Help and advice

Here is some advice about some of our most asked questions. 

 

Help with condensation

Condensation is the most common kind of damp. It is caused by moist air condensing on walls, particularly in rooms with a lot of air moisture, such as kitchens and bathrooms. It's mainly, but not always, a winter problem, as at this time of year walls are much colder than the air inside. 

Why is it a problem?

Condensation can be found in all homes, and if it is not dealt with then black mould can grow, damaging furniture and clothes. It can also affect external walls and windows. Particularly bad condensation will see water permanently on windows and external walls, causing repair issues.

What can you do?

  • Keep the heating on at a constant lower temperature of 16 degrees. This will also save energy and cost less to reheat your property once it has cooled down. Every 1 degree extra in heat reduces condensation by at least 5%
  • Don’t overfill cupboards and wardrobes as this stops air from circulating
  • Wipe down surfaces affected by condensation regularly with a damp cloth, to prevent mould growth. Please do not use bleach based products as the bleach can damage walls and ceilings.
  • Pull wardrobes and furniture away from walls, and keep the tops of wardrobes clear.
  • Close doors and open windows when cooking.
  • Keep lids on saucepans when cooking.
  • Keep bathroom doors closed when in use, open windows and use mechanical extractor fans.
  • Do not dry clothes on radiators unless you open a window. If using clothes drier, put it in the bathroom or kitchen, close the door, and open the window or use mechanical extractor fan.

Or watch our video with more useful tips

 

What is asbestos

Asbestos is a natural material that was commonly used in building materials between the 1950’s and 1980’s. Almost all buildings constructed or altered between these years are likely to contain asbestos.

Am I at risk?

You are not likely to be at risk if any material that contains asbestos remains unbroken and undisturbed. If asbestos is broken, drilled into or cut through then you may be at risk.

Current best practice tells us that if materials are in good condition and unlikely to be disturbed, then the risk presented is minimal.

There may be a very low level of asbestos fibres in the air as it is a natural product and because asbestos has been used so widely. Exposure to a low level of asbestos is unlikely to harm your health.

Levels of fibres may be higher in buildings containing asbestos materials, especially where the materials are damaged. It is very unlikely that the levels of asbestos fibres found in these buildings will be harmful, but if damaged you should contact us or seek advice.

We have a register of properties containing asbestos. We can advise you of the risk involved if you are planning DIY or home improvements. Please fill in the form below if you are concerned about asbestos or email asbestos.enquiries@originhousing.org.uk

Where asbestos could be found in your home

There are lots of products or places that asbestos has been used in over the years. Here is a list of the places it is more common to find asbestos in homes:

Exterior of building – roof sheets and tiles, fascia boards, exterior cladding, guttering and drain pipes.

Boilers – insulation to boilers, boiler flue pipes and storage radiators.

Interior surfaces – textured wall and ceiling coatings (e.g. artex), duct panels (access to pipe work), infill panels (above, below or next to doorways/ windows), panels behind radiators/heaters, floor tiles, suspended ceiling panels and underside of stairs.

Other items –fireplace panels, panels to underside of sink, water tank, pipe lagging, bath panels, garage and shed roofs.

 

Our responsibilities around asbestos

We have a legal duty to record and manage any asbestos known to be present within any of our properties. We are not required to remove all asbestos products because doing so may disturb the asbestos and release fibres.

We will identify and record the location of any asbestos, it’s type and the level of risk. We review and update records regularly and take action to manage or remove asbestos when necessary. The table below outlines how we do this:

 

ASSESSMENT

ACTION

If asbestos is high risk, accessible and in poor condition

REMOVE the asbestos materials immediately

If the materials are not accessible, but the asbestos is medium risk although in a poor condition

MANAGE/REMOVE the materials as part of a maintenance plan

If the asbestos is low risk, accessible and in reasonable condition and in a safe place

SEAL, RECORD and MANAGE the material

If the asbestos is very low risk, in a safe place and in good condition

RECORD and MANAGE the material

 

Your responsibilities as a resident in one of our homes

Always ask permission if you are planning home improvements or check with us and we can tell you if any asbestos is present. We will advise you of the risk, or refuse permission for the work where risk is high.

Changes to the structure of your home are not permitted without our approval in writing. If you personally carry out the work, or enable and permit others to carry out work without approval you will be responsible for all costs of dealing with any asbestos incidents, as well as the cost for re-instatement and disposal of asbestos.

Your responsibilities as a leaseholder

When you become a home owner, you are responsible for the asbestos-containing materials in your home (subject to restrictions under the Right to Buy scheme). After buying your home, you need to make your own arrangements for asbestos surveys.