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 How Our Services Saved Our Client £50k


Major Works

Spectrum has been incredible, we were worried about finding a solution to the issues we were having but Spectrum saved the day! The efficiency of their cleaning methods saved us so much time on an already behind project. Not to mention the cost savings!

Learn how the Spectrum team tackled this project in eight weeks by combining our patented pole cleaning equipment and multiple other access methods, like rope access and a MEWP (mobile elevating work platform).

Comprised of eight four-storey blocks, this residential estate in Croydon required render cleaning, timber stain, brick cleaning and bird-proofing services.

The Logistics

AD Group contacted Spectrum after learning about our rope access capabilities, having worked with us before on other similar significant projects.

Due to rear access issues and render substrate weakness, the client abandoned the original plans to use scaffolding for the building maintenance.

Following correspondence with the client and in combination with a pre-site assessment, we devised the following strategy for the project:

The Site

Talbot House on Talbot Close in Mitcham, Croydon, is a residential estate containing eight four-storey apartment blocks between 15-20 meters tall.

The property is in a scenic natural location, surrounded by trees and fields, presenting some access issues. The estate is also on a bus route which we had to consider across our following access operations and services.

The Project

After arriving on-site, the first job was to clean the render, timber, cladding, and brick substrates. Thanks to the reach of our patented pole DOFF cleaning equipment, we managed to clean 90% of the property with this method from ground level.

Cleaning the render effectively and efficiently requires a special biocide treatment. We left the treatment on the surface for the standard time before washing it off with the DOFF equipment. Some companies recommend leaving the biocide treatment on the surface without removing it afterwards. However, we’ve discovered that not washing off the treatment can cause damage to the render.

Using our specialist DOFF cleaning attachments on the walls enabled us to remove algae that were deep with the render texture. Originally quoted for render painting, the client was amazed at the quality of our DOFF cleaning. The difference between the walls pre and post-clean was incredible. So, with no painting necessary after providing a sample, we delighted the client by saving them time and money. 

The next stage relied on using a MEWP, where we would gain access to perform the render repairs and apply the timber stain treatment. The MEWP served this access solution except for the last few bits, which required rope access. We established temporary anchor points in line with LOLER regulations for the abseiling. 

Access proved a vital element in the success of this project. The original plan to erect scaffolding wasn’t suitable. Not only was 70% of the property inaccessible, but the render wasn’t strong enough to attach scaffold anchors. And with woodland at the rear and only a tricky lane to travel, the scaffolders would have had to park their vehicles at the lane entrance and hand-carry all the scaffolding poles and equipment to the site, wasting the energy and time of at least 20 people!

Once erected, scaffolding is more intrusive to the property entrance, blocking natural light and taking up parking spaces. Essentially, scaffolding was wrong for this project for so many reasons.

Before selecting Spectrum, the client also considered hiring a large crane to operate from the residential parking area and extend over the entire property. But the client ruled out the crane due to the extreme cost and inconvenience of requesting TFL permissions due to a nearby bus stop.

Lastly, there was a severe pigeon problem on-site. The client requested spikes on every flat edge to birdproof the property and provided thousands of meters for us to install. We did so via rope access.


A significant challenge in this project was the initial disorganisation, such as the scaffolding complications that carried through the project. As the previous contractors had already started the work, poles and equipment remained in the way of accessing some areas.

Access restrictions were also a concern, with parked cars and natural obstructions. These impeded the mobilisation of the MEWP and required us to establish temporary anchorage for rope access. We also needed to navigate around the brise soleil and solar decorative features sticking out from the edge of the property. These features made it harder to get a rope over the edge for abseiling. To resolve this problem, our technicians used rope transfers, rigging ropes through the gap of the soleil and lower to the ground, then the operative would attach at the bottom and ascend. Unusual to rope access services, this approach meant the operator ascended from the ground up.

Finally, we had to consider the bird problem. Installing the bikes upon every ledge was difficult due to access issues caused by the residual scaffold. Nevertheless, we proved our expertise by applying bird-proofing spikes on every ledge across the estate, much to the residents' delight.

The Result

Using rope access for this building maintenance project saved the client £50k on local authority permits and crane hire costs. Money was also saved by opting for cleaning the render instead of painting it.

Here is a brief overview of our process for this eight-week project from start to finish:


By cleaning the property and applying timber stain treatment onto the wooden cladding, the client wouldn’t need to pay for more painting costs and cleaning down the line.

If you require any building maintenance and repair services for your property, contact Spectrum today.


Back to Case Studies

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