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Press Center / Company news

Cleaning of Facades

25 January 2010

Daily cleaning of placements and adjoining territory must be a usual thing for an office. Same periodicity is excessive for building fronts: both coverings of an external walls and windows are steady against any influences and are capable not to become dirty for long enough. However rain, wind, snow, seasonal and daily temperature drops, humidity, acid rains and car exhausts pollute building fronts and destroy long-lived coverings. To reduce destruction process to a minimum it’s necessary to include cleaning of windows and facades into regular service of a building. If it’s a many-storied building, all works have to be performed by industrial climbers who have special admissions for high-rise works. When washing fronts of the building high-pressure equipment and cleaners are used. Elevators are also used depending on work conditions.

Cleaning of building fronts is first of all protection from wall saltpeter which has a form of whitish coating and spoils the look of the building.

Wall saltpeter can appear on almost each of the traditional porous building materials – both natural and artificial. The reason of wall saltpeter is crystallization of salts on the surfaces. Lots of materials contain salt – cement, concrete, plaster and masonry solution, brick, etc. Another reasons of wall saltpeter is considerable local humidifying, slow evaporation of a moisture from a laying and low temperature of air. For today the most universal method which provides long safety of building fronts is hydrophobization.

Steps of hydrophobization:

1. First you need to clean walls with a suitable cleaner by means of the special equipment and stock.

2. Then you need to wash out building front with water, allow it to dry out, afterwards impregnate with waterproof structure.

Hydrophobization solves two problems. First, it protects a building front from the further penetration of moisture into it. And secondly, it stops growth of salt crystals in material by filling available pores and emptiness with waterproof organic flints. For today it is the most expedient way of façade preservation, especially after hydrophobization. Vapor permeability of materials keeps its level, which means the building still breaths. Socles of city buildings, first of all in the central streets, get a salt coating as a result of application of anti ice-covering reagents on roads, splashing dirt, and cleaning sidewalks. For salts removal facades should be processed with acid cleaners.

The advantage of industrial climbing is mobility and relatively low price of this service. Cleaners use brushes and special equipments with the T-shaped stamp and socket on a tip. Also using of high-pressure equipment is possible for façade cleaning.

The technique of cleaning depends on facade type: for example, brushes are applied by working with painted and glass surfaces. When cleaning the facades neutral detergents are usually used. The nonfreezing liquid is applied in the winter because of low temperatures.
The cost depends on complexity of works made, the terms, the techniques used, the level of employees’ professional preparation and the company’s status. You’re not supposed to be happy because of very low price. It probably means that employees are not that qualified, detergents and equipments are chip and of bad quality.

The method of high-pressure cleaning

As building stones and plasters considerably differ from each other in a chemical compound, superficial structure and aeration degree, and also differently react on mechanical and chemical loadings, it is necessary to pay attention on compatibility of cleaning system with specific conditions.
Method of high pressure cleaning is widely used, because of a number of its advantages. The power sated stream of water allows to clean the diversified materials, different forms of surfaces and even those sites which are inaccessible to other systems of cleaning. Besides, cleaning by a high pressure demands relatively small hardware expenses and provides the most exact combination of all factors defining the result of cleaning – mechanical, temperature, chemical and time factors.

The mechanical factor. Mechanical cleaning action is defined by a high pressure which is made by water on façade’s surface and which depends on pressure on an exit of a nozzle, and also – to a greater extent – on the water expense. Besides, mechanical action of a high pressure stream considerably depends on a corner of its dispersion and, hence, from a choice of a nozzle of a high pressure. Application of a fan nozzle increases productivity on the area, but reduces efficiency of branch of dirt.

The temperature factor. High-pressure appliances are used for facades cleaning. They can be both with heating of water, and without it. The advantage of the first type is obvious – it washes off the dirt better and reduces the volume of evaporations.

The chemical factor. Requirements of preservation and protection of the materials are very important for reducing amount of chemicals used for natural stone cleaning. The cleaner choice should be adjusted with a stone chemical compound; otherwise formation of by-products can be caused. By-products can be a reason of the change of surface. It is necessary to use neutral, alkalescent or subacidic universal cleaners only. Thus it is expedient to apply foam-making cleaner to wash smooth front surfaces. They allow to increase influence time. When choosing a cleaner it’s advisable to pay attention on the acid steady of material.

When using cleaners the works are usually carried out in two stages, which provide additional use of time. The first stage implies cleaner drawing, the second stage – washing off the dirt with a high pressure stream.

Ultrahigh pressure cleaning. The stream of water is supposed to have high range of pressure – from 400 to 1000 bar. The method is suitable for very firm materials cleaning only. A drench of stone laying is a disadvantage of the method.

Practical aspects of cleaning. Some tests should be held before cleaning. These tests allow to define material’s reaction to different kinds of pressure, different temperature and cleaners. The tests must be done on not evident spots of facades. When a building has a big size the tests should be held on different parts of the building and different façade materials.

The important rules are switching-off of front electric equipment and working only at the temperatures of air exceeding 5oС for the cleaner should not dry up.


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