Search the website

Architects embrace SPAB Maintenance week

— 24 Nov 2020

SPAB maintenance week Devon Church 1 Copy Large

Maintenance – a subject close to a Conservation Architects heart! For anyone who owns or manages a historic property, maintenance is a hot topic. All properties come with a certain level of upkeep, but historic properties by definition have a longer history of wear and tear. Not all ‘seasoning’ is bad – the beautiful patina of mellowed copper just one example of how age can bring beauty – but ongoing exposure to the elements inevitably results in deterioration of a building’s fabric.

Ongoing inspection and maintenance of a property is essential to prevent small issues progressing to big costly problems. This is why The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) run an annual maintenance week every November in which they promote the virtues of doing a quick check over a property to ensure it is ready to face the winter months.

Preventing water ingress and damp into buildings is the focus of the campaign, so they encourage home owners and property managers to check for missing roof slates/tiles, blocked gutters, leaking downpipes and unwanted vegetation amongst other things.

We, at Jonathan Rhind Architects, couldn’t agree more!

The case studies below are some examples of how maintaining / improving the flow of water off a building is so important and can be achieved effectively.

Maintenance of historic buildings links

Nesting birds on Grade II listed building in Devon

Where there is a roof there is a bird! Sometimes birds peck out the mesh covers of sump outlets and nest inside the internal box gutter, or as here in a hopper.

Architects solution to drainage issues

SPAB maintenance week Devon grade 2 grate 3 Large
On this Grade II listed building there used to be regular issues with both birds nesting and carrier bags (presumably brought by gulls or the wind) blocking small sump outlets draining large lead valleys to internal box gutters
SPAB maintenance week Devon grade 2 building damage
The internal results of flooding due to nesting birds and carrier bag blockages
SPAB Maintenance week grate box drawing
As part of a reroof Senior Architectural Technologist, Darryn Marrs, designed larger sumps and a custom grate cover which prevents bird nests and carrier bags from blocking the outlet
SPAB maintenance week Devon grade 2 grate 2
Vertical sides have a larger surface area so even when bags wrap around the grate, they can only obstruct 2 sides, leaving ample free draining surface area
SPAB maintenance week grate 1 Large
There haven’t been any leaks from sumps or box gutters since these new grates have been installed. However, like all rainwater drainage systems, they only work with regular inspections to clear out any vegetation build up. Luckily, Darryn spotted this one

Grade II listed Devon Church Tower Rainwater Drainage

SPAB maintenance week Devon Church 1 Large
This was previously a small central gutter outlet into a small hopper with several 45deg offsets to clear buttress of tower resulting in multiple joints, blocked offsets and leaks. Replaced with larger outlet and larger capacity rectangular hopper with single vertical downpipe. J&JW Longbottoms cast iron goods
SPAB maintenance week Devon church 2 Large
Jonathan Rhind Architects’ detail of creating downpipe bracket offset to enable future re-decoration to rear of downpipe, to improve air circulation for drying out and minimise corrosion.

Blog categories

Recent posts

From the archive

Get in touch to see how we can help you

Contact us
Scroll up