Lightning doesn’t seem like a big problem to most people, but with nearly 300,000 lightning strikes each year in the UK, it could be a major issue. The vast majority of those strikes don’t do any real damage, striking the sea or perhaps a beach, however, there are cases where lightning causes severe problems.
What Is Lightning?
Lightning is the energy produced when electricity discharges from a cloud to the ground. It moves through the air and you usually see a flash of light, plus hear thunder.
This phenomenon usually occurs when warm air is below cooler air in the atmosphere. The warm air rises, which causes it to cool and create condensation or water droplets. The higher this rapidly cooling air goes, the more water droplets it creates. They can end up freezing and begin to fall as hail.
These small frozen droplets fall down, but as they fall, they rub against positively charged ice crystals and this creates a negative charge at the lower parts of the cloud. The negative charge will eventually discharge, leaping to the ground, trees, or a building. It produces the bright, jagged streak of light that we’re all so familiar with.
Keep in mind that only 25% of the lightning in the UK is cloud to ground. The rest of the lightning moves between clouds and may not even be fully visible. You’ll just notice the sky flashing lighter now and then with sheet lightning. This never reaches the ground, so it’s not a problem.
Electricity always tries to take the most direct route to the ground, so you’ll find that taller structures are more likely to be hit first. If your building is tall, it could be a prime target. However, even if a nearby building or structure is likely to be hit, that can still affect your space and your electronics.
Why Lightning is Bad for Business
Imagine a direct lightning strike on your building. It hits with force and starts a fire, which is burning through your business space, even after shorting out all your computers and appliances. Your staff will need to look for jobs elsewhere or stay at home while they wait for repairs to be made and equipment to be replaced.
The simple cost of replacing everything can be substantial, even without a fire. You will need to replace computers, as well as appliances. Unfortunately, even with insurance, this can be costly and take time. During this time, you may have to close your business temporarily. That means you lose money even as you’re putting out more money to replace equipment. Employees will also need to be taken care of while they’re out of work. It all costs money and that can ruin your business if you aren’t expecting it.
A single lightning strike can destroy an entire building full of equipment, so you will definitely want to protect yourself and your business.
Is Lightning Dangerous to People?
If lightning actually hits you, it can be dangerous. Throughout the UK, two people die every year, while 30 people are injured by the electrical discharge. There are a few ways to protect yourself, however.
First, don’t go outdoors when there is lightning. You can listen to the weather ahead of time so you know if there are likely to be storms and then prepare for that. If you are already out, it’s a good idea to get in the car and stay there until you are sure the storm has moved a safe distance away.
Should you end up stuck outside, you can crouch as low as possible, with as little of your body touching the ground as possible. Crouching on your tiptoes is a good way to go about this. It’s important to prevent electricity that may be skimming the ground from touching you. Present the smallest target possible and you will be in a better position to avoid being hit or badly hurt.
You should avoid using electronics and water during the storm if the lightning is close, even indoors. This is because the lightning can rush through plumbing or electronic equipment, even if it has hit several meters away from your building. Remember that electricity can travel and even though it does drop in intensity over time, it can still be dangerous.
Lightning and Your Equipment
Whether you live in a house or run an office, electrical discharges can be a danger to your equipment, particularly electronics. There are two main ways that lightning can damage your property.
First, a direct strike is when lightning hits your building. While this doesn’t happen very often, the results can be devastating. This type of strike usually causes a fire and structural damage to the area hit. It will also result in electrical system damage and any electronics plugged in will likely be destroyed. A direct hit will be quite damaging, often melting key components and completely ruining electronics and appliances beyond repair. Fortunately, this is quite rare.
The more common problem is when lightning strikes near your building and travels via pipes or wires to your building. This can also cause issues with your electronics, though it won’t be as severe. If electronics such as gaming consoles and televisions are plugged into surge protectors, this may help. Ideally, you’ll have a surge protector set up in the electrical panel, which can prevent more damage.
How to Prevent Lightning Strike Damage
How can you stop lightning from doing so much damage? The fact is, you can’t actually stop lightning, but you can redirect it. Remember that the lightning will go for the quickest route to the ground. That means the tallest building or structure is likely to be hit first and you can give it a route by providing a conductive metal spike with a path to the ground.
One of the simplest methods of preventing electrical damage due to a lightning storm is to install lightning protection. This comes in many forms, but a common method is to install lightning protection spikes on the roof of a tall building. Copper tape is connected and runs down to the ground, where the lightning and electricity can safely dissipate. The lightning will hit the highly conductive metal first and then it can be taken directly to the ground.
Even if your home or building is shorter than those around it, adding lightning protection can be wise. Remember that if the electrical impulse hits nearby, it can spread to your home, so if you can direct it exactly where it needs to be, you can save yourself quite a bit of difficulty.
Redirecting the massive amount of energy is the best option, but even if you have this sort of protection, you should consider installing a surge protector in the electrical box. It’s also a good idea to include surge protectors throughout your home, especially for large appliances like the refrigerator and cooker.
What to Look for in a Lightning Protection Company
If you want to install lightning protection on your building, it’s best to hire a company to do this for you. This ensures the job will be done properly and securely. However, you do want to be sure you’re reaching the right people.
The lightning protection installation should be done by someone who is professional and willing to explain what they’re doing. The company should have plenty of experience with installing this type of system.
It can also help if the workers are accustomed to working higher up in the building and have rope access experience. With the right scaffolding skills or hoists, they can work on the roof safely. This also means they’ll be able to recommend the right lightning prevention system for your needs.
The more experience the company has, the better off you’ll be. However, it’s important that you start looking now, because the longer you wait, the more time there is for lightning to strike. Remember that even if it strikes nearby, you can still suffer the after-effects.
Are you looking for lightning protection for your home or business? At Rodells, we have the experience needed to give you lightning protection. Contact us today.
Health and safety is important in any workplace, but it’s particularly vital if you’re working at height. Falls from a height is the main cause of fatal accidents or serious injury in the workplace and employers have a duty of care to keep employees safe.
Working at height can involve scaffolding, roof work, ladders, working platforms or rope access works, but over two thirds of work at height injuries are caused by a fall of two metres or less. It’s important to stay safe on any job that involves working at height, so read on for our top tips.
Site surveys and risk assessments
A competent employee should carry out a site survey and risk assessment before the start of any job. This allows you to identify any potential hazards and make sure appropriate safety measures are in place. The assessment should include a detailed description of any hazards and a risk rating (e.g, low, medium or high).
It’s also a good idea to include photos and each hazard must have a plan of action to mitigate the risk (e.g PPE, appropriate safety equipment etc).
Provide the right PPE
All employees must be provided with adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) when working at height. PPE might include hard hats, non-slip footwear and thick gloves to protect against cuts. Employees should also avoid wearing loose clothing when working at height as this can catch on equipment and cause falls.
An all in one overall is preferable when working at height to reduce snagging and pockets should be fastened to prevent items falling out and harming workers on the ground. It’s also a good idea to wear a hi-vis vest or jacket so that employees can be seen at all times. Protective goggles may also be required in some circumstances, but care should be taken to ensure that they don’t interfere with the hard hat. Fall protection systems are also essential for anyone working at height; we will discuss these in more detail further on.
It’s vital to ensure that any employee working at height is fully skilled and trained to do so. Any training should be supervised by a fully competent member of staff, or you may need to hire a third party to provide training. Some training can take place on the job (for example, how to safely use a ladder) but sometimes a more technical level of competence will be required.
Assembling scaffolding, using fall protection systems and roof work may require a certification or training scheme to ensure staff are fully competent. There are many different training courses available, including ladder safety, safety harnesses and working at height awareness. Proper staff training protects employees from harm and employers have a responsibility to comply under the Work at Height
Regulations 2005 (WAHR).
Failure to provide adequate training can result in accidents and injury, as well as significant fines and even prosecution.
Fall protection systems
Fall protection systems are another form of PPE and they use body support systems, hooks and a lanyard attached to an anchor point. There are two main types of fall protection systems that can be used; fall restraint and fall arrest.
Fall restraint systems
Fall restraint systems use PPE to restrict a worker’s movement and prevent them reaching a hazardous area where a fall might occur. Some freedom of movement is still possible, but a short lanyard attached to an anchor point can restrict an employee from reaching a dangerous area, e.g the edge of a roof.
Fall arrest systems
A fall arrest system works to protect the worker if a fall does occur. These systems should only be used as a last resort and employers should make sure there are adequate collective protection measures in place first (more on this later). Fall arrest systems consist of a full body harness, lanyard with shock absorber, connector and anchor point. If an employee does fall, this equipment is designed to minimise the fall and prevent the worker from hitting the surface below.
It’s vital that all fall protection systems are thoroughly inspected before use to make sure there are no weak links or faulty parts. Employees should also be fully trained on how to use these systems correctly before starting work.
Inspect all equipment
Employees should thoroughly inspect all equipment before starting a job to make sure it’s strong, sturdy and suitable. This includes all ladders, working platforms, scaffolding structures and PPE (including fall protection systems).
All equipment needs to be properly maintained and any worn or unsafe equipment should be removed from the site immediately.
Collective protection measures
Collective protection measures should always be used alongside individual PPE. safety guides recommend that these take priority, as they’re used to prevent a fall in the first place, rather than minimise the consequences if a fall should occur.
Collective protection measures include guard rails, air bags, nets and scissor lifts. These measures can be temporary or permanent and no additional staff training is required for them to be effective.
Don’t overload equipment
Employees should avoid overloading ladders or working platforms with too much equipment, especially if they’re regularly climbing up and down. All staff should also be aware of the maximum load bearing capacity of any scaffolding they’re working on. Overloading scaffolding can be extremely dangerous for both employees working at height and anyone on the ground. Minimise the risk of falling equipment by only sticking to what you need, even if you have to travel down to the ground more frequently.
Check the weather
Always consider the weather when working at height in order to stay safe. High winds, heavy rain, snow and ice can all make working conditions unsafe, so consider delaying work if weather conditions are bad.
Always check scaffolding boards or roof surfaces for frost, snow or ice before starting work and again, consider delaying the project if boards are slippery.
Hire a professional company
Scaffolding is often required when working at height but employees may not have the required training to assemble or dismantle it safely. If in doubt, always hire a professional scaffolding company to do the job for you. A dedicated company will also be able to implement a scaffolding design that’s fully compliant with all health and safety regulations.
Look for certification from a trade body to ensure that the company is fully competent. If you don’t have time to inspect and maintain your scaffolding, a professional company can also do this on your behalf.
Scaffolding services and specialist access works from the experts at Rodells
If you’re in need of scaffolding services or specialist access works for your next project, get in touch with the experts at Rodells. We’re proud to provide scaffolding services for the commercial and industrial sectors and safety is the number one priority for our highly skilled team. We provide a comprehensive range of services, including access scaffolds, mobile towers, site protection, temporary roofing systems, crash decking and more.
Our specialists are also on hand to provide a range of rope access works as a reliable alternative to scaffolding. Rope access works can be used to provide a number of services, including building surveys, high level window cleaning, cable installation, roof repairs, repointing and much more. For more information about any of our services, give us a call today or contact us online.
Guttering is a pipe system that runs along your roof and down the side of your property to redirect rainwater away from the building. So, when your guttering is damaged or full of debris, moisture damage can occur and cause long term problems due to poor maintenance.
Here are some top tips on how to keep your gutters well maintained.
Check on your gutters after autumn and winter
When we approach autumn and leaves begin to shed, by the time has been and gone your guttering may be completely blocked. During these seasons debris, dirt and leaves can become lodged in gutters and cause water to overflow and pour onto your building so this is the perfect time to have them cleared.
Look out for signs of water damage
There are a few signs that your gutters may not be performing properly. For example, water may begin to pool around the foundations of your building, moisture can seep through to the inside of your property or you may be able to spot mould or rust. If left untouched, water damage can affect the structural integrity of your home or workplace so always get these issues rectified quickly.
Get defects repaired
Not only can debris cause gutters to sag and overflow, but if you can see signs of physical damage such as cracks or broken fittings, these defects should be repaired or replaced before they progress into more complicated problems.
Hire a professional maintenance team
If accessing your gutters yourself is not an option or you simply want a good job done, hiring a professional maintenance company is a good idea. Not only will they have the right access equipment but they can resolve your guttering issues efficiently.
At Rodells, based in Hertfordshire, our specialists are very skilled in gaining access and working on a variety of different types of work via ropes and harnesses. If your gutters are flowing incorrectly or water damage is effecting your property, our team will take a look and get the problem sorted quickly. Contact us today for more information.
Whether you run a construction company and you’re in need of reliable scaffolders for your next project or you’re carrying out your own home renovation project and require scaffolding, it’s important that you find the right company. Choosing the right scaffolder will prevent any delays to your project and ensure that everyone working on the job is safe.
Most construction projects require scaffolding, and having a professional and reliable team on board can make all the difference. While a quick online search will highlight several local scaffolding companies in your area, finding the right one can seem like a minefield - especially when they all claim to offer the same services.
To give you a helping hand, we’ve put together a quick guide to finding the right scaffolders for your next project. If you’ve never hired scaffolders before, we’re here to help ensure that you choose the right company for your project and requirements.
Work out your budget before you approach scaffolders
Before starting any project, it’s important to work out your budget. There’s no point approaching a scaffolding company for their services if you’re not sure how much you have to spend or the budget you’re looking to stick to. To make the process easier and to rule out any companies that are simply out of your budget, make sure you clearly work out your finances beforehand.
Ask around for recommendations
Word of mouth is one of the best recommendations, so it’s worth asking around before you start tracking down companies yourself. Perhaps you have a friend who has recently completed their own home renovation project or maybe you know someone who also runs a construction site. Ask what scaffolding companies they use and whether they have any recommendations. If someone is happy to recommend a service to you, it’s a good idea to look into the company as they’ve already been tried and tested by someone else.
Read online reviews and customer testimonials
If you’re short of recommendations, reading online reviews is the next step to take. Googling the company in question should pull up customer reviews and testimonials; reading these will give you an idea of the company, how they work and how satisfied previous customers have been. If you come across several negative reviews, it’s best to take your business elsewhere - the last thing you want is to work with a company with a bad reputation.
Most reputable scaffolding companies will be more than happy to display customer reviews and testimonials on their website; if you can’t see any, it’s worth asking for customer references or examples of previous work.
Ask about their scaffolding services
There are lots of different types of scaffolding and it’s important that you choose a company that specialises in the type of scaffolding you need. Without looking into their services properly, you could be selecting the wrong company for your needs. Give the company a call to discuss what you need and to ensure that they can provide what you require. Find out about the range of scaffolding they can provide and whether they’re suitable for your particular job.
Choose an experienced scaffolding company
When it comes to choosing the right scaffolding company for your project, you simply can’t compromise on quality. The more experience a scaffolding company has, the more time they’ll have had to perfect their services - and that’s why we always recommend choosing a company that has plenty of experience under their belt and a team of qualified scaffolders.
An experienced company will have worked on all types of different jobs, so it’s best to choose a scaffolding contractor with a proven track record. It doesn’t matter whether you require a small scaffold construction or a large complex structure; it’s crucial that the company you choose has plenty of experience.
Make sure they have insurance
Unfortunately, there are some companies out there that operate without insurance. While it’s a legal requirement for all scaffolding companies in the UK to have the relevant insurance cover before they begin trading, there are still some out there that don’t - and it’s crucial that you avoid these companies. A scaffolding company isn’t obliged to tell you whether they’re insured or not, but you should always ask them to double check. The last thing you want is to work with a company that doesn’t have the correct insurance in place.
Check their credentials
Next, you need to look out for a company that puts health and safety at the forefront of everything they do. The best way to do this is to check whether they have any health and safety regulations, policies, credentials or certifications. You want to choose a company that has gone to extra lengths when it comes to health and safety. While many companies will display their credentials on their website, don’t be afraid to ask if you can’t see any. Recognised safety bodies include The Construction Industry Training Board, CITB and SMAS Workspace.
Gather quotes from different scaffolding companies
To ensure that you’re getting a good deal, it’s best to shop around and gather quotes from a few different companies before you settle for one. We recommend requesting a quote from at least three different companies to compare against each other. When requesting a quote, make sure you ask for a detailed breakdown of the costs involved and make sure that any hidden costs are included too. The last thing you want is to be hit with unexpected costs further down the line.
When comparing quotes, it’s important to note that the cheapest one isn’t necessarily always the company you should choose. A suspiciously cheap quote could be a sign that the company in question is cutting corners, such as using cheap materials. If you receive a quote that is suspiciously cheap compared to the other quotes you’ve received, it may be best to take your business elsewhere. Remember, you want the job carried out properly and safely - and sometimes it’s worth paying the extra pennies for this.
Choose a company you can rely on
Finally, it’s crucial that you choose a company you are comfortable with and can trust. After all, they’re going to be a small part of your project and therefore it’s important that you feel at ease with them and can trust them. Choose a company that has communicated clearly with you from the start and one that has answered all of your questions and addressed your concerns. We always recommend going with your gut instinct - if you have a bad feeling about a company, it’s probably best to avoid them!
Rodells: Scaffolding Services Across the Country
If you’re looking for a reliable scaffolding company for your next project, look no further than Rodells. Our scaffolding team are a talented, professional workforce who can deliver industrial, commercial or domestic scaffolding. We can supply all types of scaffolding and can provide many different solutions to granting access to areas that would usually be difficult to get to.
We’re proud to have an excellent history of providing quality, reliable scaffolding and a fantastic reputation. Whatever your needs are, our teamed of trained scaffolders can help.
Visit our website to learn more about our scaffolding services.
The first signs of spring are a welcome sight after a cold, dark winter and many people choose this season to tackle any spring cleaning or maintenance jobs. Spring is the ideal time to carry out those building maintenance jobs you may have been putting off and you can remedy any damage caused by the harsh winter weather.
Spring in the UK is often full of rain, so it’s important to be prepared and ensure your building is protected against leaks. Proper maintenance now can also prevent any costly repairs in the future, so read on for our top building maintenance tips to prepare for spring.
Inspect the roof
Roof maintenance is essential to maintain the integrity of your building and protect the interiors from damp. Harsh winter weather can take its toll on your roof so inspect it for signs of any damage. If you’re confident on a ladder you could take a closer look, but if not, use binoculars to look at the roof from the ground or arrange a professional roof inspection.
If you have a tiled roof, look for any cracked or missing tiles. Cracked tiles can allow leaks to penetrate the building and entire missing tiles mean that water can soak into the felt underneath. You should also look for excess mould or moss growth on your tiles. This might seem harmless, but mould and moss trap moisture, which can lead to water damage or excess bacteria growth.
If the building has a flat roof, look for cracks and splits around the edges. If the roof looks like it’s sagging then this should be addressed right away as it’s likely to be caused by a water buildup. Boards can break under the strain of too much water and you may already notice damp patches on the interior ceiling. Don’t forget to check the flashing too (on both tiled and flat roofs) and look for any signs of cracks or damage.
Clear your gutters
Gutters and downspouts are essential to direct water away from a property and protect the building’s foundations. They also prevent erosion, minimise paint damage and stop mould or mildew growth on a building’s exterior. If gutters become clogged, they can’t function properly and a building can be damaged by overflowing water. Be sure to clear your gutters regularly to remove build ups of leaves, twigs and other debris.
Gutters and downspouts should also be inspected for signs of damage, including cracks and leaks. It’s best to get a professional company to clear the gutters for you as they’ll be able to spot any signs of damage early on.
Check for leaks
You should be checking for leaks when inspecting the roof and clearing the gutters, but it’s important to thoroughly inspect the interior and exterior of the building too. Check the interiors for signs of damp, especially in areas like the basement or loft. Telltale signs of damp include; a damp, musty smell, dark or discoloured patches on walls and ceilings, mould, and walls that are clammy and cold to the touch.
Examine the exterior of the building too, looking for cracks, peeling paint or any other signs of water damage. Cracks or damage to the exterior of the building allows water to easily penetrate the inside, so make any repairs as soon as possible.
Maintain trees and shrubs
With the worst of the cold and wet weather behind us, spring is the perfect time to tidy up any outdoor green areas. Many commercial buildings have large trees growing nearby, but any branches overhanging the roof should be trimmed back. This is to prevent leaves falling and clogging the gutters and to minimise roof damage caused by falling branches.
It’s also a good time to prune any shrubs, remove dead leaves and debris from flower beds and lawns, and tackle any weeds that have sprung up. Maintaining your outdoor areas helps to prevent damage to your property and ensures visitors have a good first impression.
Clean the windows
Make the most of upcoming spring sunshine by ensuring your windows are squeaky clean. Clean window panes to remove build ups of dirt and grime and inspect window frames for any cracks, or damaged, splintering wood. Take a lot of the window seals too to make sure there are no signs of rot or gaps in the seal.
Windows should be washed both inside and out using a specialist glass cleaner and microfibre cloth. You can easily do this yourself but you might want to call a professional window cleaner if you have a large number of windows or areas that are hard to reach.
Touch up paint
Keep painted surfaces in good condition by removing any flaking or chipped paint before touching up with a fresh coat. Repairing painted areas on the exterior of your property will help to protect it from rot, especially in areas like door or window frames.
If you want to protect your property in the long run, consider adding an exterior wall coating. These specialist paints help to maintain your property by forming a waterproof seal. Wall coatings also help to protect against harsh weather, prevent damp from penetrating the building and give the exterior appearance a new lease of life.
Clean the exterior
Buildings require regular cleaning to prevent materials from decaying and to preserve their aesthetic appearance. Exterior cleaning is an important aspect of building maintenance and it can save you money on more serious repairs in the long run.
Spring is the perfect time to clean away any stains or debris leftover from the winter months, including wind and rain water stains. Professional cleaning companies can safely and effectively clean the facade of your building using techniques that won’t harm the building’s materials. Common methods include high pressure power washing or specialist cleaning mixtures applied with a brush.
Cleaning also removes unsightly dirt, moss, mould or graffiti which can all have a negative effect on first impressions.
Check your air conditioning
It’s very unlikely that your air conditioning units saw any use over the winter, but the summer heat will be here before we know it. If you’re responsible for maintaining a commercial building like a shopping centre or office, it’s essential to make sure the A/C unit is fully functioning and ready for summer.
Thoroughly clean the unit to remove build ups of dirt and grime and ensure a free flow of air through the vents. It’s also a good idea to test the unit’s air flow, thermostat and general operating efficiency. A breakdown during the summer can be highly inconvenient, so get ahead now while there’s time to make any necessary repairs.
Maintain your building with professional rope access works from Rodells Ltd
If your commercial building is in need of some spring maintenance, get in touch with the experts at Rodells Ltd. We’re proud to offer rope access works services including building surveys, gutter clearance, roof repairs, high level cleaning, window cleaning, vegetation removal and much more.
Rope access works are a reliable and affordable alternative to scaffolding and our experts are highly skilled at gaining safe access to those hard to reach areas. If you’re looking for something more specific, we also offer specialist building maintenance, church conservation services and restoration and refurbishment. Our expert team have a detailed knowledge of many historical restoration techniques and specialise in restoring buildings back to their former glory. For more information about our maintenance services or to discuss your needs, give us a call today or contact us via the website.
The UK, Ireland and the surrounding seas experience between 200,000 and 300,000 lightning strikes every year. While these displays might look impressive from a distance, they can cause devastating damage to buildings and the surrounding areas. Lightning strikes can cause structural damage to a building itself, as well as injuries to employees, damaged equipment and system failures.
Lightning protection is essential for many commercial and historical buildings and it gives peace of mind that your structure will be protected. If you want to know more about lightning protection and how it works, read on for our handy guide.
Types of lightning protection
The most common type of lightning protection is a lightning conductor, usually in the form of a metal rod. These are mounted onto the outside of a building to help protect it from lightning strikes and are made from a highly conductive material like copper or aluminium.
As well as the external lightning rod, a lightning protection system also requires a connection to the earth. This comes in the form of a ground rod, with a wire connecting it to the external lighting rod. Some types of lightning protection systems include numerous conductors connected by a mesh cage. These systems are usually used for highly exposed buildings or those housing sensitive equipment, such as computer rooms.
How do they work?
Lightning conductors protect a building by intercepting the lightning strike. This means that if lightning hits a building, it will hit the highly conductive metal rod first. The strike is then conducted through a wire into the ground rod, where it can be safely discharged into the earth.
The presence of a lightning rod can also prevent a charged cloud from releasing a bolt of lightning in the first place, or if it does, the impact will be much less severe.
If you’re in need of high quality lightning protection systems, get in touch with the experts at Rodells. With over 120 years in the business, we’ve got a wealth of experience when it comes to designing, installing and maintaining lightning protection systems. We work with buildings of all shapes and sizes, as well as historical and ecclasiastical buildings, so give us a call today or contact us via our website.
When you have a business to run, the chances are, one of the last things on your mind is going to be the general building maintenance. Not only is this pretty dull to think about, but perhaps things rarely go wrong in your building, so it isn’t even worth worrying about, right?
Not only can ignoring office maintenance violate your building’s lease, but it can also take your business out of action altogether. Considerations regarding electrical safety, structural problems and several other risks to employee safety may cause more than a few businesses to shut down - temporarily as well as permanently.
Most office maintenance issues are easily preventable and repairable if dealt with properly. By following basic processes, business owners can ensure they protect themselves against future ramifications as well as poor maintenance habits.
With this in mind, here in this blog, we are going to take a look at some of the crucial things you need to carry out in terms of post-winter facilities management for your businesses premises to ensure everything runs smoothly and will be ticking over into the spring.
Where to Begin?
A lot of maintenance tasks are simple and innocuous and develop gradually over a significant amount of time. In this instance, you probably won’t notice the issues until it’s already a major problem. For example, cracks in the building’s structure or rust on its pipework might not be noticed until they develop into larger issues.
With this in mind, how do you spot these early signs? You go looking for them. Don’t wait for maintenance problems to present themselves - go and seek them out. Have a procedure regularly that checks for problems across the business premises, including structure, roofing, plumbing and electrics.
Don’t Ignore Anything That Requires Repairs
Similar to an illness, issues that impact your building are often much easier to handle if detected early on. Permitting them to reach a stage where they begin to affect your business operation is not a very wise move. If you have any potential maintenance issues, it is advised that you carry out the needed repairs immediately. It can be very tempting to save money and have a wait-and-see attitude, but this is very risky behaviour that could come back to bite you in a big way.
Costs of prevention are often never as much as costs of reaction. Replacing an old pipe or section of roofing might not be a fee you want to deal with right now, but it’s very much going to be cheaper than replacing a rusted pipe and paying for the cleanup and repairs caused by water damage when the pipe bursts or the roofing comes off. If it is discovered that you knew about a potential hazard and didn’t act on this, you may also face a few legal repercussions later down the line.
Avoid DIY Office Maintenance
Home repairs are a very common practice done by millions of Brits every year. So, it is often in the mindset of a business owner to think about undertaking basic repairs themselves. This is not advised. DIY will take away hours of your time that would be better spent working on your business as a whole.
Business owners are frequently busy and falling behind on work, considering this, making a dent in personal or family time is not worth the price of cheaper office maintenance.
Moreover, the argument against doing your DIY goes further than this point. A botched DIY task is a lot much more common than you may imagine. In a home environment, the result of a badly finished - or unfinished project is much more than a nuisance. Moreover, the same cannot be said for office DIY.
The old way isn’t always the best. By this we mean, outdated office elements are much more likely to experience issues, as time and usage cause structural integrity to deteriorate. Concerning office elements, we are referring to almost everything; from your heating, plumbing and electricals, to insulation, roofing and ceiling panels.
Quick Building Maintenance Checklist:Here is our concise list of additional things to consider in terms of office post-winter maintenance checks:
Your boiler is a crucial asset to your business. It is the main thing that keeps your workplace at a comfortable temperature for both your employees and customers. Book your boiler in for a service to make sure it is well maintained and operating efficiently.
Windows and Frames
When winter comes it often brings plenty of downpours too. Lengthy rainfall can lead to leaking window frames or existing cracks in glazing getting worse. Whilst carrying out building maintenance checks, you need to inspect the condition of your windows and window frames.
Throughout winter, paths and paved areas can become a slip hazard as they can get a buildup of leaves, moss as well as mud. To stop slippery paths forming, we advise a hot pressure wash to remove all the leaves, moss and mud. It’s important you still look after your grounds maintenance to stop any trips or slips occurring.
You’ll want to consider a winter gritting program for when temperatures fall to or below zero degrees Celsius. Be sure you have rock salt to grit everything from roads, car parks to footpaths and entrances to prevent individuals from slipping over in icy conditions.
When it rains check that your building’s gutters are properly catching all the rainwater flowing from the roof. Pay attention to the joints and hoppers as well as making the drains are clear of debris.
Prepping your pipework for winter will help lower the risk of a plumbing emergency and avoid or minimise damage, distress and additional expense.
Throughout the winter months, we frequently experience powerful storms and strong winds which can damage a building’s roof. It’s essential to make sure your roof doesn’t have any dislodged, weak and unsafe roof tiles. Make sure all loose roof tiles are either repairs or replaced as this is a health and safety risk for your business’ employees and potential customers.
The harsh winter conditions can trigger damage to your business’ building. Proper building maintenance is important to ensure your premises and environment continues to be a safe, comfortable and clean place to work.
Rodells - Well Known and Respected SpecialistsHere at Rodells, we are committed to providing a quality service to anyone who uses us. Rodells is a well-known Scaffolding and Specialist works company that has been trading since 1898. We continue to always provide a professional and proactive service that meets and exceeds the growing standards in the construction industry.
We are committed to lowering our environmental impact, investing and supporting the local communities and to meeting all up to date regulations. Many of our projects require great innovation and skill from our talented workforce. This is shown in the professional design, implementation and execution of the projects. To find out more about the range of services we provide, please feel free to contact us today, we’d be delighted to help with any enquiries you may have.
You'd be surprised how many people in the building industry ask the question, “is rope access actually safe?” So let’s make this clear straight away - rope access is very safe. Perhaps, the fact that it has been regarded as “possibly hazardous’ by the Health and Safety Executive deters people from working in rope access or using rope access workers. Although, this term simply means that without any precautions in place there would be a risk of serious injury or even death from falling.
As a physical practice, there are many precautions in place during rope access work. We also realise that dangling from a skyscraper would very much seem like a highly dangerous practice. But this is when you just take it all at face value. It might be difficult to believe but it is much safer than it looks.
In fact, rope access comes with a track record of safety than any other means of access in the work at height industry, and that just says it all. In this blog post, we discuss the safety factors relating to carrying out rope access work and hopefully dispel certain myths surrounding this supposedly dangerous industry.
Rope access work
Rope access is considered one of the oldest and most refined systems used by man to carry out challenging tasks and to get to hard-to-reach places. The techniques and equipment carried out over years. Today, the professionals use rope-access techniques from a variety of platforms including natural features, industrial plants, manufacturing facilities, oil platforms, structures, buildings, and even an aircraft.
As with lots of jobs, particularly those in the building or industrial sector, you might well accept that accidents inevitably do happen. Given the level of risk when working at height, the rope access industry is along the most tightly controlled in the industry. There are lots of rules and regulations in place to reduce the likelihood of accidents, and these are solidified in the 2005 Work at Height Regulations.
Any space for human error must be taken away before the work begins and, while working, lots of precautions need to be taken to guarantee the safety of both technicians and the general public. But the legislation doesn’t just mean that all workers are trained as they should be and up to scratch on their safety requirements; it also means that employers need to take a long list of precautions and responsibilities with regards to the safety of their workforce.
The International Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA) is responsible for setting out and regulating the training of all workers looking to seek qualifications in the sector. This kind of training is carried out with high safety standards taken into consideration, so those who are qualified will understand the risks and regulations associated with working at height. Trainees not only gain a thorough insight into the understanding of the current legislation, but also a working knowledge of rescue procedures and hazard perception.
IRATA certifications can be made available in three different levels, and they are a requirement for all working rope access technicians. Graduating to a higher standard required a certain amount of time spent on the ropes, with each hour being logged and signed off by a qualified supervisor. For example, an IRATA Level 2 qualification requires a minimum of 1,000 hours and 12 months of work, so individuals with more responsibilities are assured to have more experience.
There are many misconceptions about industrial work having a distinct lack of professionalism and tact, and these false truths are often difficult to shake off. However, given the high-risk nature of the work, industrial workers can’t afford to be anything but professional at all times. This includes:
Working within constant supervision
Supervisors are ever-present on every rope access job, and they are responsible for keeping safety and protocol monitored at all times. They need to be fully qualified, with a good amount of experience on the ropes and good work ethic.
Getting the job done
Rope access workers certainly aren’t just in the business for the impressive views at work every day. The primary concern is getting the job done to the highest standard and in the safest way possible.
Always work in pairs
Technicians don’t ever work alone, there must always be another worker present should their assistance be required.
Make no mistake, rope access involves much more than just a rope – the technicians aren’t swinging around unequipped by any means. For example, workers need to use two separate ropes, one of which acts as a backup system in addition to the main working line. Each rope is rigged to a different anchor point, so if one of them is compromised the other will offer you a sturdy reserve. Essentially, the safety of a rope access technician doesn’t just depend on their primary equipment: there is always a backup.
Before and after each use, all equipment must be rigorously tested and inspected by a trained professional to ensure that any defects are promptly addressed. For example, thanks in part to the strict safety culture integral to rope access work, technicians should never be put in a position where their equipment presents a hazard. It might take a bit of getting used to at first, however, usually, workers and trainees quickly learn to trust their equipment.
Management and planning
Risk assessment always has to be considered and there are a few key things which must be included. For example, the likely duration of the work, the ease of access, the possibility of using an alternative, safer work method and so on.
A nominated person needs to be identified, this will be the individual who is responsible for managing all of the aspects of rope access work. This nominated person must have experience and the necessary training in the type of work the company plans to undertake. Similarly, designated supervisors will be required to directly oversee and direct work in progress on all of the jobs.
Planning rope access operations
A system of work needs to be drawn up, taking account of risks from rope access operations generally and job-specific risks that are present and can be foreseen. The safety system needs to specify rescue arrangements, selection of correct equipment, selection of people with the necessary level of competence and arrangements for the sake of control as well as communication.
Rodells Ltd - Safe and Efficient Rope Access Works
Here at Rodells, our specialists are very skilled in gaining access and working on a various amount of different types of work via ropes and harnesses. Often this is an affordable and reliable alternative to scaffolding. We are now home to a large scaffolding department fully equipped to grant access to any industrial, commercial or domestic building. Whilst still providing our Steeplejack and Specialist Works services. Rodell's is a business centred around a positive, friendly and affordable service.
We provide services including surveys to tall buildings and churches, erecting weather vanes and flagpoles, installation of cables and trays as well as roof repairs, vegetation removal, sign and banner erection and painting. To find out more about the services which we can offer you, please contact us today, we’d be happy to help with any enquiries you may have.
This country's historic churches have stood the test of time and lived through all the disruption that history has thrown their way. These buildings come with a unique record of how major national and international events impact even the smallest of places and whether religion has any value in your life, everyone can appreciate the beauty and peaceful solace of a church and also understand the need to to take care and preserve these beautiful buildings. It goes without saying that a lot of our historic churches will tell stories of this time for future generations to come.
Renovating your church can be a stressful ordeal. There are projects to oversee, questions to answer, concerns to hear, money to raise, bills to be paid, plans to be made, change orders to experience, contingency plans to set out and so on. And all these things just have to do with the renovation. You may have sermons to preach, ministries to lead, and people to care for during the entirety of the project.
With this in mind, here is some of our guidance as well as some specific information about church conservation projects; read on to discover more.
Church Conservation - the basics
Lots of churches built in the last 100 years are still going strong today, a true testament to the workmanship here in the UK. But the inside of these churches may not have had the same story to tell. Paint which is peeling and worn-out decor are indicators that the time has come to spruce up the inside of your church. Due to this, conservation of churches involves specialised processes, hiring a professional conservation company will help. But before this, you need to do a little research to figure out your church's needs.
If your church requires an update in some capacity, here for all you need to know about the conservation of churches.
Requirements for church conservation by faith tradition
Various faiths have altering practices, and church buildings need to serve these practices. The interior of a church must reach the needs of the congregation too so this must be factored in as well. The Roman Catholic Church has quite an extensive list of guidelines in terms of the renovation of churches. Parishes will often need to contact their Diocesan Offices of Worship for any specific rules having to do with church renovation before they plan a project.
Modern Protestant and Evangelical churches are much more flexible in terms of their interior style and decor. Lots of these churches are auditoriums, where staging, seating, and sound production are crucial factors. Others are more traditional in style but are less concerned with furniture or various statues.
No matter what the faith tradition a specific church is, you must tread with caution when attempting to change the style of a church. Updating a traditional design to a 21st-century style will need agreement from a majority of your congregation if the church is still being used. The "buy-in" of the people is crucial when proposing specific changes to a beloved place of worship.
Redecorating Churches as opposed to renovating churches
Deciding whether or not you have redecoration or reconstruction of the inside of your church is essential because then you will know which type of professional to hire. Plaster and paint experts will be able to create a new look for the walls and ceiling. The same experts will be able to renew your statues and the altar. A reliable and professional company will present a variety of options for you to consider, both traditional and modern. Professional conservation companies will offer materials, such as scaffolding as part of their estimate.
For a bigger reconstruction project being carried out on a larger scale, you’ll require an architect and a contractor who has worked with churches previously. The nature of church life requires specific construction plans as well as experience with sacred spaces. These professionals will work with your conservation team throughout the construction process and will commit to keeping things on track.
Hiring a conservation professional
Look for accredited companies willing to provide you with upfront estimates. Make sure they can provide colour renditions of your proposed project for you to review. Check their websites to see what other churches are in their portfolio.
Perhaps ask to see a portfolio of other churches that have worked on, and get their opinions. If you can find a church with similar design characteristics to get some inspiration, all the better. It is important not to skip this step, as word-of-mouth is the best way to find the right professional for the job.
Help and advice on converting a churchIf you are serious about carrying out a church conservation project, you may find the following resources highly useful:
Depending on the level of conservation you opt for - a church can throw up some interesting challenges. If you wish to maintain the church’s original features as much as you can, here are a few specific tips you might not have thought of already:
Additional key factors to take into considerationWhen it comes down to it, carrying out any type of church conversion is far from an ordinary house conversion and there are lots of extra special factors to take into consideration before you decide once and for all that it is the right move for you. Let’s take a look at some of the odd points you may want to consider before a church conservation project:
Rodells - We Provide Church and Conservation Works
Here at Rodells we can offer you, specialist work in a range of areas. Rodells have extensive knowledge of restoration and refurbishment projects. With our skilled craftsmanship, we take great pride in restoring historic buildings back to their former beauty. We also extend our expertise to revitalise contemporary or commercial buildings and as previously mentioned, church conservation projects and specialist building maintenance. We have a history of providing excellent quality, reliable work in the commercial and industrial sectors. Whatever your needs are, our team of experts can help. To find out more about the services we offer, please feel free to contact us today, we’d be happy to help with any enquiries you may have.
Believe it or not, lightning is the cause of hundreds of injuries and damages every year in the UK. Lightning protection is one solution to this. Commercial properties, churches and historic structures are just some of the buildings that can benefit from these types of measures that prevent serious incidents.
If you’re thinking about having lightning protection installed this is the blog for you. Read on for all you need to know.
What is lightning protection?
Lightning protection systems are a preventative measure that reduces the impact of lightning damage if it were to strike a building. The system is usually a lightning conductor (in the form of a metal rod made from conductive materials such as copper and aluminium) which is mounted on to the building and intercepts a strike meaning the rod is hit first before anything else. In this situation, the strike is then conducted through a wire and passing through to the ground safely.
But, before you can have anything installed, your property must be assessed to establish what level of protection is needed and how at risk the building is. A system can then be designed and installed by an experienced contractor without compromising the aesthetics of the property.
Why is lightning protection important?
Many people believe that lightning never strikes the same place twice, but this is not true. Experiencing lightning force on your property once let alone twice can be enough to damage your electrical system, cause a fire, broken equipment and business downtime.
The benefits of lightning protection include:
At Rodells, based in Hertfordshire, we offer specialist works and access services from scaffolding to lightning protection. Protecting your property from lightning could prevent serious problems occurring in your business or home, leaving you with a hefty bill. We’ll help you find the right solution by designing, installing and maintaining your lightning protection system at affordable prices. Get in touchhttps://www.rodells.uk/contact-information.html with us today for more information.