By “maintenance” we mean routine, preventive work such as clearing out drains and gutters, to reduce the rate at which the exposed materials decay: as a result of the unavoidable impacts of rainwater, wind and sun.
If it doesn’t get this, the building will need repeated, expensive repairs, often without warning – losing more and more its original fabric and authenticity each time. And if the money (or commitment) isn’t available at the right time, the building can be lost for ever.
Maintenance is accepted as one of the fundamental tenets of conservation. Article 4 of the influential Venice Charter of 1964 states: “It is essential to the conservation of monuments that they be maintained on a permanent basis.” The Australia ICOMOS Burra Charter, 2013, states simply that “Maintenance is fundamental to conservation.”
Despite this, millions of pounds are spent on the last-minute rescuing of buildings that with proper maintenance could have been saved at a fraction of the cost.
If you manage any historic building
Please take in the contents of this site and ensure that you are routinely maintaining it. This site signposts you to the ample advice available online on what to do and when.
If you care about historic buildings or areas
Look out for the signs of decay and neglect and advocate for its maintenance with whoever owns or manages it. This site will help you do this.