Case Study | Abbey Street

Project Info

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    Recent Projects

The project


Spectrum was approached by a long-term client to clean the façade of one of their residential buildings. The management company asked Spectrum to remove built up dirt and grime from the surface of the building and return the property to its former aesthetic condition.


The Abbey Street block was made up of a mix of stone, brick and traditional painted cement-based render. The management company wanted Spectrum to remove dirt and staining from all of these surfaces in order to improve the look of the building and delay the need for redecoration.


The work at the Abbey Street site was to be completed in one week.


The site


The Abbey Street site was made up of a large residential block. The block had not been cleaned for a number of years, something that had resulted in a significant accumulation of dirt and grime.


A combination of building materials had been used in the construction of the Abbey Street block. This made the clean more difficult as each material required slightly different chemicals and processes. Our expertise in cleaning ensured our teams were able to select the best methods for each material used on the Abbey Street project.


The logistics


The main challenge at the Abbey Street block was restricted access. This limited the ability of heavy machinery to reach certain parts of the site and meant that specialist access techniques were required in order to complete the clean.


Spectrum uses a range of access techniques to reach high and awkwardly-located parts of a building. These include operatives working via rope access and using our own bespoke, patented equipment. A lot of this equipment is designed and 3D printed in-house. This tailored approach allows our teams to reach areas of a building that would be inaccessible using other, less innovative methods.


As access was a big issue on this project, our specialist skills were required in order to complete the job. Our teams were able to utilise these techniques to minimise disruption to residents and make the work at the Abbey Street site as quick and efficient as possible.


Our operatives were required to use a range of cleaning methods in order to remove grime from multiple surfaces and prevent damage to the substrate. Around 80% of the façade was made of brick, the rest of the structure was a combination of stone and painted cement-based render.


The clean


Because of the level of staining on the façade of the Abbey Street site, our teams needed to clean surfaces multiple times in order to remove the built up dirt and grime. In some cases, materials had to be cleaned three times before they were returned to their original aesthetic condition.


As different materials require different cleaning methods, it is essential that operatives have an in-depth understanding of building materials and cleaning techniques. If incorrect chemicals or processes are used, it can damage the substrate and impact the result of the clean.


In order to fully remove the staining, dirt and grime from the façade at Abbey Street, our operatives used a combination of cleaning methods. For the painted, rendered façade, we used our patented 4-stage cleaning process. Known as P.A.S.T., this process involves a number of steps designed to achieve outstanding results and maximise efficiency.


First, our teams carefully prepare the render for cleaning. They then apply a biocide treatment to the surface of the building. This treatment is specially formulated to kill algae, mould and other organic matter commonly found on the exterior of buildings. If left untreated, this organic matter can quickly grow to cover large areas of a façade, discolouring it in the process.


Following the application of the biocide, our teams used super-heated steam to remove dirt, grime and staining. Heated to a temperature of 150 degrees, this steam quickly and efficiently removes organic matter, staining and discolouration from rendered buildings. If any staining remains on the surface of the building following the steam clean, our teams will use a targeted treatment to permanently remove them.


For stone and brick areas, our teams selected the DOFF cleaning process. This innovative process also uses super-heated steam to remove dirt and grime. Unlike other cleaning methods, the steam used is not highly pressurised and so will not cause damage to the substrate during the clean. This is very important when cleaning brick and stone, as high-pressure water jetting can cause significant damage and a patchy, uneven result.


When using both of these cleaning methods, our teams utilised the unique, patented equipment available to them. On this project, our operatives used modular tubes to allow them to clean the property from the safety of the ground. This approach meant that heavy machinery was not needed and that the work could be carried out quickly and efficiently.


Operatives repeated the cleaning processes multiple times until all traces of dirt, grime and staining had been removed from the property. As they were able to work from the ground, this repeated cleaning could be done quickly and treatments effectively applied to any areas that required extra attention.


This innovative, flexible approach was beneficial for both the client and the residents of the Abbey Street block. Cleaning the building quickly minimised disruption to those living in the building. The work was completed in just one week, allowing life in the property to get back to normal as quickly as possible.


Cleaning the façade from the ground saved the client a considerable amount on heavy machinery and scaffolding hire. If scaffolding had been used, the project could have taken up to twice as long to complete, something that would have caused more disruption to tenants and made the clean more costly. Our approach made the project cost-effective as well as time-efficient.


The result


The clean at the Abbey Street site was completed on time and on budget. In just one week, our teams were able to remove years of built up dirt and grime and return the façade of the property to its original aesthetic condition. Disruption was kept to a minimum throughout the project and work was carried out quickly and efficiently.


The client was very pleased with the work carried out, as it delayed the need for redecoration and returned the façade of the property to its original aesthetic condition. Bringing the project in within the designated timeframe, and keeping costs to a minimum, also helped to ensure client satisfaction.


MD Lucian said of the Abbey Street clean, “It was great to see a combination of so many specialist cleaning methods being used in the most effective way possible. These methods should not be reserved just for the likes of London’s most prestigious buildings. It was great to be able to make this affordable for the client, and bring fresh life to the face of their building.”