Keeping the treasures of cultural history in good condition is a significant investment. Maintaining old heritage sites implies a lot of work, as the old infrastructure is particularly exposed to wear and tear.
There are a plethora of old cultural heritage sites, some of which have been tended to well. In contrast, others have been neglected for decades, maybe even centuries.
The maintenance and restoration of old buildings are not the same thing. Here, we explain the main concepts briefly in maintaining England’s heritage sites.
Maintenance of Heritage Buildings
Maintenance is defined as the routine work that is necessary for keeping a building or a place safe from decay. Maintenance of a site aims to prevent deterioration and is based on regular work.
Maintenance is cost-effective, as it focuses on repairing minor issues before they threaten a heritage site. It is often described as the cornerstone of conserving old heritage buildings. It is always preferable to prevent rather than fix problems.
Repair of Heritage Buildings
Repair goes beyond maintenance. It means any work that is done to remedy and fix issues that have already emerged due to neglect. Restoration aims to preserve the value of a building or a site, and also to maintain it in good enough state to be used.
Restoration of Heritage Buildings
Restoration of buildings and sites refers only to the most dramatic and profound actions taken to return a place or a structure to an earlier state. Reconstruction is only performed on buildings that have sustained severe damage and have lost their original state. Restoration is always more profound in its implication than mere repair.
Restoration is an expensive process which also transforms the condition of the building. It is often necessary to carefully consider the potential benefits and downsides of repair before the work is started. Restoration will only be conducted if it produces real value, and it respects the original form of the building.