Rope Access Can Dramatically Simplify Your Exterior Building Maintenance

Daniel Godfree

Daniel Godfree


The exterior of a tall building can be difficult to maintain, if not nearly impossible. But just because you’ve got a high building that is hard to access doesn’t mean that it needs to suffer. It just means that you need to approach it differently. Whether it’s waterproofing a roof or staircase, exterior cleaning or painting or even fixing concrete cracks in the building structure, it’s often a large, time consuming process to complete. But what if there was an easier way?

Rope access is the different approach you’ve been looking for and will help to simplify the maintenance of your building so that it can look pristine and aesthetically pleasing all the time.


What Is Rope Access ?

Rope access eliminates all of the heavy, obtrusive equipment, like scaffolding and towers and focuses on getting the building maintenance workers to where they need to be. The rope access technicians are trained abseilers and certified by IRATA (International Rope Access Trade Association) to ensure that they are completely able to perform the task safely.

The technicians are suspended using two seperate ropes that have individual anchor points. All tools needed are on lanyards attached to the technician. There will always be at least two technicians in one area and they have the ability to get to each other if needed. While on the ropes, they can go up, down and sideways to work at different heights and areas. The process they use is similar to those used during caving and climbing, by sports abseilers; they are, in fact, “industrial abseilers”.

Without doubt, it is the safest and most effective way for doing tall building maintenance.


How Rope Access Helps with Building Maintenance

Whether it’s access high up or in a hard to reach place, the ropes allow the rope access technicians to ascend and descend as needed to get to all areas of the building. More often than not, scaffolding limits your workforce to a simple vertical or horizontal experience. Unfortunately, not all buildings are built that way, especially some of the older ones, and that’s where a rope access specialist company can help.

When the ropes allow a technician to get to every nook and cranny of a building, the result is much better. And many technicians are qualified in different building trades and can therefore do, for example, painting, brickwork repointing, masonry cleaning, concrete repairs and many other skilled jobs. This means that no matter what maintenance the building is in need of, access can be achieved and the job can be accomplished without taking a significant amount of time to do it.


Why Scaffolding Isn’t a Viable Option

The majority of your exterior building maintenance budget is used on the cost of the scaffolding, assembling it and taking it down. There’s no need to pay for all of that when the maintenance team are bringing their own ropes and anchors to get the job done. It also comes at a significantly reduced cost for you. Rope access companies can save you a substantial amount in comparison to using scaffolding.

In addition to cost there are other important aspects as to why scaffolding is the poorer option. With rope access, there’s nothing in the way. What this means for the building is that there are no spots left untouched because of a bar or pole in the wrong place. The entire window gets cleaned, the entire wall gets painted or the entire concrete crack is repaired, instead of left alone, hoping no one will notice that far up. The result – a more thorough job.


Why Rope Access Needs to Be Considered

Rope access can be the simplest way of getting building maintenance completed. Rather than taking months of time setting up equipment, performing the job, and breaking everything down, abseiling technicians using rope access can come in and complete a job much quicker. This gets the building back to its previous condition quicker without creating construction obstacles in the process.

Rope access will be the more cost efficient method as well as the most detail-oriented way of maintaining a building. The technicians are not bound to a vertical structure with poles blocking a good portion of the surface area that is need of repair or attention.

Usually, a building is still being used when the maintenance needs to be performed. This could mean that people need to go in and out of the building throughout the day. Rope access will usually still allow for foot traffic to occur as it is unobtrusive and business continues as usual.

Exterior building maintenance is as easy to perform as you allow it to be. While rope access may look like a dangerous option, it is actually the safest method for handling heights. IRATA, the trade governing body, ensures that technicians have gone through specific training and are certified. Access is thorough so the entire building is covered instead of having limitations set. There are no restrictions to where the technicians can go so they can go everywhere that the shape of the building requires.

The next time your building needs some exterior maintenance and you want the entire building to get that attention, rope access will be the best option. It will get the job done the right way in less time and at a less cost.



These are the Trade and Industry Certifications attained by Sussex Rope Access
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