It’s Raining Concrete: Pollution & Damage to Windows & Facades

Sometimes, a building can suffer damage to its aesthetics and structure through no fault of its own. As is often the case, we’re seeing this trend appear strongly in many areas of London where buildings are crammed together as close as can be.

The problem lies in large scale construction projects. As these progress, concrete fall from tall buildings lands on others in close proximity. The end result isn’t good for anyone; unsightly messes are made, and damage is done to windows and facades to such a degree that it’s often visible from the ground.

Concrete Residue

Unfortunately, a fair portion of this widespread issue lies in construction standards. Poor protection of concrete pours, such as when shuttering or transporting concrete to construction areas, causes concrete to spill down onto buildings and neighbouring properties.

The higher the building, the worse and wider the spillage area is. Prevention measures save money compared to removal of spills but aren’t always invested in by construction companies and contractors.

Quick Removal Saves Money

Ideally, concrete spills should be removed as soon as is possible from any facades made of glass, stone and metal. Leaving contamination on ultimately costs the property owner more money, with permanent stains forming faster than you’d think on affected surfaces.

Unfortunately for a country with weather like ours, wet and cold accelerates the damage done by the alkalise in the concrete; the longer it stays on, the more the alkalise eats into substrates to leave a stain.

New facades under warranty need a restoration system approved prior to works starting. Most manufacturers working in the UK recognise the See Brilliance system to remove any accumulated detritus.

Legal Responsibilities

If a construction site spills concrete on a neighbouring property, they often have a legal responsibility to get it professionally removed so no permanent damage is caused.  Fortunately for many, there are also conditions under the Considerate Constructors Scheme that rectify the issue swiftly, often insisting that insurance policies cover this form of accidental damage.

You can learn more about the Considerate Constructors Scheme here.

Concrete Removal Case Study: 15 Bishopsgate

Currently the tallest building in London, 22 Bishopgate had a problem: concrete had spilt over onto the stainless steel and glass roof and façade of its nextdoor neighbour, 15 Bishopsgate. Occurring during the three-year construction of the larger building, this extensive issue led to a See Brilliance team being called in to remove the spillage and residual ghosting left on affected substrates.

Performed via abseilers and Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs), the four-stage process began with the removal of outer layers of concrete using wooden and plastic spatulas. This was followed by the application of releasing chemicals that softened the remaining concrete deposits, which were then removed by spatulas.

A rinse and powder followed, helping to remove ghosting stains left by the concrete alkalise. Lastly, our team applied a specific finishing chemical suited to the affected façade. This led to the desired finished result; the blending of the restored surface to the remaining unaffected areas.

Contact See Brilliance

See Brilliance has been working in commercial restorative cleaning for over thirty years, providing a range of services including concrete removal, facade and cladding restoration, glass restoration, graffiti removal and DOFF steam cleaning. Call 01635 230888 or email info@seebrilliance.com for further information.

Download the See Brilliance 2020 brochure