Case Study: 3 Rendered Blocks in Brighton

Project Info

  • Category

    Recent Projects

The project

Spectrum was asked by an existing client to clean the exterior of their buildings after having difficulty finding a contractor able to complete the job to their satisfaction.  

Prior to our involvement, the housing association had tried other cleaning companies and other cleaning methods in an effort to restore the outside of this site. However, they had struggled to find a method that worked and had almost given up trying to have the property cleaned.

The housing association asked Spectrum to restore the render on all elevations and remove the rust and lead staining from all three blocks. We were also asked to restore the wooden cladding on the blocks. The properties contained a mixture of tenure and leasehold properties. 

The job was awarded late into the project, once other work was already underway. This meant the project had a very tight time frame, with just eight weeks allocated for the cleaning of all three blocks. 

The site

The main issue at this site was staining. The render was heavily stained beneath the balconies. This was caused by run off from the balconies themselves which had caused the exterior of the building to become discoloured. 

As well as staining from the balconies, there were rust stains and algae build up across much of the building. This discolouration was so severe we had to repeat both the second and third stage of our patented P.A.S.T. cleaning technique in order to achieve the required results. 

The site was made up of three residential blocks, all with multiple apartments and multiple balconies. In order to minimise disruption to the residents and ensure the job was completed on schedule, we coordinated with residents directly. This allowed us to book in specific times for each balcony to be cleaned and ensure residents’ belongings were clear of the balconies and protected from our cleaning chemicals.

The logistics 

When working on properties that contain multiple residential units, coordination and communication are key. In order to ensure all the residents of this block were happy with the job we did, we tried to be as flexible as possible, working around their needs and requirements whenever we could. 

While this slowed down our work at certain points, it ensured both our client, and their residents, were more than satisfied both with our approach, and the finished result. As a gesture of goodwill, we also cleaned the decking of the residents’ balconies, leaving them looking as good as new. 

Working on this site required some additional health and safety measures. COSH training is incredibly important to us and we always ensure operatives have properly fitting facemasks. We also invest in Doff steam cleaning training to ensure the correct use of our specialist equipment. 

Having highly trained team members allows us to clean areas that are inaccessible to cherry pickers and scaffolding. On Site, our IRATA trained abseilers were required to clean balconies that had no other access. It takes three to five years to become a level 3 abseiler, showing just how dedicated, and how highly trained, our operatives are. 

Patented steam cleaning 

Before we begin cleaning a building, we have to ascertain which type of render has been used on the property, as this will determine the cleaning method we use. There are several types of modern render. These renders (normally either silicon or acrylic based) require slightly different types of biocide treatment and slightly different steam treatments. Selecting the right cleaning method ensures we get fantastic results. 

When cleaning either acrylic or silicon based render, we use our patented P.A.S.T. system. This involves 3D printing our own equipment and using it to carry out a staged cleaning process to remove algae, stains and other blemishes. 

The four-stage process P.A.S.T. process includes: 

During the cleaning phase of the process, steam is applied to the building at 150 degrees. This helps to kill algae and remove stains. Further stain and algae treatments are then used to prevent future discolouration and protect the exterior of the building.

As well as cleaning the render on site, we were also asked to restore the wooden cladding on the blocks. We used a process very similar to our P.A.S.T. technique and achieved great results.

 The result

Prior to Spectrum starting work on this block the housing association in charge of the properties was unsure their exteriors could be cleaned to a satisfactory level. To ensure our process would work, they asked if we’d provide a free sample, something we did gladly. The results of the free sample amazed everyone and we were asked to complete the clean on the rest of the properties.

 As the client had previously tried other contractors without success, they were relieved to find our methods were effective and affordable. In fact, the results were so successful the client said our work was like magic.

As well as a great result, the project was completed on time. This was partly thanks to the extra teams we added to the job to ensure we met the client’s tight deadline.

 All three blocks were given a facelift and a new lease of life. The render was restored to the same aesthetic condition it had been in when it was first completed. This, together with the cleaned balcony decks and stain removal, left the site looking as good as new.

The Spectrum team found the project especially gratifying to work on, with one operative saying “It was very satisfying to be able to complete the job on time for the client, and leave the block looking like new again with such a big difference in the result. This wouldn’t have been possible without the patented equipment which we 3D printed for the job.” The client described watching the buildings be steam cleaned as like someone taking off the surface off of a scratch card, a testament to the transformative results of our render cleaning services.

If you are interested in finding out some more information please do not hesitate to contact us.

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3551 6206