Is there such a thing as a low-risk high rise painting project? Of course, there is. Multi-storied commercial and industrial buildings may bring a different set of challenges to painting applications, but with the right contractors and equipments, a high degree of respect for the altitude, and the correct observance of safety practices, high rise painting can be successfully implemented.
Dealing with Height
The altitude is a key factor in high rise painting applications. Towering buildings need maintenance even more than regular buildings because of the height factor. Here are some of the main reasons why tall buildings maintenance is more issue-plagued than regular buildings:
- Tall buildings are visible from long distances. They tend to stand out in the general landscape. If they are looking dirty or dilapidated, they can become eyesores to the community.
- Tall buildings absorb more air pollutants at high altitudes. Smog and gas emissions rise up into the air and settle in the building exterior as tiny particles. Combined with the weather, they can leave the building facade with dirty-looking lines and stains.
- Tall buildings pose greater safety risks. Winds at high altitude can make work difficult. Transporting the crew, tools and materials pose dangers if not done carefully.
Safety in High Rise Painting
The painting project should follow strict safety guidelines, and compliance to all safety standards and laws, at all times. The following should be addressed by the painting contractor:
- Crew safety. High rise painting contractors should be trained in safe painting at high places. They should also be provided with safe equipment and resources. The operating procedures should be implemented with safety in mind, and support or emergency teams should be available in the event of accidents.
- Tenant safety. High rise painting should be safe for the building occupants. Handling tools and equipment should observe safety precautions. Coatings, solvents, and primers should be chosen and applied in the correct manner, to ensure the health and safety of tenants long after the project has been completed.
- Passersby safety. As the high rise painting crew work higher, the risk to passersby and traffic down below increases. Any tools or debris falling down at high altitudes can bring serious injuries to people below.
Working the Heights
High rise painting contractors use swing stages or abseiling to access the building exterior. Stages consist of platforms with scaffolds hung in ropes or cables that bring workers and resources up and down the building. Abseiling involves the crew rappelling down the building facade to conduct high rise painting. At all times, a secure, stable, load-bearing support system makes the work safe. A fall protection system consisting of personal fall arresters or guardrails are also setup. Electrical hazards are removed to remove electrocution risks — working at close proximity of power lines.
High rise painting contractors do surface cleanups, re-application of coatings when damaged or chipping, application of protective,waterproofing and decorative coatings to restore the look of the building.
The work is tedious and demands precise execution and intense attention to details. It takes a very professional high rise painting contractor to work with the altitude, weather, and gravity at the same time.