Advice Note 1 - Damp
Maintenance makes a difference - never put it off!
Damp is a potential problem for any building and can cause serious structural damage. The UK's wet, blustery weather and the recent run of harsh, cold winters underlines the importance of regular care: your money can be saved by tackling a few important maintenance tasks.
There are several types of damp, including rain penetration and condensation, and they are completely different. One is caused by poor external maintenance and the other by internal condensation that may be caused through poor ventilation.
Gutters should be clear of autumn leaves, twigs, old bird nests etc and be working properly. Any gutter that slopes the wrong way or discharges water onto the wall should be re-fixed. It is wise to check that down-pipes are working correctly.
Even a relatively small gap in the roof can let in damaging amounts of water. Roofs can be checked from the inside by looking for chinks of daylight in the attic. Outside, you might find that using a pair of binoculars helps to get a good clear view of potential problem points, especially damaged or slipped tiles.
Windows are another problem area and should be checked for decay, if possible by washing paintwork, rub down and repaint where necessary.
Many people do not realise that vegetation growing on or near a house needs monitoring. Trees and bushes should be pruned back. Ivy growing on a wall can trap moisture where decay may result and such vegetation should be removed, cut back or pruned carefully as soon as possible.
Inside, make sure that bathroom fans are working properly and that the whole house is aired regularly.
And here's a very important extra tip - remember to take care at all times. Wear protective equipment when necessary and never work at heights or use ladders if you are alone. If in doubt always seek help from a professional.
Any further advice on the above may be sought from Shropshire Council’s Conservation Officer: Ben Williscroft, E-mail: Ben.Williscroft@shropshire.gov.uk
Advice Note 2 - Roofs, including leadwork, guttering and dormer windows.
Owners of Georgian houses in Ludlow find that they shoulder a serious responsibility to preserve the character and appearance of these, mainly listed, buildings, however small. This applies also to their roofs. The roofs of Georgian houses were usually designed to be invisible from below (so it is important to keep an eye on the area behind parapets where debris collects), but in Ludlow with its hilly streets, they form an important part of the streetscape as well as the view from Whitcliffe. In this area, Georgian houses are generally roofed with slates or brown clay tiles.
The best advice on repair, reinstatement and sources for the correct materials is freely available on the website of the Georgian Group, http://www.georgiangroup.org.uk (click on 'Historical Building Repair/Roofs). Another useful website is http://www.buildingconservation.com/books/heritage-retrofit.htm
RENOVATING OR MAINTAINING HISTORIC BUILDINGS
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