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Everything You Need to Know About Carbon Monoxide Testing

Did you know that even though a staggering amount of Victorian properties are fitted with gas heating, many people aren’t aware of the risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning?

Being informed of the risks and the preventative measures you can take - and acting on those measures - is critical for keeping yourself and those around you safe.

As we write this, Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week approaches (29 April - 5 May 2019). Supported by Energy Safe Victoria, CO Awareness Week was launched by the Chase and Tyler Foundation because Vanessa Robinson, their mother, is doing everything she can to ensure other families don’t suffer the same fate as hers.

As a Victorian business and qualified gasfitters, Toscano Plumbing want to do everything we can to support CO Awareness Week and help our fellow Victorians understand how to stay safe.

This article will help you understand why carbon monoxide testing is compulsory, what else you should do to reduce the risk of CO poisoning and who you should engage for carbon monoxide testing at your property.

What is Carbon Monoxide and how do leaks occur?

Carbon Monoxide is a colourless, odourless gas that is toxic to humans and animals. It is known as a silent killer because you can’t see it, hear it, taste it or even smell it - that’s what makes it such a threat in our homes and workspaces.

CO can come from any fuel-burning appliance when the fuel does not burn away completely. Leaks occur when those appliances are faulty, poorly-maintained or old.

But improper ventilation and misuse is also a problem. If there is nowhere for the gas to escape, or if extraction fans are drawing the air out of a space more quickly than it can be replenished, air (and the CO) enter the room, instead of venting to the outside. Similarly, if there are cracks or holes in the mortar or brickwork of a brick chimney, the chimney may not be able to effectively vent combustion products, creating back pressure and drawing CO inside.

Lack of awareness around carbon monoxide poisoning also shows up when people move outdoor heating appliances indoors or to enclosed areas. These products were not designed to be used in this manner, so without adequate ventilation, or a flue to disperse CO outside, the gas builds up to potentially deadly levels.

What is Carbon Monoxide poisoning?

Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs by inhaling leaked CO. The severity of the effects suffered depend on the concentration of the gas, the length of exposure and the person who has inhaled it. Those at an increased risk are the elderly, children, pregnant women and their unborn babies, those suffering from heart disease, anemia or respiratory illnesses.

CO prevents the transport of oxygen and oxygen use in the body. Because the symptoms are nonspecific, if you don’t know what to look for, it’s easy to miss the cause until it’s too late.

Symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Malaise
  • Reduction in cognitive and functional capacity
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Ongoing chronic illness
  • Death

A May 2012 Report to the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism by the Allen Consulting Group stated: “the QRA estimated that one death and 21.3 injuries are caused by CO poisoning by gas appliances each year in Australia.”

But often, it’s not just one individual at a time that suffers fatal poisoning, but family groups. This is because they were home together when the leak occurred, or a relative has gone to assist, and find themselves also overcome by CO. In fact, Professor Anthony Brown from the School of Rural Health at the University of Sydney said, “in over 60 per cent of cases, not only did the victim die, but the first rescuer as well.” "Between four to six minutes turns a rescue into a recovery," he said.

You can take action today to ensure your property is safe

There are many ways to keep your family, friends, employees and tenants safe from CO poisoning:

1. Carbon monoxide testing

Ensure all types of gas heaters are serviced at least every two years by a registered gasfitter and tested for CO spillage. While every two years is the mandatory testing requirement, you can and often should have appliances tested more often.

If you notice any of these signs, stop using the appliance immediately and contact Toscano Plumbing for advice and to arrange for carbon monoxide testing:

  • Your appliance is showing yellow flames instead of a sharp blue (although yellow flames are sometimes deliberate for decorative effect in some gas log fires/fireplaces)
  • There is no apparent reason for your heater/fireplace to go out, yet it does
  • There is discolouration or soot around the gas heater/fireplace or peeling paint above the appliance
  • The cowl on top of the flue pipe is damaged
  • Debris has fallen down the chimney/flue pipe

2. Sweep and inspect chimneys and flues annually or more often

3. Never DIY the installation of ventilation.

Always contract the work to a licenced builder, gasfitter or electrician.

4. Ensure there is appropriate ventilation when using appliances

5. Have high-quality audible carbon monoxide alarms fitted to your residence by a qualified gasfitter.

Preferably outside the entry points to sleeping and living areas. These serve as an added point of protection to your regular servicing and upkeep.

As there is currently no Australian Standard for carbon monoxide alarms, it is recommended you choose ones certified to European or US standards (EN50291 or UL2034).

Note: alarms are not a replacement for carbon monoxide testing.

6. Never leave a car idling in an enclosed space

7. Never use external gas heaters indoors or in enclosed areas

8. Never tamper with vents on gas heaters

9. Learn how to recognise CO poisoning

How is carbon monoxide testing done?

Gasfitters follow guidelines set out by Energy Safe Victoria in their use of carbon monoxide detection equipment. Gasfitters test for CO in two main ways:

1. Testing for a negative pressure environment

Your gasfitter will test the environment created when exhaust fans are turned on throughout the property. They do this by creating a small source of smoke with a smoke pen and watching where the smoke travels. If the smoke moves towards the heater’s exhaust, this is a sign it is functioning correctly. However, if it moves towards extraction fans, there is negative pressure.

Your gasfitter will advise you of a recommended course of action to rectify a negative pressure environment.

2. Servicing and testing individual appliances for CO spillage

Your gasfitter will dismantle and clean the appliance as part of the service. They will also perform a flue integrity check and ventilation size and clearance check. They will note any damage to the appliance and whether remedial work is required, as well as checking connections between the furnace, venting systems and flue pipes.

After the service, your gasfitter will use a CO analyser to test for spillage. They will test both the appliance and the surrounding area to ensure no detection of CO in the air.

If spillage is detected and is unable to be immediately rectified, your gasfitter is legally required to disable the appliance for being unsafe. They will recommend the appropriate course of action to repair or replace the appliance.

Who can do carbon monoxide testing?

Carbon monoxide testing should only be performed by a licenced and registered gasfitter who has completed the Master Plumbers CO training course. Look for “Gas Servicing – Type A” on their plumbing licence. In Victoria, you will find this on a Victorian Building Authority Plumbing Licence.

All Toscano Plumbing plumbers & gasfitters are licenced and registered to perform carbon monoxide testing, so you can rest assured that your safety is in the right hands.

Don’t be complacent - take action today.

For advice or to book your CO test, contact our team of gasfitters on 1300 867 226.

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At Toscano Plumbing we understand that as a Facility Manager or Building Maintenance Manager your time is limited, and your list of responsibilities is long. After all, it’s no short order to keep the running of the entire physical infrastructure of a business in check. That’s why we’ve put together a brief guide to make your life that bit easier when it comes to facility management challenges, in particular, plumbing concerns. Plumbing may be just one aspect of building maintenance, but it isn’t a small one. Now, to those challenges:

1. Keeping all of your responsibilities under control

Facility management challenges come in many forms. From the day-to-day operations to emergency repairs (like burst pipes), the role often comes down to a neverending list of things to do. Not only do you have to keep everything under your domain operating correctly, but you also have to ensure it is done within safety and compliance regulations, issues are resolved in a timely manner and cost-effectively.

Having such a combination of short and long-term goals in one position can make it very difficult to prioritise and ensure something critical doesn’t fall by the wayside. Facility management software can provide you with a solution to keep you and all of the many hats you wear, organised. It can help you maintain a regular preventative maintenance schedule, track the issues that have arisen in each area of maintenance, for example, plumbing, and even be used to issue work orders.

There’ll be no more waking up in the middle of the night remembering something you had forgotten - facility management software can help you keep it all in check.

2. Implementing preventative and proactive maintenance

Plumbing operation tends to go unnoticed by most. Until operations are unexpectedly interrupted, that is. In the Facilities Management industry, you would experience this more than anyone. After all, it’s you they turn to when normal usage ceases! Preventative maintenance is much more important in a commercial or even multi-residential setting, than in a general residential situation. After all, the fallout is more significant, with the potential for many more occupants or businesses to be affected.

That’s why regular plumbing inspections are so vital and can save you many hours of difficulty down the track when an aspect of the plumbing system unexpectedly fails. A qualified, licenced plumbing partner should conduct a check by following a checklist that is tailored to the specifics of the facility you manage. They will report on anything of concern and provide options to remedy it now, before it worsens, giving you the chance to get ahead and minimise costs, not to mention the fallout to the business. It also assesses whether any aging inventory will need to be updated in the near future, keeping you apprised of any potential facility management challenges before they happen.

3. Achieving sustainable utility usage

A building or facility uses a considerable amount of utilities like energy, gas and water. In today’s climate, it’s more important than ever to lower the costs of these, while also becoming more sustainable. When you know your options, it makes it easier to move in the right direction.

Although there are standards in place for individual plumbing fixtures to be water efficient (known as the WELS rating), there are other aspects of plumbing maintenance to be considered too. For instance, even a small leak can have a surprisingly significant impact on water usage, and therefore cost and environment. Part of a preventative maintenance plan includes inspecting for leaks, but if you suspect a leak, it’s best to practice proactive maintenance and have acoustic leak detection services resolve your concerns.

You could also ask your plumbing expert whether a rainwater capture and use system would be an option for the building. Consider multiple solutions to make water efficiency work for you.

4. Meeting regulatory and compliance standards

Perhaps the most critical of facility management challenges is to stay on top of all regulatory and compliance standards. Failing to comply can mean hefty fines and won’t put you in favour with your employer. But, more importantly, it can cause safety concerns to arise.

The primary focus for Facility Managers and Building Maintenance Managers here is to be informed by staying ahead of changes to the building codes and regulations. You can do this in several ways:

  • Read high-quality industry blogs
  • Continue necessary training
  • Attend seminars or relevant workshops
  • Consider obtaining online certifications

But, aside from staying informed yourself, you also need to ensure you’re only using qualified and licenced trades to conduct work on the building. It also helps to use trades that are experienced in the commercial sector. For example, you could hire any fully licenced plumber to carry out work. However, to be confident you are receiving work that abides by the latest regulations, it’s advisable to use a licenced plumbing business with a history of commercial plumbing expertise.

5. Managing costs and improving efficiency

When it comes to controlling costs, this becomes a considerable facility management challenge. With so many moving parts, staying under budget requires no small effort.

Increasing the lifespan of existing equipment like water heaters and HVAC systems can be possible with the right attention invested in the equipment - like regular inspections and the necessary preventative maintenance to keep them functioning at optimum levels. This saves you money in two ways. Of course, the longer the lifespan, the longer you can avoid an entirely new installation. But also, older, poorly-maintained equipment tends to be very inefficient, which is costly when it comes to energy and water consumption.

According to Infraspeak, another way to ensure money is being spent where it should, it to hire “the best teams to carry out the projects”. Engaging those who have proven experience in the industry, can provide testimonials and referrals from other clients and importantly, do not subcontract out the work gives you confidence in receiving quality work. It also gives you the opportunity to establish a long-term partnership. When your contractors are intimately familiar with the facility you manage, it makes the job easier for them to get it right, which means fewer headaches for you.

Final thoughts on facility management challenges

Facility management challenges will always be in the nature of the job. But by being organised, having an excellent preventative maintenance program and perhaps most importantly, having licenced and trusted partners to carry out the work will significantly ease the burden.

Need a commercial plumbing partner you can rely on for preventative and proactive facility maintenance?  Call Toscano Plumbing for a no-obligation call on 1300 867 226 or visit www.toscanoplumbing.com.au

Why Is Leak Detection So Important For Your Home?

As a home owner, have you noticed that your water bill has gone up compared to previous months, or a water puddle has formed on your floor. Are you concerned that your premises may be in danger from a leak, but you’re not sure what is going on or where the water is coming from?

Toscano Plumbing can quickly determine whether you actually have a leak, pinpoint exactly where your leak is, and provide professional repairs as a licensed plumber. Toscano Plumbing will come out as quickly as possible to ensure that the damage to your property is minimised.

How to Detect a Water Leak in Your Home

Detecting the precise location of a water leak can be difficult, but there are several signs that you can look out for that can tell you that it is occurring:
● Unexplained high water bill
● Wet carpet
● Water puddle
● Wet spot on walls or ceiling
● The sound of water running, but without visible signs of water
● Reduced water pressure from taps

Prevent Damage to Your Home Before It’s Too Late!

Water leaks can cause serious and expensive damage to your home. Here are some of the ways a leak left unrepaired can cause major damage:

1. Damaged Paint/Wallpaper

Your walls can give you the first sign of a possible water leak problem in your home. Water and moisture can get trapped between the wall and the wallpaper/paint and cause the bond to undo, causing peeling and flaking.

2. Damaged Walls

A wall that is deformed or stained for no apparent reason may point to a plumbing leak. When a dry wall comes in contact with water or moisture, the plaster becomes soft, starts to bubble and can crumble. This can become an expensive problem to fix.

3. Damaged Floors

If you find a leak in the floor of your home, such as your bathroom, cracking or staining can occur. The bathroom tiles may also start to loosen due to the moisture underneath it breaking down the grouting between them.

4. Mold/Mildew

The appearance of mold or mildew on your wall or floors can keep reappearing in the case of a leak. Mold tends to flourish in moist areas, and a leaking pipe located behind a wall or underneath the floor provides the perfect atmosphere for it to spawn and cause damage.
Mold or mildew resulting from a leaking pipe can pose a serious health risk to you and your family, which is why it is important to get it detected and fixed as early as possible.

5. Bad Smell of Stale Water

When a pipe-leak goes unnoticed for a long period of time, water starts to accumulate. As it becomes stale it starts to smell very bad. If you clean your home regularly, but still notice a musty or damp smell, then you probably have a leak on your hands. Sometimes, the water may not dry up, which can only worsen the problem by causing mold or mildew that just won’t go away.

Ways to Check for Water Leaks

Detecting hidden water leaks in your plumbing system not only saves you money, but it can also prevent potential disaster down the road.

Check the water meter

One of the easiest way to tell if your home has a water leak is to check the water meter. First, turn off all the water using appliances, making sure the washing machine, dishwasher, and all taps are off. Check the water meter and take a reading. Then come back in a couple of hours, making sure all the water stays off. If the meter changed, you probably have a small water leak on your hands.

Monitor your water bill

It is easy to go on-line and check your water bill. Check previous months and if you notice a large increase without a change in your usage, you probably have a water leak.

Use some food coloring

Toilets make up a good percent of water used in a home so it’s a good idea to test it for leaks. Just add a few drops of food coloring to the tank of the toilet, wait a few minutes, if the color shows up in the toilet bowl, you have a water leak.

Don’t forget to check outside

Check your outdoor taps, hoses, and irrigation system. Just a pinhole leak can account for 5,000-10,000 litres of wasted water a month!

Have a Check Performed by a Licensed Plumbing Professional

Since most water pipes are located underground and behind walls, it can make detecting water leaks difficult. It is worth the investment to have a professional water leak detection service to inspect your home.

Our Advanced Leak Detection Technology

Acoustic Leak Detection: Our technicians are trained to utilise the most advanced acoustic leak detection system. Sensitive ultrasound devices can “listen” at a frequency beyond the human range of hearing. To our instruments, even the tiniest leak makes a traceable noise.

Thermography: We utilise state-of-the-art thermography, which is similar to a color infrared photograph. With it, we can identify tiny temperature differences that can lead us to leaks.

Why Is Leak Detection So Important For A Business?

As a business owner, water can be a silent danger to your business. Left undetected, water leaks can potentially damage your premises, destroy data and ruin your equipment. Potentially, if a leak is left unresolved, the cost to repair or replace equipment or data as well as interruption to your business operation can be disastrous.

Signs that You May Have a Water Leak

There are several common signs that your commercial building may have a water leak:

  • Unexplained high water bill
  • Wet carpet
  • Water puddle
  • Wet spot on walls or ceiling
  • The sound of water running, but without visible signs of water
  • Reduced water pressure from taps

As a business owner, you may have noticed that your water bill has gone up since last month, or you may have spotted a water puddle on your floor or marks on your ceiling. This may be a sign that your premises may have a hidden leak.

Best Get it Checked Out Sooner Rather Than Later

Detecting hidden water leaks in your plumbing system not only saves you money, but it can also prevent potential disaster to your business. Since most water pipes are located underground and behind walls, it can make detecting water leaks difficult. It is worth the investment to have a professional water leak detection service from a commercial plumbing company to inspect your business premises.

Using acoustic leak detection technology, Toscano Plumbing can quickly find leaks in your home, pinpointing exactly where your leak is, and provide appropriate repairs as a licensed plumber. Toscano Plumbing will come out as quickly as possible, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure that the damage to your property is minimized.

The consequences of not dealing with a suspected water leak can really compound the problem, leading to the need for more expensive repairs from extensive water damage.

Here are some examples of how water leaks on your premises can quickly turn into a big problem:

1. Damaged Paint/Wallpaper

When water and moisture gets trapped between the wall and the wallpaper/paint, they eradicate the bond and they will start to peel and fall off. This kind of degradation rapidly and significantly reduces the lifespan of your wall surfaces.

2. Damaged Walls

A wall that is deformed or stained for no apparent reason may point to a plumbing leak. When a dry wall comes in contact with water or moisture, it becomes soft, starts to bubble and eventually crumbles. This can quickly create a major structural problem in a surprisingly short amount of time.

3. Damaged Floors

The floors in your building can start cracking or staining, requiring expensive repairs or replacement. The bathroom tiles may also start to loosen due to the moisture underneath it. The culprit could be a pipe that has burst underneath your floor. Digging up floors and replacing them will surely cause an expensive disruption to your business and should be prevented if possible.

4. Mold/Mildew

Hidden water leaks can cause the appearance of mold or mildew on your wall or floors. Mold tends to flourish in moist areas, and a leaking pipe located behind a wall or underneath the floor provides the perfect atmosphere for it to flourish and cause damage. Mold and mildew resulting from a leaking pipe can pose a serious health risk to your colleagues and customers, which is why it is important to get it detected and fixed as early as possible.

5. Bad Smell of Stale Water

When a pipe-leak goes unnoticed for a long period of time, water starts to accumulate. As it becomes stale it starts to stink. You may clean your premises regularly, but still notice a musty or damp smell, then you probably have a leak on your hands. Sometimes, the water may not dry up, which can only worsen the problem by causing mold or mildew. Unpleasant smells are a real sales killer!

How Do We Find Leaks So Fast?

Your leak will be located using a combination of several electronic leak detectors. Toscano Plumbing uses cutting edge technology that combines equipment and techniques developed in-house, as well as the best training available. Equally important is the experience of our technicians, who receive continuous hands-on training at our state-of-the-art training facility.

Our Acoustic Leak Detection Technology

Our technicians are trained to utilize the most advanced acoustic leak inspection system. These sensitive devices can “listen” at a frequency beyond the human range of hearing. To our instruments, even the tiniest leak makes a traceable noise. This allows us to detect leaks no matter how hidden or small, preventing damage before it’s too late.

If you suspect a water leak in your home, contact the team at Toscano Plumbing for quick and accurate detection.

CCTV Drain Camera Benefits:

CCTV Drain Camera offers real time results, eliminates the cost of unnecessary excavation and is cost effective.

 

Because drainage systems are located beneath the ground it's impossible for the human naked eye to detect where the blockage is located and it's cause.

While drain blockages and odours can be a major problem, they generally don't just happen overnight.  Instead, they develop over time when waste products start to accumulate or when tree roots grow in the pipes and cause blockages and breakages.

Rather than spending thousands of dollars and hours digging we now have the ability to accurately diagnose the problem using a CCTV drain camera.

Unlike the electric cabling procedure, a CCTV drain camera can be fed into plumbing systems and flexed around corners with ease.  Providing an inside view of your pipes in real time, showing the exact location and severity of blockages, leaks and other problems.

 

Why just clearing a blockage is not always the answer?

If you have a blockage that has become an issue and you decide to use a high-pressure hose or electric cabling to clear the blockage you may find that the problem reoccurs.  This is why using a CCTV drain camera is important in conjunction with clearing the drain as it helps you view the internal damage and it's cause.

Benefit of using a CCTV drain camera.

With a CCTV drain camera, you can ensure that the blockage is found without any guesswork or intensive digging that could cause further stress or damage to your pipes.  By using a CCTV drain camera, not only is the location of the blockage revealed, but also the depth under the ground where the blockage is based.  It also shows the degree of damage that's resulted from the blockage and if any of the pipes that were damaged need to be removed or replaced.

How is an inspection undertaken using a CCTV drain camera?

In order to undertake an inspection using a CCTV drain camera, a plumber first has to clear the blockage before being able to send the camera down the pipe.  This allows the plumber to see the inside of the drain and determine what is causing the blockage.

Once the inspection is complete the plumber can then decide on the most effective course of action.  This may involve removing and replacing a section of pipe because it's been blocked by tree roots and arranging for the tree to be cut back to avoid the same issue happening again.  Or it may be as straightforward as flushing loose debris out of the drain.

CCTV drain camera

Specialising in residential and commercial plumbing and drain clearing, the expert plumbers at Toscano Plumbing are here to assist you.  Could you use an inspection of your pipes?

Reach out to Toscano Plumbing on 1300 867 226.

Preventative plumbing maintenance is done while a system is still functioning to ensure that it's working to full capacity and that there are no issues that could cause an unexpected breakdown.

The cost savings of taking part in a preventative plumbing maintenance program significantly outweigh the costs you incur when the equipment fails.  In the short term, the expense of component replacement that is old or no longer working, as it should, is considerably lower than the charges you would see when emergency repairs are needed. A schedule based on your availability is also much more convenient than waiting for a repairman when an unexpected failure arises.

The long term savings are even more beneficial as the life of your entire plumbing system can be extended by making sure that the infrastructure is working at its full potential.  Heading off issues before problems occur also plays a big part in safety and risk management. As an example; regularly venting a hot water cylinder relief valve can prevent the unit from bursting which will not only result in flooding but also lead to potential water in and around electrical panels.

 

 

The benefits of scheduling preventative plumbing maintenance appointments include:

  • Reduction of unexpected breakdowns and service interruptions by finding where your potential risks lie and assessing possible risks to your system.
  • Discovering leaks, clogged pipes/drains and keeping sewer lines flowing as they should.
  • Reducing water consumption by identifying leaking faucets and toilets.
  • Avoiding un-expected costs of roof repair or replacement due to unresolved issues.
  • Developing a relationship with our service team which in turn allows them to become familiar with your site. This makes for much easier troubleshooting when problems do occur.
  • Assist facility managers in achieving budget stability.

By using the following checklist you can greatly increase the chances that your plumbing is in optimal working order:

Checked List Checklist Pen Pencil
Check Marker Checked List Checklist Pen Pencil
  • Annually inspect plumbing and look for leaks and investigate unusual noises. Water boosters and circulation pumps also require annual testing faulty couplings and leaks.
  • Replace as needed, sump and sewage ejection pumps as well as annually lubricate exposed pumps.
  • Public restroom fixtures withstand a higher level of heavy use and abuse. They should be checked on a regular basis for leaks, as well as to replace internal workings based on the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • One single dripping tap can waste 30-200 litres of water per day.  By performing regular inspections and replacing tap washers, o-rings and jumper valves can save you a considerable amount of money.
  • Toilets & Urinals require regular servicing to operate effectively. This assures a clean, odour free and hygienic facility. It is critical to service urinals regularly to avoid drainage and pooling issues.
  • Water quality can be greatly improved by regularly changing water filters. This improves not only taste but reduces sediment in your system.
  • One of the biggest culprits causing sewer line clogs is improperly flushed or dumped objects such as baby diapers, oil, grease and paint. Tree roots can also cause havoc on sewer lines as can ground movement and general old age. A yearly high pressure jet treatment and CCTV camera inspection can remove/identify blockages and keep the pipes flowing smoothly.
  • Hot water systems need routine inspections. This ensures longevity and efficiency from your system. An inspection involves a general checkup of the unit for leaks and damage, safety checks of valves, pipes and parts and temperature/thermostat adjustment if needed. A hot water system can many times be set at and unnecessarily high temperature which not only costs you more for the heating process but can also cause burns to skin.
  • Businesses can prevent plumbing disasters from obstructing their operations with regular maintenance from a commercial plumbing team.

See our vast range of plumbing services or give us a call to chat about your Preventative Plumbing Maintenance program on 1300 867 226.

As anyone who manages or owns a building knows roof maintenance is crucial.  

However, many owners neglect their roof maintenance believing they are saving time and money. But industry-standard roof maintenance requires more than just clearing the leaves out of the gutter. To ensure the continued safety and support your roof provides, your roof needs to be inspected and maintained regularly. Many roof problems, like gaps in the roof’s flashing, can slowly grow and appear over time – making it difficult to be detected by non-professional roofing inspectors. Undetected problems in your roof can cause substantial damage to property, and even people, if left undetected.

The warning signs

A roof might look simple from the outside, but it's more important to a building than many people realise. Your roof is integral to providing comfort and protection to your interior, which means it is most vulnerable when damaged. This means even problems that seem trivial, such as a rusting sheet or loose flashing, can be a sign of worse things to come.

That's why an experienced plumbing professional ensures your roof is checked regularly. A few of the warning signs to look out for are:

  • Ponding (the build-up of stagnant water on your rooftop): this causes leaks, mould, and can even weaken support beams.
  • Rust spots on your roof system: though most modern roofing materials prevent these, if untreated they can lead to leaks and wind damage.

           Rust on a box gutter                                                                                 Rust on roof sheets
  • Gaps in the flashing: weakens the protection and cover of your roof, especially during heavy rainfall and strong winds. Gaps can build up slowly and appear over time, so it’s important to have your roof inspected regularly by a professional.

Dangers of neglected roofs

Unlike other building fixtures, your roof is constantly exposed to weather conditions that can weaken the integrity of your roof’s protection, including rain, wind and even sunlight.

Roof maintenance - The importance of regular roof maintenance

Here are the most common problems caused by neglected roof maintenance:

Leaks - That little drip in your ceiling might seem fairly innocuous, though slightly annoying, but a leaking roof should be a serious concern for any business. Leaks do not plug themselves, if left untreated the size of the leak will grow and allow more water into your celling.

Mould - Wet insulation and clogged gutters will grow mould, which can be very expensive to remove once set. Certain types of mould can be hazardous to people, and pose an enormous health risk if left untreated.

Animals and pests - If your roofs are neglected and poorly maintained, insects can enter the building through holes in your roofing system. If the holes are large enough, you could even end up housing rodents such as possums, mice, and rats in your organisation’s ceiling.

Maintaining your roof to provide the safe and secure protection they were built for isn’t difficult. By hiring a reliable, professional plumber to inspect your roof yearly, problems can be detected and resolved early on, keeping you safe and your building protected.

See our vast range of plumbing services, or give us a call on 1300 867 226.

The importance of Thermostatic Mixing Valves

Each year, thousands of people fall victim to water temperature-related injuries due to non-compliant Thermostatic Mixing Valves.

These scalding injuries can cause serious scarring or even hospitalisation. Extreme changes in water temperature are often caused by faulty Thermostatic Mixing Valves.

Thermostatic Mixing Valves allow the user to select a desirable temperature and limit the release of hot water. The device delivers a combination of hot and cold water and, when correctly maintained, has been proven to help prevent scalding injuries. Thermostatic Mixing Valves are particularly important for organisations like schools or child care centres, as young children are most susceptible to serious scalding injuries. It takes less than four seconds for a child to be scalded by 55°C of hot water.

4 ways to ensure your Thermostatic Mixing Valves are compliant If your vales are not correctly maintained, anyone exposed to water in the workplace is at risk of being seriously scalded – even if they’re just washing their hands. This is why the Australian Standard has placed such serious compliancy laws regarding the regular maintenance and testing of Thermostatic Mixing Valves in the workplace.

Organisations are legally required to have their Thermostatic Mixing Valves tested every twelve months. Failure to comply with the Australian Standard can result in fines of up to $1.1 million dollars.

If a Thermostatic Mixing Valves causes injury and there has been no adequate testing or maintenance, the organisation is liable to pay for damages. In 2012, the District Court ruled in favour of an employee who was badly scalded by faulty plumbing due to the business’s negligence. The injured worked was entitled to $440,000 in damages.

4 ways to ensure your Thermostatic Mixing Valves are compliant

You can ensure your organisation’s Thermostatic Mixing Valves remain compliant by improving the management of your plumbing maintenance.

Here are the 4 crucial steps you can start taking:

  1. Proactively make sure that your Thermostatic Mixing Valves are tested annually. If you cannot recall your organisation’s last plumbing check-up, book one now.
  2. Always keep a record of your Thermostatic Mixing Valves’ test results. The Australian Standard requires that organisations keep a record of all testing completed on Thermostatic Mixing Valves. A record of regular testing will look favourably on your organisation should an accident occur.
  3. Make note of when your Thermostatic Mixing Valves need replacing. Thermostatic Mixing Valves must be replaced every 5 years, even if regular testing shows they are in good working order.
  4. Always make sure the replacement or maintenance of your Thermostatic Mixing Valves are undertaken by a qualified professional plumber.

Alternatively, you can leave it to the professionals. Running an organisation is hard enough without worrying about the management of your plumbing facilities.

As experience business professional, Toscano Plumbing can handle all your plumbing management, from testing Thermostatic Mixing Valves to scheduling your annual check-up.

See our vast range of plumbing services, or give us a call on 1300 867 226.