Buildings with curtain walls, just like any other building, need to be mindful of maintenance. The beautiful building façade needs to stay in good repair to maintain its beautiful looks. For a building owner or facility manager this might seem like a nightmare. But there are many companies that will take on maintenance of these difficult to service facades.
An on-going maintenance contract ensures that the building is kept up to scratch. The necessity for actual repairs is lessened if the building is checked regularly and everything kept in good working order.
If you don’t have this sort of maintenance in place then repairs are likely to be reactive i.e. rectifying something after the damage is done. In the long run this can cost you more.
What can go wrong?
Broken or cracked glass panes, blocked gutters particularly for glass atriums, damage caused by the weather, leaks and light repairs are all possible. Access to high rise curtain walled buildings and roofs are via ropes. For teams of fully trained abseilers this is all in their day’s work!
Access for maintenance
Low rise buildings don’t usually cause too many access problems when it comes to maintenance. High rise constructions may have access for ‘swing stage’ cleaning. You know what we mean – everyone remembers the Diet Coke ad for the 11.30 Appointment don’t they?
All cleaning and maintenance on high rise curtain walls can usually be managed from these swing stage platforms. Alternatively professional abseilers can access any part of a high rise curtain wall for these purposes.
Even cleaning high rise glass buildings or removing graffiti (for instance) from stone or metal facades is a specialised job. But cleaning is an essential part of curtain wall maintenance. Not only will your building look better – upholding the company image – but it is also good for maintenance. The building gets checked for one thing and any problems noted and attended to immediately.
Ensuring there are no leaks however tiny also keeps the quality of the air inside the building at its best too and prevents mould from forming. Who’d have thought?
As well as consideration for the glazing, sealants need to be checked on a regular basis. Keeping these in optimum condition means they cost less in the long run. Sometimes excessive movement will cause damage. Access again via swing stages or abseilers is necessary to carry out repairs.
Aluminium frames are treated before installation and should last a good 10-15 years unless there are extreme adverse conditions. Although they cannot be re-anodised in place, aluminium can be cleaned and treated if necessary.
Curtain wall repair
Wherever possible put a regular curtain wall maintenance contract in place, In the long run this will save money as the curtain wall will be kept ‘up together’ and actual repairs are less likely to be necessary.
By Rob Rudd
Rob Rudd has a keen interest in in bold architecture and enjoys spotting famous buildings on his travels. He lives on the south coast of England with his wife and 3 children.