Routine maintenance, properly recorded, will not only protect your home but also add to the value of your home. You should get into the habit of checking the building regularly.
Glasgow City Council has produced a downloadable maintenance plan and guide to inspecting your property. There is also a historical building maintenance plan produced by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.
As a rough guide:
Every six months, check
Roofs and chimneys
It is not advisable to venture onto the roof but it may be possible to identify problems from the ground, particularly using a pair of binoculars. Missing or dislodged tiles and slates may be obvious from ground level and the chimney head may show signs of damage to the stonework or to the lead flashing. If water gets in to the roof space it may rot timbers or cause damp which will make the house feel cold and require more heating than a dry house. Top floor residents should also check the ceiling for stains from water penetration through the roof.
Buildings need good ventilation to be free of damp. Vents should be clear to allow the ground below the building to dry out and they should be covered by a grating to prevent vermin gaining access.
Flaking paintwork is not only unsightly, it may also water is penetrating window frames or painted stonework. Peeling paint can be touched up but wooden windows should be sanded and repainted completely about every five years.
Gutters and downpipes
If gutters or downpipes become blocked water may cascade over the external walls and cause damp and stone decay. Check for any signs of plant growth which indicates silt has built up enough to collect and support seeds. Clear them regularly. If you can’t see gutters from outside, look out for tell-tale damp patches that will show up inside the house during rainy periods. Rusty or cracked pipes should be attended to quickly to avoid major problems with dampness. Check for damp patches on stonework, a large patch may indicate a blocked internal downpipe.
Every year, check
Cracks in the stonework, gaps where pointing is missing, water damage causing the surface of bricks or stonework to flake off and the appearance of plants are all signs that walls need attention. Check for signs of dampness, mould or stains in rooms with outside walls.
Keep these clear of plants and debris to ensure water flows away freely without flooding the area and damaging surrounding stonework.
Stairwell and close
Check for cracks between stair treads, uneven or worn stairs, loose or missing rails, damaged plasterwork, damaged stair windows or damaged external doors.
Have a look for signs of rot, dampness or water damage. If the roof space is not floored this could be dangerous and should only be tackled by a professional. Check that your loft is properly insulated by checking in the spaces between the joists.
Repairs and maintenance index
- Take a bird’s eye view of your property
- Getting started
- Setting up a maintenance plan
- Communal repairs
- Finding the right people
- The law
- Assistance from Glasgow City Heritage Trust