In general, bells are pretty durable. If they are bronze, they require little maintenance. If the bell sees a lot of usage, the bell should be rotated on the yoke periodically to avoid continued striking of the clapper at the same site in the bell. If it is used infrequently, rotation does not need to take place as frequently. All moving joints should be lubricated with grease on a regular basis. All cast steel hardware should be painted periodically with a protective rust inhibiting coating to prevent rusting and corrosion. All wooden mountings should be inspected regularly and repaired when rot is noted in order to avoid a catastrophic collapse of the supporting structure. Wood should be protected by a good water sealant and protective coating. If your bell rocks, that motion will pull on the mounting bolts and will loosen the frame if mounted on wood. These should be maintained in a tight condition. Mounting of the frame on steel beams is to be preferred. The rope should not extend to the floor, and should only come close to the floor when the bell is at full upright rotation. If you have a cast steel bell, it needs the same maintenance, but will need a protective rust inhibiting coating in the bell. All bells should be protected from birds and bird droppings as the droppings are quite corrosive.
Harry Long, MD