Water Infiltration: Testing, Repairs, and Prevention

By | Waterproofing

Water is so essential for life but can also be one of the greatest threats to the integrity of our built environments. Its pervasive nature allows it to seep into the smallest cracks and imperfections. When water infiltration occurs, it can exert tremendous pressure, especially when the water freezes or when it leads to soil movement beneath foundations. Testing, repairing, and preventing water intrusion is critical to your building’s longevity. It’s one of those problems that will only get worse over time. This article aims to help you understand water infiltration and how to address it. What Happens When Water Infiltrates the Building Envelope? Water flows without feeling or malice as it respectfully follows the laws of gravity. Your building envelope acts against water to divert it elsewhere and prevent water infiltration. When the envelope or its components fail, and water infiltrates the building envelope, several things can happen, none of which are good for your building. Water molecules are sticky, which means they can carry dirt, pollutants, and other contaminants into your building, exacerbating the damage. Water dissolves other molecules, further breaking down building materials and facilitating mold growth. Water expands and contracts, causing cracks and further damage as temperatures fluctuate. Common entry points for water infiltration are roofs and ceilings, anywhere there are cracks, such as the facade, foundation, or basement, and where sealant fails around entry points or windows. Water isn’t taking a nap behind the scenes. It’s tirelessly breaking down building components, making more room for…

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Safety Compliance Across Building Services

How Expertise Drives Safety Compliance Across Building Services

By | Cal/OSHA Resources

At HSG, we specialize in various building services, including window washing and facade repair. This work requires our teams to traverse over 13,000 building facades yearly, and it’s not a responsibility we take lightly. While we are experts in working at heights, we also respect the inherent dangers. To reduce risks, we develop unique job site safety plans and hazard analysis before starting a project. We also provide thorough safety training and continuing safety education to our operational teams. By incorporating safety into every step of the job, we assure building owners and property managers of a safe and successful project. This article aims to convey the value of choosing a building service provider who is not only skilled at their craft but also committed to safety compliance. Going it Alone into the Building Compliance Unknown One of the best ways to reduce the risk of legal liabilities, financial penalties, and injuries is to prioritize safety compliance. But compliance is complex, regulations change, and it’s easy to miss something if you don’t stay current. The latest edition of The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 29 Standard 1926 is a whopping 628 pages long. This publication covers labor and is only one of many standards building owners must be familiar with. The sheer volume of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations—thousands of pages detailing everything from stairwell widths to emergency exit signage—can overwhelm even the most diligent property managers. With OSHA fines increasing yearly, hoping you are covered is…

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building façade access

Prioritizing Safety of Building Façade Access and Fall Protection

By | Building Maintenance

Your building’s façade conveys the first impression of aesthetics and serves as your first line of defense against environmental factors. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires you, as a building owner, to mitigate risks and provide a safe working environment for those performing work on your building, including general maintenance. This article covers the essential role of safety measures in mitigating risks through safe building façade access and proper fall protection. The Significance of Safe Building Façade Access Building collapses are rare. The risk of that happening poses a significant threat to public safety. For this reason, many of our major cities in the U.S. have façade ordinance laws that require inspections. Here are some examples: Chicago is home to the Willis Tower, the treasure of the Windy City skyline. Our nation’s third-tallest building, including antennas, reaches 1,750 feet. Depending on the type of building, Chicago requires façade inspections to occur between four and 12 years for buildings over 80 feet tall. Philadelphia was home to the world’s tallest building from 1894 to 1908. Nowadays, Philly boasts nearly 60 skyscrapers. Façade inspections are required every five years for buildings exceeding six stories or with an appurtenance taller than 60 feet. Safe building façade access facilitates inspections while allowing you to maintain and repair your façade, addressing minor issues before they become big problems. Window cleaning, pressure washing the façade, and leak repairs allow you to extend the life of your building, preserving its value while protecting the public….

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Pressure Washing

The Role of Pressure Washing in Maintaining Your Building’s Exterior

By | Building Maintenance

Adding pressure washing to your routine building maintenance strategy is a simple yet effective way to achieve a clean and attractive facade. In spite of its simplicity, pressure washing is an often neglected strategy for maintaining a building’s exterior thought to be reserved for the toughest of stains or addressing years of neglect. Pressure washing revitalizes surfaces by cleaning and removing pollutants such as oils, mold, graffiti, and rust, thus making your building appear years younger. However, removing all those pollutants also contributes to your building’s structural longevity and can make walkways safer. In this article, we will walk you through the ins and outs of pressure washing, including what you should pressure wash and what you shouldn’t, along with the benefits of adding pressure washing to your routine property maintenance and spring cleaning. The Dual Benefits of Pressure Washing: Aesthetic and Structural In spite of its deep roots in physics, pressure washing is fairly straightforward. A water pump accelerates water creating a high-pressure stream. The water is then directed through a hose and out a spray wand. Users can tackle different levels of cleaning tasks by adjusting the pressure and changing the nozzle. Getting the most out of your commercial property requires proper maintenance that addresses its aesthetic appeal and structural integrity. Pressure washing shines in this facet, as it supports both of these goals. Leveraging this type of facade maintenance will improve your curb appeal, thus adding value. In addition, pressure washing can also remove harmful pollutants capable…

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Paver Pressure Washing Stock

How Spring Cleaning Builds Resilience for Commercial Properties

By | Building Maintenance, Window Cleaning

Leap year provided us an early spring this year, while the “prognosticator of prognosticators,” Punxatawney Phil, all but guaranteed it. With spring comes the welcoming, warm weather, losing an hour of sleep due to daylight savings time, and possibly even more when we realize it’s also time for spring cleaning. For commercial property owners, spring brings about the opportunity to get your buildings in tip-top shape in preparation for all that Mother Nature brings in beauty and beast. This article covers how a robust spring cleaning regiment fortifies your building against the upcoming seasonal challenges. The Power of Spring Cleaning The concept of spring cleaning dates back hundreds of years, if not more, and is steeped in cultural tradition. As a long-standing tradition, spring cleaning presents the perfect opportunity as the temperatures get warmer, the days get longer, and nature awakens from its slumber to restore your building’s shine. The building’s exterior is the first thing people notice, and a well-maintained facade can significantly enhance the building’s curb appeal. Spring cleaning improves the overall appearance and hygiene of your building by removing accumulated dust, dirt, and other debris. While the act of cleaning itself positively impacts health and well-being, it also affects the health and morale of occupants. As a building owner, checking off your spring cleaning list provides a sense of accomplishment and instills confidence that your tenants are taken care of. If you don’t have a spring cleaning checklist, start with an assessment of your property to uncover…

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Professional Glass Restoration

Deep Clean or Glass Restoration, Part 2: Comprehensive Guide to Professional Glass Restoration

By | Building Maintenance, Window Cleaning

Despite your best efforts in regular upkeep, natural wear and tear sometimes take its toll on your windows. When you notice that even the most meticulous cleaning doesn’t restore former glory, it’s time for a strategic pivot. This article will help you recognize the signs of window deterioration and introduce window restoration as a cost-effective and budget-friendly alternative to complete replacement. Glass Restoration: Reviving Your Windows Addressing common issues like stubborn stains and fading clarity shouldn’t cost you an entire window installation. When regular window cleaning isn’t returning your windows to pristine condition or staining, clouding, and etching won’t go away, restoration may be in order. Removing ground-level staining, which is expected due to hard water from irrigation systems, can rejuvenate your windows and add to your building’s curb appeal. This budget-friendly project is smaller in scope than a full glass restoration and is a good addition to any preventative maintenance plan, especially for areas notorious for hard water. Understanding the true potential of glass restoration is knowing when to intervene. This isn’t merely about reversing obvious damage; it’s about preventing the gradual, often unnoticed, deterioration that accumulates into major financial drains. The environmental onslaught of sun and storms, as well as the occasional misadventures of accidental damages, merits a comprehensive approach to window wellness. Commercial Window Restoration Process Revitalizing your commercial windows through restoration isn’t merely an aesthetic upgrade—it’s a strategic move that strengthens their endurance and function. Consider it a proactive measure to secure your property’s market worth…

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Replace Building Sealants

Strategic Sealant Replacement: Knowing the Right Time to Replace Building Sealants

By | Building Maintenance, Waterproofing

What is the key to building longevity? For the Romans, with structures still standing 2,000 years later, it was self-healing concrete. In the U.S., where the average age of commercial buildings qualifies them for an AARP card, the key to longevity is preventative maintenance. Sealants protect buildings and prevent water, air, and other environmental elements from seeping in and wreaking havoc. When left unchecked, external elements can significantly damage your building’s structural integrity and shorten its lifespan. This article will guide you through the optimal timing to replace building sealant, signs of sealant failure, and actionable advice to ensure your building’s longevity and aesthetic appeal. Building Sealant Application and Lifespan Most commercial buildings in the U.S. are in the “old-age” phase of the building life cycle, with an average age of over 53. A condo in Honolulu shows that buildings have the potential to last hundreds of years through a proactive approach and by addressing warning signs before they lead to significant problems. Sealants aim to keep unwanted water, pests, and potentially hazardous pathogens at bay. These applications are an industry staple, but they don’t last forever. They require inspection, reapplication, and replacement to ensure effective weatherproofing and waterproofing. There are two main types of sealants to consider, each offering distinct advantages. Silicone sealants are known for their durability, flexibility, and resistance to temperature variations and UV light, making them ideal for use on glass, metal, or tile surfaces. More of a joint compound than a sealant, silicone dries fast…

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waterproofing blog

Staying Ahead of Damage: Embracing Proactive Waterproofing Solutions

By | Waterproofing

Staying Ahead of Damage: Embracing Proactive Waterproofing Solutions Predicting the weather has never been an exact science. Mother Nature is making weather forecasting even more unpredictable with a series of odd weather events, including one of the wettest Januarys on record. Much like meteorologists aim to predict the weather, you aim to predict what measures will best safeguard the structural integrity and value of your building in the long run. Effective waterproofing prevents costly water damage by addressing potential risks before crises occur. This article will dive into the benefits of proactive waterproofing and why this investment delivers a layer of security to reduce risk against the known and the unknown. Avoid Disaster with Proactive Waterproofing A study by the EPA revealed that 85% of buildings randomly surveyed across the U.S. had past water damage. Nearly half of these buildings were still experiencing problems with water damage, and over one-third reported leaks in occupied spaces. Once water infiltrates a building and continues unmitigated, it can lead to various issues, including mold growth, structural damage, and even health hazards for occupants. The commonality of water damage and its potential to cause damage merit a proactive approach to stop water infiltration. A proactive approach creates and maintains a waterproof barrier around your building envelope. This approach differs from reactive waterproofing, which involves repairing damage after signs of water infiltration. Repairing water damage is costly, far surpassing the cost of preventative measures. In addition to cost savings, a proactive approach to waterproofing reduces…

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Parking Garage Maintenance: What to Do to Prevent High-Cost Structural Repairs?

By | Parking Garage Services

Parking garages face unique challenges due to their constant exposure to vehicular traffic, environmental elements, and heavy loads. As a result, they require diligent, routine attention for basic upkeep like cleaning, lighting, and proactive structural care. This preventative maintenance, as well as responsive repairs, are essential for ensuring safety, preserving profitability, and maintaining property value. Investing in routine parking garage maintenance also ensures smaller issues are resolved before they become larger —and much more costly— structural repairs. Especially noteworthy is the increased adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), often 30% heavier than traditional gas-powered cars, adding an extra layer of stress to parking structures. A recent assessment of four parking garages in Asheville, NC, found they needed over $11 million in repairs, and continued deferred maintenance could lead to structure collapse. This article contrasts regular maintenance costs with extensive repairs due to neglect, underscoring the importance of proactive care for parking structures. Parking Garage Essential Maintenance Practices Parking garage maintenance should be a top priority. Here are some best practices for knowing where and what to look for and the action needed to maintain the facility and avoid the high costs of more extensive repairs.   Monitoring for Leaks, Spills, and Damage: Vigilantly checking for any signs of leaks, spills, or structural damage and addressing these issues promptly to prevent minor problems from escalating into significant concerns. Structural Assessments: Regular structural assessments identify potential issues before they escalate into major problems. Sealing and Waterproofing: Applying sealants protects against water infiltration, which…

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Guidelines for Choosing the Right Building Service Provider

By | Building Maintenance

Choosing the right building service provider is paramount for property managers and building owners. The stakes are high, as a poor selection can lead to inadequate maintenance, increased liability, and even property devaluation. Making an informed decision means considering expertise, safety standards, and customer feedback. This comprehensive guide will assist you in navigating through the selection process, ensuring you partner with a service provider who aligns with your property’s specific needs and maintains its value and integrity. Consequences of Poor Selection: Liability and Cost Implications With so much on the line, the consequences of choosing a substandard service provider can lead to significant liability claims, fines, and costly repairs. Premises Liability Claims: This type of claim arises when injuries occur due to a dangerous condition on another person’s property. To establish a premises liability claim, it’s typically necessary to prove three key elements: a dangerous condition existed on the property, the property owner was negligent in creating or not addressing this condition, and this negligence directly resulted in injury or property damage. Building service providers who lack experience, perform low-quality work, or use cheap materials put building owners at greater risk of falling victim to this type of claim. Lost Time Managing Subpar Vendors: Hiring subpar vendors often results in poor communication, lack of follow-through and response time, and rework. Spending time constantly following up with vendors or even chasing down an unresponsive vendor wastes your time. In the long run, you will likely need to find another provider to…

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HSG is compliant with all CDC, OSHA, State Guidelines and Applicable Laws of Covid-19. HSG Employees have been trained, and provided the necessary PPE tools to ensure the safety of all.  It is a top priority of HSG to maintain a safe work environment at all times and throughout the current crisis.