaged Mowing and tidying the garden Dividing fences and gates Roofing Chimney pot is loose Tile is loose Who is responsible? Us You 12 Tenants and repairs information

15 Repair type Roofing Repair responsibilities TV aerials or satellite dishes (unless these are in communal areas) Stairs Handrail is loose Stair or tread is loose Toilets Toilet is blocked (unless caused by faulty pipework) Cistern is damaged Locks, latches and fittings Handle is broken Replacement keys if you have lost them Water services Water pipe is leaking Cold-water tank is leaking Making sure pipes do not freeze and dealing with frozen pipes Windows and glazing Window fitting is loose Window glass has been broken by crime or vandalism Who is responsible? Us You Repairs handbook 13

16 Adapting your home to meet your needs What can I do if I find it difficult to get around my home? Sanctuary is committed to supporting residents who may have a disability or mobility issue to live independently within their home. We will work with the relevant agencies to ensure that appropriate adaptations are installed wherever possible, so that residents can continue to enjoy a good quality of life. If you think a minor adaptation such as a handrail or a flashing door bell would make your life easier, we can make these changes within 28 days. Please contact our Customer Service Centre to discuss further. Major adaptations such as a level-access shower will require specialist guidance from your GP or occupational therapist. Visit them or speak to your local council to discuss your options. We will then work with these agencies to identify the best solution for you. Can I make my own improvements to my home? You may want to make changes or improvements to your home such as putting in a shower or fitting cupboards. You must check with us and get permission before you do. If you want to make a change or improvement to your home please contact the Planned Maintenance team at your local office. We can then discuss who will be responsible for repairing this in future. Some of our properties may also contain asbestos and we will tell you about it before you do any work. 14 Tenants and repairs information

17 What is Sanctuary doing about asbestos? Homes built between the 1950s and 1980s may contain some form of asbestos, including some of our properties. We carry out surveys on our properties to find out which ones are most likely to contain asbestos. We investigate the condition of materials that may contain asbestos and remove those which are in poor condition. Asbestos is only harmful if it is damaged or disturbed, so in most cases asbestos is not a danger to your health. We understand it can be worrying if you discover asbestos in your home. If you think there are materials that may contain asbestos in your home, and if these are damaged or in a poor condition, please contact us and we will arrange for a surveyor to inspect it. Are you happy with the service? If you tell us about your experience with the service we can use this information to make improvements. Every day we contact a sample of residents to discuss the repairs work that has been carried out at their property, the service they have received and the quality of the repair. This tells us what we are doing well and where we can make things better. Working together we can improve the service. Repairs handbook 15

18 Repairs in your home When you call to report a repair, our Customer Service Centre team will use a computer system called RepairFinder. This helps us to work out exactly what the problem is and what needs to be done. The following section contains the diagrams used by our Customer Service Centre. These diagrams include many of the common repairs that you are likely to need. Each diagram has an individual number which will help you to describe the repair to us. To help us to identify what repair is needed, you should refer to this section before you contact us. By telling us which page the repair is on and what the fault number is, it will be quicker and easier for us to organise the repair. Here is an example below: Baths and showers What is the fault and its number? Baths 1 Plug and chain is broken or missing 9 Water is seeping between bath and wall 2 Tap will not open or close properly 3 Tap is dripping 4 Tap is loose 5 Tap is broken 6 Supply pipe is leaking 7 Supply pipe is loose 8 Supply pipe has burst Supply pipe Overflow Waste Trap 10 Bath is chipped 11 End panel is broken 12 Side panel is broken 13 Bath overflow is leaking 14 Waste is blocked 15 Waste pipe is leaking 16 Trap is broken Northgate (2012) When reporting your repair please tell us: Section Baths and showers Number 5 Description Tap is broken 16 Repairs in your home

19 Basins and sinks Basins What is the fault and its number? 5 Basin is loose 6 Basin is cracked or 1 Tap will not open or close properly 2 Tap is dripping 3 Tap is loose 4 Tap is broken damaged beyond repair 7 Supply pipe is leaking 8 Supply pipe is loose 9 Supply pipe has burst 10 Waste is blocked 11 Waste pipe is leaking 12 Trap is broken Supply pipe Waste Trap 13 Plug and chain is broken or missing 14 Water is seeping between basin and wall Northgate (2012) Repairs handbook 17

20 Basins and sinks Sinks 1 Plug and chain is broken or missing 2 Tap will not open or close properly What is the fault and its number? 6 Sink top is loose 7 Water is seeping between sink and wall 8 Supply pipe is leaking 9 Supply pipe is loose 10 Supply pipe has burst 11 Waste is blocked 12 Waste pipe is leaking 13 Trap is broken 3 Tap is dripping 4 Tap is loose 5 Tap is broken Supply pipe Trap Waste Northgate (2012) 18 Repairs in your home

21 Baths and showers Baths 1 Plug and chain is broken or missing 2 Tap will not open or close properly 3 Tap is dripping 4 Tap is loose 5 Tap is broken 6 Supply pipe is leaking 7 Supply pipe is loose Supply pipe Overflow Waste 8 Supply pipe has burst Trap What is the fault and its number? 9 Water is seeping between bath and wall 10 Bath is chipped 11 End panel is broken 12 Side panel is broken 13 Bath overflow is leaking 14 Waste is blocked 15 Waste pipe is leaking 16 Trap is broken Northgate (2012) Repairs handbook 19

22 Baths and showers What is the fault and its number? Showers 2 Spray head needs repair 6 Bracket, holder or riser is broken 3 Spray head is broken 9 Shower switch is broken 4 Hose and spray is broken 10 Electric shower is not working properly 5 Shower mixer needs repair 11 Screen is loose 1 Thermostatic shower is not working properly 12 Screen is broken 13 Water is seeping between shower and wall 7 Tray is cracked 8 Shower is blocked Northgate (2012) 20 Repairs in your home

23 Doors Front and back doors What is the fault and its number? 8 PVC door needs repair 4 Frame is loose 5 Frame needs repair after forced entry 6 Water is penetrating around door frame 7 Threshold is loose Northgate (2012) 3 Door will not open or close properly 1 Door needs rehanging 2 Weatherboard is rotten or missing Repairs handbook 21

24 Doors What is the fault and its number? Inside doors 1 Internal door won't open or close properly 2 Internal door needs rehanging 3 Internal door frame is loose 4 Architrave is loose Northgate (2012) 22 Repairs in your home

25 Doors Meter cupboards and bin or bike stores What is the fault and its number? 1 Meter cupboard door is broken 2 Bin door is sticking 3 Bin door needs rehanging 4 Bin or bike store door lock needs repair or changing Northgate (2012) Repairs handbook 23

26 Drainage What is the fault and its number? 4 Stack is blocked up to two storeys 5 Stack is blocked two to four storeys 1 Manhole cover not opening or closing properly 6 Plastic gully grate is broken or missing 2 Manhole cover and frame is loose 7 Metal gully grate is broken or missing 8 Gully surround is broken 3 Drain is blocked 9 Gully is blocked Northgate (2012) 24 Repairs in your home

27 Electrics Aerials 1 No TV reception 2 TV aerial is loose or damaged 3 TV socket is broken or faulty What is the fault and its number? Northgate (2012) Repairs handbook 25

28 Electrics What is the fault and its number? Lighting 1 Water has leaked onto any light fitting 9 Ceiling switch is broken 2 Light bulb holder with flex is broken 5 Light bulb holder fitted to ceiling is broken 10 Cord to ceiling switch is broken 6 Double fluorescent fitting is broken 3 Switch is loose 7 Fluorescent tube is broken 4 Switch is broken 8 Fluorescent fitting is broken 11 Bulkhead light is broken 12 All lights in the property are not working 13 All lights and sockets are not working Northgate (2012) 26 Repairs in your home

29 Electrics What is the fault and its number? Power 1 Extractor fan is not working properly 2 Smoke detector is broken 3 Single socket is broken 5 Double socket is broken 6 Cooker switch is broken 4 Socket is loose 7 All sockets in the property are not working 8 All lights and sockets are not working Northgate (2012) Repairs handbook 27

30 Floors, walls and ceilings What is the fault and its number? Floor, wall and ceiling repairs 1 Plaster on ceiling needs patching 5 Plaster is cracked 6 Plaster around fitting is cracked 7 Plaster on wall needs patching 2 Floorboards are loose 8 Skirting is loose 3 Floorboards are rotten 4 Floorboards are damaged Northgate (2012) 28 Repairs in your home

31 Floors, walls and ceilings Tiling 1 Tile on fire surround is broken 2 Wall tile is loose 3 Single wall tile is broken 4 Area of wall tiles are broken What is the fault and its number? 5 Vinyl floor tile is loose 6 Vinyl floor tile is broken 7 Quarry floor tile is loose 8 Quarry floor tile is broken Northgate (2012) Repairs handbook 29

32 Garages What is the fault and its number? 1 Timber garage doors won't open or close properly 6 Up-and-over metal garage door is loose 2 Access to garage is needed 7 Up-and-over metal garage door needs repair 3 Lock to up-and-over metal garage door is broken 4 Locking handle to up-and-over metal garage door is broken 5 Locking bar to up-and-over metal garage door is broken Northgate (2012) 30 Repairs in your home

33 Gutters and downpipes What is the fault and its number? 1 Gutter is blocked 2 PVC gutter is leaking 4 Iron gutter is leaking 3 PVC gutter bracket is broken or missing 5 Iron gutter bracket is broken or missing 7 Downpipe is blocked 6 Hopperhead is blocked 8 PVC downpipe is leaking 9 PVC downpipe is loose 10 Iron downpipe is leaking 11 Iron downpipe is loose Northgate (2012) Repairs handbook 31

34 Heating What is the fault and its number? Electric heating 1 One night storage heater is not working properly 4 One convector or radiant heater is not working properly 2 All night storage heaters are not working properly 3 Electric fire or heater is not working properly 5 All convector or radiant heaters are not working properly 6 No heating due to electric system failure Northgate (2012) 32 Repairs in your home

35 Heating Gas heating 1 Boiler is faulty 2 Boiler is leaking 3 Radiator is cold 4 Radiator valve needs repair 5 Radiator valve is broken What is the fault and its number? 6 Gas fire radiants are broken 7 Gas fire is loose 8 Radiator is loose 9 Radiator is leaking 10 No heating from gas system 11 Smell of gas (see inside front cover) Northgate (2012) Repairs handbook 33

36 Heating What is the fault and its number? Solid-fuel and oil-fired heating 1 Boiler is not working properly 6 Glass in fire door is broken 2 Boiler is leaking 3 Radiator is cold 7 Radiator is loose 4 Radiator valve needs repair 8 Radiator is leaking 5 Radiator valve is broken 9 No heating to solid-fuel system 10 No heating to oil-fired system Northgate (2012) 34 Repairs in your home

37 Heating Hot water 1 Immersion heater is not working properly 2 Cylinder is leaking 5 No hot water to gas system 6 No hot water to oil-fired system What is the fault and its number? 3 Boiler is faulty 4 Boiler is leaking 7 No hot water to electric system 8 No hot water to solid-fuel system Northgate (2012) Repairs handbook 35

38 Heating What is the fault and its number? Programmers, thermostats and timers 1 Programmer is not working properly 2 Time clock to electric heating is not working properly 3 Time clock to gas heating is not working properly 4 Room thermostat is not working properly 5 Thermostat to immersion needs resetting 6 Boiler thermostat is not working properly Northgate (2012) 36 Repairs in your home

39 Kitchen units What is the fault and its number? 8 Unit is loose 1 Cupboard door won't open or close properly 2 Catch is broken 9 Shelf to wall unit is broken 3 Hinge is broken 10 Wall unit door is broken 4 Drawer won't open or close properly 5 Drawer needs repair 11 Water is seeping between worktop and wall 6 Drawer front needs repair 12 Shelf to base unit is broken 7 Drawer runners are broken 13 Base unit door is broken Northgate (2012) Repairs handbook 37

40 Locks, latches and fittings What is the fault and its number? Fittings 1 Door viewer is broken 2 Door number is broken or missing (up to three) 3 Door chain is broken or missing 4 Letter box is broken 5 Closer on top of door is broken 7 Closer on side of door is broken 9 Hasp and staple is broken or missing 6 Closer needs adjusting 8 Padlock is broken or missing Northgate (2012) 38 Repairs in your home

41 Locks, latches and fittings What is the fault and its number? Locks and latches 1 Any lock needs repair 4 Multipoint lock on PVC door needs repair 10 Yale-type lock needs repair 2 Rimlock is broken 5 Lock on PVC door needs adjusting 11 Yale-type lock is broken 6 Lock cylinder on PVC door needs renewing 7 Handle is broken on PVC door 8 Mortice latch needs repair 12 Keys to Yale-type lock need replacing 3 Mortice lock without handle is broken 9 Mortice latch is broken 13 Mortice lock with handle is broken Northgate (2012) Repairs handbook 39

42 Outside the property What is the fault and its number? Clothes driers and bollards 1 Bollard is broken 2 Rotary clothes drier needs new string 3 Rotary clothes drier is broken or missing 4 Line post is broken Northgate (2012) 40 Repairs in your home

43 Outside the property Gates and fencing 1 Fencing is unsafe 2 Post is loose 3 Metal gate won't open or close properly 4 Fitting on metal gate needs repair 5 Fitting on metal gate is broken 6 Fitting on timber gate needs repair 7 Fitting on timber gate is broken What is the fault and its number? 8 Fence paling is loose 9 Fence paling is broken 10 Timber gate won't open or close properly 11 Timber gate needs repair Northgate (2012) Repairs handbook 41

44 Outside the property What is the fault and its number? Walls, paving and steps 3 Paving temporary repair is needed 1 Step is loose 4 Paving flag is loose or uneven 2 Step is damaged 5 Paving flag is broken 6 Hanging tiles are loose 8 Stone coping on wall is loose 9 Brick coping on wall is loose 7 Hanging tiles are broken or missing Northgate (2012) 42 Repairs in your home

45 Roofing What is the fault and its number? 1 Plain tile is loose up to 10 2 Plain tile is broken or missing up to Chimney pot is loose 11 Chimney pot is broken or missing 12 Ridge or hip tile is loose up to 3 3 Interlocking tile is loose up to 10 7 Cowl to chimney is damaged or missing 13 Ridge or hip tile is broken or missing up to 3 4 Interlocking tile is broken or missing up to 10 8 Temporary repair to tile or slate roof is needed 5 Slate is loose up to 10 6 Slate is broken or missing up to 10 9 Temporary repair to flat roof is needed Northgate (2012) Repairs handbook 43

46 Stairs What is the fault and its number? 1 Handrail bracket is loose 2 Handrail is loose 7 Baluster is loose 8 Balustrade is loose 3 Nosing is broken 9 Newel post is loose 4 Tread is loose 5 Tread is broken 6 Riser is broken Northgate (2012) 44 Repairs in your home

47 Toilets What is the fault and its number? 1 Cistern is not working properly 2 Cistern is overflowing 3 Cistern is loose 9 Handle is broken 4 Seat is loose 5 Seat is broken 10 Small joint at back of pan is leaking 6 Pan is broken 7 Pan is loose on timber floor 11 Large joint at back of pan is leaking 12 Pan is blocked 8 Pan is loose on concrete floor Northgate (2012) Repairs handbook 45

48 Water services What is the fault and its number? 1 Service valve won t open or shut properly 4 Tank is overflowing 2 Gate valve won t open or shut properly 5 Tank is leaking 3 Stopcock won t open or shut properly 6 Knocking sound from pipes 7 Water pipe is leaking 8 Water pipe has burst Northgate (2012) 46 Repairs in your home

49 Windows Glazing and vents 1 Small clear or obscure glass needs replacing 2 Medium clear or obscure glass needs replacing 3 Large clear or obscure glass needs replacing 4 Putty is broken or missing What is the fault and its number? 5 Circular vent is broken or missing 13 Small double-glazed unit needs replacing 14 Medium double-glazed unit needs replacing 6 Small Georgian-wired clear glass needs replacing 15 Large double-glazed unit needs replacing 7 Medium Georgian-wired clear glass needs replacing 8 Large Georgian-wired clear glass needs replacing 9 Small Georgian-wired cast glass needs replacing 10 Medium Georgian-wired cast glass needs replacing 11 Large Georgian-wired cast glass needs replacing 12 Temporary glaze before replacing double-glazed unit 16 Glazing bead is broken or missing Northgate (2012) Repairs handbook 47

50 Windows What is the fault and its number? Metal and aluminium windows 1 Metal window won t open or close properly 5 Aluminium sash won t open or close properly 2 Metal window needs repair 6 Aluminium sash needs repair 3 Water is penetrating around window frame up to two storeys 4 Water is penetrating around window frame over two storeys Northgate (2012) 48 Repairs in your home

51 Windows PVCu windows 1 Water is penetrating around window frame up to two storeys 2 Water is penetrating around window frame over two storeys 3 Pivot window fastener is broken 4 Hinge is broken What is the fault and its number? 5 Sash is broken 6 Espagnolette is broken 7 Window needs repair 8 Handle is broken 9 Lockable handle is broken Northgate (2012) Repairs handbook 49

52 Windows Timber windows 1 Box sash won t open or close properly 3 Sash needs repair 4 Box sash cords are broken 5 Sliding sash lift is broken 2 Sliding sash fastener is broken 6 Casement won t open or close properly 7 Casement fastener is broken What is the fault and its number? 12 Pivot won t open or close properly 8 Casement needs repair 9 Water is penetrating around window frame up to two storeys 10 Water is penetrating around window frame over two storeys 11 Window fitting is loose 13 Pivot window fastener is broken Northgate (2012) 50 Repairs in your home

53 Contents General advice...51 Blocked waste pipes how to clear them...52 Condensation...53 Electrics Extractor fans...58 Fire safety and smoke detectors...58 Frozen or burst pipes...61 Heating...62 Toilet overflows...71 Handy hints This section provides information about how you can prevent repairs and how to resolve some problems that may arise. General advice Regular cleaning and simple checks can help maintain your home and prevent problems. Clean basins, sinks, baths and showers regularly. Clean waste pipes with foaming drain cleaners. Clean windows and wipe them to remove any condensation that may occur. Regularly check your smoke detectors. Check that you know where the electric fuse box and water stop taps are. (You can make a note of this on the inside back cover). Check that you can turn the water stop taps freely. Make arrangements to ensure your own gas appliances are checked and safe to use. Remove any leaves or debris from the gullies, gutters and downpipes. Repairs handbook 51

54 Blocked waste pipes how to clear them What causes blocked waste pipes? Blockages in waste pipes are often caused by things such as cooking fat, tea leaves or hair; it is your responsibility to clear these blockages. How can I unblock a bath, basin or sink? 1 Use a cup or jug to remove most of the water. 2 Use a rag or cloth to tightly cover the overflow opening. 3 Put the plunger over the plughole and pump up and down rapidly. 4 Once the blockage is clear, unscrew the trap and clean it out. Traps can easily be unblocked by unscrewing the joint and cleaning them out. Before you unscrew the tap, place a bucket underneath to catch any water. How can I unblock a toilet? 1 If there is water in the toilet pan or bowl you need to remove this using a jug or bowl. 2 Use a brush or plunger and push this to the bottom of the pan. 3 Create a vacuum by pumping the brush or plunger up and down rapidly about a dozen times. 4 Flush the toilet to see whether the blockage has gone. 5 Thoroughly wash all equipment once you are finished. You may need to repeat steps 3 and 4 a number of times before the toilet flushes as usual. 52 Handy hints

55 Rag covering overflow Plunger Unblocking a bath, basin or sink Unblocking a toilet Toilet brush Bottle trap Compression joint Unscrew here to clean P trap Seal Unscrew here to clean Plunger Condensation What causes condensation? Within a home moisture is created all the time through normal everyday activities such as washing, cooking and even breathing. Usually it is absorbed into the air. When moist air comes into contact with a cool surface it appears as dampness, known as condensation. Condensation usually occurs when the weather is colder. What can I do if condensation happens? Use a cloth to wipe away excess moisture. Turn the heating on or up. Open a window or vent. Repairs handbook 53

56 How can I prevent condensation? The best way to reduce condensation is to limit the amount of moisture in the air. You can do this in a number of ways: Keep the bathroom door shut and open the window after a bath or shower. When running a bath put cold water in first to reduce the amount of steam. Use any extractor fans that are fitted in the bathroom or kitchen. When cooking put lids on saucepans to stop steam escaping. Cook with the kitchen door closed and a window open. Dry clothes outside if possible. Make sure your tumble dryer is vented properly to the outside, or you can buy a condensing type. Make sure vents and air bricks are kept clear. In cold weather keep your heating on low throughout the day. Make sure any leaks are reported or fixed. If ignored they will get worse and cost more to repair. Keep furniture and beds away from walls to make sure air can circulate. Control room temperatures effectively. Sudden changes in temperature can put warm air in contact with cold surfaces, which increases the chances of condensation. Mould growth If condensation occurs on the same surface for long periods of time mould may grow. It can appear in a variety of forms but it usually appears as small black spots. It can grow on curtains, clothes in wardrobes and walls or ceilings, even if they have been decorated. How can I treat mould? Wash mouldy areas with a mixture of bleach and water (one egg cup of bleach to a pint of water should be enough). After treating the mould, redecorate using a good quality fungicidal paint. Do not use ordinary paint or wallpaper. 54 Handy hints

57 Electrics general information There are a number of important things to remember about electrics: When water gets into electrics it can be dangerous. Make sure your hands are dry before touching anything electrical and never use any electrical points that have been affected by a water leak or spill. If possible switch the circuit off at the fuse box. If you smell burning, or if a fitting is damaged and showing exposed cables, do not use it. If it is safe to do so, switch it off. If you cannot find which circuit it is, switch everything off at the fuse box or consumer unit and contact us. If you have electrical appliances that are not in regular use, switch them off at the plug. Leaving them on standby is a fire risk and also wastes energy. When you are away from your home for any length of time, switch off and unplug appliances to prevent the risk of fire. Electrics trip switches and losing your electricity supply If the electricity supply in all or part of your property is not working, you should check: whether your neighbours have power, as there could be a power cut in the area and if so contact your electricity supplier; the meter has credit; and your electric circuit to see if the trip switch has turned off the electricity supply. What triggers the trip switches? Modern electric systems have circuit breakers or trip switches. If a fault develops, a switch is tripped and the electricity supply in some or all of the property may not work. Trip switches are usually in the consumer unit (see page 56). If the electricity meter is inside the property then the consumer unit may be next to it. Trip switches may be activated if: a light bulb has blown; Repairs handbook 55

58 an appliance is faulty; too many appliances have overloaded the circuit; or water has leaked into the circuit from a burst pipe. What should I do to reset the trip switches? Before you reset the trip switches you should look to see if there is an obvious reason why they have tripped. Think about what you were using when the electric supply tripped. For example, if you were using an iron there could be a problem with this appliance. Find the trip switches within the consumer unit and find which ones have been tripped or moved to the OFF position; switch these back on. If the trip switch activates again there may be a faulty appliance somewhere. By looking at the switches you can work out which circuit is affected and which appliance is faulty. How do I find out which appliance is faulty? Turn off all the lights in your home, unplug appliances and turn off items that you cannot unplug, such as immersion heaters. Make sure you are not using double adaptors. Turn off the main trip switch (this is usually the red one at the end) and then turn it back on. Electrical fuses Fuse box Consumer unit Trip switches Circuit breaker 56 Handy hints

59 Turn on the lights and plug in appliances one by one. If the trip goes again this appliance is causing the problem. If you think the cooker is the problem you should check there is no water or liquid on this and dry it before testing again. Once you know which appliance is faulty it will need to be checked by a qualified electrician or engineer. If the item is owned by Sanctuary Housing you should contact us, if not you should arrange for someone to check the appliance. What if it is not a faulty appliance? If you have checked the lights and appliances and you cannot find what is causing the problem, you should contact us. You can help us by telling us which plug sockets or lights are affected. Common electrical fittings Single switch socket Fused spur Single light switch Lampholder Pendant Double switch socket Cooker power point Double light switch Fluorescent light fitting Pull cord Repairs handbook 57

60 Electrics lighting You are responsible for changing light bulbs, fluorescent tubes and pull cords. If a light is flickering or not working, switch it off. Do not use it and contact us to report the repair. Changing light fittings Check that the light switch is turned off before you start. If you are unsure you should turn off the circuit at the fuse box. You can find more information about how to do this on page 56. Always make sure you have a suitable set of steps to reach the light fitting. Check that the light bulb has cooled down as they get hot when switched on. Extractor fans Extractor fans should be cleaned regularly to reduce the build up of grease and dust. You should turn them off when they are not needed as they can overheat and trip the fuse. How do I clean my extractor fan? Before you start cleaning, turn the fan off at the wall. If there is no switch, do not clean it and let us know. Unscrew the front vent and use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust that may have settled inside the fan. Use a damp cloth to clean it. Leave the vent to dry. Replace the front vent once you are sure it is dry. If you can safely reach the vent outside use a soft brush or damp cloth to clear the vents. Fire safety and smoke detectors If you do not have a smoke detector in your property you must contact us immediately. We will arrange to fit a smoke detector to ensure you remain safe within your home. 58 Handy hints

61 Smoke detectors save lives. They should be checked on a regular basis and never be disconnected. You can help to prevent a fire breaking out by: taking care when cooking, such as with hot oil or chip pans; not overloading electrical sockets or using adaptors on other adaptors; making sure cigarettes are put out properly and disposed of carefully; and taking care when using candles and decorative lights. You should also think about how you would escape if a fire does break out. Your local fire and rescue service may offer a free home safety visit. Information on your local fire service can be found at: If the smoke alarm goes off you should: make sure everyone in the property is ready to escape if needed; check all rooms for signs of smoke; and feel around each door before you open it for any signs of heat, smoke or noise. If unsure, do not open the door. If there is a fire you should: never tackle it yourself; get everyone out of the house and call 999; and do not go back into your home until you are told that it is safe to do so. What should I do if there is no sign of smoke or fire? Smoke detectors can accidentally sound because of: Warning never throw water onto chip pan fires. someone spraying an aerosol nearby; steam or smoke caused when cooking; or the battery running low (if the battery needs replacing the smoke detector will beep). Repairs handbook 59

62 There are two types of smoke detectors: battery-powered or those connected to an electricity supply, known as mains-wired. If your mains-operated detector is not working you should contact us. What should I do if my smoke detector is battery operated? If the alarm sounds the battery may need to be replaced. By removing the cover you can replace the battery as you would with other items (see diagram below), making sure the + and signs are in the right place. Most smoke detectors take 9V batteries. Some battery-powered smoke detectors have special batteries in them which last for up to ten years. If the cover looks sealed you may have this sort of alarm and the whole thing may need to be replaced. How do I reset my mains-wired alarm? Most alarms will have a HUSH button. By pressing the button the alarm should stop for 10 seconds, but it then makes a short beeping noise every 40 seconds. The problem should clear after 10 minutes, if not the alarm will continue. If there is no HUSH button, turn the electricity off at the fuse box or consumer unit. By switching the electricity off for at least 15 minutes this should reset the alarm. Smoke detectors Battery (Black) + (Red) Test button Test button 60 Handy hints

63 How do I test my alarm? All alarms should have a test button. Pressing this for a few seconds will cause the alarm to sound; if it doesn t you should clean it and test it again. If it is not working the battery may need to be replaced. If you do this and it is still not working the whole detector may need to be replaced. Looking after and testing battery-powered smoke detectors are your responsibility so you must test them regularly. Remember, smoke detectors save lives. Frozen or burst pipes On the inside back cover of this handbook there is space to write down important things such as the location of the stop tap. Taking time to remember or write these down could really help if a pipe bursts. Stop valves are usually under the kitchen sink but in a bungalow they may be in the bathroom. Make sure you can turn all taps and valves freely. What can I do to stop pipes freezing? Pipes and tanks in your roof space should be covered in insulation or lagging to help prevent the pipes from freezing. Many modern boiler systems switch the heating on if the temperature drops too low. You can also stop pipes freezing by: setting the heating to turn on a couple of times a day if the weather is very cold, especially if you are going away; and opening the loft hatch for a couple of hours on cold days to let warmer air circulate. What should I do if pipes are frozen? Turn off the water at the main stop tap. If the hot-water system is also frozen, turn off the water heater. You are responsible for making sure pipes do not freeze and dealing with the situation if they do freeze. If pipes are frozen you need to contact a plumber or heating engineer to check the pipes for cracks or splits. Repairs handbook 61

64 What should I do if pipes burst? Turn off the water at the stop tap and switch off any water heaters. Turn on all taps to drain the water already in the system; this will take about 15 minutes. The taps then need to be turned off once the water stops running. Contact us to report the problem. Heating central heating Getting the most from your central-heating system Most central-heating systems provide heat for radiators and hot water. They usually run on gas but could be fuelled by oil or liquid propane gas if there is no gas supply. By taking the time to set the controls on your heating system you can make sure the system is working as efficiently as possible. This will allow for the appropriate heating of your home and will support a reduction in your fuel bills and the amount of carbon emissions produced these can harm the environment. What controls will my heating have? Boiler thermostat This sets the temperature of water in the radiators. It should be set to a fairly high position and not adjusted once set. This will have: a dial type control; and Thermostats and valves Boiler thermostat Thermostatic radiator valve 62 Handy hints

65 0 15 a Minimum to Maximum setting. Room thermostat This controls your room temperature and is usually in the hall or living room. To find a temperature that you are comfortable with and works for your home, you should start with a low temperature such as 18 C and then turn it up by 1 C each day until you find a setting you are happy with. Energy efficiency organisations say that turning heating down by just one degree can cut your heating bills by nearly 10 percent. Thermostatic radiator valves (TRV) These will be on some or all radiators in your home. They control the heat from the radiators they are attached to. TRVs are: useful if different rooms in your home are warmer or cooler as they can control the temperature in each room; and set from 1 to 5. Energy efficiency organisations recommend 1 as a good setting for background heat. Timer or programmer These turn your heating system on and off at times to suit you. In a well-insulated house you should set the heating to come on half an hour before you get up and go off one hour before you go to bed at night. It should not need resetting, except when the clocks go forward in Spring and back in the Autumn. Heating controls Thermostat setting here 10 5 Digital programmer Timeclock programmer Room thermostat Repairs handbook 63

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