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In Britain we have a wonderful collection of historic houses that are each cared and looked after by hundreds of dedicated conservators, however ensuring our historic houses remain in such great condition is a difficult task and most these houses have been given the opportunity to be put to bed for the winter.
Although this year has been particularly special with most houses not being able to welcome visitors, we look at the opportunity that this has provided historic houses over the winter.
Why do we put our historic houses to bed during winter?
Light is one of the biggest dangers to the preservation of our historic houses, and although the UV levels are carefully managed through strict light budgets the extended winter break has allowed for a lesser strain on the light sensitivity of a variety of surfaces.
The major danger posed during the winter is the increased humidity levels that would occur if these historic houses were heated and visited all year round. High humidity directly correlate with the infestation of woodworm, death watch beetle and other insect pests that will damage the contents and structure of our houses. Low temperatures of circa 5 degrees above outside temperatures are used to ensure that humidity levels are kept low, and humidity gauges are checked to ensure humidity levels do not become dangerous. Our humidity indicator cards are a low cost way of checking humidity in specific locations around a historic house without relying on multiple humidity sensors or a high cost thermohydrometer recording system.
Finally, these extended periods of time with their doors shut mean that and extended amount of cleaning and checking needs to occur. Dust builds up, if left un treated and it can cement into place and therefore artefacts, displays and the rest of the house needs constant care. The winter months, and even more so this year has provided an opportunity for time to be taken to pay attention to the condition of our historic houses and take stock of any restoration work that needs to be done. Whatever the work that is required, the team at Conservation resources are happy to provide the tools and equipment required for any work. Contact us