Treasure Ireland : Maintenance

If you look after a church or chapel building in Northern Ireland, we want to make it easier for you to access specialist building advice and support.

Church and chapel buildings can quickly deteriorate if they do not carry out regular maintenance. Treasure Ireland will help you find out how to better manage your building and deal with a range of problems so that you can avoid the need for expensive repairs.

Grants of between £500 and £10,000 are available to help you pro-actively tackle maintenance issues before they become major issues. Find out more about the Treasure Ireland Grant Programme here

Through the MaintenanceBooker website, provided by church procurement experts 2buy2, Regular maintenance will:

  • Save time
  • Save money
  • Save your building

Maintaining your Treasured Place of Worship

'It is for all these buildings...of all times and styles, that we plead, and call upon those who have to deal with stave off decay by daily care, to prop a perilous wall or mend a leaky roof'. SPAB Manifesto

Many of our treasured places of worship are historic listed buildings that require a sensitive and conservation led approach to their maintenance and repair. You can find out if your place of worship is listed by using the Department for Communities Historic Environment Map Viewer  or the Buildings Database.

The Historic Environment at the Department For Communities has lots of useful information on maintaining your place of worship including advice on how to assess the potential impact of Climate Change on an historic building. 

In collaboration with SPAB Ireland we have put together four videos to help you maintain your treasured place of worship. Used in conjunction with the SPAB Maintenance Checklist the videos will help you to keep on top of those regular maintenance tasks.

Each video looks in detail at maintaining key elements of your building with particular focus on:  

  • The Roof
  • Rainwater Goods
  • Wall Inspection
  • Windows, Doors and Metalwork

Huge thanks to our funders The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Pilgrim Trust and Department for Communities Historic Environment Division who have made Treasure Ireland possible.

Part One - The Roof

In this video you will see some of the equipment needed to carry out a maintenance check. Starting with the roof look for slipped or missing slates or tiles. Water can penetrate through the smallest of gaps causing damage to timbers or plaster. Look out for loose ridge and hip tiles which may need re-bedding with a suitable mortar. 

Part Two - Rainwater Goods

Gutters, downpipes and drains take water away from your building. Cast iron water goods can last for decades if well maintained, saving you money and preserving an original feature. Climate Change is predicted to have an adverse effect on our historic buildings; appropriate size of gutters and additional downpipes will help to deal with the impact of increased rainfall.

Part Three - Wall Inspection

Inspect external and internal walls for signs of deterioration. The use of cement on an historic place of worship can have a detrimental effect causing stone and brickwork to deteriorate. Appropriate mortars and renders should allow moisture to pass through rather than trapping it in the historic fabric.    

Part Four - Windows, Doors and Metalwork

Original windows, doors and metalwork are irreplaceable features that should be repaired rather than replaced. Once you have completed your maintenance checklist identify tasks that can be carried out by volunteers or a suitably qualified professional. If your building is listed, a condition survey by a conservation accredited professional is a good investment to help understand the overall condition of your treasured place of worship.