Why Clean My Building?
Although it may be easily dismissed by most building owners and
property/facility managers as simply "dirt", there are serious
threats to the building facade posed by the unsightly grime and
organic material that exists on buildings. Fortunately, there is
Metro Clean Systems, Inc., the nation's foremost authority on
low-pressure, high-volume exterior cleaning.
The fact is this: there's money you can save by cleaning your
buildings regularly; sometimes that money can be substantial.
Moreover, by cleaning their building the proper way, you can do
more than simply avoid unnecessary maintenance costs: you can
actually extend the useful life of your building. On the other
hand, cleaning it improperly can lead to expensive maintenance
Metro Clean's unique low-pressure, high-volume solution is perfect
for safely and effectively cleaning EIFS buildings. The non-intrusive
properties of low-pressure, high- volume (LPHV) cleaning is the best
way to effectively clean EIFS exteriors. In fact, it was the job that
Metro Clean did in cleaning the Dryvit headquarters building that
opened Dryvit's eyes to the benefit of LPHV cleaning. But as you will
see, the Metro Clean solution works equally well on other cladding.
There are a number of reasons why cleaning the exterior of your
building should be a regular component of a routine building maintenance
It preserves the exterior surface. Cleaning the building surface does more
than simply remove dirt and external contaminants from the building surface.
While dirt and pollutants pose more of an aesthetic concern than anything else,
the threat posed by water-storing fungi has serious performance implications
for the building.
When mold spores attach to the surface of a building --whether the exterior is an
EIFS surface, masonry, limestone, or precast concrete -they start a cycle of life
that mars the appearance of the building with water stains. The fungi retain the
moisture on the building exterior and manifest themselves in the form of green,
black and gray stains on your building. The destructive properties of water are
heightened in that process. The mold that develops on the exterior can lead to
deeper problems within the building. It can contribute to the so-called
"sick building" syndrome that can threaten more than just the "health" of the
building envelope; it can threaten the health of the tenants and employees who
work inside as well.
The wet-dry cycle that results may also cause costly structural and surface
failure of the exterior material by trapping moisture inside the surface.
During the freezing cycle it causes expansion, creating cracks and heaves
on your walls in the same way that water trapped below a road surface in
winter causes breaks and bumps on the surface. In the warmer months, the
dark surface created by the fungi on the exterior can lead to ultraviolet
damage to the walls.
Extends the life of caulks and sealant.
Simply properly cleaning your building exterior regularly is a lot less costly
than a major refurbishment of caulking, sealant and flashing. The safe cleaning
of a building protects and enhances the existing caulk and sealant by gently
lifting mold, mildew and dirt off the surface. More traditional cleaning methods,
like sandblasting or power washing, can actually destroy the caulk or sealant,
in the process creating expensive repairs necessary to maintain the integrity
of the building exterior.
Returns the building to its original beauty.
In many cases, building owners or property managers have simply forgotten what
the original surface looked like. The most obvious reason to remove the matter
is to restore the building to the state the architect intended when he or she
designed it. In addition to mold, mildew and dirt, carbons, for example often
damage buildings located in a city, as do other pollutants created by vehicular
and industrial emission.
A clean, professional building is a good investment.
On commercial /office buildings, a good-looking, clean building exterior is a
magnet for prospective tenants. A dirty, dreary building is tough, if not
impossible, to sell to a tenant prospect and even harder to justify a rent
increase to existing tenants. Employee and tenant morale will be improved and
it is more attractive to customers. The first impression is always the most
There's a Right Way and a Wrong Way to Clean Your Building
Understanding the reasons why cleaning your building exterior makes economic
sense is only half of the battle. Once the decision has been made to clean
the exterior, how you decide to clean it can make all the difference in the world.
In the overwhelming majority of cases, building owners and property/facility managers
choose power washers or sandblasters to clean their exteriors. Power washing techniques
have for decades been the industry standard. However, as the cleaning industry has
advanced, new information has come to light that has shifted the building exterior cleaning
In many cases, power washing and/or sandblasting a building is a mistake that will cost
building owners money--in many cases, lots of it. In the case of EIFS buildings, power
washing or sandblasting the surface will gradually destroy the exterior finish.
High-pressure cleaning processes destroy the surface of the building often require
recaulking or sealant replacement after cleaning, and physically erode the building
surface. Over time, repeated high-pressure cleanings can result in huge costs for the
building owner to protect both the buildings appearance and functionality. In fact, the
opposite of power washing--a low-pressure, high-volume cleaning system like Metro Clean's
--is, in the overwhelming majority of cases, the best way to effectively clean building
exteriors without damaging the wall surface.
While low-pressure, high-volume cleaning is the preferred approach to cleaning all
surfaces, it is particularly well suited to historic restoration projects and cleaning all
buildings with limestone or loose aggregate surfaces. Metro Clean has cleaned some of the
nation's most prominent buildings, including: The Pentagon, The Bureau of Engraving &
Printing, the National Concrete Masonry Association headquarters, The Hotel Jefferson, the new Bi-Lo Arena in Greenville, South Carolina, and The American Bar Association building.
In each case, the company's LPHV solution ensured the best results on a variety of
The low-pressure, high-volume solution offered by Metro Clean Systems cleans buildings
safely by using environmentally safe chemical cleaning solutions that gently lift the soils
and fungi off the building surface and are washed away. Unlike power washers that use high
pressure at close proximity to the surface, in the process potentially damaging the
exterior (the low pressure cleaning process uses up to 1/50th of the pressure and is
applied at a distance from the surface). Instead of blasting the surface clean, the
low-pressure process relies on cleaning solutions to do the work.