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Natural elements do not take long to imprint their mark on a building's rendered facade. Organic substances, as well as carbon emissions, can cause the building’s render to become stained.
When that happens, it is vital property managers call a specialist cleaning contractor to restore the rendering. Using the right cleaning system and access solutions is imperative to protecting the rendering in the long term.
There are many ways to access rendered walls, so we have decided to cover a few of the most popular ones to consider in this blog.
Water-fed poles allow for cleaning high-rise buildings without the risks of working from a height. Instead, an operator controls the equipment from the ground.
The poles, which can reach up to 80ft, are attached to a steam pressure system. Steam is highly effective when cleaning render.
Building owners and property managers are required to complete a risk assessment ahead of time, with access in the immediate vicinity requiring cornering off within a suitable exclusion zone.
A contractor can install scaffolding to provide access to tall buildings and clean render in any hard-to-reach places. It allows contractors to move up and down the exterior, floor by floor, safely and securely.
However, installing and removing the scaffold is a time-intensive process. Manpower and materials are required for construction, adding to the overall time and costs for the cleaning project. Safety risk assessments are needed, and the appearance of scaffolding can sometimes detract from the building’s grandeur.
Mobile Elevated Working Platforms are put to work when access to the building facade is not possible through reach pole access, and the building owner has decided against scaffolding. The most popular type of MEWP is a cherry picker.
Cherry pickers reach heights up to 200ft. It can be mounted on the ground or a truck and is manoeuvred into position by the operator. While cherry pickers offer more mobility than scaffolding, the truck's size restricts this access method from being used in narrow or busy streets. Additionally, the immense weight of a cherry picker often causes damage to the pavement and tiling underneath it!
Rope access cleaning is an efficient and relatively simple option for cleaning rendered premises, even premises that are exceptionally tall or have difficult to reach areas. Rope access techniques were initially developed for rock climbers and caving. Still, they have been adapted to suit the property maintenance sector and allow highly trained professionals to efficiently clean and repair facades. Rope access is much more time-efficient than other access methods and has the least disruption to the surrounding area, unlike methods such as scaffolding.
Using a jet washer or high-pressure washer to clean rendered walls is not best advised as it can cause irreversible damage to the render.
Instead, using a specially mixed cleaning agent, appropriate for the type of render applied, followed by a low-pressure stream wash, will gently remove pollutants and organic substances to leave the render looking brand new.
Spectrum would advise property managers and building owners to consult with a specialist cleaning contractor first. Their expert knowledge will ascertain which is the proper cleaning solution to use on their rendered walls.
We use an IRATA-certified rope access solution to clean rendered walls. Our method uses two ropes, a bounce-free static rope and a backup rope. Our operators climb into one side where the harness is located, and on the other side, the ropes are attached to an anchor point, which, as you might be relieved to know, is securely attached to the building.
This 100% secure setup means our teams can access, traverse, and clean rendering on high-rise and uneven structures, reaching areas of a property’s exterior that other access methods would not permit.
However, more importantly, rope access provides high flexibility for maintaining and restoring rendering on historical or culturally significant sites. The rope access involves portable anchor points, which avoid posing any unnecessary risks of damaging fragile structures while allowing us to look at a tricky structure with an open mind too. Learn more about our Rope Access Service and discover how to utilise abseiling for our Render Cleaning service here.
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