Developing a housekeeping plan | Brisbane City Council

Developing a housekeeping plan

These guidelines identify key tasks to implement as part of the day to day care of a heritage place, particularly 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
  • runners, mats or rugs (if cleaned regularly) can effectively protect floors
  • compile a check-list of existing wear-and tear and vandalism.


  • make sure rooms are properly ventilated
  • 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
  • ensure cleaning of special materials such as carpeting, and finishes such as masonry or stained glass is carried out under the supervision of an expert in the field
  • 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 in the field prior to waxing as it is not recommended for some materials.


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  • keep storage space for maintenance materials and work area 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.

More information on conservation

View other Council fact sheets:

For more information contact Council's Heritage Unit.

18 July 2014