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How to Protect Your Historic Building From Pests

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Just because a building is old doesn’t mean it’s considered historic. To be given the designation of historic, a building must undergo a review process and be formally recognized by the city. It must have a distinctive architectural style, a place in cultural or social history, and/or a connection to a famous individual or group. There are different registers for historic buildings, too. There are local registers as well as the National Register of Historic Places.

The process to have a building labeled as historic is lengthy. Once a building is recognized, it becomes subject to rules regarding its maintenance and upkeep. One of those rules involves protection against pests and the damage they can cause. If you own or manage a historical building, you might wonder how to protect your property from pests without harming its historical integrity. We’ve gathered some of our best tips on how to do just:

Pay special attention to moisture control.

According to the National Park Service, unchecked moisture is "the most prevalent cause of deterioration in older and historic buildings." That's not the only problem moisture brings, either. It also draws pests. Nearly all potential pest insects are drawn to either moving or standing water. Moisture control not only protects the building itself, but also keeps the building from drawing in pests. 

Depending on the severity of your problem, you can do several different things to prevent moisture problems. Your fixes could range from small plumbing repairs to large undertakings like completely re-guttering the whole building. No matter what your issue and fix, however, moisture problems need to be dealt with swiftly.

Make sure you’re familiar with the original building materials.

One of the best ways to prevent pest problems is by not letting them in in the first place. Pests like cockroaches and rats are especially talented at squeezing through small holes and breaches. We frequently recommend commercial property owners to do weekly perimeter checks and repair damage as they see it. This includes fixing crumbling brick, repairing torn screens, filling in gaps, and so on. 

While typically easy, this process becomes more complex when dealing with a historic building. Make sure you’re prepared to make these small repairs as they’re needed by having lists of original building materials. That way, when you make the repairs, you can do so without harming the integrity of your property.

Become familiar with the benefits of integrated pest management.

Integrated pest management (IPM) is a form of pest control that veers away from traditional pesticide use. It instead centers around prevention instead of elimination. This is achieved by focusing on knowledge, training, and exclusion techniques. 

The IPM methodology is better for historic buildings because of their age and fragility. Historic buildings tend to be older, they're more susceptible to potential (avoidable) pesticide damage. IPM can help protect your building without subjecting it to harmful pesticides.

Finally, you want to make sure you're partnered with a commercial pest control company that understands your unique needs. That way if an infestation does occur, you'll be able to receive on-site assistance ASAP.

Companies like Assured Environments understand the significance of your historical building. Our technicians are experts on not only removing existing problems but preventing future ones - all while maintaining the integrity of your property. Give us a call today to see how we can help you and your historic building stay pest free.

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