The Importance of Regular Façade Inspections

Adrian Storey, General Manager at Horbury Facades, looks at the importance of regularly inspecting a building’s rainscreen facade.

“It is safe to say that events over the past 12 months have prompted almost everyone to consider the safety of the UK’s buildings, particularly multi-occupancy structures.

Improving the levels of safety within these developments, especially in terms of fire risk, has been a top priority for public sector organisations. As such, many buildings up and down the country, including hospitals and residential blocks, have been undergoing thorough inspections both inside and out to ensure they are as safe as can be.

Currently the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order states that fire risk assessments for high-rise residential buildings must be carried out ‘regularly’. It is recommended that the responsible person ensures these are undertaken at least annually and when any significant alterations are made to the building.

However, in some cases, particularly in private housing and commercial buildings, landlords are failing to carry out these reviews on a regular basis and as such could be putting the safety of occupants and passers-by at risk.

Many new and refurbished buildings now feature exterior cladding, therefore it is not always possible to establish the full fire resistance of the building visually. To do so, an in-depth inspection, also known as a site survey, is required.

A site survey not only tests for fire safety but will also ensure early detection of any defects and provide information about the extent and severity of any faults in need of immediate rectification.

These 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 in fire stopping and the structure overall, which can be then added to a maintenance schedule and repaired when necessary.

A competent and reliable maintenance contractor for facades, like Horbury Facades, can also provide evidence and records of all inspections and repairs, should they be required for regulatory and insurance purposes.

Horbury Facades provides a complete façade installation, aftercare and inspection service. This includes intrusive surveys (including rope access for difficult areas), consultation, remediation, cleaning and maintenance, including written reports, logs QA/QC and insurance inspections of all works and checks carried out. In addition, the company can provide estimated cost for remediation works, should they be required, and schedule to carry out any repairs or upgrades as soon as possible.

To find out more about Horbury Façade’s cladding installation, maintenance and remediation services, or to speak to a member of the team about a professional site survey, call 01709 515 044 or email enquiries@horburyfacades.com.

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