Yearly Maintenance Plan for Historic Buildings



  • Check the electricity system every 5 years by a qualified person.
  • Smoke alarms to be regularly tested cleaned, and batteries replaced:  Dust the outside of the smoke detector. Use a paintbrush or your vacuum's upholstery tool to clean the air vents of the unit.
  • Check the condition and safety of all equipment used for regular maintenance.
  • Check Fire Extinguisher dates.


  • Valley gutters will need to be cleared of snow to prevent meltwater from rising above them and causing damp internally.
  • Gullies beneath downpipes and around drains should be cleared out.
  • Check that roofs and windows are bird proof before nesting starts.  Do not disturb bats.


  • Inspect gutters and downpipes are not damaged during frost or heavy snow.
  • Clear gutters and downpipes and make sure they are running freely.  Look for cracks or leaks, note and if possible repair damaged sections.
  • Inspect lead flashings and mortar fillets at chimneys and roof-wall abutments: defects include holes or splits in the leadwork and cracked or missing mortar fillets.
  1. For cast iron and Aluminium use a hand mirror to inspect behind them.
  2. Consistent painting of cast iron is necessary to prevent corrosion.
  • Outside retaining walls inspection.
  1. Check for slippage or movement.  
  2. Clear out weep holes.


  • Inspect the roof for storm or wind damage.  An indication will be debris on the ground from broken slates and tiles can indicate a problem.
  • Inspect fascia boards, soffit and barge boards.
  • Check gutters and rainwater pipes are clear of leaves and other debris.  Look out for cast iron gutters and downpipes that may also require re-painting. Fit bird/leaf guards to the tops of soil pipes and downpipes and over gullies to the base of downpipes to prevent blockages.
  • Look for wall staining as a guide to defective guttering and downpipes.  
  1. Salt staining on masonry can indicate perpetually wet areas.


  • Drains should be cleaned and rodded out if they overflow during wet weather.  Remove silt and debris to ensure water discharges freely.
  • Window inspection: check windows open easily and that vents are clear.  Lubricate door and window fittings and check security locks. Good ventilation is needed in the summer months to dry out historic buildings.  
  • Heating System Maintenance:  Have the boiler serviced, bleed radiators and ensure frost thermostat is operational.
  • Clear away plant growth from drains drainage channels and around the gulley and the base of the walls generally.


  • Inspect masonry or render for signs of damage.  Blown render will sound hollow when tapped.  If deeply eroded or missing mortar joints, cracks or signs of movement are found call Croft Structural + Civil.
  • Check timberwork for signs of rot including less accessible areas such as floor and roof voids and under stairs.  
  • Check for vermin from roof and floor voids.  Fit vermin screens to ventilate openings.


  • Look at timber windows, doors, fascia boards and bargeboards.  Check for cracked and rotten wood.  Repair and redecoration may be required.
  • Clear away plant growth from around the base of the walls and around gullies and drains.
  • Lightning protection system have it serviced every five years.


  • Enjoy the garden, have a BBQ and  wonder at your glorious handy work!


  • In the loft: check for leaks or damage to the roof covering .  Turn off the lights and look for light coming in through gaps from missing or slipped slates.
  • Check air bricks or grilles for underfloor ventilation are clear of obstruction.
  • Insulate any water tanks and exposed pipes to protected from frost.
  • Fire up the heating system to check it is working.  Better to call a plumber now before the rush!


  • Clear leaves and debris from gutters and rainwater pipes regularly.  Frequent attention may be needed if the building is surrounded by trees or perched on by birds.
  • Check for loose downpipes.  Tighten or replace any broken or missing bolts and clips.
  • The best time to look at gutters and rainwater goods is during or just after the rain as this will help you to spot any leaking sections.


  • Inspect the roof for damage after storms or heavy rain.  Look out for broken or missing slates that may allow water to get in.
  • Inspect snowboards or access walkways on the roof are in a good state of repair.
  • Remove any dead plant growth from drainage channels and around gullies and the base of the walls generally.
  • Following hot summer some movement may occur:  <1mm fill cracks and stop water from entering building. >2mm the width of a £1 coin call in Croft Structural + Civil for an inspection.


  • Valley parapet gutters to be cleared to prevent water from rising above the leadwork and causing damp internally.
  • Clear gullies beneath downpipes and around drains.  
  • Every 5 years rod drains and pressure jet wash:  This clears silt and detritions allowing free flow of water.
  • Christmas decorations taken down from loft:  Great Time to clear out unwanted items stored over the year.  Reduces loading on the building, fire hazard and disturbs vermin nesting for the winter.