4 High Return Tips To Kick-Start A Building Cleaning Project, Increase ROI and Enhance Asset Value!


Sadly, there are many buildings that have either been left dirty for too long or have been cleaned using the incorrect methods. For you a building may be your company’s largest asset, so why has it been neglected for so long?

No matter what your reason for getting your Gebäudereiniung cleaned, it’s vital that you get the best solution that will protect your asset for years to come. It’s important that the approach is proactive rather than reactive; research shows that most buildings are subject to a 5-10 year cleaning cycle which may be futile for a building that is deteriorating. It’s this accumulating damage that leads to rising maintenance costs as well as larger, more disruptive projects.

It’s difficult to know where to start when you’re faced with a multitude of service providers all offering different solutions to solve your building soiling issues. Whilst looking for a building cleaning solution you may have been bombarded by ‘experts’ with boundless knowledge on the benefits of sandblasting or jet washing, but how do you know what’s right for your building?

Like us humans, buildings require TLC that’s tailored to their material and soiling issues – if you’re going to remember one thing, remember this: there’s NO ‘one size fits all’ approach to getting your building cleaned.

Tip # 1

The Power Of Preparation

When you think about your own business, what’s the first thing you need from a client? As much information as possible! So, when you’re considering having your building cleaned/restored, it’s sometimes useful to go back to basics and collate as much info as possible about your building.

This may help you get some clarity about what it is you’re looking for, and ultimately help you to achieve the right solution for your company and your building.

Here’s a simple check list you might find useful when approaching prospective service providers:

  • Building use – it’s important to know the function of a building, as this may affect the way a service provider tackles the project. For example if it’s a hospital it may require some out of hours work or there may be strict guidelines about the use of chemicals in the immediate vicinity.
  • Building age – has it been cleaned before? This will affect not only the building’s current state, but also how it’s likely to weather in the future. Remember, sometimes buildings are left dirty for too long so it’s important that you’re realistic about what kind of result is achievable.
  • Building fabric – this may seem obvious but it’s Gebaeudereinigung important to know what materials the building is composed of in order that the appropriate cleaning methods can be used.
  • Specification – you may already have one or you may have been given the task of creating one. This can take the form of a simple but detailed outline of the more specific project requirements e.g. restoration of a stone door way involving minor stone repairs or you need a complete solution and access strategy for a restoration project. It can be as detailed as you want; any good service provider will take your specification document on board when considering the project investment cost.
  • Why does it need cleaning? This may be something more complex than “because it’s dirty”. A prospective service provider may ask what the drivers are – whether it be part of a brand enhancement strategy or in anticipation of a head office visit, all of your reasons are as valid as each other.

Now that you’re armed with a killer check list, hopefully the task of procuring building cleaning/restoration doesn’t seem so daunting. It’s about giving the service provider as much information as possible so that you can achieve the results you want and therefore INCREASE your asset’s value and ROI.

Tip #2

How To Eliminate Confusion And Doubt

After speaking to a number of façade cleaning companies, you may be finding it difficult to gauge which service provider is going to give you the best results. One company has suggested sandblasting, whilst another has suggested jet washing… where do you go from here and how do you know whose suggestion is the most suitable for your building?

We all need some assurance from time to time, and sometimes independent verification can be the only way to do it.

AAMA and BRE have published a variety of industry whitepapers on façade management which can be invaluable when establishing which service provider is providing you with the appropriate solution.

We think it’s all about equipping yourself with the correct information to help you make an informed decision about your need to preserve or even ENHANCE your building’s asset value.

Tip #3

WHY You Should Ask For A Test Trial And HOW To Make The Most Of It

Opting for a survey of your building along with a test trial can be a great way of assessing who is best for the job. Some of the many benefits include the following:

  • You get to meet the surveyor and learn more about their methods – don’t be afraid to ask WHY they do what they do.
  • By seeing your building, a service provider will be able to create a bespoke diagnosis of its condition and soiling issues, which in the long run will allow you to get the best results.
  • Take the opportunity to look at the equipment used and ask questions!
  • If your company prefers to work with industry-recognised suppliers, then this may be the time to ask about the company’s accreditations e.g. ISO 9001/14001, Stone Federation etc.
  • The surveyor will be able to review project constraints with you and predict any possible hurdles you may need to overcome. This helps minimise the risks of hidden costs that may not otherwise be accounted for.

More Reasons Why You Should Opt For A Test Trial

The cleaning history of a building is often poorly documented, meaning that these details may be unknown or unclear. Clients trust service providers to provide the best options or costs possible, which can often result in over-cleaning and/or quick and abrasive cleaning methods being used. Ultimately this results in short-term results, low satisfaction and high maintenance costs.

Before embarking on a façade cleaning project, it is often best to carry out some form of cleaning test trial as this will give you:

  1. Cleaning method clarity.
    2. Confirmation of results, methods and processes required.
    3. Clear indication of programme and clear cost structure.

Testing of different substrates on different elevation in different sunlight conditions should generally give all parties a clear idea of the likely end outcome and client satisfaction.

Trials should be recorded in detail, taking before and after images along with any general information for inclusion in the project document. Certain cleaning methods and applications once thought suitable for a project can then be omitted and other methods justified and used where necessary. This is very beneficial when for example working with older buildings where variations of chemical or abrasive methods are more suitable than slower more sensitive façade cleaning methods.

During the test trial dwell times, product application and effectiveness can all measured and monitored to ensure the best, most suitable, safe and sensitive façade cleaning methods are then used for the project.

This may seem very detailed, but actually we know you’ll agree that it will help to establish a tailored cleaning/restoration investment cost price for your building.

Tip # 4

What to Expect From Your Survey Report

It’s important that your prospective service provider is able to formulate a bespoke solution that you can use to support your business case for the building cleaning project. As we said earlier, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to façade cleaning, but you’ll need to look for the following:

  • Trust – you need to know that you’re receiving expert, specialised advice from a trustworthy source.
  • Transparency – you’ll need a breakdown of costs & an analysis of how they address your building soiling concerns.
  • Detailed analysis – based on the empirical evidence gathered at the site survey.
  • Demystification and simplicity – jargon and industry terminology will be explained so that you are able to present your project cost findings to your colleagues, certain in the knowledge that you have the answer to their questions.

Last but not least

It’s worth bearing in mind that a façade condition and cleaning survey will provide key information on what cleaning process can be used, the results, likely costs, risks and management requirement.

This is particularly useful for those of you who may not know very much about the building itself, or perhaps have never seen it. It is also valuable information for anyone contemplating buying or leasing the building.