Derry City & Strabane - Top Tips for Maintaining Your Heritage Building




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Top Tips for Maintaining Your Heritage Building

All buildings, no matter the age, benefit from and require regular care. In fact, often the best preservation work is achieved through consistent maintenance. We have some tips to help you keep up with your building’s needs and the challenges that can arise from caring for an aging structure. You will find maintenance tips and tricks, advice for common problems and several resources about home / building repair.Here is some advice on how to maintain your Historic Building:


Dos & Don'ts





  • Carry out regular inspections and maintenance.
  • Seek advice from suitable qualified professionals.
  • Quickly identify problems and arrange repairs.
  • Repair rather than restore or replace.
  • Respect the buildings character and history and ensure the new work is sympathetic and appropriate.
  • Remedy previous bad repairs.
  • Use a reputable workman. 


  • Allow serious defects to remain.
  • Repair using unsympathetic materials.
  • Use unsuitable mass produced architectural elements
  • Waste re-usable materials.
  • Remove or demolish original elements.
  • Carry out any work without the required consents.
  • Lay a hard surface or tarmac close to your building as prevent rainwater from soaking away.



  • Use lime mortar for all pointing and repair works.
  • Use traditional lime render and washes on undressed stonework.
  • Seek professional help to remove staining.


  • Clad walls in stone or other artificial materials.
  • Strip render from stonework or brickwork and leave it exposed to the elements.
  • Use cement based mortars.
  • Use aggressive cleaning materials.


Roofs and Rainwater Goods

  • Check for defects.
  • Re-use original slates.
  • Match replacement slates.
  • Use lime mortar.
  • Use cast iron or cast aluminium for replacement rainwater goods.



  • Use inappropriate slating methods, styles or materials.
  • Use poor quality slates.
  • Use bituminous treatments.
  • Remove original features.
  • Use cement mortar.

Windows and Doors

  • Check for defects.
  • Redecorate regularly.
  • Replace missing putty and slips.
  • Fill cracks and open joints.
  • Replace windows or doors in non-original patterns or materials.
  • Damage original glass or ironmongery.
  • Build up paint layers.
  • Use silicon sealants.
  • Strip or sandblast doors.



Ulster Architectural Heritage, for Derry City & Strabane District Council ©2020.

With thanks to SPAB