You only need a few basic tools to carry out a maintenance inspection:

  • your maintenance plan — the pro-forma at the bottom of the page will help you carry out your inspection thoroughly and systematically. You can complete and save it electronically or use it as a printed document
  • a pen and a notebook — for your observations on the condition of your building, work to be done and items to monitor in the future
  • binoculars — invaluable for examining your roof, chimney and other items above ground level
  • a camera — to create a visual record of your building and any problems that you discover
  • a torch — so maintenance problems don’t go unnoticed in dark nooks and crannies
  • a penknife — useful for probing wood when checking for damp and decay
  • a pair of strong gloves and a trowel — for removal of soil, vegetation and debris, particularly from drains and gutters.

In some situations, you may also find that you need:

  • a ladder — to extend your access for inspections and simple jobs like clearing gutters, but make sure that make sure that your ladder is suitable for the job and that you know how to use it safely
  • safety glasses — essential protection if you are clearing debris at or above head height
  • a dust mask — use a good-quality facemask if you will be clearing pigeon droppings or working in dusty environments
  • a hard hat — useful protection against knocks if you have to enter spaces with low headroom.

For information on tools that may be required to carry out some basic maintenance repairs, see relevant fact sheets in the Materials and techniques section.