Top tips for winter church maintenance

Author: Geoff Freeman

Published on: 8 October 2015

It’s that time of year again when the weather sets in and we need to be extra vigilant in looking after our churches.

There are a number of very simple and practical ways that we can help stave off deterioration of the fabric of the building:

  • check to see if there is any evidence of leaks or damage to roofs during heavy rain
  • ensure that exposed water/ heating pipes and water tanks are protected from frost
  • clear leaves and other debris from rainwater pipes and gutters
  • clear away any plant growth from walls and/or rainwater goods, as these will create blockages and cause water damage if left untreated. It should be noted, however, that some plants are very rare so advice should be taken from the Care of Churches Office before these are removed
  • if possible try and make any gaps in the tower bird-proof before the nesting season begins
  • check masonry for signs of water or frost damage and report any serious deterioration
  • should there be a heavy snow fall make sure that parapet and valley gutters are cleared of blockages as melt water can cause internal damage
  • if your church has snow boards and/or access walkways check to see that they are in a good state of repair
  • check airbricks and ventilation systems to make sure that they are free from obstructions
  • any flagpoles or weathervanes should be monitored for stability, especially if high winds are expected
  • see that external lighting is in good working order.

Prevention rather than cure is an appropriate motto when it comes to church buildings and by following these basic checks we make it much less likely that damage will occur to our wonderful churches.

The author...

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Geoff Freeman

Parish Funding Support Officer

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