Developing a housekeeping plan
This online fact sheet identifies key tasks for day-to-day care of a heritage place. The information is particularly applicable for large or complex buildings and those open to the public.
Wear and tear
- Protect old fabric, finishes and delicate surfaces from daily wear and tear with replaceable surfaces.
- Use runners, mats or rugs (if cleaned regularly) to protect floors.
- Compile a checklist of existing wear and tear and vandalism.
- Properly ventilate rooms.
- Report signs of dampness, cracking, stains and need for repainting.
- Monitor humidity levels, particularly if heating systems are in use, to avoid damage to the building fabric and finishes such as timber and wallpaper
- Climate-control systems such as screens and blinds may help keep a building in good condition.
- Be aware of the potential damage to old buildings caused by poorly designed air conditioning systems.
- Regularly clean areas where dirt can enter the building.
- Use good matting outside the building to minimise tracked-in dirt.
- Keep doormats clean to maximise their effectiveness as a barrier to tracked-in dirt.
- Clean carpets and finishes such as masonry or stained glass under the supervision of an expert.
- Be careful with cleaning techniques and products as mistakes can cause irreparable damage.
- Only use neutral pH cleaners in historic buildings.
- Dispose of rubbish/waste promptly and in a way that avoids a fire hazard.
- Waxing protects against abrasion and wetting. Use waxes that can be removed with water or turpentine.
- Consult an expert prior to waxing as wax is not recommended for some materials.
- Keep storage space for maintenance materials and work areas separate from the historical building to minimise fire hazards, pollution and noise.
- Use the housekeeping schedule (Word - 6.1kb) to plan and record required housekeeping tasks.
View other Council fact sheets:
- Importance of maintenance
- Glossary of building terms
- Compiling a heritage property maintenance logbook
- Preparing a conservation plan.
For more information, email Council's City Architecture and Heritage team.