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Properly maintaining or restoring a property isn’t easy if you are unable to reach the highest peaks and most intricate crevices of its exterior. Luckily, there are a number of access methods employed by building and property maintenance contractors to achieve exactly that. Thanks to equipment like cherry picker lifts and scaffolding, building maintenance operatives can successfully scale clients’ properties and get up-close with the issues they’ve been hired to tackle. Of these access methods, none match the speed and effectiveness of rope access (also known as abseiling). In today’s blog, we’re going to be exploring what rope access entails, its benefits and what services you can expect from a building maintenance contractor who specialises in rope access.
The type of rope access used by building maintenance and refurbishment contractors is known as abseiling. This is the practice of descending a vertical or near-vertical surface using a system of ropes, harnesses and secure anchor points. With this equipment, the person abseiling is able to control the speed of their descent as they increase or decrease the amount of friction being put upon the ropes they are fastened to. This also allows our team to gain access to the complete exterior of our clients properties no matter if the property faces a waterfront or is located on narrow streets that do not permit scaffolding or the use of heavy machinery.
Safety is paramount when abseiling. This is why, at Spectrum Specialist Support, we ensure all of our rope access operatives are trained to the highest industry standard with IRATA qualifications and the latest equipment, which is regularly serviced and kept in peak condition. Our building and property maintenance team also uses an ultra safe system of two ropes, a working line and safety line, to minimise any potential risk. Of course, as with any trustworthy contractor, we also carry out a full risk assessment prior to executing any procedure, whether it be for a fifty-storey office complex or a three-storey flat.
Abseiling affords contractors a level of freedom not found with other access methods, freedom which is crucial when a property’s issues are spread over a large area or require very precise positioning.
By setting up on the roof of their client’s property with cleaning supplies, equipment and abseiling gear, building and property maintenance contractors are able to develop a plan of action centred around abseiling. With all the equipment ready to go and ropes ready to deploy at a moment’s notice, the operatives can descend the building at strategic points, taking with them only the necessary equipment to carry out their task. Once complete, they will then ascend, re-equipping and redeploying at the next strategic spot.
Many large residential buildings or commercial properties, particularly ones impossible to service without ropes, are built with contractors in mind. As such, they will offer mansafe systems or eyebolts which contractors can conveniently secure their ropes to. In the absence of these concessions, we at Spectrum Specialist Support are able to make use of a portable A-frame deadweight anchor system to safely descend a building without drilling permanent anchor holes into it.
The simplicity of rope access, when compared to alternatives like scaffolding, is the source of a vast number of its benefits. For starters, there is very little setup and pack-up required. For large-scale jobs in particular, this stands to save the client a considerable amount of time (and therefore money), as well as spare them from the eyesore of huge metal skeletons surrounding their property. Furthermore, the sheer cost of materials involved in an access method like scaffolding will naturally equate to higher fees for the client; with rope access, it isn’t a factor.
Aside from the cost-saving benefits, rope access methods enable building and property maintenance teams to work more efficiently and to a higher standard. In real terms, this translates to being able to redeploy more often, repositioning with ease to reach the most opportune angles. On top of that, it gives contractors the ability to work with an unrivalled level of closeness to the building itself, leading to higher quality, longer lasting results.
Finally, the operational flexibility granted by abseiling means that building maintenance teams and refurbishment contractors can quickly reconvene, draw up and execute alternative plans if the initial approach isn’t having the desired impact. Without that freedom, such an undertaking could add days onto the completion date, and that’s without mentioning the added fees.
The list of services able to be carried out by rope access operatives is staggering:
If the service you need completed has not been mentioned on this list, get in touch with our team. We’d still be happy to discuss the best solutions for your needs!
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