Signs that your guttering system needs repairs

Well-maintained guttering is essential to effective drainage from roofs, so it’s important to get any damage or wear and tear fixed as soon as you notice it.

Doing so will not only help to keep wastewater draining properly from your property, but will also reduce maintenance costs in the long run by tackling problems before they worsen.

At hebs Group we have years of experience dealing with all kinds of drainage problems, from leaky roofs to flooded car parks, and many of them stem from faulty guttering.

Here are five major signs that your guttering system needs repairs – any one of these deserves further investigation, but if you have several at once, it’s a good idea to get your gutters cleaned and repaired as soon as you can.

1. Overflowing gutters

Blocked gutters can lead to overflowing water when it rains heavily, as the rain cannot flow along the gutter to the drainpipe.

If you notice overflowing gutters when it rains, they might just need clearing out. It’s totally normal for debris like leaves, twigs and moss to accumulate over time.

2. Sagging gutters

Unless your gutters are very high up, it should be possible to spot from ground level if they are sagging, especially in a spot that overflows during rain.

There are a few reasons why gutters can sag, from broken supports to incorrect lengths of guttering used during initial installation.

3. No downpipe outflow

If the bottom end of your downpipe is visible, check if water flows out of it during rainfall. If it’s not visible, you might be able to hear the water flowing or lift a nearby drain cover and peek in.

No downpipe outflow can mean a blockage in the drainpipe, but often means – you guessed it – blocked or damaged gutters.

4. Roof leaks and damp walls

If your roof appears to be leaking or you notice damp walls, especially along an exterior wall with guttering, it could be that excess rainwater is overflowing the guttering and penetrating the wall or roof.

Get your guttering checked first, as it’s quick, easy and affordable to clear most ordinary blockages and can fix an apparent damp problem or ‘leak’ in a matter of minutes.

5. Standing water

Water flows down, so if you have a flooded car park or standing water at ground level, it’s worth looking up to diagnose the problem.

Drainage problems including damaged guttering and blocked drainpipes can all prevent rainwater from reaching the sewers – leading to flooding that appears to start from the ground up.

 

If in doubt, call hebs Group on 0151 236 0707. We’re always happy to diagnose a drainage problem, whether it’s a faulty guttering system, broken drainpipe or blocked sewer drain, and we have the tools and expertise to fix them all.

 

What to know about trenchless pipe bursting

A burst pipe is usually not a good thing – but when we carry out trenchless pipe bursting, it’s exactly what our clients are hoping for.

That’s because trenchless pipe bursting is a way to rehabilitate old pipelines, replace them with completely new pipe, and even increase the diameter of the pipeline without having to dig it up.

So how does it work? It’s quite simple, and we have the technology required to ensure a good, clean result every time.

Bursting the old pipe

First, the old pipe needs to be burst. For this, a bursting head essentially drills along the length of the pipeline.

The narrow leading end of the bursting head automatically stays on course, guided by the existing pipeline itself, while the trailing edge is broader and breaks apart the old pipe.

It’s important to stay on course and to ensure the old pipe is thoroughly broken up, which is why we make sure to invest in the latest bursting technology for the job.

Laying the new pipe

The new pipeline is laid as part of the same process. As the bursting head pulverises the old pipe, the new line is simply laid into the cavity left behind.

By using a bursting head wider than the diameter of the original pipe, this cavity can be opened up to allow a new, wider pipeline to be inserted with no excavation required from the surface.

This is why the process is referred to as ‘trenchless’ – because there is no need to dig a channel or trench in order to lay the new pipe.

Benefits of trenchless pipe bursting

Trenchless pipe bursting has several benefits and can be used on a variety of different pipelines, such as water mains, gas supplies, drains and sewers.

It can rehabilitate old pipelines that have become too uneconomical to continually patch up and repair; replace old pipes with new ones that meet modern standards; and widen the diameter of old pipelines in the way described above.

By avoiding the need for surface excavation, trenchless pipe bursting allows work to be carried out faster, with less disruption and reduced cost.

It’s just one of several technologies for repairing pipelines that we use at hebs Trenchless Solutions. Others include UV LED cured-in-place patches, LED-cured pipe liners, directional drilling and laser-guided boring.

 

If you would like to know more, contact hebs Group today on 0151 2360707 and we will be happy to discuss our trenchless pipe bursting technology and other trenchless solutions with you.

A busy time for hebs Flowtech in Manchester

The hebs Flowtech team have been busy in and around Greater Manchester, Cheshire and across the north-west in recent weeks.

We’ve had callouts to several of the region’s ambulance stations, as part of our ongoing work to ensure paramedics can respond to medical emergencies without delays.

Just some of the work we’ve done includes:

  • In Sale, the ambulance station had problems with their kitchen pipes. We attended, removed and cleaned the affected pipework of any food debris. We also rinsed and jetted the external lines to prevent the problem from recurring.

 

  • In Northwich, we jetted and cleaned a blocked outdoor drainage line to restore it to free-flowing again.

  • In Ladybridge, we cleared a completely blocked drain using hand tools and finished the job by jetting it through to remove any remaining obstruction.

  • In Chester we were called out to conduct a drain survey. We used our high-tech imaging equipment to inspect the drains and make sure everything was running smoothly. While we were there, we also installed some bird deterrents to prevent nesting in the wash bay.

Finally, one job we wouldn’t have been asked to do before 2020 – Parkway Manchester called us out to mark two-metre social distancing zones using high-visibility tape.

The bright yellow and black chevron tape makes clear how far apart two metres is in parts of the premises where social distancing might be difficult, such as hallways.

It’s just one part of Parkway’s response to the challenges posed by COVID-19, which also includes reminder notices posted around the premises and hygiene stations to help visitors keep their hands and surfaces clean.

A good job inside and out

Blocked drains and gutters are more likely to be a problem outdoors than inside – there’s more chance for fallen leaves and mud to block them, and it’s often more easily noticed when a car park floods, compared with a slow-draining kitchen sink.

So the case studies above are a useful reminder that we can respond to drainage surveys, blocked sinks and clogged gutters wherever they occur on your premises, including indoors.

We’re also happy to offer many more kinds of routine maintenance, whether that’s preventing birds from nesting in unsuitable locations, or helping you prepare for the medium-term future of social distancing regulations.

 

If you’d like to know more about any of our work, or you have a particular maintenance challenge and you want to check whether we can help, call hebs Flowtech today on 0151 2360707 and a member of our team will be happy to tell you your options.

 

Preparing your building for a spring clean

With more people spending more of their work and leisure time at home, investment in residential building maintenance can reap dividends in attracting tenants, especially if you’re in an area where home-moving activity has fallen.

The changing nature of how we all live, work and socialise has led many people to put more emphasis on finding a comfortable and well-maintained home, even if they have to pay more to get it.

Here are some suggestions of ways to raise rents by giving residential buildings a competitive edge in the current climate and for the long-term future too.

1. Landscaping

Never forget the importance of kerb appeal. Landscaped exteriors don’t need a huge amount of maintenance, but can help to make large residential buildings feel more homely.

This is especially true if you provide communal gardens, as more tenants are likely to be seeking properties with private outdoor areas, even if those areas are shared.

2. Car park drainage

Car park maintenance shouldn’t be neglected either, and a car park drainage problem is often easily fixed – one area in which hebs Group are proud to be experts.

We can clear out clogs and debris, clean surface dirt to restore drains to as-new condition, and rehabilitate pipes if they have cracked or collapsed, so there’s no more standing water in your car park when it rains.

3. Building fabric

Building exterior maintenance isn’t just about visual appeal. Our building fabric services make sure the exteriors of your residential premises are in good working order and structurally sound.

This covers the whole range from exterior surfaces like walls and windows, to roof maintenance and fixtures like gutters and drainpipes.

4. Communal interiors

Most residential buildings with multiple occupants have some communal interiors, ranging from hallways and stairwells to mail rooms, shared kitchens and laundry facilities.

Whatever you provide to your residents, make sure it is well appointed and well maintained, as it’s more important than ever to justify any monthly service charges you ask your tenants to pay.

5. Residential interior fitout

Finally, once your tenants are past the exteriors and communal spaces, it is the interior of their home that has the biggest impact on their day-to-day comfort.

Kerb appeal will win them over, but home comforts keep them in place once their initial tenancy expires.

So put the right focus on residential interior fitout, with the help of hebs Group’s team of experts to give your tenants every reason to renew for a further 12 months or transition to a rolling contract.

 

If you require any residential building maintenance services, contact hebs Flowtech at info@hebs-group.co.uk or call 0151 236 0707.

Electrical safety for care homes

Like any residential setting, it is important to keep a continually watchful eye on electrical safety for care homes, including planned maintenance and scheduled inspections, as well as responsive repairs and replacement of damaged wiring and equipment.

Of course, care homes are not like most residential buildings. They can include medical equipment for residents who require nursing care, and even in primarily residential homes there may be hoists and other powered mobility equipment to maintain.

Whatever electrical equipment your care home operates, hebs Group are here to ensure everything you use is safe for your staff and your residents.

We hold accreditation from NICEIC (the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting) for electrical installations, inspections and testing, which have been at the core of our business for over 30 years.

Our engineers are not only qualified, but highly skilled and talented individuals capable of working across PPM programmes, scheduled maintenance and reactive repairs as required.

We work to the latest published New Wiring Regulations (BS 7671) issued by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) so you know all of the electrical work we carry out on your behalf is up to standard.

Electrical inspections for care homes

We can carry out both types of electrical inspections for care homes:

  • Fixed Wire Testing to check the condition of your mains electricity and supply voltage.
  • PAT testing to certify appliances safe for use as part of mandatory compliance procedures.

Both kinds of testing are important. They reduce risks arising from mains electric shocks, which can expose staff and residents to potentially lethal electric currents.

They also reduce the risk of an avoidable shock from an appliance due to a short circuit, exposed wiring or contact with water.

We can carry out PAT testing on all sizes of appliance, from small portables like kettles and toasters through to larger equipment like industrial washing machines in your laundry room.

Equally our Fixed Wire Testing spans the 240V circuit in your residents’ rooms through to your plant rooms, which may operate on a much higher supply voltage.

Electrical safety for care homes is just one of many services we provide, along with HVAC, gas and mechanical inspections, building fabric and roof repairs, and drainage inspections.

We work with care homes and nursing homes nationwide so no matter where you are based, we can provide emergency maintenance services for care homes across the UK.

If you would like to find out more, contact hebs at info@hebs-group.co.uk or call 0151 236 0707 and we will be happy to discuss our full range of services.

Mobile Crawler Unit

How does a CCTV pipeline inspection work?

The problem with pipeline inspection used to be that pipelines, by their very nature, are usually buried below ground, making it difficult to inspect them to locate damage.

A CCTV pipeline inspection solves this problem by inserting a mobile CCTV camera unit into the pipe where it reaches the surface, and then exploring the length of the pipeline until the problem is discovered.

Depending on the problem, this could include damage to the pipe itself such as a crack, leak or collapse, or it might be something non-structural like a blockage that needs to be cleared.

Until you take a look up close it’s difficult – if not impossible – to know exactly what damage has occurred and whether the pipeline will need remedial work to restore it to a good state of repair for the future.

The added advantage is knowing what remedial action or maintenance is required also means you can better control costs and obtain quotes specific to the particular scheme of work involved.

At hebs Group we have sophisticated CCTV pipeline inspection cameras so we can view damage and blockages that occur far below ground, without excavating the pipeline.

These cameras are mounted on rugged remote-controlled units that can drive along the pipe to reach the damaged section, with a long tether back to ground level.

It’s a fast and effective way to get a first-hand view of pipeline conditions both above and below ground, from inside the pipe.

Why use CCTV pipeline inspection?

It’s crucial to visualise damage from inside the pipe for a true image of what work needs to be done.

CCTV pipeline inspection can be used on everything from small diameter pipes right up to large diameters like sewers.

It does not damage the pipe – no digging or cutting is required – and it allows us to recommend the best course of action to repair or unblock the pipe.

Depending on the desired outcome, we have a variety of trenchless pipe repair and rehabilitation techniques to choose from, including:

  • Pipe bursting to lay wider diameter pipes in place of older narrower pipes.
  • Cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) where a repair liner is applied to the damaged pipe then cured to form a permanent fix.
  • Primus Line, a flexible high-pressure lining used to rehabilitate industrial high-pressure pipelines.

Trenchless repair can be much faster and less costly, and avoids excavating land that may have structures of value on it at surface level.

But you need to know what repair work needs to be carried out, which is why CCTV pipeline inspections are such an important step in the process to a fixed and free-flowing pipeline.

If you require emergency maintenance repairs or services, contact hebs Flowtech at info@hebs-group.co.uk or call 0151 236 0707.

hebs Flowtech keep NWAS ambulance stations draining freely

hebs Flowtech have restored free-flowing drainage to several more ambulance stations operated by the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS).

As NHS Framework Contractors, hebs Flowtech are on call when NWAS have problems with drainage at their ambulance stations.

In recent weeks, the Flowtech team were called out to Broughton, Northwich and Wallasey following blocked gutters and drains at each.

We were able to use a range of different methods to clear blocked drains at each facility:

  • In Broughton, we used a remote gutter vacuum to clear blocked gutters.

 

  • In Northwich, we used a plow jet to clear blocked rain grids.

  • In Wallasey, we used drain rods to clear blocked external gulleys. We followed this by jetting the line and rinsing it through.

Each site posed its own unique challenges, from clearing gutters at high-level, removing debris from rain grids, to clearing an external underground gulley.

By using the most appropriate method for each job, hebs Flowtech can provide the best results to get wastewater draining quickly and into the correct places.

We also make sure to put in the extra work required to clean out the drain so that it is not only unblocked, but left looking as good as new.

Emergency service from hebs Flowtech

At a time when ambulance services and the NHS are needed more than ever, hebs Flowtech are proud to provide reactive repairs to clear blocked drains and allow premises to be used as intended.

Our dedicated teams have cutting-edge equipment including high-pressure jetting rigs and Proteus pan & tilt inspection units, allowing us to see and solve the problem in quick time.

We can inspect and clear blockages, descale and maintain pipework, and provide general responsive maintenance services across pipes, drains and sewers as required.

In every case we work diligently to decide the best way to proceed without delay and to carry out the work to restore drains to as-new condition, without causing any unnecessary disruption to access and operations.

At critical facilities like ambulance stations, it’s crucial that utilities like wastewater and sewerage are in good working order, and we are proud to be authorised NHS Framework Contractors to carry out this important work for NWAS.

To find out more, contact hebs Flowtech at info@hebs-group.co.uk or call 0151 236 0707 and we will be happy to discuss our full range of services to maintain and repair pipelines and sewers, and to unblock and clean all kinds of gutters, gulleys and drains.

Hebs Group is here to support you!

As a provider of critical works, we wanted you to be aware that we are here to support you in the wake of Covid-19 and are available to respond to your queries whilst operating safely and adhering to Government guidelines.

We are principle contractors for The North West Ambulance Service and as an NHS Framework approved contractor, we can respond quickly to address any aspect of drainage, sewer and pipeline related issues. We have state of the art Drainage CCTV & high-pressure water jetting equipment available to identify and fix problems found.

No matter how big or small, all our efforts at this time are directed to maintaining the buildings that frontline staff are working within, to enable them to focus on the care of patients and staff during the unprecedented fight we are facing against Covid-19.

From all of us at Hebs Group, we thank the NHS and all key workers.

About Hebs Group

Being accredited contractors for CHAS since 2013, our reliable reputation is second to none when it comes to going beyond what is expected – taking into account the health and safety of our customers and their premises as a priority and meeting the requirements of each individual project.

From installations and repairs, to refurbishments, risk assessments and system health checks, hebs Group offers a fully comprehensive range of maintenance services, including:

– Mechanical

– Electrical

– HVAC

– Roofing

– Building Fabric

– Compliance

– Gas

– Trenchless Solutions

– Drainage and Pipeline

By using cost effective and innovative solutions from beginning to end, our highly-trained, dedicated teams are here to provide emergency maintenance services to clients in Liverpool and all over the United Kingdom, as we extend our services to private care and nursing homes where they are most needed.

If you need our emergency maintenance services please contact Mike Berry, Director of Maintenance and the team at info@hebs-group.co.uk or call 0151 236 0707.

The different types of cladding for buildings

Exterior cladding for buildings takes many forms and technically includes roofing products as well as cladding for exterior walls.

The UK’s National Building Specification, now known simply as the NBS, lists nearly 30 different types of building cladding, including roof tiling, slating, shingle and thatch.

Of these, 18 apply in a brief form to minor works, while all 27 apply in an abridged form to intermediate works.

What are the NBS cladding categories?

The full list of NBS cladding categories for walls and roofs includes:

  • H10: Patent Glazing
  • H11: Curtain Walls
  • H13: Structural Glass
  • H14: Precast Concrete & Glass Lens/Paver Roof, Floor and Pavement Lights
  • H20: Rigid Sheet Cladding
  • H21: Timber Weatherboards
  • H22: Plastic Weatherboards
  • H30: Fibre Cement Profiled Sheet Cladding
  • H31: Metal Flat/Profiled Sheet Cladding
  • H32: Plastic Profiled Sheet Cladding
  • H41: Glass Fibre Reinforced Plastic Cladding
  • H42: Precast Concrete Cladding
  • H43: Metal Composite Cladding
  • H51: Natural Stone Slab Cladding
  • H60: Plain Roof Tiling
  • H61: Fibre Cement Slates
  • H62: Natural Slate
  • H64: Wood Shingle & Shake Roofing
  • H65: Single Lap Roof Tiles
  • H67: Metal Single Lap Tiles
  • H71: Lead Sheet Flashings & Coverings
  • H72: Aluminium Strip/Sheet Flashings & Coverings
  • H73: Copper Strip/Sheet Flashings & Coverings
  • H74: Zinc Strip/Sheet Flashings & Coverings
  • H75: Stainless Steel Strip/Sheet Flashings & Coverings
  • H90: Tensile Fabric Coverings
  • H91: Thatch Roofing

Waterproofing and surface finishes for buildings

There is a separate NBS category for waterproof cladding and roofing, including cement mortar tanking and damp-proofing, mastic asphalt, liquid-applied coatings, flexible sheet waterproofing, reinforced bitumen membranes and single-layer polymeric sheets.

In addition, there’s a category for surface finishes – such as ceramic tiling and mosaics, rendered coatings, and flooring including screeds, resin flooring, carpeting and so on.

Again, there is abridged guidance for intermediate works and an abbreviated list of subcategories for minor projects.

Cladding for new-builds and building fabric refurbishment

At hebs Group we install suitable cladding on new-build premises, taking into account everything from aesthetic considerations to safety and insulating performance.

We can also install appropriate exterior cladding and roofing during building fabric refurbishment projects, giving your property a new look while protecting it against exterior threats like weather conditions, heavy rain and avoidable energy leakage.

 

To find out more, contact hebs Group today to speak to a member of our team about any upcoming projects you might have planned, and how we can help by fitting the best cladding and roofing for the job as part of your exterior building fabric. Call us 0151 2360707 or email info@hebs-group.co.uk and we’ll be happy to help.

How do cell and telecom towers work?

A cell tower, telecom tower or mobile mast is a structure equipped with antennae and other necessary electronics, transmitters, receivers and power sources needed to relay a mobile phone signal.

When you make a call, your mobile phone connects to the nearest available cell tower (or the nearest mobile mast on your provider’s network) and that tower sends your outgoing signal, as well as sending incoming voice and other data back to your handset.

It’s a similar process to the way a radio transmitter broadcasts music and other radio shows – and in fact the signal from your smartphone uses the radio frequency part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

How many cell towers do we need?

You can spot cell towers in many urban locations, for example on top of tall buildings or on poles outside petrol stations where they are able to provide a strong signal to a large surrounding area.

An elevated, unobstructed position is better, as passing through any physical objects can attenuate the radio frequency signal and reduce the range, quality or both of the mobile mast.

In densely populated areas, such as city centres, it’s normal to find a larger number of mobile masts, while in rural areas like farms and small villages there might only be one or a few at most to serve the local population and anyone passing through.

How mobile masts let you keep moving

Once you place your call, you are not limited to keeping within range of the first cell tower you connect to.

Instead, the base station that handles your call can keep you connected while transferring you from one telecom tower to the next – so you can make long mobile phone calls during journeys without having to redial.

The base station automatically switches you to the tower with the strongest signal, which is why in rural locations with fewer towers, your call quality might rise and fall as you move around.

Why cell towers are important

Good cell towers are crucial to allowing people to make and receive calls, as well as send and receive data and text messages.

In remote locations, it’s important to provide mobile masts that offer good strong signals over the widest possible area, with backup power to keep providing that service without interruption.

Meanwhile in urban areas, it’s often more about erecting enough mobile masts to serve the dense local population, including at peak times like New Year’s Eve when the local capacity can determine whether well-wishers’ messages get through on time or not.

 

To find out more about our telecommunication services please contact us today. You can call our specialist Neil by emailing Neil.Kerrigan@hebs-group.co.uk or calling on

07534 854269.