Why it’s Important to Maintain Your Façade

Adrian Storey, General Manager at Horbury Facades, looks at why it’s important to have a proper maintenance regime for a rainscreen façade.

“As the most visible element of any building, facades receive more than their fair share of attention. As such it is important that they are kept in pristine condition, not just to maintain their aesthetic appeal, but also to ensure that they remain fit for purpose.

Adding rainscreen cladding is a low maintenance, cost effective way to give an existing building greater contemporary appeal, however the panels still require a degree of upkeep if they are to perform best throughout their lifespan.

Varying weather conditions, including extreme wind, rain and snow, as well as debris, moss and dirt are just some of the elements that can damage and cause the deterioration of a building’s façade.

To ensure that the façade remains aesthetically pleasing, effective in terms of functionality and structurally sound, a well-planned inspection, maintenance and cleaning regime is required. With panels ranging from copper, copper alloys and Corten, through to timber and fibre cement, all in a vast range of colours, it is also essential that the regime is suitable for the material used. 

Long lasting

Façades can last a lifetime if they are looked after well, but if they aren’t, there is a chance that they will lose their visual appeal and will start to deteriorate down the line.

Following the initial installation, the contractor should provide an aftercare plan that tells the building owner how often to inspect various parts of the system, in line with manufacturers’ guidelines. The plan should include checking the panels, fixings, fire breaks and wall anchors and inspecting for any fasteners that may have come loose.

A site survey should then be carried out every year to ensure early detection of any defects, which can alleviate the need for expensive repairs or replacement later. The survey will also provide information about the extent and severity of any faults in need of immediate rectification.

Site surveys are a specialist activity, therefore it is important that they are carried out by qualified, experienced and adequately insured inspectors, like our skilled team at Horbury Facades. An expert will not only see problems in need of immediate repair, but they may also spot any indications of potential failure, long before it actually occurs, which can be then added to a maintenance schedule and repaired when necessary.

Regular inspection, professional cleaning and maintenance will also help to prolong the lifespan of the façade and aesthetics of the building. Removing dirt, mould and other contaminants regularly will reduce the damage that they can cause, and will cost substantially less than having to replace the cladding later down the line.

Insurance requirement

Most commercial insurers require that the property they have agreed to cover is maintained to a good standard and all reasonable precautions have been taken to prevent long-term damage.

Normal wear and tear is a specific exclusion of most insurance contracts and many claims are rejected on the basis that damage was more directly caused by poor maintenance rather than by specific insurance risk. Regular external building inspections are therefore a key part of any maintenance programme.

According to Aviva Insurance, owners and occupiers have a legal duty to ensure their building is safe. If injury or damage is caused to visitors, occupiers, neighbours, third parties or property, e.g. by part of the façade failing, then liability arises. Insurance is usually taken out to cover such risks, but will only cover the legal liability. Other consequent financial loss, which can be substantial, will not be covered by insurance. To comply with the terms and conditions of the insurance contract you must be able to show that you understand the relevant maintenance needs of your building and that you have met these. Failure to maintain the building façade properly may result in increased insurance premiums, or difficulty in insurance renewal. In extreme cases insurance cover may be terminated, making it impossible to obtain insurance at any price.

Therefore, it is important to ensure that you have had a regular inspection and maintenance regime in place for your facade system. A competent and reliable maintenance contractor for facades, like Horbury Facades, can provide evidence and records of all inspections and repairs, should they be required for regulatory and insurance purposes.

Horbury Facades provides a complete aftercare service which includes regular inspections, cleaning and maintenance, including written records and logs of all works and checks carried out, to ensure that your façade retains both its performance and aesthetics.”

To find out more about our facade maintenance, cleaning and repair services, or to speak to a member of our team about a professional site survey, call 01709 515 044 or email enquiries@horburyfacades.com

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