How to soft wash street-facing properties
We've been asked how to safely softwash street-facing properties while protecting the public from harm and conforming to the various regulations.
We thought many softwash contractors would value this information, which we hope will enable them to both get more softwash contracts and carry them out safely and legally.
We offer the following for general guidance only. Please do your own research into the factors, including regulations imposed by local councils, national government and other relevant legislative organisations, governing best practice on any given contract to softwash street facing properties.
Our best suggestions for how to softwash street facing properties:
- Use Benz softwash spray nozzles to minimise spray drift, especially in windy conditions.
- Place “spotters” on all corners of workplace to spot hazards arising, including general public, children and animals attempting to gain access to the working area.
- Use a Water Fed Brush instead of a spray nozzle if conditions are too windy or there's too great a danger of chemicals migrating outside of the required application area.
- Use a Cherry Picker or Scissors Lift to access elevations that are beyond the reach of Water Fed Pole IWFP) technology.
- Scaffold higher areas and sheet off.
- Ensure applicable permits are obtained from the council and other relevant authorities to block pedestrian and vehicle access.
- Barrier off the area in which there is any possibility of the public being exposed to chemical spray or run-off.
- Erect hazard warning signs in all appropriate places.
- Schedule work for early and late in the day, and/or weekends when the numbers of general public will be less and commercial premises will be closed.
Quick tip: Benz Lightning Cleanze can save time and money over sodium hypochlorate (SH) mixes by not having to catch run-off in containers that are then incinerated at considerable cost. This is possible because according to EU legislation Lightning Cleanze is non-classified and non-corrosive at the dilution levels we recommend on the product labelling and on the Benz Softwash website. It is also fully approved by the UK and Irish governments, unlike all SH that we know of.
The run-off must of course be diverted to a foul drain and kept away from surface drains. And permission should be obtained from the relevant water authority to discharge waste chemicals into the drainage system (again, regs can change between water authorities, so please check what is required for the area you are working in).
Source further information: Regulations and procedures may differ country to country, city to city, council to council. So a contractor would be well advised to contact their local council to get clear on their specific regulations and working guidelines. Also, a friendly scaffolding company will have come across the issues of working in streets already and would know what regs have to be complied with and how.
We hope you found this information helpful.
Ben, Leo & Fiona
PS: Regulations are constantly changing and the information given above is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of writing; but please check with the authorities responsible for enforcing regulations for specific contracts before you softwash a street facing property.
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