The Importance of Façade Cleaning Test Trials

This iconic building sits proudly within the local environment. Our client required us to put a cost, programme and access strategy together to sensitively restore the organic-stained metal roof along with the external façade. To gather the necessary information we carried out façade cleaning test trials.

Our solution was to visit site and use our equipment and specialist façade steam cleaning solutions to treat and clean the external metal roof. To access the roof, we used our 29m access lorry, combined with our specialist testing van which has an in-built unit to create “super-heated water”. The organic staining on the roof is a soft flexible surface soiling.  Under BS 8221-1:2012: Code of Practice for Cleaning Building, it’s imperative that the correct façade and building cleaning restoration methods are matched to the correct soiling type.

Steam is an ideal solution and cleaning methodology to sensitively clean and remove organic matter, as opposed to high pressure cleaning which will only remove the surface dirt, thus providing a short term albeit cheaper solution. The steam is produced by our specialist mobile unit, which is designed to work at low water flow rates i.e. 3-4 litres/minute, which means the water running through the system can be heated to 150 degrees. Unlike other pressure washing units, this system is well suited to the cleaning and restoration of a wide variety of materials such as stone, brick, render, concrete, or architectural cladding systems.

Prior to the testing we provided a full brief to the client about the methods we planned to use, the benefits of the process and the results that we could expect from the investigation. It’s paramount that the client understands what we are trying to achieve whilst being given the support needed to understand how best practice solutions will deliver a far greater longer-term solution for them.

When undertaking the testing on the roof and removing the organic matter, we also tested the application of a water based biocide. The biocide was applied and has now been allowed to naturally weather to test the effectiveness, which enables us to provide a treatment and cleaning solution that will last for the long-term . We feel this treatment will also be very feasible for future management of the roof and is a much more cost-effective method of prolonging the condition of the roof rather than expensive reactive systems. The final results of the façade cleaning test trials were extremely successful for the client with the project being planned into the spring/summer of 2017.

Façade cleaning test trials create clarity, cost and programme certainty for the client. It enables them to visualise the real benefits of façade cleaning, how the building may look on completion and to understand how the costs are built up through effective demonstration. Façade cleaning test trials create an honest and open platform to help clients achieve their building restoration needs.

Please contact our office on 01234 589807 to request your façade cleaning test trial and external fabric surveys.