Every week, businesses across the UK spend hours cleaning the inside of their offices, shops, restaurants, and warehouses. They ensure that certain levels of cleanliness are always maintained to make customers feel welcome and create the right impression.
But what about the building’s facade – the first thing that customers see. Would people be so keen to visit your business if the building was engulfed in a dirt-ridden, algae-infested coating?
Of course not. They would probably be repelled by it. Facade cleaning is one of the essential aspects of the appearance of any business premises. In this article, we will dive into the importance of facade / cladding restoration and restorative cleaning?
What is facade restoration?
Facade restoration and facade cleaning removes the dirt, grime, and other pollutants from the surface of a building and restores it to its former glory. The term facade comes from the outward appearance of the building, and it is generally the surface that has the entrance door.
Why clean a building facade?
One would think that the value of facade cleaning is limited to the aesthetic appeal of the building, but it is more than that. Here are four reasons why facade restoration and restorative facade cleaning should be a top priority for every business.
1. Restorative cleaning can boost the aesthetic value of a building
Restorative cleaning is a refined technique that goes a step beyond the cleaning of dirt and detritus on the surfaces of buildings. As the largest restorative cleaning contractor in the UK, our services, which include independently approved specialist products and techniques, enable us to restore a building’s exterior back to almost ‘as new’ visual condition without damaging or affecting the surface itself. The exact approach taken depends on the type of facade.
Metal facade restoration
Using approved specialist cleaning systems, metal restoration removes pollution contaminants from most metal facades and cladding, leaving the panels looking ‘as new’. This restorative cleaning method is typically used to restore window frames and the facade panels of modern commercial buildings.
Over time, the colour of metal facades can lose its sheen due to chalking/oxidisation and general pollution. Restorative cleaning techniques that use chemicals and powders on anodised aluminium, copper, or stainless steel effectively remove soiling and lime-scaling without causing surface damage, resulting in a clean surface that rehabilitates the building’s visual appeal.
Stone facade restoration
Stone facade restoration requires specialist restorative cleaning systems such as DOFF Steam Cleaning and TORC Cleaning, which uses precise low-pressure (1200 psi) and high-temperature (150°C) water to gently and effectively steam clean masonry and kill algae spores. It can be used to remove graffiti, for restoration of Heritage building facades, and to clean and restore a variety of other surfaces such as stone, brick, K Rend, Sto Rend, concrete and tiles.
Glass cleaning and glass facade restoration
Hard water damage, oxidation, and etching – all issues that can’t be fixed by cleaning alone. With professional glass restoration, it’s possible to restore windows and glass facades that have suffered from years of extreme temperatures, precipitation, ultraviolet light, and traffic pollution. Working at ground level or at height, restoration of glass windows and panels can bring them back to ‘as new’ condition,
2. Facade damage builds up incrementally overtime
“I will do it next year” – is not a stance you can take when it comes to facade restoration. The longer you ignore it, the more damaging it can become to the facade surface (and, potentially, for the reputation of the business). How quickly your building’s facade deteriorates will depend upon various factors:
- Local climate: High winds, precipitation, and hot and cold temperatures can accelerate surface damage.
- Location: If your building is in a coastal area or large city, salt deposits or traffic pollution can cause surface damage and accelerate the accumulation of detritus.
- Materials used in construction: The materials used in the construction of a building facade can have a huge impact on its ability to repel pollutants.
3. It is more environmentally friendly than replacement
The Government’s proposed Embodied Carbon Bill means that property developers and building owners may soon face regulatory push-back on the replacement of building materials where restoration is a feasible alternative. With environmental concerns like these becoming a global priority, building owners could find that they are no longer able to tear down and reconstruct a building facade.
A British study called ‘New Tricks with Old Bricks‘ found that new construction and replacement can create up to 50 tonnes of CO2 emissions per property. With restoration, however, CO2 emission is limited to 15 tonnes. While these numbers often vary, they provide a clear picture of the environmental impact of choosing restoration instead of replacement.
4. Neglecting facade restoration can lead to safety hazards
Facade damage might start on the surface, but pollutants can slowly start to penetrate in. If neglected for a long time, it could turn your facade into a safety hazard. When contaminants accumulate over a building’s surface for a long time, it can also conceal structural defects underneath. If a building facade is particularly old, there is a higher chance of structural deterioration, fractures, and corrosion.
The processes involved in cleaning a facade
Cleaning a glass facade may typically involve:
- A non-corrosive cleaning product that doesn’t damage the glass façade/gaskets.
- A specialist cleaning system to remove pollutants and stains from the glass surface without scratching the glass.
- Using specialist equipment such as Mobile Elevated Work Platforms (MEWPs)/BMU’s to clean and restore glass surfaces at height.
The process for cleaning a stone facade includes:
- High-temperature (but low pressure) water to gently remove contaminants without damaging the precious stone or over wetting.
- Depending on the exact material, non-abrasive and neutral PH restoration techniques may be used.
Professional facade restoration services
At See Brilliance, you will get help from facade and cladding restoration professionals with over 30 years of experience restoring glass, metal, stone and Heritage building facades.
We provide a wide range of facade cleaning and restoration services including commercial façade restoration, stone façade restoration, glass façade restoration, TORC Cleaning, graffiti removal, and much more, across the UK.
If you’d like to get in touch today, call our team directly on 01635 230 888 or email [email protected].