Advice & Guidance

Ten Top Tips

BuddleiaSimple regular maintenance is the best way to ensure the long term survival of any building.

Here are our top ten suggestions for tasks that you should carry out each year to keep your place of worship in good condition:

1. Rainwater goods: Check gutters and downpipes for blockages and leaks.  This is best done during heavy rain to see if there is water spilling out from faulty joints.

2. Roofs: Loose or missing slates and tiles may mean that water is getting into roof timbers.  Putting back a loose or missing slate or tile is much cheaper than repairing or replacing roof timbers.

3. Junctions: Holes, splits and other defects in metal flashings may not be obvious but can let water seep through and cause dampness internally.

Air grille4. Walls: Check mortar joints and render coatings for signs of decay.  Repairs should be carried out in materials compatible with the building.  In older structures, mortars and renders are likely to be based on lime, not cement.

5. Ground levels: Avoid any build up of earth at the base of walls as this may trap moisture or breach a damp proof course and cause decay.

6. Ventilation: Make sure that any air grilles and ventilators are kept clear.  Open windows on dry days to let moisture escape from the building.

Slipped slate7. Gullies: Check that gullies and drains are cleared of debris so that they can carry water away quickly and efficiently.

8. Plants: Shrubs and bushes can enhance buildings but consider removing trees or climbing plants if there is evidence that they are damaging walls or blocking gutters and drains.

9. Services: Check heating systems and plumbing for leaks and ensure that pipes are lagged to avoid bursts in winter.  Electrical and gas installations should be inspected regularly.

10. Safety: Employ a reputable professional builder if you are in any doubt about whether you can carry out maintenance work safely.

© SPAB 2010