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Flats

Maintenance FAQs

Coastline can provide advice on general maintenance matters.

These include condensation, asbestos and radon, plus the care you should take if your waste water goes to a sewage plant.

Water meters

Unlike gas and electricity, at present you can't switch to a cheaper water provider to try and save money, but for some people switching to a meter may save over £100 a year.

You don't need Coastline’s permission to have a meter - all we ask is that you let us know one is being fitted. However, your tenancy agreement requires you to ask for permission if fitting the meter means there will be alterations to the home.

To get a water meter visit South West Water’s website. It should be fitted within three months, but South West Water says work is often completed much faster.

South West Water offers free water saving devices to help you get the most out of changing over to a water meter.

Check the savings

Before having a water meter installed it is worthwhile checking what savings you could make. South West Water’s website has a calculator to help you find out. Remember, not every customer will save money.

Once a meter is newly fitted at your request you have 12 months to see whether it saves you money. You can swap back to old-style bills if it doesn’t.

If a water meter can't be installed

You have the right to have a water meter installed free of charge, unless it's not practical or is unreasonably expensive. If South West Water says it can't fit a meter but your water usage is low, ask for an assessed charge bill. This is worked out on details such as how many people live in your home.

Condensation

Condensation occurs when warm moist air comes into contact with either colder air or a colder surface. If the air is unable to retain the same amount of moisture the water is released in the form of condensation in the air or on the surface. Examples of condensation are:

• Misted mirrors after bathing

• Misted glass on bedroom windows on cold mornings

Condensation is generally noticeable where it forms on non-absorbent surfaces, including windows or tiles, but it can form on any surface and it may not be noticed until mould growth or rotting of material occurs.

There are lots of things you can do to help reduce condensation. For details download the leaflet at the foot of this page.

Asbestos

If you are carrying out DIY or improvement works in your home remember it is possible to encounter asbestos around the home. As potential sources of fibrous dust they must be treated with caution.

The following building products and fittings used in homes may contain some asbestos:

Insulating boards

These may have been used for fire protection, heat insulation, ceiling tiles and as a building board. You could find them as boxing around pipework and lining cupboards housing a heater unit.

Asbestos cement

Flat or corrugated sheeting may have been used for garage and shed roofs and wall coverings. Moulded asbestos cement could have been used to make cold water tanks, external rainwater pipes, slates, guttering, decking, lining under eaves and flue pipes. It can also be found in some roofing materials, pressure sewerage and drainage pipes, and wall and roof covering materials.

Textured plasters, and materials for stippling ceilings or walls

Some of these products may contain asbestos, so these surfaces should not be removed but painted to keep sealed.

Other building materials

Asbestos may be found in some plastic floor tiles, cushion flooring, roofing felts, paints, jointings, and packings such as boiler and flue sealing.

Please remember

• Asbestos containing materials are normally harmless if left undisturbed

• Do not saw, sand, scrape, or drill holes in asbestos materials

Please contact Coastline for more advice, or take a look at the Cornwall Council website.

Radon

This is a natural radioactive gas, often found in granite and limestone areas. To help protect the health and well-being of our customers, we supply equipment that will reduce radon levels if it is in a home.

Our active fan sump system consists of a small sump under the floor and a fan and pipe work to carry the gas outside the property. It is connected to the electrical supply in your home and costs around £50 a year to run. To be effective the units must be switched on permanently.

A leaflet about radon can be downloaded at the foot of this page.

Legionella

Legionella bacteria can cause Legionnaires‘ disease, a form of pneumonia that can kill.

They can survive in low temperatures but thrive at temperatures between 20°C and 45°C, which is why in homes they can be found in hot and cold water systems, storage tanks, pipe work, taps and showers. Temperatures above 50°C will kill them.

Reducing the risk in your home

• When you first move in, run your shower or bath continuously for a

  minimum of five minutes to flush through any bacteria

• Keep your water cistern covered, insulated, clean and free of debris

• Ensure that your pipe work is insulated and, if not, ask us to do it for you

Although raising the temperature of the warm water can control legionella growth, this could also increase the risk of burns and scalding. Please take care, especially if you have children.

Risk assessments

Coastline Services completes legionella risk assessments on our sheltered schemes, offices and communal flats.

They also carry out risk assessments on each of our empty properties to ensure they are safe when handed over to customers moving in.

Related Documents

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