Scotland’s climate is rapidly changing, with increasing levels of rainfall, higher wind speeds and more extreme and unpredictable weather events than ever before. This poses a number of very real threats to historic buildings, including faster decay of stonework, increased mould growth, metal corrosion and ground instability.

HeraldScotland:

A new Guide to Building Maintenance in a Changing Climate, a joint publication by Edinburgh World Heritage, Historic Environment Scotland (HES) and Edinburgh Adapts, aims to equip owners of older buildings with the practical information they need to keep these precious heritage assets well maintained and managed in the face of climate change.

HeraldScotland:

Below are some top tips from the guide to help homeowners ensure their properties are climate ready.

1 Keep an eye on the weather

HeraldScotland:

Climate change is already affecting our weather patterns: expect increased rainfall, higher temperatures, higher wind speeds, more sunshine and solar radiation. These all have an effect on our buildings, potentially making them less wind and watertight. Following extreme weather, such as a storm or heavy period of rain, inspect your roof, walls and windows for damp or missing elements and repair damage as soon as possible.

2 Get to know your home

HeraldScotland:

Have you ever looked closely at the outside of your home? Did you know that cracked and peeling paintwork can let in wind and water? Do you have blocked gutters or slipped roof tiles which might allow water in? Getting to know the exterior and interior of your building can help you to identify issues as soon as they occur – and prevent greater damage requiring a larger amount of work, and money, in the future.

3 Talk to your neighbours

HeraldScotland:

Every proprietor has a legal duty to maintain the parts of shared properties that provide support and shelter, from the roof to the foundations. If you find water ingress from the roof in your top floor flat, any repair costs must be shared by all the property owners in your building. Your property’s title deeds should give details of how to work out your share of the costs. Find your title deeds via your solicitor, mortgage lender or Registrars of Scotland. Oh, and say hello to your neighbour next time you pass them on the stair.

4 Get to know your trades

HeraldScotland:

Finding a professional contractor or tradesperson to carry out minor repairs is crucial – when it comes to your home and your money, getting the job done well is just as important as getting the job done. To find a contractor that suits you best, approach two or three. Ask them what experience they have of carrying out similar work, who will manage it, what the cost is and what it includes, and how long it will take. Trustedtrader.scot is a great place to start.

5 Take it step by step

HeraldScotland:

Maintenance isn’t the most exciting thing in the world – but it is really simple, and most of us do it already. Do you spring clean your rooms or gut your closet every autumn? Now take ten minutes to check your windows, roof and walls. Spending an hour once a year to clean your gutters (or paying a contractor to do it safely for you!) is a much more manageable task than having to call an emergency roofer at 2am because you have a waterfall in your living room.

For further advice, checklists and more, visit www.ewh.org.uk/maintenance or www.historicenvironment.scot/maintenance

HeraldScotland:

The Herald’s Climate for Change initiative supports efforts being made by the Scottish Government with key organisations and campaign partners. Throughout the year we will provide a forum in The Herald newspaper, online at herald.scotland.com and in Business HQ magazine, covering news and significant developments in this increasingly crucial area.

If you are interested in contributing editorially or interested in becoming a Climate for Change partner, please contact Stephen McTaggart on 0141 302 6137 or email stephen.mctaggart@heraldandtimes.co.uk