Preparing a Maintenance Plan to Preserve a Heritage Business Building
Heritage Business Building Preservation
Running a business from a heritage building is a real privilege. Not only does your staff feel proud but clients and customers actually want to visit your office or store just to enjoy the décor if nothing else. However, heritage buildings require regular maintenance, so you need a well-developed plan to preserve them for the decades to come.
Keeping detailed records
The first step to preserve a heritage building is rather easy, as you just need to keep records of all maintenance work and subsequent inspections. Over time, all these records add up to create a complete picture of the state the structure is in. Ideally, the maintenance log should be digital, so it’s easy to access data and you can add photographs or videos.
Furthermore, the records should note when a particular repair was carried out and by whom. These records will prove valuable when the time for a major restoration comes, so contractors will know what they are up against. This way, their cost estimate will be more accurate.
What goes into a maintenance plan?
A solid (pun intended) maintenance plan should be able to identify all the weak points in the structure. Whiter it’s a missing shingle or a comprised supporting pillar, the maintenance plan should list the course of action to repair the damage. For instance, a nearby tree will have to be trimmed to protect the roof of the heritage building.
Moreover, the basic data about the year of construction and the aforementioned detailed records should be an integral part of the maintenance plan. Also, you should calculate the location of the structure (is it exposed to the elements, perhaps its façade is facing a busy street, etc.).
What if damage has already occurred?
Often enough, businesses move into dilapidated buildings that are in urgent need of repair. The previous owners haven’t been careful and the heritage building now needs to be restored, as you need safe office space. Luckily, there are many construction companies that specialize in heritage building restoration.
For instance, slate roof repairs should be carried out by a roofing company that specializes in heritage restorations. The same goes for every other part of the structure, from the drains to the electric wiring inside.
A layman’s inspection
As you have probably realized by now, most of the repairs to a heritage building are done by professionals. However, laymen can carry out an inspection to determine which sections of the building are in danger of collapsing (the roofs, drains, exterior walls, interior fixtures, etc.). The key is to make these inspections regular and as detailed.
For example, if a shingle is missing from the room, it’s fairly easy to spot this from the street but if there is moisture in the attic, you have to climb up there and inspect the wooden beams. In fact, rainy weather is ideal for an inspection, as it’s easier to notice any leaks.
We have mentioned what a maintenance plan should contain but here’s a more detailed list of all the work necessary. The roof needs checking, gutters and valleys should be unclogged (the ideal time is the end of fall), exterior wood surfaces require repainting at least once a year, cleaning the chimneys, etc.
Chore occupants can carry out on their own is the removal of plants from curbs and walls. However, you should ever excite a plant violently as it can damage mortar joints and the masonry. Applying a weed killer and letting it do its job is a smarter way to go.
Getting permission from the local authorities
Any major renovations on a heritage structure need to be approved by the local council. In most cases, the council has no trouble issuing permits for “like-for-like” repairs. But if you plan to alter the architecture of the building, brace for a thorough inspection.
A heritage building can never shine unless it is properly maintained or restored if necessary. Once you spruce up the listed building where your offices are located, everyone from the employees to customers will be proud of the structure; not to mention a rise in property value!