The regular inspection of historic buildings by a specialist is hugely important. Most churches, and many secular historic buildings, are inspected every five years (their quinquennial inspection). Some, or some parts, should be inspected more regularly.
Appointing a specialist is very important.
Historic buildings deteriorate and change in ways very different from modern buildings. A specialist in historic buildings and materials can distinguish between issues that need attention and the superficial results of the ageing process. It is also important that specialists stay up to date, as there are new scientific approaches to maintenance and repair being tested all the time.
Your QI report
We will provide you with a full survey report, which includes the survey findings, photographs, details of any work required or upcoming, as well as an idea of potential costs. It may also recommend further specialist reports. Everyone concerned with the care of your building should read and understand the survey and our recommendations.
Each QI report gives you a snapshot of the state of your building, and over time will show the benefits of your regular maintenance and timely repairs.
Other regular inspections
There are a number of other surveys and tests which should be regularly carried out. In your QI year it is a good idea that they are done before your inspection, so that their results can be included in the overall report.
- Electrics - tested every five years by an electrician who is a member of the NICEIC or the ECA
- Lightning conductor - tested annually by a suitable specialist
- Energy review - carried out every few years to test efficiency of energy use
- Arboricultural report - particularly if you have trees with preservation orders.
A quinquennial inspection is a complete survey of all aspects of a church's fabric. It should:
- note the condition of every aspect of the building, and check for changes
- identify problems which have developed since the last inspection
- check that maintenance standards are appropriate
- check that previous recommendations have been applied
- identify urgent priorities for repair or conservation
- plan long-term works