Boiler service

MAINTENANCE, REPAIRS AND THE UPKEEP OF YOUR PROPERTY DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Are you halfway through a new kitchen being fitted? Do you need an electrician to fix some dodgy wiring? Is your boiler due a service? While we’re being told to stay at home to tackle COVID-19, you may question whether you can or should continue having essential work done at your property. This article outlines what the Government currently advises and the measures we should take to ensure this is done as safely as possible.

Am I allowed?

The good news is yes as long as the work to be carried out is essential and absolutely necessary.

The Government's in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have all stated that work carried out by tradespeople in people’s homes can continue if the tradesperson is well and has no symptoms. It is also important to ensure that public health guidelines are followed, including maintaining a 2-metre distance from any household occupants.

No work should be carried out in any household which is isolating or where an individual has been classed as ‘at-risk’, unless it is an emergency, and where the tradesperson is willing to do so. In such cases, Public Health England can provide advice to tradespeople and households.

No work should be carried out by a tradesperson who has coronavirus symptoms, however mild.

What safety measures should be followed while work is being carried out?

Firstly, the tradesperson coming to your property should be aware of the safety measures they need to take in order to safely work at your property. Public Health England have released guidance on measures everyone should take, this includes keeping a 2-metre distance from any household occupants, washing your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, never touch your face, eyes, nose or mouth and if you cough or sneeze to do so in your shoulder and to wash your hands afterwards.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have released their own guidance which follows the same principles.

If your selected tradesperson is part of a trade body, they could also have further advice for their industry. For example, the Heating & Hotwater Industry Council have produced advice for their members while continuing to work.

This includes:

  • On the day of the work, call ahead to your customer to ask if they or any occupants have signs of the virus, have been diagnosed, or are self-isolating, and to check that they are comfortable with your visit to take place
  • Do not shake hands with the customer or other occupants.
  • Ask if the occupants can stay in another room, away from the work area(s) whilst the work proceeds, and with permission ventilate the work area where appropriate, e.g. by opening a window
  • Wear suitable work gloves
  • Avoid collecting a signature at the end of the job where possible.

A good level of communication between you and your contractor is key in these circumstances to be able ensure the above advice can be carried out smoothly.

What else can I do to ensure work is carried out safely?

Alongside Public Health England’s advice, the Government have advised that keeping your property clean is an effective way of ensuring COVID-19 doesn’t spread. Using your usual household cleaning products, clean frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, handrails, remote controls and tabletops. Wherever possible, wear disposable or washing-up gloves and aprons for cleaning.

In terms of applying this to a tradesperson visit, consider where that tradesperson will be spending their time while in your property and any appliances or equipment, they are likely to be touching during their work. Cleaning this area before and after their visit is good practice.

Keep up to date

Government advice during the COVID-19 pandemic is constantly being updated so it is important to keep up to date with their latest guidance.

You can also keep an eye on the Propertymark Coronavirus page for all property-related information regarding COVID-19.

 

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