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Edinburgh World Heritage/News/Do your bit for the planet and your wallet this maintenance week

Do your bit for the planet and your wallet this maintenance week

22nd November 2021

Edinburgh World Heritage

Maintenance week 2021 is running from November 19 – 26 and this year Edinburgh World Heritage is focusing on how maintaining your building can help reduce your carbon footprint, and save you money on your energy bills.

Buildings account for a fifth of the UK’s carbon footprint and heating alone accounts for 10%. With COP26 stressing the dangers of climate change and with energy prices soaring, now is the perfect time to take action to reduce your home’s carbon footprint.

The golden rule of building maintenance is making sure that your property is wind and watertight. Water ingress can quickly lead to expensive damage, and a damp wall can lose between 30-40% more heat than a dry one, potentially piling hundreds or thousands of pounds on to your annual heating bill.

To keep your home watertight, keep an eye out for the following problems-

  • Gutters filled with vegetation or blocked with debris
  • Damp patches or staining on stonework and exterior walls
  • Damaged or missing slates on the roof
  • Cracked or split leadwork
  • Vegetation growing from your building

Building maintenance can seem like a daunting task, and it can be hard to know where to begin, so Edinburgh World Heritage has put together a simple maintenance programme that can help keep your property in order and see off any nasty surprises-

Every six months (Spring and Autumn)

  • Inspect roofs
  • Check gutters and drains
  • Check internal and external walls for sings of damp
  • Clear leaves, debris, and any growing vegetation
  • Replace slipped, cracked or missing slates

Every year

  • Have a professional roofer inspect your roof
  • Have your chimney swept if it is in regular use
  • Have a plumber inspect your drains
  • Have a heating engineer inspect your heating system and boiler
  • Have your fire extinguishers inspected
  • Have a joiner repair any damaged woodwork

Every five years

  • Clean out roof spaces
  • Have your building surveyed by an accredited professional and ask them to prepare a five-year repair schedule
  • Hire an electrician to inspect and test the building’s electrical installation
  • Repaint external woodwork
  • Inspect and repaint ironwork as necessary

By following this programme, you can get into the routine of maintaining your property and head off any problems before they become more widely damaging and expensive.

Think of building maintenance like brushing your teeth; it’s a simple, regular process that prevents serious damage and expense over time.

One last top tip – get to know your neighbours. The chances are that your neighbours’ properties will be similar to yours, and they will already know what parts of your building are likely to need repairs or regular maintenance. Speak to them about what repair work they have had done and ask them for any local knowledge on reputable tradesmen and building surveyors.

For more detailed ways of making your property more energy efficient and saving you money on bills, read Edinburgh World Heritage’s energy efficiency guidebook.

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