Why We Need to View Pressure Washing as a Business Investment
When was the last time the exterior of your facility was pressure washed? Pressure washing, also known as façade cleaning, involves cleaning the exterior walls of a facility regularly, sometimes every few months but typically, about once a year. It is not only an effective way to keep the exterior of the facility looking its best, but also it can prove valuable as a preventive maintenance task.
Facility Managers should know that throughout the year, dust, soot, grease, grime, and pollution can build up on exterior walls. Mold, mildew, and fungi can also build up, especially on facilities located in the Bay Area. When they do, they make a home in the crevices of exterior walls, especially in mortar areas. Furthermore, heat and sunlight can “stress” the exterior of buildings. When this happens, minute gaps in exterior walls materialize. These gaps, over time, become homes to soils and contaminants that can damage exterior walls.
Before discussing how to address these issues and the importance of pressure washing exterior walls, we need to learn a bit more about mortar. Most managers may assume that mortar is used only on buildings made of brick. However, because we live in earthquake country, few buildings are made of brick. So, why is mortar a concern? What we need to know is that mortar is used to help secure many types of exterior sidings including concrete panels, various types of masonry, limestone, and even glass-curtain wall systems.
Because mortar is used more often than we may have realized, we should also learn a bit about what is called “tuckpointing.” This process was first developed in England in the late 1700s but is still used around the world today. The process helps waterproof a building and extend the life of the exterior walls. This is done by removing and replacing damaged mortar from exterior walls. The damaged mortar is then replaced with new mortar.
However, tuckpointing can be a time-consuming, costly, and labor-intensive process. Pressure washing, if performed correctly, frequently, professionally, and using the right equipment, can help delay tuckpointing and prevent a host of other exterior wall issues.
As to when a facility should be pressure washed: if this task has not been performed in more than three years, the answer is now.
Otherwise, pressure washing should be considered after the winter season; after repairs, construction cleanup, or building renovation has been completed; or if there has been a fire or smoke damage that has impacted the exterior walls.
It’s a cost-effective service that Medallion offers. However, Facility Managers are advised to look at this not as a cost but as an investment. Pressure washing helps keep a facility cleaner and healthier, prevent or delay bigger costs, keep current tenants more satisfied with the facility, while helping to attract new ones.