Handy Tips

We have set out below some handy tips as to how you can keep your home in the best condition possible:


Condensation is a common form of dampness found in homes.

You can recognise condensation by:

  • Water collecting on windows and window sill;
  • Black mould at a cold spot, for instance, above the windows or in a corner

What can I do if my home has condensation?

There are a number of things you can do:

  • Wipe down walls and windows regularly;
  • Make sure windows are regularly opened to allow fresh air into the room;
  • If your windows have trickle vents at the top, open them;
  • Do not block air vents or air bricks;
  • Keep internal doors closed;
  • Use extractor fans where they are provided;
  • Ensure ventilation when using a tumble dryer or drying clothes inside the home
  • Provide a constant low heat in all rooms during cold weather.

Heating your home

A big heating and hot water bill can be expensive and it also has a negative effect on the environment due to the carbon emissions. There are lots of things you can do to cut your bills:

  • Make sure your house has no drafts - this can cut your heating bill by up to 10%;
  • Turn down your thermostat by one degree centigrade - this is equal to turning it off for two hours;
  • Set the heating to come on just before you get up or get home from work;
  • Set the heating to go off before you go to bed and stay off when the house is empty;
  • Keep doors closed;
  • Turn down radiator thermostats;
  • Close the curtains when it gets dark outside or use thick curtains with linings;
  • Use draught excluder strips around external door frames and window frames;
  • In very cold weather keep a low heat going to prevent frozen pipes at night and when your home is empty;
  • Avoid using bar and fan heaters - they use a lot of electricity;
  • When you leave a room, don't forget to turn off the light.

Clearing a blocked toilet

To prevent a blocked toilet, do not flush sanitary towels or nappies. This would be rechargeable repair. Put them in the bin instead.

If your toilet does get blocked then follow the instructions below:

  • Fill a container with water;
  • Pour the water into your toilet pan until the blockage is cleared;
  • Try using a mop as a plunger to remove the blockage;
  • If you still cannot unblock your toilet please do not use it again - report the repair to us.

Frozen or burst pipes

f your pipes freeze or burst remember to report the repair to us.

To help in the situation, make sure you:

Frozen pipes

  • Turn off the water at the main stopcock - this is usually where the mains water pipe enters the house usually near the kitchen sink;
  • If the hot water system is frozen turn off the water heater;

Burst pipes

Turn off the water at the main stopcock and turn off any gate valves from the water tank if you have one;

  • Run all your taps to drain water from the system;
  • Turn off any water heaters.

If electrical items or wiring are wet do not touch them. Turn off the electricity at the mains.

If water is leaking and making the ceiling bulge, place a bucket under the bulge and pierce a small hole to let the water through gradually. This could prevent the ceiling from falling down. You should report this immediately to the office.

Smoke detectors

Please remember you should test your smoke detector each week and make sure the vents are clear. You should change the battery in your smoke alarm on a regular basis.

If you would like more advice on fire prevention in your home, please contact Strathclyde Fire Brigade.

Resetting a trip switch

Make sure you know where your consumer unit is which contains the mains switches and trip switches. If you need help please contact the office.

Modern electric circuits are fitted with a system that stops the electricity and flicks off the trip switch if a fault develops in an appliance. This helps prevent injury or fires.

To reset a trip switch you will need to:

  • Unplug all appliances;
  • Open the cover on the consumer unit to expose trip switches;
  • Reset the trip by pushing in or pushing up the trip switch;
  • Plug the appliances back one at a time to check if any are faulty and tripping the switch again; and
  • Replace the trip cover.

If the switch keeps moving back to the off position then you need to report it the office and we will arrange inspection by an electrician. Never tamper with the electricity board's fuse and seals.

In the event of a gas leak or flood do not switch on lights or appliances.

Clearing blocked waste

To help prevent blockages never pour fats and grease down the kitchen sink. Keep pipes clear by pouring down hot water and soda crystals at least once a month.

To clear a blockage in your sink:

  • Remove most of the water building up;
  • Hold a rag tightly over the overflow opening in the sink and place the plunger over the drainhole;
  • Pump the plunger up and down quickly to clear the blockage;
  • After clearing the blockage, rinse the drain out with a household blockage cleaner (you can buy these at supermarkets).

Do not attempt any work that you are not comfortable with – in these circumstances, please contact the office.