outdoor worker cleaning the exterior wall of building through pressure water

From the tallest of skyscrapers, to the corner office and the downtown warehouse district, the stressors of sunlight, changing weather, water, building movement and settlement can break down and deteriorate building facades creating comfort, safety and maintenance issues that can quickly add to the cost of property ownership.

"Now that winter is almost over, spring marks an ideal time for building owners and facility managers to survey their buildings and structures for any damage that may have resulted from the cold, winter weather, make repairs and perform preventative maintenance to protect the exterior going forward," says Western Specialty Contractors facade expert Jason Holtman.

Proper facade maintenance will aid in reducing the likelihood of unexpected costs and repairs, plus help to maintain the property's value, said Holtman.

Structure facades can be made from any number of materials including brick, terra cotta, granite, marble, sandstone, limestone, brownstone, concrete masonry units, glass curtain wall systems, Exterior Insulation Finishing Systems (EIFS) and precast concrete. Likewise, they can all deteriorate for any number of reasons, including movement, freezing and rethawing, air pollution, improper design, moisture and other reasons.

Ongoing maintenance is always recommended to minimize exterior damage, no matter what the building material. Holtman recommends regular, proper cleaning of the building's facade in the spring.

"A clean facade projects professionalism, can increase sales for businesses located within the building, increase the life of the property, improve the building's value and make surveying winter damage easier to see," he says.

Facade cleaning can be performed using a variety of methods including high-pressure or low-pressure washing, sandblasting, steam cleaning, soda blasting and more.

Even though winter has yet to let up its icy grip, building service contractors that offer exterior pressure washing or other similar services should start talking with clients now about the importance of a clean facade.