All posts by Gareth Jones

Rodents as House Guests


This is the time of year when we start to hear about Rodents in the home due to the cold weather outside.  Below are a list of the most common rodent pests and what kind of disturbances you might expect if your property becomes infested with them. These rodents are more commonly known as pests because of their ability to set up home in your property.  They can be frequently found consuming food in both domestic and commercial properties.  Although, some rodents are raised to be domesticated pets, considered cute and cuddly, wild rodents can cause a lot of damage to a property.  Rodents can cause destruction to wood and gnaw on electrical cables; they also contaminate food, but most importantly they can spread disease.


nocturnal urine scratching gnawing ThumpingLoud noises Smear marks Shredded paper and material Droppings
Mice * * * * * *
Rats * * * *
Squirrels * * *


Why do Rodents Gnaw Things?

Rodents have four incisors at the front of their mouths that continue to grow throughout the life of the animal.  The rodent therefore needs to gnaw continuously, at things such as wood, this reduces the size of their teeth.  If the teeth are left then they will grow into a spiral, the animal will then not be able to eat.  If a rodents tooth is pulled out or comes out accidentally, the tooth will never regrow and once again the animal will be less likely to be able to eat.  Their teeth are designed specifically for gnawing which is why, if you have an infestation of rodents there is a likelihood of you having some form of gnawing issue.

What Diseases do Rodents Carry?

Rodents are well known for their ability to carry disease, but what types of diseases do they carry and why are they a problem.

Mice: Are known to Carry;

Salmonella bacteria: The Salmonella bacteria (Salmonellosis), causes a gastrointestinal infection and can infect both animals and humans.  Usually the infection will last 4-7 days and in some more serious cases, those infected may need to be hospitalised.  In extreme cases Salmonella has been known to lead to death, though generally this is in patients of higher risk such as, the very old, infants and those with low immunity.

Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis (LCMV): Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis, is a virus caused by rodents, and causes neurological disease in humans.  People can become symptomatic from 8- 14 days after exposure to the disease.  Symptoms have two phases, the first phase is less serious and can range from: fever; lethargy; loss of appetite, headache, nausea, malaise; vomiting; muscle, joint and testicular pain.

Not everyone suffers from the second phase of Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis, but if they do it is often following a few days of recovery. The second phase’s symptoms are much more serious than in phase one and include:

Meningitis: symptoms of which are; high-fever, stiff neck, headache, vomiting, a rash that does not disappear when pressed by a glass.

Encephalitis: Encephalitis causes drowsiness, confusion, sensory issues and loss or disruption of motor skills.

Mice also carry:

Leptospirosis: Leptospirosis is the infection of a bacteria known as Leptospira, and is spread by animals. In most instances leptospirosis only produces flu-like symptoms such as; headache, shivers and muscle pain.

However, in severe cases the infection is more problematic causing life threatening symptoms including; organ failure, and internal bleeding, but it is rarely fatal.

Meningoencephal: Meningoencephal, is inflammation of the brain.


Rats: are known to carry;

Rats carry similar diseases to mice, however their strain of Leptospirosis is more often likely to develop into…

Weil’s disease: Weil’s disease is a severe form of the bacterial infection Leptospirosis, where the bacteria infect  organs. Weil’s only develops in around 10% of Leptospirosis cases.  A secondary infection develops after the milder flu-like symptoms and a brief recovery time.  Symptoms differ depending on the organ infected;

Brain: fever, high temperature, nausea, vomiting, confused mental state, drowsiness, aggression, seizures, loss of motor control and aversion to lights.

Liver, Kidney, Heart: Jaundice, nausea, loss of appetite, fatigue, swollen ankles, feet and hands, swelling of the liver, decreased urine, shortness of breath and rapid heartbeat.

Lungs: High fever, shortness of breath and coughing up blood.

Squirrels are known to carry;

Squirrels are known to carry diseases similar to Mice, but have also been connected with the spread of Rabies, however there is no clear evidence to support this.

What are The Most Common Types of Rodent Pests in the UK?

The most common rodent classified as pests in the UK are:

House Mice

Colour: dark grey/brown

Approximate length of body: length of the palm of the hand, between 5-8cm.

Droppings approximate size: mice droppings are the size of a grain of rice.

How do I know if I have mice?

Mice are nocturnal, so if you have mice then you will notice noises at night, particularly scratching or scampering, you might hear gnawing as they tend to eat through containers such as cereal boxes and biscuit wrappers in order to get to the food they contain.  This food then becomes contaminated.  Another thing commonly associated with mice, is the strong smell of urine as they are prone to urinate as they move around the house.


Mice are rapid breeders, and have the ability to give birth every 3-4 weeks to five or six mice-pups at a time.  Mice can produce around forty pups a year.  Female mice are capable of conceiving at just over three weeks of age, although at this age they will produce less young.  It is easy to see how quickly an infestation can develop.

Common/Norway/Brown or Sewer Rats

Colour: Brown with grey under hair.

Size of body: just under 30cm on average or the size of your forearm, from wrist to elbow.

Droppings: Dropping are bigger than a grain of rice.

The most common rat in the UK is known by several names including: the Norway Rat, Brown Rat, Sewer Rat and Common Rat.  These pests are most commonly known for their damage to property, gnawing through the structural fabric of buildings, cables and wires, commonly causing electrical faults and wires and in the most extreme cases can cause structural collapse.

How do I know if I have Rats?

Things to look out for if you think you may have a rat infestation are; noises at night as rats are nocturnal, droppings; rat droppings are bigger than a grain of rice, shredded paper or material and also smear marks on skirting boards caused by their oily fur.


Rats can be sexually mature from around 5 or 6 weeks of age  and are able to give birth to a litter of  about 10-12 rat-pups at a time.  Rat gestation period is from 21-28 days, and they will be ready for procreation from 24 hours after giving birth.  Giving us a breeding cycle period of between 4-5 weeks.


There are two breeds of squirrel in the UK, the red and the grey.  The Red Squirrel is indigenous to Britain and have been growing smaller in numbers every year since the Grey Squirrels introduction in 1876 by the Victorians.  Grey Squirrels were originally from North America, and due to their greater ability to source edible food and rival for the Red Squirrels habitat.  Grey Squirrels, can also be carriers of Parapox Virus, which is lethal to the Red Squirrels.

According to Geneticist Helen McRobie and Dr Alison Thomas, a professor of life sciences
at Anglia Ruskin University Cambridge ,  Black Squirrels are mutated Grey Squirrels, they pass on a  gene that only allows the growth of Black hair rather than; black, white and red.  This mutation also has the ability to make the Black Squirrels more aggressive than the Grey Squirrels and less susceptible to disease.  The Black Squirrel does seem to be slowly spreading across the country, taking over habitats usually inhabited by the grey squirrels.  The Red Squirrel is an endangered species, however both the Grey and the Black Squirrels are considered pests in this country.

Colour: A mix of Grey looking Black and White fur with a smattering of Red fur.

Approximate Size: Average UK squirrel size is between 30-50cm in length tail length varies.

Droppings: size of droppings are a similar size to rats.

How do I know I have Squirrels?

If you have a Squirrel nesting in your loft, you may be hearing loud thumping noises both day and a night, most often at sunrise and sunset. They can damage, and potentially cause fire hazards by chewing through electrical wires.  You might also see evidence of nesting, disrupted or shredded loft insulation or paper.  Squirrels, are constantly looking for sheltered nesting sites and lofts and attics prove to be ideal locations.

How do Squirrels get into my loft?

Squirrels can often find ways into a loft or attic via weakened or rotten soffits or misplaced roof tiles. Although if there is no obvious place they will chew their way into the loft area, making holes just under the roof line or around a dormer.


Squirrels breed twice a year, between either December to February or May to June.  Squirrel gestation is about 45 days, so the squirrel kittens are born between either February to March or May to June, and each litter will contain 2-6 kittens.

How do I get rid of a Rodent pest if I have been infested?

There are many products on the market that can be bought over the counter at hardware shops or online, however these products are poisons and should always be handled with care.  A professional pest-controller knows how to safely apply the poisons and other products in use, he is an expert in dealing with all types of Rodents, and will know what to expect as well as the most humane application of the products he uses.  A professional also knows the law regarding the disposal of such pests.  A pest Rodent should not be released back into the wild.  Most people dislike the idea of harming animals, even if they are pests causing damage and disruption.  A professional will be discreet and because they know exactly where to target a pest problem, making the job that much faster, they are also able to expel the pest in the most humane way.

Professional pest-controllers

If you decide that professional is the best road to go down when dealing with a pest problem then please click on an area near you from the links below:












Frequently Asked Drainage Questions and Answers

Drainage questions Q&A

  1.  How will the drainage engineer get rid of the blockage in my drain?

There are a number of ways in which a blockage drain can become unblocked; the most common methods are rodding jetting and corrosive chemicals.  Each is used for different reasons:

  • Rodding

Rods are a series of long poles with a circular brush at the end, this is able to dislodge soft blockages like nappies, sanitary towels and toilet roll.

  • Jetting

High power water jets are used to blast blockages as well as clean the drain or pipe.

  • Chemicals

In instances of inaccessibility, corrosive chemicals are often used to clear blockages in drains.  A concentration of Sodium Hydroxide, a highly caustic material is used to break down the obstruction.

  2.  What could be the problem with my drains?

Drain blockages can be caused by a number of different things, household items like cans and nappies are just as common as tree roots. There are also pests, typically rats, who have been known to build their nests in drain pipes.

  • Tree roots

Tree roots are attracted to drains as a water source and can sometimes crack the pipes.

  • Fat

Fat and grease that we tip down our sinks, build up in our drains until finally causing an obstruction where the water can no longer flow.

  • Hair

Hair and other foreign objects can build up within a drain and cause an obstruction reducing water flow.

3.  What type of chemicals will the drainage engineer use?

The most common chemical used in drainage management is a concentration of Sodium Hydroxide.   

  1. Why do I need to use an experienced, qualified drainage engineer?

A professional drainage engineer is trained to clear a drain properly, without causing further damage.  They are qualified to use the appropriate equipment and the knowledge to apply certain equipment to a particular problem.  Qualified drainage engineers are able to recognise different types of piping and what they are used for.  Certain types of pipes can need replacing; for example Lead pipe, when discovered needs to be replaced due to its known poisonous.  Always call a professional.  Also unless it is on your personal property it may not be your drain, and may need to be dealt with through the water-board.  A drainage engineer would be the best person to advise you.

  1. Why would the engineer need to use a CCTV survey camera to investigate my drain?

There are few reasons why a CCTV survey may be required.  Often it is because there is a reoccurring blockage in the same drain, a CCTV survey is done to check for broken or collapsed pipes.  Alternatively leaking or displaced joints can be a reason for requesting a survey.

  1. Whose drain is it?

The house deeds should give information about boundary lines and personal drainage systems; though in certain houses there are joint drains, where two households waste flow into a communal drain.  This can occasionally cause problems as the drain is the responsibility of the property–owner on which the drain is situated.   A drainage engineer will only be able to manage a drain that is on the property of the customer.  Most drains that are off property are managed via the water-board.

  1. How do drains break if they are under the ground?

Drains that are under the ground can break for several reasons, tree roots and plants will be one of the most common causes of broken or collapsed drains.  However, this could also be caused by building work, building collapse, local road works or natural wear and tear.  Certain types of pipe only last a number of years before they are no longer viable.


  1. How are the pipes fixed if they are under the ground?

There are a few different solutions to fixing underground pipework, and can be largely dependent on the location of the broken pipe.  One easy solution that is popular in areas of limited access is the use of a polyester resin.  The resin can be used with only one small access point, so has no need of potentially costly construction.

How it all works

  • CCTV is used to inspect the pipework and measure the space so that the correct amount of resin is used.
  • The resin is fed into a felt liner.
  • The liner is compressed into an inversion unit and then fed into one end of the pipe to be relined.
  • The balloon like calibration tube is also fed into the pipe after being compressed into the inversion unit.
  • The inversion unit then fills the Calibration tube with compressed air, forcing the resin into place in the pipe.
  • Both the pressure of the inflated tube and the heat of the air inside it, harden the resin into place.
  • The tube is then deflated and removed.
  • Another CCTV inspection is necessary to ensure the pipe has been relined without any problems.
  1. How do you know where the end of the pipe section is?

The ends of an underground piping section is usually defined by the manhole. 

  1. Whose responsibility is a drain?

The drain or manhole on a property is generally regarded as the property owner’s responsibility, even if it is a shared drain.  If the drain is in the road, or outside of the boundaries of a property then the drain is regarded as being part of the Waterboard’s domain.  If access is needed then permission should be sort directly from the Waterboard.

For help with your Drain management please follow one of the following links:



Pipe Work


How do I protect my pipes against the coming cold? 

This is the time of year when we should start to think about our piping, implementing ways to protect them from the potentially harsh winter to come.

How can I insulate my pipes against the cold?

Pipe insulation is available in several different sizes and degrees of efficiency and can be obtained from most hardware shops or online.  The insulation is sold by pipe size, measured in millimetre increments.  You may need different thicknesses of insulation, this will be determined by whether the pipe is interior or exterior.

What happens if my pipes become frozen?

Frozen pipes can be a big problem as the weather gets colder, but unfortunately it’s not something that can be fixed instantly.  A plumber will advise you to cover the pipe with an insulator like a towel or specific foam made to insulate pipes, and allow it to thaw naturally.  However, if upon thawing the pipework has any cracks or splits, then call a plumber immediately to repair or replace the damaged pipework.

For cracked, leaking pipes and any other plumbing problems or further plumbing advice, please follow one of the links below:


What type of pipes are used in my house?

Pipes are used around the house for all kinds of things, although piping primarily seems concerned with supplying or expelling water, though you may also have pipes that supply gas to your property. I thought it might be useful to know the different types of pipe a person might find in their property, how to recognise them and in what capacity they are commonly used.

What are the most commonly used piping material?

Copper: Copper pipe is known to be impervious to most corrosive materials, a good conductor of heat, flexible and hardwearing.  Copper pipe tends to come in two types flexible and rigid.

Rigid: Rigid copper pipe comes in several different thicknesses and is generally used for exterior drain applications.

Flexible: Flexible copper pipe is often used to supply household appliances with water.

Copper piping in generally joined with either soldered or compressed fittings.

Plastic: Plastic piping was fitted in most homes from the 1970’s onwards due to its inexpensive cost.  However not all plastic piping can be used for all things.  There are many different types of plastic piping: ABS, PVC, CPVC, schedule 40 and 80 PVC and PEX, are the most commonly used in a domestic residence.

ABS: ABS, is black plastic pipe and is mainly found in older properties.  The joints of this type of pipework have a tendency to come loose, therefore a replacement is advised for this type of pipe.

PVC: This is the most commonly used type of plastic piping, it comes in both white and cream and it is impervious to most chemicals.

CPVC: CPVC (chlorinated polyvinyl chloride), has the advantage over normal PVC in that it is also heat resistant.  This enables it to be used for interior supply lines.

Schedule 40/80 PVC: Neither the schedule 40 or 80 PVC are used often because they can only be used for a cold water supply in domestic situations and it is not always considered strong enough to be used for this.  A building inspector should be consulted before this is installed as it is not considered appropriate in all regions of the country.

PEX: PEX (cross-linked polyethylene), cuts easily, is flexible and can be used with compression fittings.  However, PEX is three times more expensive than copper or plastic.  

Compression Fittings: Compression fittings enable two pipes, made of different materials, to be connected together.  The fittings also enable water to be turned off from a singular source, instead of having to stop the water flow throughout the entire residence.

Galvanised Steel: Steel is more common in older domestic homes because it is known to have a limited life-span of between 40-50 years, before replacement will become necessary.  There are cheaper, more flexible, longer lasting alternatives available.  The replacement of steel pipes should only be attempted by a professional.

Cast Iron: Iron piping was used for exterior drain piping, both vertical and horizontal, within a domestic situation before 1960.  Although durable and hardwearing, Iron is also prone to rust.

Do I have Lead pipes?

All properties built after 1970 will not contain lead piping.  However, homes build before this time may still have their water supply provided by lead pipes.

What’s the problem with lead pipes?

The problem with lead piping is that it can be poisonous.  Continued exposure to lead in your diet via water, vegetation grown in contaminated soil or from lead based paint, can cause serious health problems.  Lead poisoning can cause symptoms such as: abdominal pain, confusion, headaches, anaemia and irritation.  In some severe cases lead poisoning can also cause coma and death.

The best option is to limit exposure to lead. With water pipes, procedures like allowing the water to flow for at least 15-30 seconds before drinking, especially if the faucet has not been used for any length of time, is good practice for the future.  In the case of lead paint that you may have in your home, do not attempt to remove it yourself; lead paint dust would be driven into the air and could be inhaled into the lungs.  Always allow an expert to remove lead paint from a residence as they are trained to do this appropriately.


If you are the owner of an older property, you may need to be aware of Asbestos insulation housing, surrounding exterior pipework.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a building material made from fibrous silicate minerals. Investigations into the use of asbestos in the late twentieth century revealed it to be a hazardous, toxic material. You can find Asbestos in many household items and coatings including: soffit-boards, asbestos cement boiler and ceiling flues, toilets, roofing.

What does Asbestos do?

When Asbestos is disturbed, fibres are released into the air and can cause long-term health problems including: various types of cancer, a reduction of blood flow to the lungs, enlargement of the heart and scaring of the lungs which restricts the expansion of the lungs.

What should I do If I suspect Asbestos is present?

Only a trained engineer can work with Asbestos, and then only in a limited capacity.  However, Asbestos removal may only be carried out by a licenced Asbestos professional.


What is PAT testing?

Regulations state that appliances need to be maintained to a safe standard.
All appliances need to be tested regularly.
Check appliances are safely maintained in commercial and domestic properties.

What is PAT testing?

PAT Testing- stands for ‘Portable Appliance Testing’ and is the process of testing portable electrical appliances.  This is undertaken to ensure that the appliances are working at optimum efficiency and that they are safe to use.

When PAT testing, the engineer will assess  whether the appliance is being used in line with their manufacturers instructions.  The engineer will also inspect the location of the tool, checking to see if it is an appropriate environment for that specific device.

How often should an appliance be tested?

All portable apparatus, should be tested regularly, at least once a year for commercial properties. however, the exact duration will be determined by the appliance.  Your electrician, should be able to give you this information.

Who needs to get their appliances PAT tested?

All devices should be tested regularly, whether in a domestic or commercial property.  Although, if you are a landlord, renting a property, or own a commercial building of any kind  you are obliged current regulations, to keep and maintain your appliances in safe working order for your tenants and employees.

If you feel your mechanism might benefit from a PAT test, or you own a commercial property and are due an appliance test then please follow the link below.

Please, always use a professional electrician.   Electrical injuries can be lethal.  Electricians are trained to deal with electricity in a safe way.

For Berkshire-

For Kent- 

For Hertfordshire-

For Nottinghamshire-  

False widow spider

Boiler Servicing

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning-The Silent Killer

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning-the silent killer

A few weeks ago, I moved into a rented property in Ealing, with my husband and our three boys.  The property had been rented out previously, but recently the house had been sold to a first time landlord.  My family and I moved in as our new landlord got used to being back in England after being away, in Australia, for a year.  He hadn’t even begun to think about any regulations or safety requirements that he might have to adhere to, now that he was a landlord.

It was that first evening that the symptoms started to show, my youngest son, Charlie, began to complain of a headache; Tim, my husband, also mentioned feeling unwell.  Within an hour all five of us were feeling ill, Charlie and Tim, had progressed to upset stomachs.  But of course, at first we thought we either had some kind of bug or possibly food poisoning.

It wasn’t until my Mum and Dad arrived at the new house about 8.30pm, that we started to think it may be something more serious. By that time, Tim, was looking pretty bad, the two younger boys had been packed off upstairs to bed, all had been sick; my eldest son, and Jaydon and I both had severe headaches.  My Mum was the one to suggest that our illness could be something to do with carbon monoxide.

After looking up the symptoms of carbon monoxide, we decided to err on the side of caution and open all the windows, luckily it was a warm night.  We also decided it might be a good idea to call our landlord.  The landlord called out an emergency, Gas Safe certified, Gas and Heating engineer, to have a look at our boiler, as this was the most likely culprit.

The engineer had a good look at the boiler checking the flume outside as well as the boiler itself.  Geoff, the engineer found that the seal around the flume had broken, enabling carbon monoxide to seep into the house.  Geoff, changed the faulty seal quickly, but as we were still feeling symptomatic, he suggested that it might be advisable to go to the hospital and get checked out.

Luckily doctors at the hospital said that we were unlikely to suffer from any lasting damage.  We decided as a family, to be on the safe side, we would stay overnight at my parents house. We all felt a little shell-shocked.  I couldn’t help but think how lucky we were, we could have died in our beds.  Thank goodness we acted immediately and called out a plumber.

When we went back to the house the next day, the gas had dispersed and we could get back to getting settled in to our new home.  We thought it wise to purchase a carbon monoxide detector, Tim fitted it as soon as we got home with it.  We didn’t want to take any chances with carbon monoxide ever again.

Article by Deanna Spall

Please read the details below carefully, if you have any of the symptoms mentioned, when entering a property, please seek professional advice immediately.  For plumbing in and around the Ealing area please call:

If you own your own property, it is worth knowing what is recommended by the government in regards to maintaining boilers and other gas or electrical appliances.  As a general rule, these appliances should be tested on a regular basis. It is often a requisite of your insurance policy that your appliances are serviced annually.  It is worth taking a look at your insurance policy to clarify your personal situation.

If you are worried at all about Carbon Monoxide (CO), then why not think about investing in a carbon monoxide detector; you can buy the disk detectors for a few pounds or alternatively for around £30 you can acquire an electrical CO detector, you can purchase these from any hardware store.


Carbon Monoxide Poisoning  

  • There are between 300-400 hospital admissions related to Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning, per year and around 50 deaths.
  • CO is an undetectable gas, both colourless and odourless. A silent killer.


The symptoms of CO poisoning are determined by exposure to the gas.  It is just as likely for the symptoms to come on gradually, as it is for you to notice a dramatic change.  You may start to notice, for instance, that you have a headache every evening, but by the time you’re at work the following day you feel fine. Or like the family above you might find that you are symptomatic very quickly.

  • Mild symptoms- severe headache, nausea and vomiting, this is generally accompanied by a general lethargy and feeling out of sorts.
  • Moderate symptoms- with higher levels of CO, you could feel all of the above as well as starting to feel dizzy, you may have trouble concentrating, and this could lead to confusion or drowsiness.  It is also common to suffer from breathing problem and chest pains.
  • Severe Symptoms- Extreme exposure to CO, can cause seizures, comas or sometimes death.

Landlord Regulations

There are a series of regulations that a landlord needs to be aware of, many are annual and related to servicing household utilities.

  • Boiler service- any rentable property with a boiler needs a CP12 certificate, delivered by a registered Gas Safe engineer.  The landlord must make this available to you should you ask for it.
  • Appliances- appliances that are part of your rental agreement need to be regularly serviced and P.A.T. tested.

For more information on Landlord regulations, please go to your City council: Ealing County Council.

For information you should be aware of as a private tenant: Private Tenant Information


How to Weather Proof

How To Weather Proof Your Windows.

Well the cold weather has hit, and it’s time to look at ways to keep that coldness outside.  This week I’ve been looking at ways to stop the cold from permeating your home and hoisting up those ever increasing utility bills.  I’ve hunted around to find some of the top ideas to insulate your windows against the frosty months ahead.

  • Rubber Weather Sealant

Be careful to watch out for the cheaper versions of rubber weather sealant as they can sometimes harden and crack in extreme weather.  But at around a fiver a roll, it’s a cheap way of reducing those pesky draughts.  It can be particularly effective when used in conjunction with other weatherproofing methods.

You will need

  1. Tape measure
  2. scissors

How it works

  1. Measure the area you want to cover
  2. Cut the strip to size
  3. Remove the backing strip
  4. Push into place


  • Window Insulator Film

As you can see its simple to fit.  Another simple solution is window insulator film, around £25 mark for a kit, and easily obtainable from any hardware shop or online.  You can apply the film both inside and outside the house.  The film is designed to reduce both draughts and condensation. For a step by step approach to installing window film, follow the link below:


You will need

  1. Alcohol wipes
  2. Hair dryer
  3. Scissors
  4. Tape measure

How it works

  1. Remove all window dressings, like curtains or blinds.
  2. Clean the frame of the window with the alcohol wipes.
  3. Measure the window to be fitted.
  4. Cut and apply the double sided tape (that comes with the kit), to the outside edge of the window frame.
  5. Unfold the window film, measure the film to fit the window leaving an inch all around to allow for shrinkage. Test for fit before cutting.
  6. Peel off the backing from the tape and apply the film to the tape stretching and tweaking film to reduce wrinkles.
  7. Apply the hair dryer to the film, which will shrink the film to size.
  8. Repeat procedure on all other windows to be filmed.


  • Bubble wrap film

The insulator film can make a considerable difference to your energy costs, reducing overall bills by up to 10% a year; well worth a little time and effort. A similar idea that can be used in conjunction to the film is to stick bubble wrap to the glass of the window to insulate against the cold. A 100 metre roll of wrap cost around £30 from stationary and online suppliers.

You will need

  1. Scissors
  2. Tape measure
  3. Bubble wrap on a roll
  4. Water small amount
  5. Sponge or spray to apply water to window

How it works

  1. Measure and cut bubble-wrap to fit window
  2. Dampen window with water spray or sponge
  3. Apply wrap straight to window
  4. Repeat on other windows

The bubble wrap can increase the temperature inside your home by up to 4 degrees, producing an energy saving cost of around £60 per year.  The film can be taken down over the summer (label each sheet clearly with the window it has been removed from).  It can then be stored and saved for the following autumn.

If you prefer to get the professionals in or are considering investing in new windows to increase insulation, there are a few options to choose from including; double, secondary glazing or the new Low e glass.






  • Double Glazing


  • Double glazed windows are made up of two pieces of standard float glass, with a spacer bar to separate the panes.  This bar creates a sealed vacuum of space, insulating against the cold air outside.  Double glazing frames come in different colours and styles. You can choose to have the glass plain or decorated with a number of different decorative affects.  The cost of Double glazing fitted into a three bed house, would be, between £4000-£6000, dependent on personal, glazing enhancement preferences. When choosing an appropriate glazing firm, make sure you choose a company with an insurance backed guarantee.  The installation itself should last around fifteen years before the glass starts to mist and needs to be replaced.  Installing double glazing can significantly reduce your energy costs, between 10%-20%, and improve your homes temperature by around 5-6 degrees.



  • Secondary Glazing

Secondary glazing is cheaper by far than double glazing; only costing, between £250 – £1000, dependent on the number of windows to be treated. However it is not as effective in reducing heating costs, but it can still save you around £150 a year.  Although if your home is a listed building or built in a conservation area, it may be that you are restricted to having secondary glazing, as it is more likely to conform to the strict guidelines surrounding this type of property.  Secondary glazing is where a supplementary sheet of glass is fitted inside the same framework as the original glass.










  • Low-e Glass

Low-e, or low emissivity glass, is glass that has been treated with a special coating, which enables glass to absorb the infrared heat and light from the sun.  The heat and light are then reflected back into the home, which will save both energy and money.  This special coating also filters out the harmful ultra-violet light that reduces light damage on soft furnishings.

Low-e glass is more cost effective, energy efficient and more environmentally friendly, than standard double glazing.  It is on average about 10% higher in cost than standard double glazing, however it can keep a home 20-30% warmer.  So in the long run it will be cheaper to keep warm and therefore cost less.

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