A condition survey is the examination and photographic recording of an object, surface, or building prior to treatment or repair.
It may be recommended by your quinquennial inspection, perhaps to a particular part of the building which needs more detailed study, or by a funder when you are applying for a grant to repair or conserve a particular feature.
A condition survey should be carried out by a specialist with expert knowledge of the object, surface or building type to be surveyed.
A condition survey will:
- help you better understand the nature, history, technology and significance of the object
- record the current condition of the object, highlighting areas of failure or concern
- investigate previous interventions.
- identify causes of historic and ongoing deterioration.
- present conservation recommendations based on the results of the survey.
- provide an estimate for works, if required
The techniques used may include:
- visual examination
- technical examination of the object using ultraviolet light or raking light
- digital photography, perhaps enhanced to show detail or areas of concern
After a condition survey you should receive a detailed illustrated report, which should include recommendations for any work required to stabilise or repair the object or area.
Historic England: specialist survey techniques
National Churches Trust: finding specialists and tradespeople