Project Management – External Render, Brick and blockwork cleaning
Over at the Swindon Schools Project an issue was raised by the Technical Advisor in relation to the aesthetic appearance of the render, brick and blockwork finishes of the buildings on site. The Project is comprised of seven schools all with their own characteristic and design nuances. With the Project at 14 years old it was evident that something needed to be done to bring the schools back to their former glory; Chris Spencer and Mike Thomas of the PM Team of HCP Consultancy got to work!
On review of the O&Ms it was found that the render system installed was designed as a maintenance free wall finish. The condition of certain elevations would lead to comment that it would not be acceptable to leave in current state. Render system manufacturer was consulted and were unable to provide an appropriate response to progress the issue. Even if the render could be painted it would need to be cleaned first, and the original supplier of the render system were not able to provide a suitable paint to be applied.
In view of the hurdles presented HCP Consultancy engaged Contractors with a view to test the market for the solutions which may be available. Through this exercise, it was discovered that there are systems of cleaning that could have proved harmful to the wall finishes due to the chemicals or processes employed. In February 2020 a local business; NiceClean Ltd were brought to site and completed cleaning to a test patch area of heavily mossed and discoloured render in the delivery yard to one of the schools. Adopting a pole ‘softwash’ system and treating the area with Sodium Hypochlorite, pure water and surfactant before agitation was the chosen methodology. The results were immediate and the area came up almost as good as new! The area was left for several months to see if there were any negative effects upon the wall finish and to see if the green and red algae staining returned.
With the Summer holidays approaching NiceClean were instructed to undertake cleaning as per the tested methodology to clean all seven schools to spruce up all the exterior wall finishes. The works took 24 days to complete and the Project now has seven squeaky clean schools as can be seen in the before and after photographs taken during the works. The Schools representatives and Council Client have all remarked on how impressed they are with the results which have been achieved – another successful job completed!
The above highlights the ability of the HCP Consultancy Team to rise to the challenge when presented with a problem where on initial review the solution was not apparent.