The Risk Of Legionella In Showers For Your Rental Property
Showers continue to be more popular than baths in the UK, and bathroom design reflects this trend, with many individuals now choosing a wet room or huge shower cubicle rather than a typical bath. However, when analysing legionella risk in a rental property, it is critical to recognise the possible hazards related to showers and have protective measures in place for your tenants.
Why Are Showers A Risk?
Legionella bacteria are distributed through airborne water droplets, therefore a shower spray is an ideal delivery method. Anyone who uses a polluted shower runs the danger of inhaling the bacteria and developing legionnaires' disease when the bug settles in the lungs. Your tenants are at a higher risk of infection if they are over 45, smokers, frequent drinkers, or have a health issue such as heart disease, asthma, or diabetes.
Estimating The Risk Level
The danger level of your shower is determined by a variety of things. First and foremost, where does the water originate from and how is it heated? If the shower is supplied by a water tank, ensure sure the tank is clean and in excellent working order. Rust, corrosion, biofilm, and debris in the tank all offer food for legionella bacteria, so examine and clean the tank at least once a year. A well-fitting lid should be included with your water tank.
If your water is heated by a calorifier, it must be maintained on a regular basis and kept clean. If your home has a combi boiler, the danger is reduced since hot water is not stored but is heated on demand, but if you do have a hot water storage tank, it is critical that the water be kept at a temperature of more than 50°C to guarantee that bacteria are destroyed.
Water hardness is another danger factor because limescale feeds germs. If you live in a hard water region, require your tenants to descale showerheads and taps at least once a month to prevent limescale buildup. Alternatively, you can invest in a water softener.
There is a danger linked with stagnant water if you have a shower (or other water outlet) that isn't utilised on a regular basis. Water can gather in portions of a home water system that aren't utilised very frequently, and germs can grow in such pockets of stagnation. Then, when the little used outlet is turned on, the bacteria-laden water is released into the air, where the unwary person bathing breathes it in. A guest shower room is perhaps the most high-risk location of a domestic home for this issue, therefore suggest that tenants run any infrequently-used showers for two minutes at least once a week, making sure to leave the room while the water is running.
Please contact us if you are worried about legionella control in your rental property - or any other property - and would like a no-obligation estimate for our services. We have decades of experience and will be happy to answer any questions you might have.