Website Blog Banner 17.02.20 3 3 - 3 reasons why we would recommend against painting silicone render

3 reasons why we would recommend against painting silicone render

Many people assume that the final stage of decorating the façade of a building is painting. Painting a property gives it a bright, clean finish and helps to hide any imperfections or blemishes in the external surface. However, when you’re dealing with a building that’s been finished with silicone render, painting is the last thing you want to do.

While a fresh coat of paint might look good initially, in the long term it could result in a number of maintenance issues and cause your property to look tired and uncared for before its time. Avoiding paint, and using other more appropriate finishes on your building, will help to ensure the façade looks good for as long as possible.

If you’re still considering giving your silicone rendered building a coat of paint, take a look at the top three reasons why we’d recommend against it.

1. Painted properties need to be repainted

One of the main reasons we believe painting a silicone rendered building is a bad idea is that, once painted, properties need to be repainted. This will need to be done on a regular basis to keep them looking good. Exposure to wind, rain and sun can quickly take its toll on paint, causing it to crack, peel and discolour over time. Unless painted buildings undergo regular maintenance, they’re likely to look old, worn and tired within a few years.

Painting large domestic and commercial buildings can be time-consuming and expensive. In most cases, scaffolding will need to be erected and, in instances when access is particularly difficult, cherry pickers and other heavy machinery may be required. This can cause a lot of disruption for the residents or tenants using the building and prove expensive for the property owners.

By not using paint in the first place, property owners can avoid these ongoing maintenance issues. In the long run, this can help them to save a considerable amount of time and money and keep disruption to a minimum for their tenants.

In many cases, modern render can have colour added to it before it’s applied to a building. Manufacturer K-Rend offers a great range of coloured silicone render that’s suitable for use on buildings of all types. Not only is coloured render more convenient, it’s also easier to maintain and easier to clean.

Unlike paint, which only covers the surface of render, through-colouring ensures the render is the same tone inside and out. This means that when the surface is cleaned and algae, fungi and other contaminants removed, the render will look as good as new. What’s more, as cleaning, unlike painting, can often be done without scaffolding, cherry pickers and other heavy machinery, it’s a quicker and cheaper way to maintain a building.

2. Algae and fungi need to be killed

It’s very common for algae and fungus to appear on the surface of a silicone rendered building after a few years. This growth is caused by spores landing on the façade of the building and is something that occurs naturally over time.

When algae and fungus grow on the exterior surface of a building, they cause discolouration. Generally green, red or black in colour, this discolouration can make a building look uncared for and in need of a bit of TLC.

In many cases, contractors who don’t know a lot about silicone render will suggest painting over the patches of algae and fungus. While this might look good in the short term, it’s not a great option as biological growth will compromise the paint if it’s not killed and removed before work begins.

If algae and fungi are simply painted over, you can expect to see discolouration appear again within 6-12 months. As the algae and fungi regrow, they’ll cause the paint to peel and crack. This paint will then need to be removed using chemicals and the surface steam cleaned before it can be repainted or re-rendered.

The best way to restore silicone render to its former glory is to clean it rather than paint it. Our patented system allows modern silicone render to be cleaned quickly and easily. As we 3D print our own specialist equipment, we’re able to tackle jobs of all shapes and sizes and reach parts of a property that would otherwise be inaccessible.

Our unique system allows us to work both from the ground and via rope access. This minimises the need for scaffolding and cherry pickers, reduces disruption and ensures the job is completed as quickly as possible.

Before we begin cleaning a building, we carry out a thorough survey on the property. This gives us the chance to check for cracks, leaks, blocked pipes and other issues that can cause serious damage to a building. If we find any defects, we report them to the housing association or facilities manager so they can be properly dealt with.

3. Render needs to breathe

Last but definitely not least, silicone render needs to breathe. If it’s covered with impermeable paint it can prevent air passing between the inside and outside of the render and lead to serious issues. Moisture can build up in the render, causing the paint to bubble, crack and peel. This can have a big impact on the look of the building.

Painting a rendered property can also cause damp to build up in the walls. Over time, this damp can enter the homes and offices inside the property and cause a number of aesthetic and structural issues.

If you manage a rendered building, or if you’re surveying property that’s been finished with silicone render, it’s important to seek out expert advice before having it painted or cleaned. Getting the help of experienced contractors will ensure your property is well cared for, and unnecessary maintenance is kept to a minimum. We’re always happy to answer questions on the cleaning and maintenance of rendered buildings. Get in touch with a member of our expert team to find out more.

MAIN BLOG BANNER  - Why is there red and green algae on your render?

Why is there red and green algae on your render?

Why is there red and green algae on your render?

When it first became a popular building material, render was thought to be maintenance-free. Architects and property owners believed that, once applied, render wouldn’t discolour, require cleaning or change its appearance over the years. However, now that many rendered buildings are beginning to age, we can see that this isn’t the case.

Over time, algae can begin to grow on rendered facades. As it spreads, algae will discolour the surface of render and leave rendered buildings looking old, tired and in need of TLC. Understanding how and why algae grows, and how it can impact a render façade, will help property owners to properly maintain their buildings and ensure rendered facades look as good as possible.

What causes algae growth?

Algae is a natural organism that grows on more or less all external surfaces. Over recent years, it’s become a lot more common to see algae growth on both domestic and commercial premises.

One of the main things that’s caused this increase in growth is the Clean Air Act. By reducing pollution, and making the air in our towns and cities cleaner, the act has caused an increase in airborne algae spores and therefore an increase in algae growth.

Our slowly warming climate has also had an impact on the growth of algae on external surfaces. In addition, poor detailing on the external façades of buildings has also encouraged growth of algae. This is something that makes some properties a lot more prone to algae than others.

Colonisation

The first stage of algae growth is colonisation. Algae spores are spread by the wind. In moist, humid conditions, these spores will begin to grow as soon as they land on a suitable surface. Many types of algae find rendered buildings an ideal environment. The pores in the surface of the render give the algae something to hold onto while the moisture in the atmosphere allows it to thrive.

In general, surveyors find that buildings experience most algae growth on their northern facades. This is because the north face of property gets the least sun and so is more likely to remain damp. However, properties that have poor drainage, or ongoing leaks, can experience high levels of algae growth in other areas. Once algae takes hold, it can quickly spread over the external surface of a building, especially during the wet, winter months.

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How algae can damage a rendered property

Algae growth won’t have a big impact on the core structure of a building and is unlikely to cause serious maintenance issues. However, it will have an effect on the aesthetic appearance of a property and can leave façades looking discoloured, tired and uncared for. If left untreated, algae can spread to cover large areas of a rendered façade, significantly altering the look of a property. This can make a property look older than it should and can give residents and passersby the impression that the maintenance of the building is not up scratch.

Types of algae

There are three types of algae that commonly grow on rendered surfaces: red algae, green algae and black algae. Green algae is the most common type and can often be removed with gentle washing. Red algae is common in Northern Ireland and Scotland and is something we’re seeing more in England as the climate becomes warmer and wetter. Black algae, though less common, is very difficult to remove and getting rid of it generally requires cleaning and the application of biocide.

red algae - Why is there red and green algae on your render?

green algae - Why is there red and green algae on your render?

black algae - Why is there red and green algae on your render?

Cleaning and removal

All types of modern render, including high quality products from manufacturers including K-Rend and Weber Saint-Gobain, require regular cleaning to remove algae and prevent regrowth. Our pioneering render care system allows property owners to restore their buildings to their original aesthetic appearance while preventing quick regrowth of algae.

Spectrum’s render cleaning process is made up of four steps. First, we prepare the area due to be cleaned. This involves assessing the current condition of the render, carrying out a thorough survey on the property and ensuring our operatives, and anyone else using the site, are kept safe throughout the clean.

The next stage involves applying a specially-selected biocide to the surface of the render. This kills any algae present on the render and helps to kickstart the cleaning process. We then use pressurised steam, heated to 150 degrees to gently remove algae and discolouration from the external façade of the building. This is a much better option than jet washing which can damage the surface of the render. If there are any stains remaining following the steam clean, we use targeted treatment to remove them from the surface. Finally, we apply a final coat of biocide to prevent the algae growing back for as long as possible

This staged process allows Spectrum to thoroughly remove the algae from the surface of a rendered building. On completion, properties that have undergone a thorough clean are restored to their original aesthetic appearance and are protected from future algae growth.

To help our operatives get to every corner of a building, and to keep access costs as low as possible, we design and 3D print our own specialist equipment. This allows our operatives to work from ropes instead of cherry pickers and scaffolding, something that can dramatically reduce costs and ensure the clean is completed as quickly as possible.

Regularly removing algae from the surface of a rendered building helps to keep the façade looking as good as possible. What’s more, regular maintenance allows property owners to monitor the condition of their properties and address any issues – like leaks, poor drainage or cracked pipes – that may be contributing to the rapid growth of algae.

Find out more, and learn about the pioneering render cleaning services Spectrum offers, by exploring our site or getting in touch with a member of our team.

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Website Blog Banner 17.02.20 7 - How will Spectrum be helping to prevent the spread of Covid-19

How will Spectrum be helping to prevent the spread of Covid-19

How will spectrum be helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19/Coronavirus?

Spectrum will be helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in a number of ways. The World Health Organisation has published a number of technical guidance documents on specific topics, including infection prevention and control (IPC). These documents are available at https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus2019/technical-guidance/infection-prevention-and-control. 

To keep you updated with the latest facts, we have summarised some key points for our industry from World Health Organisation Publications.

 

COVID-19 transmission

There are two main routes of transmission of the COVID-19 virus: respiratory and contact. Respiratory droplets are generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Any person who is in close contact with someone who has respiratory symptoms (for example, sneezing, coughing) is at risk of being exposed to potentially infective respiratory droplets (1). Droplets may also land on surfaces where the virus could remain viable; thus, the immediate environment of an infected individual can serve as a source of transmission (known as contact transmission).(5).

 

The provision of safe water, sanitation and hygienic conditions is essential to protecting human health during all infectious disease outbreaks, including the COVID-19 outbreak. Ensuring good and consistently applied WASH and waste management practices in communities, homes, schools, marketplaces and health care facilities will further help to prevent human-to-human transmission of the COVID-19 virus. The World Health Organisation has shared the below as the most important information (1).

 

Frequent and proper hand hygiene is one of the most critical measures that can be used to prevent infection with the COVID-19 virus. WASH practitioners should work to enable more frequent and regular hand hygiene by improving facilities and using proven behaviour change techniques.

 

WHO guidance on the safe management of drinking-water and sanitation services applies to the COVID-19 outbreak. Extra measures are not needed. In particular, disinfection will facilitate more rapid die-off of the COVID-19 virus.

 

Many co-benefits will be realized by safely managing water and sanitation services and applying good hygiene practices. Such efforts will prevent many other infectious diseases, which cause millions of deaths each year.

 

Can Covid-19 spread through drinking-water or sewage?

 

Currently, there is no evidence about the survival of the COVID-19 virus in drinking-water or sewage. The morphology and chemical structure of the COVID-19 virus are similar to those of other surrogate human coronaviruses for which there are data about both survival in the environment and effective inactivation measures.

While persistence in drinking-water is possible, there is no current evidence from surrogate human coronaviruses that they are present in surface or groundwater sources or transmitted through contaminated drinking-water.

The COVID-19 virus is an enveloped virus, with a fragile outer membrane. Generally, enveloped viruses are less stable in the environment and are more susceptible to oxidants, such as chlorine. While there is no evidence to date about survival of the COVID-19 virus in water or sewage, the virus is likely to become inactivated significantly faster than non-enveloped human enteric viruses with known waterborne transmission.

 

The COVID-19 virus has so far not been detected in drinking-water supplies and based on current evidence, the risk to water supplies is low (3). however, as the virus is still so new, it is important that we take appropriate methods to slow down and prevent any chance of the virus spreading.

 

How do you effectively clean to prevent the spread of Covid-19?

Other human coronaviruses have been shown to be sensitive to chlorination and disinfection with ultraviolet (UV) light (6). As enveloped viruses are surrounded by a lipid host cell membrane, which is not robust, the COVID-19 virus is likely to be more sensitive to chlorine and other oxidant disinfection processes than many other viruses, such as coxsackieviruses, which have a protein coat.

 

For effective centralized disinfection, there should be a residual concentration of free chlorine of ≥0.5 mg/L after at least 30 minutes of contact time at pH < 8.0 (4). A chlorine residual should be maintained throughout the distribution system.

 

Heat, high or low pH, sunlight and common disinfectants (such as chlorine) all facilitate die off.

 

Can Covid-19 survive on surfaces?

 

Yes, however, it is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems likely to behave like other coronaviruses. A recent review of the survival of human coronaviruses on surfaces found large variability, ranging from 2 hours to 9 days (2).

 

The survival time can depend on a number of factors (1);

  • Type of Surface.
  • Relative humidity.
  • Specific Strain of Virus.

 

The same review also found that effective inactivation could be achieved within 1 minute using common disinfectants, such as 70% ethanol or sodium hypochlorite.

 

What can businesses do to help prevent the spread of Covid-19?

 

We are providing disinfecting and cleaning services to help prevent the spread of this virus. We wanted to ensure that our clients and customers felt informed with enough fact to be able to make decisions to support the prevention of this virus rather than sharing fear-based headlines.

 

  1. Frequent and proper hand hygiene is one of the most critical measures that can be used to prevent infection with the COVID-19 virus
  2. COVID-19 is an enveloped virus and therefore is surrounded by a lipid host cell membrane, which is not robust. This means that exposure to chlorine and oxidant disinfection processes will be effective. Washing down public areas with the correct chemicals will help to prevent the spreading of COVID-19.
  3. The lipid host cell membrane of COVID-19 is also sensitive to extreme temperatures. High-temperature steam and boiling water is also a very effective way of reducing the risk of contact transmission.
  4. Download the World Health Organisation documentation on getting your workplace ready for Covid-19.
  5. https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/getting-workplace-ready-for-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=359a81e7_6

 

 

What cleaning and disinfecting services are Spectrum offering prevent the spread of COVID-19?

 

Spectrum will be offering exterior cleaning and sanitation services to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. We have been inundated with queries, but if you do need support, please do not hesitate to contact us on hello@spectrumss.co.uk or 020 3551 6206. We have additional measures in place to support the increased demand.

We believe it is important that you do take responsibility for your public areas. Cleaning and disinfecting will be one of the major ways to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The health and well-being of our staff and partners is 100% at the forefront of our actions, and in addition to this, we will be following and communicating the current government advice.

 

 

References

  1. WHO/2019-NcOV/IPC_WASH/2020.1
  2. Kampf G, Todt D, Pfaender S, Steinmann E. Persistence of coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces and their inactivation with biocidal agents. J Hosp Infect. 2020;104(3):246−51. doi:10.1016/j.jhin.2020.01.022.
  3. Chen N, Zhou M, Dong X, Qu J, Gong F, Han Y, et al. Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of 99 cases of 2019 novel coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan, China: a descriptive study. Lancet. 2020;395:507–13. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30211-7.
  4. Guidelines for drinking-water quality, fourth edition, incorporating the first addendum. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2017 (http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/254637/1/9789241549950- eng.pdf, accessed 3 March 2020).
  5. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2020 (https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public, accessed 3 March 2020).
  6. SARS-CoV-2 − water and sanitation. Adelaide: Water Research Australia; 2020 (http://www.waterra.com.au/_r9544/media/system/attrib/file/2199/WaterRA_FS_Coronavirus_V10.p df, accessed 3 March 2020).

 

 

Additional useful information:

https://www.who.int/publications-detail/water-sanitation-hygiene-and-waste-management-for-covid-19

 

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance/guidance-for-schools-workplaces-institutions

 

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance/infection-prevention-and-control

 

https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses

 

 

Website Blog Banner 17.02.20 4 1 - Why does render crack?

Why does render crack?

Why does render crack?

 

Render has been used to protect the exterior of properties and improve their aesthetic appearance for generations. Over the years, render has been made from a variety of materials, all of which have been selected for their particular protective qualities.

 

A lot of the time, render is used to cover up irregular surfaces or cheap building materials like breeze blocks. It is less commonly used to cover high quality materials like brick and stone. Using render to cover less aesthetically-pleasing materials can help builders to achieve a great finish on a low budget. However, it can also create a number of issues if the materials or the render aren’t used properly.

 

If the render on your building is beginning to crack, identifying the underlying issue will help you to resolve the problem, protect your property and prevent the cracks from reappearing in the future. Keep reading to find out more.

 

The problem with cracks

 

While you may not think minor cracks on the façade of your rendered property are too serious, they’re often an indicator of an underlying issue. If this isn’t rectified, it could result in serious structural damage and ongoing issues. Fixing cracks, and finding the problems that caused them in the first place, will help you to keep your property in the best condition possible.

 

Structural issues

 

Cracks that appear in exterior render can be caused by underlying structural issues. After all, if the building itself is subsiding, or if joints, corners and other potential weak spots aren’t 100% solid, the resulting movements will inevitably cause the render to crack. If you suspect this might be the cause of the cracks in your render, you’ll need to call a structural engineer in to take a closer look. Once the structural problem is correctly resolved, you shouldn’t have any more issues with the render.

 

The render dried out too quickly

 

If the water evaporates from the render too quickly when it’s first applied, there may not be enough time for the render to properly bond. This can result in a blotchy and uneven appearance and cracks can occur.

 

This issue is most common with dry-mix renders. To prevent it affecting your property, make sure render is applied in moderate temperatures. If you think the render is drying too quickly, simply splash it with water to slow it down.

 

Weathering

 

Wind, rain and extremes of heat and cold can really take their toll on external render. Like all building materials, render has a lifespan, so if the render on your building is getting old, the cracks could be down to weathering.

 

Sand and cement renders are particularly prone to weathering as they’re less elastic – and so less forgiving – than many modern renders. Luckily, a lot of render now comes with added polymers. These help to make the render more pliable and more waterproof, two things that can help to minimise the effects of weathering.

 

Rising damp

 

Rising damp can have a serious impact on the structure of a building. It occurs when water travels from the bottom of a building upwards via capillary action. As it goes, it can cause walls to bulge, floorboards to warp and render to crack.

 

If this is the underlying issue at your property, you’ll probably notice other signs of damp alongside your cracked render. If you’re unsure if this is the problem, ask a surveyor to cast their professional eye over the building. There are a number of ways of treating rising damp. Your surveyor should be able to recommend the most appropriate option for your property.

 

Incorrect application

 

Render that has been applied incorrectly is a lot more likely to crack. One of the most common mistakes is missing fibreglass mesh. When render is applied correctly, fibreglass mesh is embedded in the basecoat layer. The mesh is applied in overlapping strips. This reinforces the entire surface of the basecoat and increases its tensile strength.

 

When this layer is done properly, it minimises any movements in the structure of the building. This goes a long way to eliminating cracks and ensuring a smooth, even finish.

 

In other cases, cracks may appear when the incorrect render has been chosen for the property. This is especially common when sand and cement render is applied to high performance block work. These high quality blocks are more elastic than sand and cement and so, when the blockwork shifts slightly, the render cracks.

 

This problem is difficult to rectify once the render has been applied. However, it can be avoided by checking which materials have been used for the substrate before the work begins. Choosing the right render for the substrate can make a big difference to its longevity and help to avoid future maintenance issues.

 

Maintaining modern render

 

In order to prevent cracks, discolouration and blotches appearing on the surface of a rendered building, the render needs to be properly maintained. This involves regularly treating the surface of the render to remove mould and algae and checking the render for faults and imperfections.

 

Spectrum has developed a patented render cleaning process that quickly and effectively removes stains, kills algae and returns render to its original aesthetic condition. Carried out using superheated steam and specially selected biocides, the process is incredibly efficient and can transform the look of a building finished with modern render.

 

Before we begin the cleaning process, our team carries out detailed building surveys. This gives us the opportunity to thoroughly inspect the property for existing cracks and faults. These are then reported to the property owner so they can be rectified before they cause more serious issues. The survey also allows us to properly identify the type of render that’s been used on the property. We can then select the correct cleaning process for the project.

 

If you’d like to learn more about the services we offer, or speak to us about a render cleaning project of your own, get in touch today or take a look around our site.maxresdefault 1024x576 - Why does render crack? shutterstock 1162311658 - Why does render crack?

WhatsApp Image 2020 03 06 at 11.33.15 - A CPD session with: Earl & Kendrick

A CPD session with: Earl & Kendrick

A CPD training session with Earl Kendrick Building Surveyors in London

 

Continuing Professional Development, or CPD, is an essential part of many industries. Designed to help practitioners maintain their skills and stay up to date with all the latest innovations, undertaking regular CPD is an important part of building a successful career and a great reputation.

To help professionals in the building trade learn more about the care, maintenance and cleaning of modern render, Spectrum have been running a series of CPD sessions over the previous months. One of these CPD events was carried out in conjunction with Earl Kendrick, a leading company of building surveyors based in London, Bristol and Brighton.

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How CPD can benefit your career and your professional practice

 

CPD is available to professionals working in a large number of industries. Many of these practitioners are required to complete a certain number of CPD hours every year in order to maintain their professional qualifications.

CPD gives professionals the chance to learn about the latest innovations and changes in their industries. These might relate to new health and safety regulations, new building or manufacturing techniques or new maintenance practices. Finding out about these developments helps to ensure professionals can offer their clients the best possible service. It also helps them to contribute to their professional practice and ensures their skills remain relevant in their workplace.

As well as improving the level of service they are able to offer clients, completing CPD is good for professionals’ careers. Having an up-to-date skill set helps these practitioners to remain competitive in the workplace and ensures they deliver maximum value to their companies and their customers.

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Earl Kendrick Building Surveyors

 

Earl Kendrick is a multi-award winning firm of chartered building surveyors. The company has offices in London, Bristol and Brighton and offers its surveying services across the country. With extensive experience working on a wide range of projects, Earl Kendrick is one of the most respected surveying companies in the UK.

 

Earl Kendrick works on both commerical and residential properties. The firm carries out a wide range of services including interior and architectural design, party walls, planned maintenance programmes and major works. All of the professionals working at Earl Kendrick have skills and experience in specific areas of surveying and are able to offer their clients an outstanding service.  As Earl Kendrick has such a broad area of expertise, they are perfectly placed to train others in the latest surveying techniques, building methods and maintenance practices.

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Spectrum CPD with Earl Kendrick

 

Spectrum recently teamed up with Earl Kendrick to run a London-based CPD training. The CPD event covered a number of topics relating to modern render and its maintenance and provided attendees with the chance to improve their knowledge on this important subject. It also gave then the opportunity to learn about some of the most relevant and innnovative techniques relating to modern render maintenance.

Subjects covered during the CPD included:

 

  • What types of render exist?

This is an important topic as different renders require different cleaning and maintenance methods. Learning about the types of modern render currently in use, and understanding the differences between them, will help surveyors, building management companies and other professionals to select the right course of treatment for the property they are cleaning.

  • What is modern render?

While many people involved with building maintenance will have a basic understanding of modern render, many will not have an in-depth knowledge of the subject. Modern renders often contain polymers and other additives that improve their elasticity and weather-proofing qualities. These additives change the properties of the render and require different cleaning and maintenance techniques in order to keep them in good condition.

  • Why is it used?

The CPD looked at why modern render is used on commercial and domestic properties. As construction companies and architects choose modern renders specifically for their particular qualities, it is important those maintaining the render understand why certain renders are used in certain places.

  • What are the problems with modern render?

While modern render is a great solution for a lot of residential and commercial properties, it is not perfect. All types of modern render have their own particular issues and vulnerabilities. Understanding these will help surveyors and building managers to spot potential problems before they become serious issues.

  • What are the common solutions?

Learning about common solutions to modern render issues is a good starting point for those working with the material. Often, common solutions can be used to resolve basic issues with modern render and to keep the material in good condition.

  • How do you effectively clean all areas?

Effectively cleaning modern render helps to keep residential and commercial properties in good aesthetic condition. It also helps to prevent issues with both the render and the building it protects.

However, cleaning all areas of a rendered building can be a challenge. Many areas are hard to reach, especially when they are a considerable distance off of the ground and when access to a site is restricted. During the CPD, we looked at ways to effectively clean all rendered areas of a building to keep a property looking its best.

  • How do you protect the area and plan effectively?

Creating an effective cleaning plan is a very important part of the process. Putting time and thought into the plan will help to protect the area, the property and the people working on the site.

  • What equipment is needed?

Specialist equipment is often required in order to efficiently clean all parts of building finished in modern render. As this equipment is specially designed for the job, many professionals will not have previously come across it. Learning about cleaning equipment during the CPD gave attendees the chance to understand how this equipment made the job easier and more effective.

  • Precautionary measures to stop long-term render damage

As well as cleaning modern render, the CPD looked at ways in which professionals could care for the material. This included precautionary measures to stop long-term render damage and properly protect the building.

Spectrum will be running a number of CPD events over the coming months. If you are interested in taking part, email hello@spectrumss.co.uk to find out more.

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Website Blog Banner 17.02.20 1 - What is CPD and why is it useful?

What is CPD and why is it useful?

From building and construction to law and engineering, professionals in many industries are required to undergo regular training in order to stay up to date with all the latest changes and innovations. In many industries, this training is crucial as it ensures professionals are aware of changing safety standards and it disseminates knowledge throughout the country. This training is generally provided by leading businesses and organisations within a field. for example receiving regular training on how to maintain modern render can set you up to make better informed decisions.

 

As well as informing and educating, taking part in relevant training sessions, seminars and workshops gives participants a chance to improve their professional credentials and stay ahead in the workplace. Helping them to perform their work to the very best of their capabilities, professional development is essential for anyone with ambition to be the best in their business.

 

What is CPD?

 

CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development. This continuing development is important in a lot of industries and many professionals are required to undertake CPD in order to ensure their skills are as up to date and as relevant as possible. In some cases, professionals can lose their license to practice, or lose their membership of a professional body if they do not complete a certain number of hours of CPD per year.

 

CPD can take many forms but, in general, it involves taking part in training courses, talks and seminars. These sessions are often lead by professionals who have extensive experience in their field and most are specifically designed to inform and educate those working in a particular industry. We are currently running a CPD series on how to maintain modern render.

 

Why are they good?

 

Continuing professional development is incredibly important as it ensures people working in a fast-paced industry are able to keep up with the latest innovations. CPD also helps to ensure that the knowledge these professionals have already gained is kept fresh and relevant.

 

For example, building surveyors can use CPD to learn about new building techniques, new regulations and new maintenance processes. This up to date knowledge can then be directly implemented when they are on the job, giving their clients the benefit of their cutting edge knowhow and expertise. Render cleaning for example can be particularly specialist and learning more about the suitable maintenance options could help surveyors a great deal!

 

Completing relevant CPD allows professionals to be more effective in the workplace and make a more meaningful contribution to their teams. This can be a big advantage for those who want to excel in their chosen career and become a thought leader in their industry.

 

As CPD gives professionals a chance to meet and swap ideas, it isalso a great opportunity to advance knowledge and innovation within a particular area. This can lead to improved safety standards, better regulation and more sustainability within an industry, all of which will benefit customers as well as practitioners.

 

The importance of CPD should not be underestimated. Without this ongoing training, professionals may struggle to keep their knowledge up to date. This could have an impact on safety standards and prevent these professionals from providing customers with a good service.

 

From a customer’s point of view, CPD is important as it ensures the professional services they receive are up to date and relevant. If professionals were not required to complete a set number of CPD hours per year, their knowledge of their industry could soon become obsolete. As it is, regular CPD training helps to keep industry standards high across the board and ensures practitioners do not lag behind or become stagnant in their professional approach.

 

Why do surveyors have to complete 20 hours of CPD per year?

 

According to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, members have to complete 20 hours of CPD every year. Of this, at least 10 hours must be formal CPD. The remainder can be informal, but still needs to meet certain standards in order to count towards the total.

 

Things in the building and construction industry can move fast. New materials, new building techniques and new standards mean that this crucial industry is constantly evolving and innovating. If they did not complete their annual CPD, surveyors could soon be left behind.

 

By undertaking a minimum of 20 hours of CPD per year, surveyors have the opportunity to refresh their skills and learn about a range of innovations and changes in their industry. This can help them to find new solutions to existing problems and ensures they are able to carry out their job to the highest possible standard.

 

The exact CPD a surveyor completes will be up to them. There are various options available around the country, covering a wide range of relevant topics and areas of interest. When deciding which CPD to undertake, it is important surveyors make sure the sessions they choose are formal CPD if they want it to count towards the total. This could be something like our ‘how to maintain modern render” CPD.

 

Learn about our patented rend care system on an upcoming CPD

 

As we have already seen, CPD allows professionals to learn about new and exciting innovations in their industry. Our patented rend care system is a great example of this. Designed to remove stains and algae from the surface of modern render without the need for scaffolding and heavy machinery, our system enables property owners to clean their buildings effectively and efficiently.

 

Using super-heated steam and specialist biocide treatments, our operatives are able to restore modern render to its original aesthetic condition. As our team work from ropes rather than scaffolding or heavy machinery, this cleaning work can be carried out quickly and efficiently, with minimal disruption to the property owners or the people using the building.

 

In order to help surveyors understand the benefits of our system, we’ll be running free CPD around the country. Taking place throughout February and March, these events will give participants the opportunity to learn how our innovative, cost-effective and efficient system can benefit them and their customers.

 

If you’re interested in joining one of our CPD sessions, or if you’d like to learn more about our system and our services, please explore our site or send us an email at hello@spectrumss.co.uk today.

Website Blog Banner 17.02.20 2 - What are the potential risks of not cleaning your rendered building?

What are the potential risks of not cleaning your rendered building?

What are the potential risks of not cleaning your rendered building?

 

One of the most important parts of looking after a large commercial or residential building is maintaining the exterior. If the outside of a building is in poor decorative condition, it will leave the property looking tired and unattractive. What’s more, if the render hasn’t been cleaned for a while and is in a bad state, it could be letting water penetrate into the fabric of the building, potentially causing long term damage.

 

If you’re currently planning a schedule of works for your commercial or residential buildings, here are a few reasons why render cleaning should be right at the top of your To Do list.

 

Long term damage

 

One of the biggest risks of not cleaning the render on your property is long term damage. All major manufacturers of modern render, including K Rend, Sto, and Weber, recommend render is cleaned on a regular basis in order to keep it in good condition.

 

Cleaning render gives you the opportunity to remove any algae that’s built up on the surface of the building. Over time, these algae can cause staining and begin to damage the render itself. When a building is cleaned, it also gives you the chance to take a close up look at the structure and identify any leaks, cracks or other issues that might cause you problems.

 

Council “eyesore” fines

 

UK councils require property owners and management companies to properly maintain the exterior of their buildings. If a structure falls into disrepair or if the exterior of the property becomes especially dirty or unattractive, the council can impose an ‘eyesore’ fine on the owner. As well as paying the fine, the owner will be required to cover the cost of cleaning works.

 

Void manufacturer warranties

 

A lot of the time, when modern render is applied to the surface of a building, it’s covered by a warranty. This means that if the render fails within a certain amount of time, the manufacturer will put it right. However, in order for a warranty to stand, the property owner has to properly clean and maintain the render. If this doesn’t happen, the warranty will be void and the property owner will have to pay for the work themselves.

 

Void building insurance

 

In many cases, building insurance is also subject to proper maintenance. If render cleaning isn’t carried out on a regular basis, an insurer may refuse to pay out when a claim is made. This is true even if the claim has nothing to do with the render or even the exterior of the property.

 

Learn more about render cleaning and maintenance

 

Spectrum has developed an incredibly effective and efficient patented system for cleaning all types of modern render. If you’d like to find out more about the most cost-effective and time-efficient ways of maintaining your render, come along to one of our free CPD seminars. Contact hello@spectrumss.co.uk to find out more and to book your place.

Blog Banner 06.02.20 2 - What are the options available to you when it comes to maintaining modern render?

What are the options available to you when it comes to maintaining modern render?

Render is a great choice for the external finish of both commercial and domestic properties. Simple to apply, easy to maintain and affordable, render gives the building an important waterproof layer and a smart, attractive aesthetic. In order to keep render looking good, property owners need to keep it free from algae, fungi and staining. Properly maintaining your modern render will ensure your building is protected from the elements and its exterior looks good for as long as possible. Keep reading to learn more.

What type of render?

Before you clean the render on the exterior of your property, you need to find out exactly what type of render it is. A number of modern renders are now on the market. Many are mixed with polymers to improve their protective qualities. Different renders need different treatments and different tools. Some renders can withstand power washing while others are too delicate to survive the process. If you are unsure what type of surface your property has, talk to the manufacturer or call in Spectrum’s specialist cleaning team.

Jet washing

Most companies that manufacture modern render, including Weber Saint Gobain and K-rend, recommend using a power or jet wash to remove stains and algae growth. Power washing will clear the surface of the render of light discolouration caused by weathering, metalwork and algae. As long as the staining is not too ingrained, a thorough power wash should restore the building to its former glory,

However, jet washing and power washing aren’t suitable for all types of render. While some modern renders are very resilient, others, like those produced by manufacturer Sto, are more delicate and can easily be damaged or eroded by a powerful jet of water. If you’re unsure whether or not your building is suitable for this type of cleaning, speak to the render manufacturer or talk to a professional render maintenance company.

Detergents

In order to get the best results from your render clean, you will need to use a little detergent. Detergent helps to lift algae and other blemishes from the surface of the render to leave it looking like new. In many cases, small areas of discolouration can be removed using just detergent and a sponge or brush. However, more stubborn stains, and properties with more extensive discolouration, will need to be cleaned using jet washing and professional tools and equipment. Again, a specialist company like Spectrum will be able to offer you advice on which detergents are most suitable for the job. 

Fungicide

A lot of the time, discolouration and staining on rendered buildings is caused by the growth of fungus. Fungi can build up on buildings that are exposed to the elements and often grow beneath balconies, rooflines and close to windows. As well as discolouring the exterior of a property, fungi can damage the render itself if it is not cleaned on a regular basis. Over time, this could cause you serious issues and could lead to the building’s exterior needing to be re-rendered.

Regularly applying fungicide not only works to remove existing fungi growth, it also helps to prevent fungi re-growing in the future. This is especially true when fungicide is applied after the property has been power or jet washed.

Biocide

As well as fungi, your building’s exterior will have to contend with algae growth. Like fungi, algae grow on surfaces exposed to the elements and, like fungi, algae can seriously damage the render over time. Applying biocide during and after the cleaning process will kill existing algae and minimise regrowth. Biocide should be applied to the property at least once a year in order to prevent algae growth.

Re-rendering

Where a patch of render is severely discoloured or damaged, you can choose to re-cover the surface. As render manufacturer Wetherby suggests, removing the damaged render and re-applying modern render can be a good option. However, as you are unlikely to achieve a finish that exactly matches the rest of the property, this should only be done when you can re-render an entire panel or when cleaning is not an option.

P.A.S.T. cleaning technology

Spectrum has developed the most thorough and effective system for cleaning modern render. Our patented P.A.S.T. process brings together many of these cleaning techniques to leave your property looking like new.

The first part of the process is planning and preparation. During this stage, we will assess your property, closely examine the render and look at access. Once we have thoroughly surveyed the site, we will be able to decide which cleaning methods and processes will give us the best results.

In order to clean a property effectively and thoroughly, we then 3D print our own tools to ensure they are perfectly suited to the job. During this part of the process we will also create a plan outlining any additional challenges at the site and detailing exactly how we’re going to complete the project.

The next stage involves the application of biocide. The biocide treatment will kill any algae growing on the surface of the building. Algae can discolour and damage modern render, so it is important that as much algae is removed as possible. The biocide treatment we use is incredibly effective at killing algae and removing residue. This helps us to achieve great results from our cleaning process.

Once we have applied the biocide, we use steam to remove stains, residue and discolouration. The steam is heated to 150 degrees to make it as effective as possible. If any stains are left following the steam clean, we use a specialist treatment to remove the discolouration and leave the building looking like new.

Our patented rend-care system will help you maintain your building and keep it looking as good as possible. To help you learn everything there is to know about cleaning and maintaining modern render, we are running a series of free CPD seminars where we will go through the most cost-effective and time-efficient ways of maintaining modern render. If you are interested in attending a seminar, or if you’d like to learn more about the services we offer, contact sales@spectrumss.co.uk or take a look around our site.

Blog Banner 06.02.20 - Who manufactures polymer-based render and why is it used on high-rise buildings?

Who manufactures polymer-based render and why is it used on high-rise buildings?

Polymer-based render is becoming an increasingly popular choice for high-rise buildings, commercial properties and high-end residential builds. A polymer-based render is a term for a standard render that contains polymers as part of its ingredients.

These polymers have various properties, but are often included in the mix as they improve flexibility and weather proofing. Other benefits of polymer renders are that they’re highly adhesive, elastic and offer high impact resistance. This makes it easier for the render to be applied to the surface of a building and provides the property with better protection from the elements.

Polymer-based renders can have colour added to them before they’re applied to a building. This means you won’t have to paint the exterior of the property after the rendering is complete. Extra polymers – or different mixes of polymer – can also be added to the render to enhance its various properties.

Polymer-based render manufacturers

A number of well known manufacturers now produce polymer-based renders. This gives you an excellent choice of brands when it comes to finishing your building. Some of the most well respected manufacturers are Weber Saint GobainK-RendSto and Wetherby.

When did render become a popular building material?

Render has been used to protect and enhance the exterior of residential and commercial buildings for centuries. Used to cover stone, brick and other building materials, render adds an important protective layer to the outside of a building. This can help to minimise water penetration, prevent damage to the property and give the exterior a clean, smart aesthetic.

While render has been used by builders for years, it’s only relatively recently that polymers have been added to the mix to enhance the protective properties of standard render. As more and more architects and builders see the potential benefits of polymer-based render, the popularity of the material is growing.

As well as better protecting buildings from the effects of weather, polymer-based renders are also less prone to cracking and can be more easily cleaned than traditional alternatives. This makes polymer-based renders the perfect choice for property owners and managers who want to ensure their buildings look good and stay in excellent condition.

Why is polymer-based render used on high-rise buildings?

Polymer-based render is a popular choice for high-rise buildings because of its hydrophobic and protective properties. Once applied to the surface of a high-rise, polymer-based render will help to prevent water penetrating the property. As the material is tough and durable, it will only need light maintenance and should protect the building for years to come.

How many buildings are built each year with render facades?

While it is difficult to know exactly how many buildings are constructed each year with render facades, we can be confident that the number is growing rapidly. As render offers a number of practical and aesthetic benefits, it’s the ideal choice for property owners and managers who want an attractive and cost-effective solution for their buildings’ facades.

Cleaning render

Like all building materials used to decorate, protect or clad the exterior of a building, over time, polymer-based render will be impacted by weathering, staining and algae growth. This can leave the outside of a building looking tired and discoloured.

The best way to remove stains, algae and other blemishes on a building’s rendered exterior is to use the services of a specialist cleaning company. A specialist company will be able to thoroughly and safely clean the surface of the building. By using the right equipment and the right tools, an expert contractor will be able to remove all traces of wear and tear whilst maintaining the original colour and weather proof qualities of the render.

Our services 

Spectrum is proud to be an expert in cleaning and restoring buildings finished with polymer-based render. Our team uses a mix of specialist tools and techniques to remove algae, stains and other blemishes to leave a building looking like new.

Around the world, our team is transforming the face of buildings with pioneering cleaning systems. Unlike other specialists, we 3D print and manufacture our own equipment. This enables us to clean the facade of a building up to eight floors high from the safety of the ground.

In fact, we have been granted a patent on the above equipment. This means we’re the only company able to use this innovative and effective technique on rendered buildings.

As we have extensive experience cleaning render on all types of buildings, we’re perfectly placed to restore the render on your property. Our expert team use a range of tools and techniques to remove stains, algae and signs of weathering. We’re also able to clean metal cladding, wooden terraces, windows and frames, allowing us to completely transform your building from top to bottom.

If there are commercial units in the property, or neighbouring businesses that would be impacted by the work, we can schedule our clean to minimise disruption. This helps the project to run smoothly and ensures our clients remain on good terms with their neighbours.

Managing your rendered building 

In general, polymer-based render needs very little upkeep. However, it will require a deep clean every once in a while. Learning how to properly maintain the render on your building will allow you to keep the exterior of the property in great condition and help you to take the right maintenance steps at the right time.

To help inform property owners and facilities managers about the ins and outs of caring for a rendered building, we’re offering a “How to maintain modern render” CPD to surveyors and property management companies. Anyone interested should get in touch to find out more.

If you’re interested in our CPD training, or if you’d just like to find out more about the innovative services we offer, get in touch with an expert member of our staff today. Alternatively, take a look around our site where you’ll find lots of in depth information on our services, our skills and our expertise.

4 - Is it important to clean your gutters?

Is it important to clean your gutters?

Gutters are an important part of any commercial or industrial building. They serve to control the flow of rainwater to protect your roof, walls, foundation, and landscape.  Regular Gutter cleaning should be a priority for any building owner or commercial property manager, to ensure the gutters are always kept clean and water can run freely away from your building.

What happens if you don’t clean your building’s gutters?

If gutters are not cleaned and water overflows from the gutters, it will fall along the foundation of the building. Also, if the foundation is wet and then freezes, this will cause heaving and cracks. In extreme cases, water damage can cause structural damage both internally and externally, and result in expensive repairs.

Clogged and damaged gutters can cause a number of problems for your wider building and even the tiniest leak or crack can result in major issues that are costly to fix. When roof water overflows into blocked gutters then the only route for this water is down into the ground, as well as causing water logging on your premises, increased water absorption will cause damage to your building’s structure.

Escaping water will accumulate around your building’s foundations and without the correct maintenance or repairs, this water will slowly seep into your foundations and weaken the overall structure.

If you’re experiencing damp in your property, it’s a good idea to check your gutters before you do anything else to see if that’s what’s causing the problem. Damaged gutters and drains will lead to an accumulation of excess water, and thanks to blockages at any part of your system this water will simply have no place to go.

Is there a long-term solution to guttering maintenance?

You can easily protect your building by having regular cleaning maintenance in place. An annual clean will ensure the gutters are always kept clean and water can run freely away from your building.

The easiest way to clear it is to enlist a commercial cleaning contractor like ourselves to maintain and clean your guttering system on an annual or bi-annual basis.  Using this preventative method will, in fact, save you money in the long run.

Spectrum Specialist Support serves the whole of London and the South East of England. Our rope access teams are available 24/7 in Central London, and are responsive and are able to deliver to tight deadlines

If you’re worried about the state of your property’s gutters, please don’t hesitate to get in touch we’ll be happy to help.