Traditional materials and construction methods

Historic buildings were constructed with traditional materials which are more complex than, and often incompatible with modern materials used today.

Materials and the craftsmanship employed in their use often add interest to a building and contribute to its significance.

Prior to undertaking repairs or alterations to a historic building, there must be a full understanding of its fabric, including the materials used and the technology of its construction.

Works must be carried out using materials and methods that are compatible with those already used on the building. Failure to do this is likely to have a detrimental impact on the character and appearance of the building and also affect its structural integrity, causing permanent damage to its historic fabric.

Where works are being undertaken to a listed building and this requires listed building consent, materials should form a significant part of the heritage assessment.

For further information on the most common types of traditional materials used in Salford, please use the links below.

Cleaning materials

Historic buildings/structures can be prone to dirt, and it is common for owners to want to clean them. Cleaning can however be extremely damaging, and can cause erosion that will escalate the cause of decay of historic fabrics. There is a general presumption against cleaning in most cases, however if a particular case is justified then there are three cleaning systems ('jos', 'doff' and 'torc') that the city council will consider.

Drainage systems

Keeping roofs and their associated rainwater goods in good working order is a fundamental priority for historic buildings as this can be a major source of decay. This can be done by regularly clearing out rainwater fittings, particularly after the autumn leaf fall, and checking the system for defects. This is not always easy however, as drainage systems on historic buildings can be inaccessible and complex, making them difficult to maintain. Even where a historic drainage design contributes to the character and distinctiveness of a building, its replacement with a more modern structure that disposes of water more efficiently may be appropriate. Such work may require listed building consent.

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