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Brick and Cladding Restoration

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Brick Property Conservation

The unique needs of this property's exterior allowed our operatives to exhibit their capabilities and aptitude for overcoming unforeseen or irregular problems.

With irregular architecture, a myriad different building materials and years of ground-in grime, restoring the exterior of this East London apartment complex was a unique and multi-faceted task. Spectrum rose to the occasion, however, and proved that our bespoke approach to each project is the only way to achieve truly outstanding results.

The Project

The challenges faced by Spectrum’s accredited operatives were manifold. From the irregular design of the building—with crevices, huge overhanging soffits, balconies and more—to the range of building materials in use, there was no way a by-the-book approach would have done a sufficient job. Thankfully, our experts knew how to use the right approaches, products and methods, alongside a little bit of their own ingenuity, to see the job done right. The building’s residents were another consideration that our team needed to make. When navigating an occupied property, it’s essential that any potential disturbance be kept to an absolute minimum. Spectrum prides itself on considerate working practises, and so this was incredibly important to our team.

The Site

Spectrum was approached to handle the external cleaning and restoration of a complex of flats, situated on a busy main road in East London. The building was in need of a thorough restoration: it was suffering from years of built-up stains, grime, graffiti and more. Not only were the building’s owners counting on us to restore their property to its former glory, but its countless occupants were also growing tired of its deteriorating state.

Unfortunately, the site itself was far from simple. Notably, the building featured a large, hard-to-reach overhang which would have been impossible to reach with traditional telescopic poles and required a unique solution to properly clean. Additionally, some parts of the building were only accessible via rope, while others required the use of our own modular poles. This meant that our operatives needed to implement a multi-step approach to cleaning the building, each step utilising different tools, methods and products.

The Logistics

After consulting with the site owner and presenting them with a thorough risk assessment known as a “risk and method statement” (RAMS), our team was ready to get to work. 

Proper choice of cleaning products was a key factor in this project’s success, particularly as it pertained to graffiti removal. When left for extended periods (as was the case here), graffiti begins to soak into the brickwork, making removal difficult and increasing the risk of potential building damage if handled incorrectly. Spectrum is no stranger to ground-in graffiti, however, and we were able to carry out a successful graffiti removal job, treating the offensive paintwork without leaving a single trace or causing damage.

Our team faced issues regarding the building’s architecture, which featured a narrow portion at the top made from metallic cladding. Our team needed to secure portable anchor points and abseil down in order to access and perform a proper cladding cleaning job on that part of the building. Thankfully, our entire team is IRATA certified and so this presented no serious issue. We’re proud of the fact that each member of our team is retrained to IRATA standards every three years. IRATA is the globally recognised “lead authority in industrial rope access”, meaning that our operatives all perform to the highest standards in safe and efficient rope access. Thanks to this, our client was more than impressed with how easily we handled the often difficult job of high-altitude cladding cleaning.

For the brickwork portion of the building, which made up its majority, our team used the high-powered DOFF cleaning system hooked up to our unique modular poles. This efficient method of brick cleaning makes use of super-heated steam to lift off dirt, grime and graffiti, restoring a building to its original state. For this project, DOFF cleaning worked perfectly and saw the years lifted from the building like magic.

Finding Innovative Solutions

Perhaps the greatest challenge of this project came from a large overhang through which cars would drive. Our client needed this cleaned, but accessing the area with our typical brick cleaning methods proved impossible. In a moment of Spectrum innovation, our team created a modular two-way brick cleaning pole operated by a pair working at two different positions. This allowed our team to navigate the overhang with relative ease, bringing it up to the same pristine standard as the rest of the building.

Our team is rigorously trained and certified in a vast range of industry-recognised techniques and methods, but that doesn’t mean we don’t live in the real world. Not two buildings are identical, so approaching each one with an identical mindset will only lead to sub-par results. At Spectrum, we think on our feet in formulating unique, cost-effective solutions to what would otherwise be costly and time-consuming problems.

Cladding cleaning and brickwork cleaning made up the bulk of this project, but we would never forget the small details which make a Spectrum job stand out from the rest. Glass partitions on the balconies, window frames and difficult-to-spot rendering all saw a thorough cleaning from our operatives in this job. They may not draw your eye quite like the good-as-new brickwork, but they go a long way towards making the project feel ‘complete’. 

Delivering Results

Despite the challenges presented by this property, our team was able to deliver outstanding results. The extremeley heated steam applied through our Doff Cleaning service gave both the cladding and brick area's of this property a new life! Through the non-abresive nature of this cleaning method, we were also able to conserve the property's brick exterior.

Solution Driven Services

"This project is a prime example of the solution-orientated nature of the services we offer at Spectrum! No matter problem or the requirements of the property, you can trust our team will deliver the project to the highest standards."
-Lucian Ivan, Managing Director Spectrum

Back to Case Studies

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