Townscape Heritage Initiative supports 2020 National Maintenance Week

Jonathan Lee, Townscape Heritage Officer

Date published:

Heritage experts who are leading on a £1.96m project to restore the historic heart of Gainsborough, are encouraging property owners to maintain their buildings.

The Historic Heart of Gainsborough THI is managed by West Lindsey District Council with the backing of the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The £1.96m investment in historic buildings and associated community engagement activities seeks to improve the standard of repair, maintenance and appearance of properties within the Town Centre Conservation Area of Gainsborough, focussing specifically on Lord Street and the Market Place.

The Gainsborough THI team is keen to support The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings’ (SPAB) 2020 National Maintenance Week, from 20-27 November, which aims to remind anyone who looks after a building – regardless of its age, type or purpose – of the simple, achievable steps they can take to prepare for the worst that winter can bring. #NationalGuttersDay will close the week on Friday 27 November. For more information, visit the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings’ website.

Jonathan Lee, Townscape Heritage Officer at West Lindsey District Council is passionate about historic buildings. He is keen to support National Maintenance Week, and is encouraging property owners keep their buildings maintained. He said:

“The best way to ensure that your building is performing well and of avoiding the need for expensive repairs and redecoration, is to maintain it properly. Proactive and planned maintenance always makes more sense than reactive repair. Avoidance of blockages and leaks will help to prevent water penetration, in turn reducing the damaging effects of damp and rot. This applies to any age of building, whatever its purpose – so it could be in relation to houses, shops, offices, schools, scout huts or sports pavilions”.

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings top ten tips for National Maintenance Week:

  • Look for blocked downpipes (best done during heavy rain to see water coming from any leaky joints – in dry weather look for stained brickwork)
  • Check ground level gullies and drains to make sure they are clear of debris like and have them cleaned out if necessary
  • Every autumn, clear any plants, leaves and silt from gutters, hopperheads, flat roofs and drainage channels. It’s a good idea to do this in spring too to deal with anything that might have found its way into the wrong place
  • Remove potentially damaging vegetation from behind downpipes by cutting back or removing the plant altogether
  • Use a hand mirror to look behind rainwater pipes as splits and cracks in old cast iron and aluminium often occur here and are not easily noticed
  • Fit bird/leaf guards to the tops of soil pipes and rainwater outlets to prevent blockages
  • Have gutters refixed if they are sloping the wrong way or discharging water onto the wall
  • If sections are beyond repair, make sure that replacements are made of the same material as the originals (on older houses, this is sometimes lead, but more usually cast iron)
  • Regular painting of cast iron is essential to prevent rust
  • Don’t undertake routine maintenance work at high level unless you are accompanied and have suitable equipment. If in doubt always seek help from a professional

To find out more about the Gainsborough THI, read their latest news story.

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