Exterior Low-Pressure Building Wash

Exterior building cleaning - why it is important?

Not everyone realises the importance of regular exterior cleaning maintenance, the fact that you are viewing this page suggests that you do, and that’s a good thing.
The analogy is often made – you clean your Range Rover (or Tesla as it may be) every week or two and it is probably only worth a fraction of the value of your building – and you’ll probably replace it more often. This only highlights the importance of cleaning your much larger assets on a regular basis. Every facade and surface needs to be cleaned, regardless if it is galvanised, powder-coated or painted; because salt-laden air, airborne contaminants, general dirt and bird droppings etc don’t discriminate. All will affect the appearance and integrity  – and in many cases the manufacturer’s warranty of your surfaces if they are not cleaned off regularly.

The other obvious reason to clean your building regularly is to maintain great first impressions. The saying ‘if it looks good it’s half sold’ applies to your property & business. Whether you are in the healthcare, retail, hospitality or manufacturing industry – your building represents part of your brand story and often what people instantly judge you by. If your building is clean and well maintained, that is the impression your brand will convey.

ADLER are;  #caretakesofyourfirstimpressions 

We genuinely have a passion for what we do, cleaning a commercial building with a high level of care and attention and seeing the result is very satisfying.

Chemical washing, soft washing, low-pressure cleaning are all common phrases associated with building cleaning in general. Here we describe the service and the different methods that can be used – and why.

The Exterior Low-Pressure Building Wash is our most common service and is a large scale clean designed for building surfaces

The following methods of cleaning are all used by Adler – depending on the substrates and levels of soiling.

Environmental conditions also determine how we clean.

Chemical Wash (Chem-wash as it’s often called) – this can be simply described as a chemical solution sprayed or foamed on to the building substrate – followed by a hot or cold wash using a low-pressure water jet. Similar to how you wash your car – sometimes we need to scrub your building if required to remove soiling or stains but essentially the chemical and the low-pressure water jet does the cleaning.

We do this on a large scale using high-pressure foaming guns or low-pressure high-volume sprayers to apply large areas at a time. Our chemicals are super-concentrated and a little goes a long way (see our environmental policy), they are typically low foaming variety’s as well. We give it a chance to soften the dirt and then pressure wash clean, sometimes using heated water. Now and then we’ll need to give the surface a scrub to help move the stubborn bits – to put that in context, you may see us doing that on an Aluminium façade, but probably not on 15,000 sqm of long-run iron cladding..!

We have a number of specialist cleaning products we use for different applications, all are NZ formulations and manufactured by one of our local chemical manufacturers. Our emphasis is on the ‘less is more’ philosophy and we use super concentrated products to reduce packaging and carbon footprint from transporting. It’s important that our chemical suppliers have a demonstrable environmental policy and we look for endorsements such as NZ environmental choice approved.

Steam Cleaning – There are a few types of steam cleaning. Our version of Steam Cleaning is probably more appropriately called Hot Water Blasting. Water pumped under pressure travels through a boiler which heats the water up to anywhere between 60 & 100 deg Celsius. We can increase the temperature for some applications but in the main we keep it to safe levels. Hot water cleans 70 – 80% better than cold water and also helps kill embedded lichen spores at the right temperatures. It’s a great chemical-free option for those that prefer it.

Soft-Wash Cleaning – The interpretation of this depends on where you live in the world, in the UK and USA it essentially it is using chemicals to do the cleaning – over against pressure cleaning or water blasting. Most people mix a hypochlorite solution (Bleach for short) with a Surfactant cleaner (Soap or Detergent). This process is easy on sensitive surfaces that can’t be water blasted, and the chemical residue is generally lethal to microscopic spores on the surface that would otherwise grow back and look dirty again. It is practised by a few companies in NZ but to be honest, we don’t like it. It is quite heavy on chemical use and that doesn’t fit so well with our environmental policy. For one, it creates an issue with chemical handling for our staff, and dirty water run-off that is laden with chemicals is harder to manage.

If we refer to ‘soft washing’ – it is our term for ‘spray and leave’ Moss treatments, we’ll often clean using low pressure (which may not remove every speck on some surfaces) followed by a dose of moss spray to continue cleaning long after we’re gone.

Talk to our team about routine or scheduled maintenance cleaning for your property to keep it in great shape.

We recommend annual cleaning for modern cladding materials, this is generally a minimum requirement to maintain manufacturers warranties. More frequent cleaning may be necessary for high profile or retail property. The annual building wash can be complemented with interim window cleaning and roof & gutter inspections.