Working at height is always a challenge but as many of you are already aware we do love a challenge here at No1 Facilities Management. The most recent working at height job we have just completed was to investigate an issue that our client was having with water ingress. The first part of the job was to gain access to the outer guttering and drainage hoppers to asses them.
Often with this type of job where water is finding its way into the cavity then the first port of call is to check the guttering, when access is difficult its often the case where the gutters become blocked due to build-up of dirt, if left unchecked over time this builds up to the point where it causes a blockage, we have done many of this type of job and have actually witnessed fully grown plants, trees even bird nests blocking the gutters and hoppers. This is just one reason why it’s important for building managers or owners to keep on top of the Planned Preventive Maintenance schedule, prevention is the key.
Luckily on this building the owners have pretty much kept on top of this part of the schedule, they have had nets fitted over the gutter that goes some way to stopping the large debris blowing in with the wind, it doesn't stop the build-up of silt and dirt but it sure does help overall.
Using a 30m mobile access platform gave us the mobility we needed to get up there and have a good look at the roof drainage, it also gave us the opportunity to inspect the window frames and seals as well as having a good look at the actual brickwork and pointing.
Once we had established that the water ingress was not due to over flowing gutters or blocked hoppers we had to look closer at the affected parts of the building, our 2nd port of call was to examine the pointing closely around the apartments that were reporting an issue and our suspicions were confirmed, the water ingress is actually coming through areas where the pointing is comprised due to this part of the building being exposed to the weather, it seems that the rain is driving against the building and making its way through the damaged pointing.
On the back of this investigation we have submitted a quote to our client to carry out scaffolding of the affected area to gain a more stable access to a wider area of the building with a view to grind out and re-point the whole side of the property that is exposed. It may also benefit from a coat of clear seal or similar but we will know more once we have been given the go ahead to complete the works…….
Watch this space for an update on this project.