Caring for Historic Places During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Advice on cleaning historic surfaces

Historic surfaces can be damaged by some cleaning methods, but there are alternatives which are equally effective.

Read our new advice on cleaning historic surfaces

Looking after your home

If you’re the owner of a historic building, please have a look at our Your Home webpages.

If your building needs urgent repair work it may be harder to find specialist contractors who are working at the moment. Our current advice includes links to registers of qualified professionals who may be able to help you.

When it comes to maintaining your home you may be tempted to take on some tasks yourself. While there’s much that owners can do to maintain their properties, please take extra care not to put yourself at risk. Always follow our health and safety advice for homeowners.

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) runs a technical helpline that may be able to help at certain times of the week. Please bear with them if they are not able to provide their full normal service. 

Looking after vacant buildings

With normal business suspended, it's important that buildings are looked after to keep them secure and maintained. Our advice on managing vacant buildings is a useful resource for owners and managers.

For building services advice, particularly around ventilation of buildings both in use and when returning to buildings which have been closed, please see advice from the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers.

Caring for churches and other places of worship

With normal patterns of worship interrupted for the short term, it's really important that buildings are regularly monitored to keep them secure and that the building’s ongoing maintenance continues. The security of places of worship can be a concern if fewer people are visiting them. Our advice on preventing heritage crime may be a useful resource. The Historic Religious Buildings Alliance (HRBA) has an online help and advice resource.

The Church of England has published advice for churches. This includes a guidance note aimed at providing practical steps involved in closing church buildings: Securing and caring for your church buildings during the Covid-19 pandemic. There is also guidance on accessing church buildings during lockdown and carrying out construction work.

The following organisations have also published resources:

Heritage crime

Unfortunately, a very few people may take advantage of these circumstances to commit crime that affects heritage. If you're concerned about crime or anti-social behaviour affecting historic sites please find out what can be done to prevent and report crime.

Read our new advice on responding to a graffiti attack

Advice for the construction sector

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy published a letter to the sector. The Construction Leadership Council is also regularly updating its Site Operating Procedures and has produced a video demonstrating how to apply this.

Building safety guidance including construction is available.

The CLC also provides information on builders’ merchants during the pandemic and other guidance.

The professional institute for building services, CIBSE offers guidance on heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

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