Top Tips to Reduce Flood Damage

The wet weather doesn’t look like it’s going to relinquish a hold on Britain just yet! And there have recently been flood warnings in place in parts of the UK. But storms are not the only cause of flooding: a problem with your plumbing or heating system could also cause similar damage. How do you protect yourself against this kind of damage?

 

Tips

Here are some tips from The Environment Agency on how to avoid flood damage:

  • • Put irreplaceable or valuable items on high-mounted shelves
  • • Fix your TV and hi-fi the wall about 1.5 meters above floor level
  • • Keep a grab-bag of food, warm clothing and essential documents ready

 

Acceptance

If flooding does occur, it’s likely that your goods will be damaged and it’s better to accept this and see what can be done to remedy the situation.

If you are worried about a potential flood situation, you can review your buildings & contents insurance to check what is definitely covered and what is not, and how much excess you may have to pay.

You can also take more definite measures such as installing flood-resistant doors if you live in a flood-prone area or own a small business premises that could be damaged. The Environment Agency has prepared this booklet which has practical tips on measures you can take to reduce the impact of flood damage in these situations.

 

Here to Help

Our operatives can help you move your equipment or install flood-preventative measures if you decide to go ahead with them. We also have a special summer boiler check offer on, which could help prevent flooding as a result of plumbing problems.

Call us today on 0845 604 7078 to talk about preventative measures or to chat about preventative measures we can help you take to reduce flood damage.

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Exterior Painting—What Should I Consider?

Even the best paint work gets old and tired after some years, and you might begin to notice some small cracks appearing where the building has settled.

What do you need to consider before painting the exterior of your premises? How often should you give it a new coat of paint?

 

How Often Should I Repaint My Exterior?

There’s no hard and fast rule about how often you should repaint your exterior. It entirely depends on your circumstances. For instance, has an air conditioning unit caused peeling? Are there trees and shrubbery nearby that deposit on your paintwork? What kind of paint was used when it was last repainted?

Many professionals recommend that between 5 and 7 years depending on these factors.

 

Do You Have to Do Any Preparation Beforehand?

Not always. Surfaces that have been cleaned are always better and will take the paint easier. We might recommend that your surface is pressure washed first, but it’s not always necessary.

If there is anything blocking access to your exterior walls it might be better to remove these before we arrive; that will save time and money and means we’ll be able to get on with the job soon after we arrive.

 

What Paint Do You Use?

Our suppliers provide us with a range of paints to suit every need; we have water proof paint for especially damp surfaces, or if there are water sprinklers nearby. We can also provide fire-retardant paint for extra safety.

Contact us today on 0845 604 7078 to find out what we can offer you. We’re always keen to be competitively priced and provide an excellent service.

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Spring 2013 Customer Survey Results

We are very conscious of the level of service we’re providing to our customers, and are always trying to find new ways to improve. As every good company should do, we find out more about how our customers perceive us by carrying out satisfaction surveys regularly.

The results we got in from this spring’s satisfaction survey were very positive indeed, and show that we are achieving our objective as the provider of the finest property care, maintenance and environmental services in London and the Home Counties.

 

‘Very Satisfied’

We’ve made some significant changes to the way we do business in the past year. We took on David Cramer, who has plenty of industry insight and local knowledge, to manage ProTech’s day-to-day operations.

We’ve also refitted many of our fleet vehicles to ensure all operatives have what they need to carry out their work.

We hope that it is these changes that have prompted about a third of customers to say that they are ‘very satisfied’ with our service and that overall, respondents say that our service is ‘improving’.

 

Customer Services

Of course, having a reliable first point of contact can have a major reflection on the service a person receives. We also spend time training our staff in customer services to ensure they are aware of our reputation and understand that we want customer services to come first.

After all, our operatives are not just there to do a job—but to show genuine care and concern that the job is carried out well and finished to a high standard.

We’re proud to report that these operatives, and our 24-hr call center staff, have been maintaining a fantastic service with many respondents saying that our customer services is either ‘good’ or ‘excellent’.

 

Curve Ball

This year, we threw a curve ball to our customers by asking something that would tell us if we’re focusing our efforts correctly. We asked “When selecting a property maintenance company, what features are most important to you?”.

The respondents could choose one of the following:

  • • Quality of service
  • • Value for money
  • • Reliability
  • • Company’s reputation
  • • Price
  • • Accreditations

What would you have chosen?

It reassured us to hear that our customers chose “quality of service”, “value for money” and “reliability” over the other choices we gave. This shows that our instincts were correct: that it’s not always cheap prices that matters most. Many people realise that poor work quality comes when people cut corners to save on price.

In the long run, bargain basement prices can cost a company or an individual more in terms of wasted time, effort and aggravation.

By contrast, we’re very proud of our service. We want to improve on quality and let that bring you value for money. We hate to leave a job unfinished or poorly done.

That’s why people who responded to our survey unanimously said they would ‘recommend us to others in the future’.

 

Thank You!

To those who took part in the survey, thank you for your responses.

To others who may be reading this and considering contacting us to work for you—what are you waiting for!

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Safe Disposal of Waste: What Businesses Need to Know

What are your legal responsibilities regarding the safe disposal of waste from your business? How do you avoid the charge of being a fly tipper? What is fly tipping? Since small and medium-sized businesses have responsibilities for the safe disposal of waste, this article highlights a few key points.

A recent survey found that only 18% of small and medium-sized businesses could name any environmental legislation that applied to their business, and that most didn’t believe that their businesses actions caused any harm to the environment.
This highlights that more businesses would benefit from being familiar with the ‘Duty of Care’ regulations and its main requirements.

Unwitting Victims

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 indicates that each person disposing of waste has a duty to dispose of it safely and appropriately, and that to breach these requirements is a crime which could lead to fines, imprisonment and clean-up costs.
The problem is that ignorance could lead to a small business depositing waste in an area where they could find themselves on the wrong side of this legislation, or a business could unwittingly contract a company that is not authorised and therefore illegal, to dispose of the waste for them.
As you can imagine, in the absence of evidence from the disposal firm the small business could be held responsible, making you unwitting victims of their crime.

Get More Information

If you have an amount of waste which you need to dispose of safely, it is advisable to contact your local council to enquire of the appropriate methods and if they have local recycling centres that could accept your waste.
In addition, the WasteAware website has a database of recycling centres and what materials they accept, and a list of authorised commercial waste disposal companies.

Professional Criminals

How can you avoid becoming an unwitting victim of those who seek to gain by illegally dumping waste? Keep Britain Tidy warns that that a lot of fly-tipping is organised by professional criminals who can gain significant financial rewards.
To avoid trouble that can come from this make sure you check the paperwork of any waste disposal contractor.

Junk Empire: Here to Help.

Junk Empire, a sister company of ProTech Property Solutions, is qualified to dispose of your waste. We have the experience and reputation that means we will dispose of your waste safely and appropriately.

http://www.junkempire.co.uk/

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What To Do if Your Heating Stops Working.

Firstly, don’t panic! There are ways to solve the problem. Loss of heating can happen at the worst times possible. What can you do to get your heating to work without spending a ton of money? As you read this article, you can use the tips below to troubleshoot the problem. Some of the problems are common issues. There are times when you may need the help of a ProTech Gas Safe boiler technician. They will come out, troubleshoot the problem, and fix the issue.

Here are some areas that you can check in case of no heating:

Some areas include checking are the thermostat, electrical, ignition and other. The heating problem could relate to more than one area. You can check each of these areas without the aid of a professional.

If there is a problem that you cannot fix, you will need a boiler technician to come out. The technician can make a recommendation and provide a detailed quote on fixing the components to get you back up and running.

 

Thermostat Problems

When you can the thermostat, make sure the switch is in the heat position. The temperature should be set three degrees above the current temperature of the room. How is your thermostat powered? Does it require batteries or is it electronic? For forced air boilers, some thermostats has a switch to control a boiler fan. It should be on. The switch may be located at the bottom of the thermostat, with auto and on positions.

 

Emergency Shut Off

Check to see if your heating system is equipped with an emergency shut off switch. If the switch is on, it may look like a regular light switch and the location could be near the side or close to the boiler. Other heating systems may have an emergency cut out switch that rare activated when a door or panel is removed. Misaligned panels will cause the cut off to stay engaged. Now it is tip to check the main breaker, if it is tripped. You should reset the breaker and the heating may come back on.

 

If You Decide to Call a Technician

The boiler technician will inspect the boiler and controls for safe operation. They will inspect the boiler for leaks, corrosion and other issues. They will inspect the functionality of the main components, often with a pressure check. They may clean the boiler parts and offer advice on repairs on the components. They will seal the casing properly.

You may want to call a technician as a last resort to save money. But be careful! Gas is a dangerous substance, and you must ensure that your life or the lives of those around you is not in danger first. That must be a priority over any potential financial losses.

 

ProTech Property Solutions provide qualified, trained and Gas Safe registered technicians throughout North London and Hertfordshire. If you’d like us to take a look at your problem, please give us a call on 0845 064 7078.

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25 Things Every Flat Owner Should Know

Our very helpful friends at News on the Block have written a free guide for landlords.

Point no.1 is:

“You don’t actually own your flat. Yes, that’s right. It may sound surprising but as a pure matter of law you don’t own your flat. You may have a mortgage and paid several hundred thousands pounds for your property, but you still don’t actually own the flat. What you have bought is a special type of property contract called a “lease”. Your lease entitles you to own your flat for a defined period.”

Find out more by downloading this free guide from News On The Block:

http://www.newsontheblock.com/downloads/featured-download/41512/25-things-every-flat-owner-must-know.thtml

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Changing Times for The GOL Group

It’s never easy.

Just when you think you had a stable foundation for your company’s continued growth, something unexpected happens.

For us at The GOL Group, that unexpected thing wasn’t the recession. It wasn’t a major management change, or something to do with this crazy weather we’re experiencing.
It was our sister company, ProTech.

 

Why Did We Start ProTech?

ProTech Property Solutions was formed to work along side The GOL Group. It was meant to address a need among our valued long-term clients for a trustworthy, caring company to manage their maintenance concerns.

Things went well for ProTech, until they reached the point earlier this year where they showed us their true potential. They weren’t just working for our clients any more.

Our operatives and office staff had done a sterling job to get the ProTech brand off the ground and opened it into new markets in the property maintenance sector.

We were very pleased to hear that ProTech had begun to win major contracts throughout London and the Home Counties, gaining a great reputation for providing a professional service among many property owners and managers.

Things seemed to be going great for both ProTech and The GOL Group respectively.

 

Identity Crisis

We didn’t imagine that there could ever be an identity crisis: we were who we always had been, ProTech was ProTech, and we intend to stay that way.

But then, surprisingly, we noticed there was a blurred line: where did The GOL Group end, and ProTech begin? We hadn’t formed a separate company, with a separate office and call centre staff. We had simply maintained the respective brands, and that had worked quite well for us up till now.

But there was a problem looming: was ProTech part of the The GOL Group? Or a separate company all together? Did the brand have separate values to us? How did our clients view our respective brands? What about our staff?

It was only when ProTech had reached a certain size that we realised we needed to either make a clear demarcation, or manage the brands in an entirely different way.

 

A New Hope

To avoid continued fragmentation and the potential confusion that could cause, we have made a major decision that affects all our services. We have decided to take the proactive step of rebranding our services under one umbrella name. This means eventually there will no longer be The GOL Group for cleaning services, and ProTech for property maintenance.
Instead, our customers will deal with one distinct company.

We sincerely hope this will mean our clients will see us for what we truly always were: a professional, competent firm who are determined to provide the finest property care, maintenance and environmental services that can be offered in London and the Home Counties.

We hope it’ll make our staff feel proud to be part of a professional, forward-thinking organisation that innovates to stay relevant to its customers and true to its principles.
And we hope that our audience will see that we value them, that we are ideally placed to help care for all of their property needs, that they can truly trust us.

What are we going to be called? Ah, that’s still a secret. You’ll just have to wait a little bit longer to see what we’re planning to do.

 

What Do You Think?

Do you have something to say about the future of The GOL Group and ProTech Property Solutions? We’d be glad of your feedback and will take it into consideration.

In fact, we started an opinion poll over on our Facebook page. Please like our page, and complete the opinion poll, we’re always happy to hear from staff, customers and our audience.

https://www.facebook.com/questions/10151615589530821/

We look forward to hearing from you.
- Peter, Rikki and the team.

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Spring Heating System Offers

Remember when the cold weather set in last Autumn, and many people were left shivering in their houses, without heating?

You wouldn’t want that to happen again, would you? Our latest offer of a spring heating system check aims to curb your winter misery.

FREE visual check of your heating system

What you get:

  • - A visual inspection of your heating system – FREE
  • - A check of all major parts in your heating system – FREE
  • - A report detailing problems you may have – FREE
  • - 7-year guarantee on all new Worcester Bosch installations – FREE
  • - Qualified, knowledgeable and experienced operatives
  • - Access to our reputation for great customer service

 

Why Now?

Why get your system checked now-why not wait until the cold weather sets in? Most heating systems break down in the winter, don’t they?

The reason many boiler systems seem to go wrong is because they’ve been left all summer. Sludge coagulates in radiators, parts react to the strain of the winter months, heat from the warmer weather can cause problems …

Taking advantage of the FREE visual check we’re offering will reduce the chance that things will go wrong in the winter. It’ll save you having to go without heating for days if it needs to be fixed now. And, it costs less too.

Is this an offer you can afford to refuse?

Call us today on 0845 604 7078 to enquire.

This offer is only available in the following localities:

Potters Bar

Enfield

Barnet

Hatfield

Edgware

Watford

St Albans

Waltham Abbey


Posted in Boilers, Seasonal Offers | Leave a comment

Flat Fires: How to Avoid Tragedy

Have you seen the news? Many local reports have recently featured flat fires that have started because of faulty electrical equipment. How can you take precautions and avoid tragedies?

1. Make Sure Appliances Are Turned Off

Some of the most serious fires have been started because of neglect; leaving hair tongs on a wooden floor, forgetting to turn off irons, etc. Taking simple precautions, like checking around the house before you leave, can help you to avoid danger. Ensure that appliances are switched off at the mains plug socket, and keep irons, hair tongs and other appliances away from flammable materials.

2. Be Aware of Product Recall Notices

In spite of legislation to combat poor manufacturing quality, products do sometimes go wrong. Occasionally, products that could cause danger to people have to be recalled to the manufacturer. But, how do you find out if your product has been recalled?

This site, RecallUK, has a list of products that have been issued product recalls and is updated frequently with new recall statements from major manufacturers. Check this site if you have a concern about a product you own:

http://www.recalluk.com/latest/recalls.aspx

It might be worth checking this site every now and again, just to see if there are any faults in older equipment that you own develop, which haven’t been noticed before.

3. PAT Test Regularly

The IEE (Institute of Electrical Engineers) recommends that PAT Testing (Portable Appliance Testing) is done on a ‘regular’ basis. But there’s a degree of responsibility there – how often you get your appliances tested depends on several factors, including:

  • The type of equipment
  • How often it’s used and in what manner
  • How old the equipment is
  • If it’s regularly moved or transported and how
  • Where it’s being used (outdoors, indoors, in a dangerous environment etc)
  • Manufacturer’s recommendations

There is some useful information on this page which expands on the Health & Safety Executive guidance and covers a broad range of situations and settings:

http://www.protechpropertysolutions.co.uk/electrical-services/pat-electrical-testing/

4. Install a RCD Fuse Box

RCD Fuse Boxes detect abnormal residual currents from your appliances and shuts off supply rapidly to avoid danger.  RCD fuse boxes take a bit more skill to install as your electrician has to make sure they don’t trip every time you boil a kettle.

ProTech Property Solutions have plenty of expertise installing RCD fuse boxes., and PAT Testing. Please speak to David or Megan at ProTech if you’d like more advice or to find out what we can offer you.

Posted in Electrical, General Info | Leave a comment

Act Now to Keep Drains Clear!

The leaves have settled, spring is approaching … act now to keep your drains clear for another season!
During cold and windy months (we’ve had plenty recently!) drains can build up a load of muck and dead leaves that collect in your drainage pipes. You might be good at cleaning around the top of your drain: but what’s going on inside the drainage pipes?

Blocked drains can be one of the most unpleasant, distressing, and
potentially dangerous issues for householders and businesses.

Be sure to take advantage of our summer CCTV Drainage Survey offer. As a SPECIAL OFFER during the summer months ProTech are offering a FREE 30 minutes of drainage jetting when you purchase a CCTV drainage survey.

Investigate the problem – get the solution

Protechs  experienced, qualified and trained drain services teams are experts in dealing professionally with all types of drainage blockages from waste pipes to main drains.

Our specially equipped vans with the latest drain jetting machinery and CCTV technology are available 24 hours a day to allow us to deal with all problems at any time. CCTV equipment allows us to carry out a detailed inspection (followed by a report) of a drain or pipe system to identify any problems. We work cleanly and efficiently, and will always ensure we leave your premises clean and tidy following our visit.

We can undertake planned preventative drain maintenance contracts to minimise future callouts.

Our 24 hour manned office can have a drain engineer with you within 2 hours,
day or night.

Workmanship carries a full written 12 month guarantee and appointments are
made at a time to suit the customer.

OFFER DETAILS:

  • • CCTV survey (2 manholes) including FREE DVD Report: £195.00 +VAT
  • • PLUS 30 minutes water jetting – FREE!

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LANDLORDS: Don’t take the risk. If you’re buying a new property, ask ProTech to check the status of the property’s drainage before you commit to buy. Avoid worry and cost later with a ProTech CCTV drainage survey.

Posted in Drainage, Seasonal Offers | Leave a comment