Transformational cleaning at a fraction of the cost of repainting
The Water’s Edge occupies a prime waterfront position in the exclusive Knap area of Barry in Wales. These attractive, white rendered apartments have stunning views over Heritage coastline, including the Bristol Channel and the Somerset coastline. Unfortunately, there is a downside of this wonderful location.
The front of the buildings is constantly exposed to the elements and gets thoroughly battered by the salty sea winds. As a result, the white stone render becomes weathered rather more quickly than it might in a more sheltered position. On the other hand, the back of the building, which is North facing, is in complete shade. While this might protect it from the harsh elements, it also means that it does not get the benefit of direct sun light and the surface remains damp. Damp and shade are the perfect conditions for red algae to grow and thrive in. The spores are airborne and they quickly take hold, growing into the render and creating pinky-red streaks and patches.
A three-phase project
This was a challenging project for a number of reasons. First of all access was restricted. We needed to use a cherry picker to reach some of the high, recessed areas of the building and could only gain entry via an underpass with restrictions to both width and height.
Secondly red algae is not easy to remove! A test clean confirmed that a ‘belt and braces’ three-step process would achieve the best outcome. So, we did a first pass, to clean the surface layer of algae, using SteamPLUS. This unique cleaning system delivers a powerful clean while still being really gentle on the render.
Although it looked much better after the first pass, the surface still appeared patchy, so we applied a special colour render wash to even out the surface followed by second pass with SteamPLUS to complete the cleaning process. Since red algae is persistent, we also applied a growth inhibitor to help discourage further growth.
The building façade was actually the most straight forward part of the job. We simply cleaned the render using SteamPLUS, one pass was all that was required to transform the building and return it to its former glory.
The Water’s Edge development looked absolutely fantastic once we had finished and the residents were delighted with the outcome - the pictures show the before and after and you can see what a difference cleaning made. The cost of cleaning the building was less than a third of what it would have cost to repaint it, moreover, repainting would not have dealt with the red algae, which would have simply grown back.
If you would like to know more about render cleaning, or removing algae - of any colour – give us a call, we would be pleased to be of help.