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Unsure of whether you want a contractor who uses rope-based access methods for major external works? Read on...
Major building works, by definition, require vast amounts of planning and careful coordination. When carrying out major works, any good contractor will take time to study their client’s property and determine which equipment and services are best suited to for the restoration projects at hand, as well as the timeline for tackling these issues. Similarly, contractors will have to consider which access method would be most effective when carrying out any job, especially one as multifaceted as major external works.
At Spectrum, we specialise in rope access, as evidenced by our years of experience. While we do have the capabilities to use cherry picker lifts or heavy machinery for our building maintenance services, we believe the cost and time benefits of rope access make it the premier access solution. In this blog, we’ll explore why rope access methods are our go-to for everything from façade restoration to building painting.
Major works is the catch-all term for a complex sweep of services provided by a contractor to repair, maintain and restore a property. These large-scale, annual property restoration projects can also be referred to as external refurbishment projects. The specifics of any major works contract can vary wildly depending on the needs of the property and its owner; there is no standard procedure. As such, it is best to hire a trusted contractor with experience in every aspect of building restoration.
All buildings, from residential bungalows to 50-storey skyscrapers, will benefit from regular external maintenance. Many property owners or managers even employ a proven external works contractor to carry out major works every five years or so. This keeps their building in ideal condition and nips any signs of deterioration in the bud before repair fees can become exorbitant. Furthermore, regular building maintenance services are one of the best ways to maintain a property’s value and increase its appeal for would-be clients, tenants or purchasers.
The term ‘major works’ encompasses a truly staggering number of services, including but not limited to:
● Painting and redecorating
● Facade cleaning
● Timber repair and restoration
● Metal rust and corrosion removal
● Render maintenance
● Gutter maintenance
● Cladding cleaning
Even a quick glance at the above list should make it clear how important a multi-talented, organised team is for the successful completion of a major works contract. Choosing a team with a shining track record for building and painting won’t get you very far if they’ll try to pressure wash fragile mortar (hint: that’s a good way to rack up lofty repair fees).
Rope access has proven time and time again to be the most well-rounded, dynamic method of external building access. As we’ve covered, major works can entail a slew of services, and rope access affords contractors the flexibility to employ a range of methods in providing those services. Even better, it allows them to do so without swallowing increased costs or the burden of excessive planning, both of which would translate to higher fees and wait times for the property owner.
The rope access method preferred by most building restoration contractors will remind you of rock climbers. That is, unsurprisingly, because they share similar techniques: descend from the top of a structure (or cave) using a system of secure pulleys and anchors. For contractors, this is the superior way to access all areas of a property, even ones with irregular features or tough-to-traverse architecture. Truly, ropes can be used to access just about any type of building with minimal prep time or disruption to the people inside.
The popular alternatives, cherry pickers and scaffolding, each bring their own drawbacks to the table which see them trail far behind rope access methods. Cherry pickers, for instance, are incredibly obtrusive: placing one in a city centre is a good way to make enemies of all passing commuters. They also have a relatively low weight threshold (only 120KG in some cases), which could cause issues if more than one operative has to use them, or if they're needed to transport bulky equipment. Scaffolding, while sturdier, comes with disadvantages of its own. For one, it is expensive and time-consuming to construct; for a cost-effective job, you’ll want to keep scaffolding as far away as possible. On top of that, it's also just as ugly as a weathered, stained building. For a lengthy building restoration contract, the cage-like appearance of scaffolding could turn prospective visitors away from your property.
At Spectrum, we’ve invested time, money and resources into ensuring our team delivers the best possible abseiling services. Each one of our abseiling operatives regularly undergoes IRATA training. As the lead authority in industrial rope access, IRATA qualifications are the hallmark of a contractor that practices safe and effective rope access procedures. Of course, that isn’t to say that rope access is risky, far from it! In fact, rope access is statistically the safest method of carrying out building maintenance services on high-rise structures. Additionally, our team is also trained to properly treat any injuries in the unlikely event of an incident.
As a company operating in our environmentally precarious world, we take our responsibility to the planet seriously. Thankfully, abseiling is an inherently eco-friendly access method, requiring no electricity or fuel to set up or use, nor does it produce any emissions. Great for your wallet, your property and the planet: rope access really is unbeatable!
Finally, not only is abseiling safe and eco-friendly, but it’s also a perfect fit for our bespoke style of service. We don’t take a ‘template approach’ to building restoration. For us, every contract is a unique challenge requiring a one-of-a-kind solution. Using rope systems to deliver those solutions gives us the manoeuvrability to experiment, assess and discover the optimal solution without the time and cost constraints that come with more cumbersome access methods. Rope access is the reason we’re able to deliver the top-notch service we do, and we wouldn’t dream of relying on anything else.
Interested in hiring us for your next major works job? Get in touch and get Spectrum on your side!
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