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RCI Feb 2018

CLADDING & SHEETING To refurbish or replace? That is the question Michael Hallwood, managing director of Cladding Coatings, talks to RCI Over time, metal cladding and roofing about why it is better to refurbish than replace your cladding sheets are adversely affected by weather conditions, such as wind, rain, changeable temperatures, and the sun. Firstly, the sheet’s paint layers begin to deteriorate, peeling and cracking to expose the metal underneath. Once the metal is uncovered, it is heavily susceptible to the elements, and it becomes immediately necessary to rectify this exposure before the metal starts to corrode. Failure of the metal leads to a leaking, and sometimes dangerous, building exterior. This is the time to repair the sheets before it becomes costly. Buildings are often left without regular, and correct, maintenance due to restrictions in time and budget. As such, it is typically a leak or a loose sheet that eventually prompts building repair work. If a building appears unsightly, whether it is faded or in need of repair, the initial reaction is often that the cladding or roofing sheets are too old and out of warranty, and therefore need to be replaced with new sheets to bring the building up to standard. This is simply untrue. This article explores the reasons behind this myth and why repairing, rather than replacing, these sheets is the best solution. Covering up? Over-cladding an existing roof is often considered to be a sensible choice. It is thought that it will be quick and easy, and result in a new roof with minimal mess or disruption. However, this over-cladding method of refurbishment is dangerous: the roof deterioration continues, and the environmental impact worsens. One of the primary safety concerns of overcladding relates to the building’s structure. It is important to check if the steel structure of the 042 FEBRUARY 2018 RCIMAG.COM building can handle the weight of the new roof, which can be significant. Failing to enlist qualified professionals to carry out the correct checks may be hazardous, and compromise the safety of all workers within, and surrounding, the building. Furthermore, though you may not be able to see the old, deteriorating roof any longer, that doesn’t mean it isn’t gradually breaking down and ageing. This can still pose a threat, as the roof will continue to deteriorate unless treated effectively prior to covering. You must also consider your existing roof lights, as it is likely these are also in poor condition; you may have to consider replacing them, as well as installing new ones. In addition, over-cladding is a poor choice for environmental preservation, as it involves increased manufacturing, pollution, wastage, and transportation and associated emissions. Design factors must also be considered: how does the building integrate with neighbouring buildings? How do the walls meet with the roofing? How will the new roof be adjoined with the existing? These are all issues that need to be addressed before work commences. New sheets, new problems Your building’s metal sheets are looking old. They are fading, there are patchy panels, some parts are peeling, and there are a few leaks at the joints. To those unaware of the full range of options available, the obvious solution would be to remove the damaged sheets and replace them with new ones. However, new sheets bring new problems. One particular concern is operational disruption, as it becomes impossible to carry out day-to-day operations with the wall or roof missing whilst the new installation is completed. More labour, Cut edge corrosion and more machinery, is required on site, which is noisy, hazardous and inconvenient. Furthermore, new materials, fixings, labour and transportation come at a high cost, making replacement both expensive and complicated. The smart solution Repairing and re-coating your building’s metal sheets has numerous advantages, and making your wall or roof appear new again is much more straightforward than you may think. Firstly, the repair and re-coating process is very fast compared to the planning and installation required for new sheets. It is, therefore, costeffective due to reduced labour, equipment requirements, and overall expenses. Minor repairs and cut-edge corrosion treatments can also be carried out on-site as part of the refurbishment works. In addition, the specialist systems available for re-coating make repairing and refurbishing the premium alternative to replacing or overcladding. The systems used today are incredibly durable and improving continuously, backed by over 15 years of warranties that cover both labour and materials; in some cases, they are also insurance-backed. Re-coating the sheets reinstates a protective skin to prolong the life of the existing sheets. Coating systems can be matched to any colour and are suitable for most environments, including those as harsh as C5m as experienced in extreme offshore locations. Some coatings are also VOC compliant, waterbased systems, making them extremely environmentally-friendly. At times, onsite paint spraying can be a cause for concern regarding over-spraying around parked cars, equipment and neighbouring property. However, it is not commonly known Before and after repair and refurbishment. Motorpoint, Widnes Continued on page 44


RCI Feb 2018
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