Case Study- High Temperature Steam Roof Cleaning

Project Info

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    Recent Projects

The project

Spectrum was approached by the main contractor working on the Liverpool Road site and asked to help clean the roofs on the blocks. The work was to be carried out in order to improve the aesthetic appearance of the properties and prevent future issues with their guttering. Spectrum has worked with the contractor for a number of years, assisting them with specialist access to their sites.

We were given 10 weeks to clean the roofs on all 6 blocks on Liverpool Road. Prior to Spectrum starting work on the properties, the roofs were extremely dirty and several of the blocks had reported issues with their guttering. These issues were largely caused by the amount of debris on the roofs.

Following a thorough site survey, Spectrum put together a bespoke solution for cleaning the roofs using our patented equipment. We would work from a cherry picker using high temperature steam to clear the gutters, remove debris and jet the downpipes. Following the clean, we planned to treat the roofs with biocide in order to prevent the regrowth of algae.

The site

The Liverpool Road site was made up of 6 blocks, each with an expansive roof area. As the roofs were all fairly large, this project represented a major undertaking.

The blocks on Liverpool Road were high which made access a challenge. Many also featured unusual architectural shapes and detailing, something that made the clean even more difficult.

During the project, we were required to work around other contractors. This meant we had to plan our clean carefully in order to get the most from the time available to us.

The logistics

The main logistical challenge at the Liverpool Road site was the height of the blocks. As Spectrum was tasked with cleaning the roofs and gutters of the properties, we needed to access the very top of the buildings. In order to achieve this, our team worked from cherry pickers using our patented pole equipment.

In order to get the job completed quickly and efficiently, we required two cherry pickers, or MEWPs, and a grounds man to operate our steam cleaning machines. From the basket of the cherry picker, our team used our patented equipment to reach all parts of the roof.

Due to the height of the buildings, the awkward shapes of the roofs and the surrounding trees, this job would have been difficult and time consuming to complete using conventional methods. Our specialist process made the clean easy, safe and quick, and saved the client time and money. According to our estimates, the clean could have taken up to 50% longer without the use of our specialist equipment and techniques.

As well as cleaning the roofs of the properties on Liverpool Road, Spectrum was also asked to clear the gutters of debris. When we began the project, the gutters were very full so we had to ensure that the downpipes did not become blocked by debris during the cleaning process.

To achieve this, we fitted downpipe protectors during the clean. This stopped heavy debris from falling into the pipes and causing blockages. Before completing the work on Liverpool Road, we also jetted the downpipes through to ensure they were clear of debris and working as they should.

The clean

Our team used cherry pickers to access the roofs at Liverpool Road. To ensure this was done safely, we had IPAF category 3a and 3b trained operatives working the machines and managing this crucial part of the operation. Our team also had a thorough understanding of working at height, as well as rescue and harness training. This ensured they were fully prepared for the job and could carry out the work safely and securely.

While cleaning the roofs and gutters at Liverpool Road, our team had a chance to survey the area for any potential maintenance issues. The team members involved in this part of the project had a good understanding of both roofing and guttering and so knew exactly what to look for. Any defects that were found were reported to the management company for future attention.

Navigating the awkward roofs at Liverpool Road and cleaning the surfaces at height were the two biggest challenges faced by our operatives. If we had used conventional cleaning and access techniques, it would have been more difficult to reach these roofs and to work at height.

Our patented pole equipment made it possible to work quickly, easily and safely from cherry pickers. Without using this method of cleaning, the job would have taken an estimated 50% longer to complete. This, in turn, would have added a considerable amount to the cost of the clean.

Throughout the clean at Liverpool Road, we used our patented process to remove dirt, stains, and discolouration to leave the property looking clean and fresh. This process involved using super-heated steam to remove ingrained dirt and stains from the surface of the roofs. Our operatives then treated the roofs with a biocide. This treatment kills any remaining algae and helps to prevent regrowth. Algae can quickly discolour the surface of a building, so clearing it and stopping it from coming back is essential in order to achieve a good outcome for the clean.

The result

The project at Liverpool Road had a positive outcome, with all roofs and gutters cleaned on time and on budget. Prior to the clean, the roofs were covered in algae, moss and dirt. By removing this debris from the roofs, we were able to completely transform the look of the properties and restore them to their original aesthetic condition.

As well as cleaning the roofs, we thoroughly cleaned the gutters. This will help the blocks to function smoothly and prevent the gutters from causing further issues for residents of Liverpool Road.

During the clean, all roofs and gutters had a complete health check. Any issues found were reported to the client. This gave the client complete peace of mind and helped to ensure the buildings were in good condition.

As well as cleaning the roofs and gutters at Liverpool Road, we removed heavy staining from the brickwork and stone. These stains had been caused by blocked downpipes. Removing these stains allowed us to restore part of the façade and improve the overall look of the buildings.

The client, site manager and Spectrum team were all very happy with the result of the clean. Site manager Leon said “Your health and safety routine was top class, in the way you set up with the barriers and the grounds man”

While the client said “If you look at the drone footage taken during the cleaning, you can see half the blocks cleaned and half the blocks about to be cleaned. It’s like black and white; the difference was huge.” And one of our operatives commented that “We were really pleased with the success of this project. The combination of our patented equipment with a cherry picker was amazing as it saved us over 50% in time, as we were able to reach more from the same position and it saved us a lot of time maneuvering the cherry picker around the site.”