A Remarkable Story of Care in Crisis
In July 2022, RSA instructed our Swanley team to assess a challenging situation. The husband was terminally ill with cancer, and the wife was suffering from dementia. An unexpected escape of water occurred in the kitchen, prompting the need for an inspection to determine if drying was required beneath the floor.
Due to the urgency of the situation, Rainbow Swanley immediately responded to the property. Upon arrival, it was determined that only the kitchen had been affected. Despite the logical option of relocating the husband due to his condition, it was not the right choice given the circumstances, as both the family and our team felt it was within his best interest to remain in the property.
The Swanley team, accompanied by the commercial manager, made every effort to ensure the customer’s comfort and provide some positivity in a challenging situation. The inspection entailed raising the laminate flooring in the kitchen and inspecting it for potential asbestos presence, which was a significant concern due to the age of the house.
To access the flooring, all appliances and furniture, including their washing machine, oven and dining table were removed. Swanley’s plumbing contractor and electrician were immediately called to the property to ensure safety by disconnecting all utilities.
The floor was determined as unsuitable for holding appliances following the strip out works, so the team installed temporary flooring in the property. The plumber and electrician reconnected everything on the same day, leaving the couple without facilities for just 6 hours.
Considering the suspected asbestos, the area was covered and further flooring was installed to ensure safety and eliminate trip hazards. Unfortunately testing confirmed the presence of asbestos, leading RSA to appoint their asbestos removal contractor.
In response to the urgency, RSA arranged for our Swanley team, including technicians, plumber, and electrician, to return to the property the following morning at 8AM to meet their contractor. The entire disconnection and removal process was repeated, with the appliances temporarily stored at the Rainbow Swanley office and later returned to the property after the asbestos had been removed.
Upon their return, our team discovered that the contractors had left significant divots in the floor from their machinery, creating trip hazards and disregarding the safety of the husband and wife. Swanley’s Operations Director Ben and his team went out of their way to rectify the contractor’s mistakes – driving to a hardware store, levelling the floor, and then adding more temporary flooring.
The team efficiently dried the exposed concrete by designing and implementing a localised drying system which reduced the moisture levels of the entire room. Following the thorough drying process, they once again reinstalled the appliances, prioritising safety to ensure that the husband and wife were not exposed to any additional risks.
The project was completed once the team had finished their work. Subsequently, they received another instruction from the couple, who had appreciated the empathy of our administrative team and technicians and requested their continued involvement.
The reinstatement contractor sought the team’s assistance with the contents side of the building, as the initial job had not been done correctly.
The Swanley team, along with their plumber and electrician, returned to the property to repeat the removal and disconnection process once again whilst the contractor relayed the floor. Since the contractor required a second day for completion, the Swanley team had to return some furniture to the front room and revisit the next morning to place everything in its original position.
Subsequently the team had attended the property several times over a number of days, each time striving to minimise any disruption to the customers living. They remained dedicated to ensuring the well-being of the customer throughout the entire process.
Rainbow is unique as many of our branches, including Swanley, operate as family businesses. Our customers consistently deal with the same team, allowing for the utmost sensitivity in any situation they face.
Dealing with situations like these can be emotionally challenging for technicians and office staff who develop familiarity with the customers they serve. Nevertheless, our teams remain dedicated to delivering a personal touch during these trying times.
Unfortunately, after reaching out to the customer, Rainbow Swanley received the heart-breaking news of the husband’s passing during Christmas. Whilst this is truly devastating news, we take pride in knowing that our team was able to provide comfort during his challenging journey.