We’ve been suffering some wild weather in Glasgow over the last few days as Storm Ophelia (it’s actually a post-tropical cyclone) swept through the UK causing chaos.
Road and rail services in Scotland were thrown into turmoil as the deadly former hurricane continued its destructive path after hitting Ireland on Monday. A stressful commute is not a good start to anyone’s day, but more worryingly a sandstone tenement in the Crosshill area in the Southside of Glasgow partially collapsed under the strain of Ophelia in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Luckily no one was injured, and the collapse wasn’t entirely the fault of the weather – it is understood the privately-owned corner block in the Southside of the city has been empty for at least a year due to previously identified structural issues. A huge structural crack was visible in the front facade and the building was surrounded by fencing to cordon off the area from the public.
However, this case does highlight the importance of maintaining our traditional buildings. We all accept the need to have our cars MOTs and serviced regularly, but will often happily live in buildings which haven’t been properly cared for, or even checked over for issues, for decades. It’s recommended that we have our buildings surveyed every 5 years – when was the last time you checked your roof or gutters? With regular maintenance and repair, and the right skills and materials, we can all play a role in ensuring that these older buildings continue to contribute to the fabric and amenity of Scotland’s built environment.
It can be difficult to know where to start, especially when it comes to communal repairs and the prospect of negotiating with our neighbours. The Under One Roof website was launched as a free resource in 2016 as part of the Scottish Government’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design and is designed to help private flat owners in Scotland with the complex and important task of carrying out repairs to their shared properties. The site contains over 100 articles on flat owners’ legal responsibilities towards their co-owners as well as technical information articles that enable owners to identify repair problems and understand quotations from builders.
In the run up to National Maintenance Week in November we are working with Under One Roof to run two events aimed at helping owners and occupiers of traditional tenements to maintain their properties. Become a tenement detective for the day as we send you on an investigative walk around some of Glasgow’s traditional buildings in search of common issues and potential repairs. You can join us on Saturday 11th November in Pollokshaws or on the Sunday 12th in Garnethill.