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Maintaining a Heritage Property Asset? This is What You Should Consider.

5 March 2015

Those in charge of maintaining heritage property assets face a complex task. As its custodian, not only do you face common challenges that come with maintaining any property asset, but you also have to deal with additional issues of legislative compliance and guaranteeing the asset’s perpetual future.

heritage property asset(Programmed Property Services has been providing painting maintenance services to the Malvern Town Hall, a heritage listed property, on behalf of Stonnington City Council for decades.)

Heritage assets play a fundamental role in our communities. They act as physical pieces of evidence of our past, as well as often playing a functional role today and in the future.

The protection and conservation of these assets are considered vital and most are protected by either national, state or local legislation.

Due to this, their maintenance is commonly seen as a large burden – works regularly require permits, not all alterations are permitted, and if they are permitted then what is allowed can be heavily restricted.

Not to mention the higher cost involved of maintaining heritage buildings. Specialist tradespeople are often required. And those possessing such skills are becoming rarer with increasing rates.

Despite these issues, it is possible to overcome the ‘burden perception’ by changing the way you view heritage asset management and with careful, planned maintenance.

Heritage assets are protected because they have been considered by society to be a place of significant historical importance. Often, these places have been in existence for centuries and are protected to safeguard their existence for future generations to come.

In contrast to standard asset management models, maintenance to heritage properties require a very long-term approach. These assets require plans much longer than the standard 5 – 25 years as it’s expected they’ll be around for centuries to come.

So, ongoing maintenance of heritage assets shouldn’t be seen as an additional expensive headache, but as a fundamental part of its management.

Painting can play an important role in enhancing an asset’s heritage status and helping to protect its fabric.

If you’re planning to alter a heritage property’s colour scheme you first need to find out if you require a permit to do so. Different states and local governments’ legislation varies and you’ll need to investigate to determine what you can and can’t do.

With any maintenance works carried out to the building’s fabric, it’s vital the correct products are used. Some paints and cleaning products can cause irrevocable damage.

Generally, high gloss or statin paint finishes are not recommended, especially in relation to masonry surfaces where it can act as a sealant. Whereas, acrylic paint is preferred as it’s much more porous.

Ultimately, the onus is on the building owner, not the trades employed, to ensure the correct permits have been obtained and adhered to. Therefore it’s crucial to engage professional painters like ourselves to carry out painting services to these sorts of properties and provide professional advice.

Visit our website for more information.

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