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Maintenance Checklist

The starting point for regular maintenance is to use a checklist from which you can inspect a building in a logical sequence.

Long grass growing out of a neglected gutter

The following is not an exhaustive list but it covers the most critical elements:

Rainwater gutters, channels and hopper heads

  • Inspect and clear any debris at least every autumn and preferably more often
  • Are there any leaking joints?
  • Does rainfall cascade over the gutter from the roof?
  • Does the water pool in any one area?
  • Do the gutters slope correctly towards outlets?
  • If gutters are fixed to timber fascia boards, check the condition of fascia boards and at the same time soffit and barge boards

Rainwater pipes

  • Inspect when it is raining and note leakages
  • Clear any blockages
  • Check rear side of pipes with a mirror and look for cracks and corrosion
  • Are pipes securely fixed to the wall?
  • Are there any signs of staining or algae growth, or any washed-out mortar joints, on the wall behind the pipe?

Pitched roof coverings

  • Inspections should be carried out twice a year and after storms or high winds
  • Debris on the ground will give an indication of roof problems
  • Are there any loose, slipped, broken or missing slates or tiles?
  • Is there a lot of moss? This could block gutters and damage slates and tiles
  • Look for signs of dampness on ceilings as a possible indication of roof leaks

Flat roof coverings

  • Inspections should be carried out twice a year
  • Are there any splits, tears, cracks or holes in the roof coverings?
  • Look for signs of dampness on ceilings as a possible indication of roof leaks

Chimneys

  • Are the chimney stacks or chimney pots leaning?
  • Are any chimney pots out of position?
  • Is there any vegetation growing out of the chimney?
  • Check for cracks, loose or bulging stones or brick, and badly eroded or open joints
  • Arrange for a close inspection promptly if any of the above is noted

Ridge tiles

  • Are any of the ridge tiles missing?
  • Check to see if there are any gaps between each ridge tile and arrange for close inspection if necessary

Flashings

  • Are all flashings fixed into the wall?
  • Check to ensure that the joints, where they are fixed, are in good condition
  • Ensure that flashings are dressed down and have not been blown or moved away from the surface of the wall

Drainage gullies

  • Inspections should be carried out every autumn and preferably more often
  • Check that drainage gullies are free from silt, debris, vegetation and other objects
  • Make sure that all gully inlets are covered by a grating

Exterior walls

  • Is there deep erosion or missing pointing in the joints?
  • Are there any cracks? 
  • Look for defects in stonework, brickwork and rendering

Base of wall

  • Check to ensure that ground levels are at least 150mm below the level of any known damp-proof course or 150mm below internal floor levels
  • Ensure that vents are not obstructed
  • Remove plants and vegetation abutting and growing on the building

Windows and doors

  • If made of timber or metal, is the paintwork in good condition and is there any decay?
  • Check for bare timber, especially on thresholds, sills and lower and underside areas of window sashes

Interior building services, pipes and flues

  • Check water and heating systems for leaks
  • Ensure that pipes are lagged
  • Electrical and gas installations should be regularly inspected by certified experts
  • Inspect chimney flues and ensure that they are clear from obstruction and do not leak

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