Using a BMU for exterior building inspection
Despite looking robust, high-rise buildings are not immune to the elements. Their facades need maintenance to remain standing tall. Building owners therefore need to set a routine for inspection and maintenance of the building’s envelop. Without regular inspection, problems can go unnoticed for a long period. And signaling minor issues helps to prevent major problems along the route.
While window cleaning is at the core of building maintenance, a maintenance and inspection routine should also include taking care of damaged glass panes, cracks in materials, sealants etc. The lifespan of the building’s components can be extended by performing inspections regularly. Not to mention that inspection is a good basis for scheduling and budgeting replacements.
Each country has set its own regulations regarding mandatory facade inspections, and states or municipalities can also have their own ordinances. Frequencies for inspections vary from 2 up to 10 years. We urge you to check your local requirements to verify when inspection is necessary and who is qualified to perform such an investigation.
Inspections of the exterior of a building can take place from the ground, the roof and at every elevation in between with an installed Building Maintenance Unit (BMU). The gondola of the BMU can be lowered to any desired height, and even hard to reach facade areas can be approached. Make sure that only authorized and properly trained people use the BMU.
From the safe inside of the gondola workers can visually or physically inspect the facade for unsafe conditions. During inspection pictures will have to be taken of possible damaged or compromised parts. Ensure that the camera cannot fall down, as this poses a great danger to the people below or the structure. A camera can be attached to a person by for example a wrist strap, this way even if the camera should slip, it won’t fall far. An additional safety measure should be that the camera never leaves the confines of the gondola.
Document inspections thoroughly
Make sure that all inspections are documented to detail, including good photographs of conditions found. Add documentation regarding service or repairs to your archives and keep all documentation easily accessible.
To give you an idea of what to look for in a visual inspection of your building’s facade we’ve put together a checklist. Please note that mandatory inspections must always be performed by people who are licensed to do so. This checklist is intended to help you perform inspections between the mandatory ones set by regulations.