General Repairs & Maintenance

General Repairs 

These repairs are not usually planned and occur as a result of an unexpected problem arising e.g. slates being blown off a roof in high winds or heating breakdown.  Any such repairs should be reported to the Housing Department as soon as possible so that the extent of the repair required can be established and a contractor can be instructed. Work may require immediate action or be deferred to a later date, such as the next quinquennial inspection. General repairs usually fall into one of three categories requiring different levels of response -

Urgent works - to be attended to within 24 hours where possible.

Medium Priority - To be completed in 5-10 working days, where possible.

Low Priority - To be completed within one month, where possible. 

If necessary a visit will be arranged by a member of the property team to assess the problems and discuss options.  Some works may be deferred until the next Quinquennial.

 

Please email or telephone the Housing Department to report any issues - please do not telephone the contractors direct unless it is out of office hours and then please use the emergency numbers provided on the 'Emergency Repairs' section.  Please ensure you provide full details of the problem / nature of the concern (i.e. leaking wc; broken guttering; heating issues etc), including location (where appropriate).  Photographs can also be helpful in assessing the extent of the problem.

 

Housing Department – Tel: 01928 718834 option 5

Ext 264 for Alan Kempster-Down  -- email: alan.kempster-down@chester.anglican.org

Mobile number : 07540 725112

 

Ext 251 for Jane Hague -- email: jane.hague@chester.anglican.org

 

ANNUAL GAS SAFETY INSPECTIONS

The Diocese arranges annual Gas Safety inspections of all parsonage housing.

This is considered good practice by the Diocese as well as being an important legal requirement for landlords.  From January 2013 it was also confirmed that our appointed contractor Home Heat Solutions (HHS) would carry out a boiler service at the same time as the Gas Safety  inspection.  A similar safety check and service would also be carried out on Oil boilers where applicable.

HHS will contact clergy direct with an appointment date and time.
It would be appreciated if every endeavour could be made to keep to the appointment date and time given by HHS. The appointments are strategically planned in Deanery groups by HHS to ensure that the process is as cost effective as possible for the Diocese. Where this is not possible due to work commitments please consider if access can be arranged via a churchwarden or family member before cancelling the appointment.

If access cannot be arranged please ensure that HHS is given as much notice as possible as the Diocese may well be charged for late cancellations.

Your help with this is greatly appreciated.

 

GUTTERING MAINTENANCE

Extract from ‘Housing Guide’

Essential repairs and maintenance (to guttering) are carried out by the diocese as necessary, and the clearing of gutters is a diocesan responsibility.

Occupants are asked, however, to responsibly assist (if possible) by having leaves and other debris cleared in gutters in low risk locations. Take a sensible approach when considering precautions for work at height.  If in doubt, please read the HSE’s Working at Height – A Brief Guide http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg401.pdf  or contact the Housing Department for advice

The Housing department will be happy to arrange for high level guttering (and low level gutters if required) to be cleared in the autumn if necessary.  This prevents the possible risk of problems with water ingress and damp from overflowing gutters.

If you feel that the gutters to your house are badly affected by autumn leaves or other debris, which you are unable to clear yourself, please contact the Housing department – 01928 718834 option 5.

 

DRAINAGE ISSUES

The diocese receives many requests for assistance with blocked drains which can prove costly to repair.  For the most part, drains will manage themselves without need for any intervention, which is great news because blockages can be quite unpleasant.  One of the major causes is damage caused by tree roots ingressing into the drains and may only become evident when a toilet or sink won’t drain away.  However, some blockages are unnecessary – and with a little thought – preventable.  

Our drainage contractor has provided the following advice that should be considered to help avoid such instances:

  • The leading cause of blockages is disposing of wipes or moist toilet tissues down the toilet.  These are often advertised as ‘flushable’, but in an older system they will snag on joints or minor defects, creating quite a challenge in getting things moving again. Sanitary wares, dental floss and cotton wool buds can all cause similar problems.  Wherever possible, please avoid flushing these down the toilet too.
     
  • Kitchen drains can block up from time to time.  This is usually due to cooking fats being disposed of down the drain, which harden off and stick to the pipe below ground.  The best way to avoid this is to wipe off greasy plates or pans with disposable kitchen towel before they go in the sink or dishwasher.
     
  • In autumn, grids around the house and driveway should be kept clear of leaves and any patios or yard areas should be kept well swept of windblown debris to avoid excessive amounts getting into the drains.  It’s a good idea to flush these grids through with a bucket of water once or twice a year to check everything is working as it should, cleaning any stale and smelly water from the drains.

Hopefully, with a little effort, we will all be able to avoid the inconvenience and costs of possible drainage troubles in the future.  However, if you do find something draining away slowly or suspect a blockage, it should be reported to the Housing Department.

 

EXTERNAL DECORATING

The Diocese currently operates a 5-yearly programme for external decorating of all clergy houses and it is usually linked to the QI inspection.

You will be advised at the beginning of the year if your property is due for painting and a decorating contractor will contact you to arrange a visit to provide a quotation for the work.  If a QI is also due, the painting may be deferred until after the QI has been completed.

If you have any concerns about the conditon of the paint work in the interim period, please contact the Housing Department to report it.

Please note - internal decorating is not the Diocese's responsibility except as a result of any significant building repair.  The parish is responsible for internal decorating in a vacancy and the minister is responsible during occupancy.  Please refer to the 'Housing Guide' for more information.