Why the outside is just as important as the inside.
Our resident expert on all things restoration, Carla Ton, recently published an article in FM Perspectives called “Why the outside is just as important as the inside”.
The façade can be a complex thing. Depending on materials used there can be high risks of failure due to constant exposure to the elements of nature and pollutants.
The following outlines the reasons why Facility managers should be placing as much focus on the outside of a building as they do on the insides.
A clean façade, free from stains, streaks and leaks, is not only aesthetically pleasing and a positive reflection for your customers brand, but also ensures the protection and longevity of your customers asset. Regular maintenance and cleaning also enables you to identify issues at an early stage, reduce maintenance and repair costs and mitigate any safety risks to the public. The last thing you want is deteriorating substrate falling from the façade onto the passing public below!
The façade can be a complex thing. Depending on materials used there can be high risks of failure due to constant exposure to the elements of nature and pollutants. Some causes of façade damage you should be aware of are:
Efflorescence can appear on masonry, concrete or stone facades. Efflorescence is when minerals and salts come to the surface of porous materials and forms a white coloured powdery substance. This usually occurs on unsealed porous surfaces where water leaves behind salt deposits. In general, cleaning efflorescence from a surface is an ongoing solution – much like a treatment – rather than a cure.
Incorrect use of sealers
Sealers that are topical coatings and not breathable can also contribute to or aggravate an efflorescence problem. If moisture gets trapped underneath the coating, it has a longer time to saturate the material and collect minerals. This is combined with hydrostatic pressure created as the moisture is rising to the material surface for the purpose of evaporation.
At this point, the moisture will escape by travelling to an opening in the topical coating or will delaminate the topical coating due to hydrostatic pressure. This moisture is now fully loaded with minerals and as it is slowly evaporating through compromised coating, efflorescence occurs. Efflorescence cannot easily be cleaned when it is developed beneath a topical coating without first removing that coating.
Depending on your building’s location, pollution can be a major problem. Things like concrete cancer can cause major issues to the aesthesis and life span of the façade substrate.
Unsightly graffiti can have a dramatic and negative impact on the appearance of your building. If left alone, one tag can quickly grow into whole areas or walls being covered and depending on the substrate can be difficult to remove.
Façade cleaning and restoration projects are complex beasts. Timeframes and budgets can all to quickly blow out, simply due to a lack of knowledge and the confusing array of available solutions. Add to this consideration of access, containment of materials, security, potential disruption and choosing the right process for your building becomes fraught with uncertainty. Get it wrong and you may even cause irreversible damage.
That’s why choosing the right contractor to clean or restore your building’s façade is important.
To read the full article in Vol 13 No3. Facility Perspectives click here