For a limited time, Elgin CARS is offering a free building ‘health check’ followed by access to a 50% repair grant.
If you own property in the Conservation Area and want to protect your investment, act now. To register interest in the scheme, contact Kirsty Conti by 26th January 2015 and to download a copy of the maintenance scheme flyer, click here: Maintenance Scheme Flyer 3
Blocked gutters, slipped slates, missing pointing, unpainted windows and plant growth leave buildings vulnerable to further damage from moisture caused by rain and winter weather.
Missing pointing that has been washed away on all types of high level masonry is dangerous. Incidents have happened in other cities which have both injured and killed pedestrians below, resulting not only in tragic loss of life but in addition, substantial financial loss to the building owners.
The roots of plants like Buddleia can lead to individual stones or indeed sections of walls becoming loose, again increasing risk of injury and further damage to the building.
Leaking gutters allow moisture to be drawn into the core of the wall and where timber is in direct contact with the saturated stone, the ideal conditions for wet and dry rot are created. Wet conditions support destructive plant growth and can also encourage insect and beetle attack.
Likewise, a small leak from a dislodged slate on the roof can lead to an increasing build-up of moisture in walls, timber and plaster, leading to progressive decay of structural timber and internal decorative finishes.
The use of cement mixes instead of traditional lime for pointing and the application of hard cement renders dramatically accelerate stone decay. Moisture becomes trapped behind the cement barrier and is forced to escape through the stone, causing it to deteriorate. A building which is repaired with cement mortar is likely to remain more permanently damp and have problems with internal condensation.
Where a building is not being maintained, the Moray Council has powers to intervene, and if enforcement action is necessary, the full cost of these works can then be recovered from the buildings’ owner.
In an effort to encourage those with responsibility for maintenance of buildings in the conservation area to take action now, Elgin CARS is contacting owners about the serious nature of these problems and offering them a free building condition survey. The survey will assess the condition of the property and provide a breakdown of the cost to fix any issues identified. The surveys can then be used to apply for a 50% CARS grant towards emergency and urgent maintenance repair work. So act now, and register interest in your free survey today.