National Maintenance Week

National Maintenance Week

  

The annual National Maintenance Week campaign encourages owners of all sorts of buildings (not just ancient ones) to be aware of the importance of regular care. It's a message that's relevant to home owners and to anyone who cares for a property. In 2017 the week takes place from 17 November to 24 November. National Gutters Day is on Friday 24 November.

FREE MAINTENANCE CALENDAR

This year we've produced a free, very handy, pocket-sized maintenance calendar to help anyone who cares for a building to schedule simple, but helpful maintenance tasks throughout the year. Featuring fun cartoons and top tips, the  calendar would be especially helpful as a give-away for local authorities and organisations working to promote good property care.

If you would like to obtain copies (max 300), please email info@spab.org.uk with details of your postal address and how you intend to use them and we'll send you a bundle of our pocket calendars! Please title your email SPAB Maintenance Calendar.

Go to our National Maintenance Week 2017 press release to find out more:  https://www.spab.org.uk/media-centre/press-releases/press-release/?ContentID=326

In addtion you might find our damp download, below, helpful.

Damp might sound like a dry subject, but it’s actually something that can drain a household’s resources. Left untreated it can cause a range of problems from serious structural damage to health concerns. This year, National Maintenance Week will focus on damp and show how householders can save themselves money by taking informed steps to fight it.

Download the SPAB National Maintenance Week advice guide on fighting damp.

The practical message of National Maintenance Week is equally relevant to organisations like local authorities and housing associations. It’s for everyone who cares for a property! Damp is the most common and damaging cause of deterioration affecting buildings of all types and rain penetration is usually the culprit. The experts on SPAB’s free technical helpline report that damp is the most frequent cause for concern raised by callers. 

SPAB’s Quick Guide to Damp Busting

What is rain penetration?

In the context of buildings, rain penetration refers to the rainwater finding a way inside a building above ground – usually through roofs, walls, chimneys and openings such as windows and doors. This includes spillage from gutters and downpipes which might be blocked. It not only damages the fabric but also creates unhealthy conditions for occupants and can contribute to less visible problems like poor thermal performance. Rain penetration is distinct from other forms of dampness, such as condensation and rising damp, which require different solutions.   

What practical, simple things can I do? 
  • Take a few moments to check the state of your roof for slipped or missing tiles. If you are standing outside a pair of binoculars can be useful to help you spot any faults. Inside, look for gaps or daylight showing through the roof overhead
  • Outside, look for blocked downpipes (best done during heavy rain to see water coming from any leaky joints – in dry weather look for stained brickwork)
  • Every autumn, clear any plants, leaves and silt from gutters, hopperheads, flat roofs and drainage channels. It’s a good idea to do this in spring too to deal with anything that might have found its way into the wrong place
  • Check ground level gullies and drains to make sure they are clear of debris like leaves, twigs and even things like balls and toys - and have them cleaned out if necessary
  • Remove potentially damaging vegetation from behind downpipes by cutting back or removing the plant altogether
  • Use a hand mirror to look behind rainwater pipes as splits and cracks in old cast iron and aluminium often occur here and are not easily noticed
  • Fit bird/leaf guards to the tops of soil pipes and rainwater outlets to prevent blockages
  • Have gutters refixed if they are sloping the wrong way or discharging water onto the wall
  • If sections are beyond repair, make sure that replacements are made of the same material as the originals (on older houses, this is sometimes lead, but more usually cast iron)
  • Regular painting of cast iron is essential to prevent rust – and keeps your property looking good!
  • And here’s a very important extra tip - remember to take care at all times, wear protective gloves when necessary and never work at heights or use ladders if you are alone. If in doubt always seek help from a professional

The Society runs a Technical Advice Line where members of the public are able to discuss their technical queries over the phone with a member of our technical staff. The line is open Monday to Friday between 9.30am and 12.30pm on 020 7456 0916.

For more information about 2017's campaign please contact the communications team on press@spab.org.uk.