Now that we are into October it is time to start thinking about the all important annual maintenance check of your building. With the leaves falling from the trees and the first signs of autumnal weather appearing we need to make sure that we have made plans to clear the gutters and ensure that the drains are running freely.
For some of these tasks you might need to employ suitable tradespeople but there's plenty that you can do yourself - though you may need some tools to tackle the job. This is where we deploy every building manager's secret weapon - the soup ladle!
Perfect for dishing up your Scotch broth but they also work wonders for getting the silt out of gulleys. The photographs shows architect Tim Ratcliffe getting to grips with the gunk outside a parish church with his trusty ladle.
If you'd like more guidance on how to carry out a maintenance check then take a look at the maintenance advice offered by the Faith in Maintenance project set up by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings - there's also a handy checklist that you can download.
Or if you would like to find out how to set up a working party to help with maintenance you might be inspired by the work of the SPAB Maintenance Co-operatives project.
A timely reminder that National Maintenance Week is coming up soon and runs from November 20 to November 27, just as potential problems caused by wind, rain, frost and winter snow begin to loom.
Broadcaster, author, historian and archaeologist Neil Oliver is leading this year’s campaign to make people aware of the importance of winter property maintenance. Neil is a familiar face from popular TV programmes including "A History of Ancient Britain" and knows that regular maintenance is crucial to the survival of our precoius buildings whatever the age or condition of the structure.
Neil says. “When I travelled round the country for BBC’s Coast series, the importance of protecting a building against the ravages of the wind and the weather was very apparent. I could see it was a constant battle. Maintenance makes a difference – never put it off!”
“As an archaeologist I’m very familiar with the care challenges faced by significant, historic buildings which don’t conform to a standard pattern. Planned and regular maintenance is vital to ensure that they have a future as well as a past. That message is equally applicable to buildings of all types and all ages.”
So if you need some top tips have a look at the advice on the SPAB's National Maintenance Week website: http://www.maintainyourbuilding.org.uk/pages/top_tips.html
And don't forget that National Gutters Day takes place on Friday, 27 November!
All great advice! These resources will be really helpful for organisations putting together a management and maintenance plan, a really important document, both for our decision makers and applicants to ensure you have the right resources in place to take care of our heritage.
This week's Heritage Calling blog post features Historic England's top maintenance tips. Another useful resource!