SERVING THE FACILIT Y CLE ANING & MAINTENANCE INDUSTRY
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Sunshine Building Maintenance poised to continue its success under leadership of Mark Brouwers, Bill Houston
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� CONTENTS JUNE 2018
PHOTOS BY ROBYN RUSSELL
SPOTLIGHT 10 Helping Kids have Fun The five Ws of playground equipment safety by Susanne Dusselier 12 Survival of the Fitness Keys to keeping gyms in tip-top shape by Shirley Klein
EXTERIOR CARE 13 Beware of the Buzz How to identify, control stinging insects on site by Alice Sinia 16 Raise the Roof Coatings protect aging asset, extend lifespan but not all created equal by Dustin Brooks
COVER STORY 6 Building a Legacy Sunshine Building Maintenance’s new yet familiar owners shape next chapter in company’s story by Clare Tattersall
IN EVERY ISSUE 4 Editor’s Letter The Great Outdoors
18 Scratching the Surface Outdoor parking lots need extra attention to prevent asphalt failure by Dan Georgen 20 Window of Opportunity Steps to prevent ladder falls, injuries when working at heights by David Purdy 22 Keeping up Appearances Exterior items that require routine care by Marc Ferguson
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that falls are a leading cause of death, with 43 per cent of fatal falls in the last decade having involved a ladder.
www.REMInetwork.com / 3
/ editorâ€™s letter /
THE GREAT OUTDOORS
une is my favourite month. It is typically a great time to enjoy the outdoors before the extreme summer weather arrives and Iâ€™ve usually completed most of my exterior chores in preparation for the season. This is not to say I neglect my home and yard during July and August, but compared to facility managers the level of maintenance required to upkeep my property is minimal. This brings us to the main focus of the issue: Exterior care. During the coldest months when everything is covered in snow or it is simply unsafe to venture outside for long periods because of the low temperatures, the building facade and grounds are not a major priority beyond ensuring they are free of winter hazards. Come spring, it is time to pay attention to these two areas and tend to them well into the warmest season of the year. To begin, we address a nuisance pest that can wreak havoc on a property and attempts to maintain it. Stinging insects are also capable of causing allergic reactions, so their threat must be taken seriously. Beware of the Buzz breaks down how to identify the varying species, signs of infestation, remedial action to be taken and precautionary measures to help keep these insects away. Next, we venture to the building top, which perhaps takes the hardest beating during winter. In Raising the Roof, we explore the difference between membranes and coatings, and how the latter can help save facility managers thousands of dollars in repairs and roof replacements. Moving back to ground level, Scratching the Surface discusses the primary types and causes of asphalt failure, and what can be done to keep outdoor lots looking their best, with a focus on predictive and preventative maintenance. Before you get to these stories, among others, Building a Legacy introduces you to one of the largest privately owned commercial cleaning companies in the Golden Horseshoe area of Ontario. Sunshine Building Maintenance Inc. is a thirdgeneration family business that has grown to more than 400 employees. Now led by Mark Brouwer, grandson of the original founder, and co-owner Bill Houston, Sunshine is poised to build on its past success and meet future goals.
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/ cover story /
Sunshine Building Maintenance’s new yet familiar owners shape next chapter in company’s story by Clare Tattersall
6 / FACILITY CLEANING & MAINTENANCE / JUNE 2018
here was a time when big companies could easily squash family-run businesses but since the turn of the century many smaller enterprises have stood their ground, capitalizing on their innate strengths. Compared to their corporate counterparts, family businesses tend to adhere to deep-rooted values, enjoy closer relationships with employees and direct contact with clients, and are more adaptive and resilient in the face of intense competition, enabling them to better weather economic storms. These characteristics, among others, have served a certain third generation family business in Burlington, Ont., well throughout the years. Now in operation for more than six decades, Sunshine Building Maintenance Inc. is one of the largest privately owned commercial cleaning companies in the Golden Horseshoe area, responsible for maintaining more than 12 million square feet of space each day. Its core offerings include complete janitorial services, carpet and upholstery cleaning, high-level cleaning, consumable supplies and handyman/minor
building maintenance services, provided to a broad customer base that encompasses the commercial office, condominium, industrial, long-term care and education sectors. While the secret to Sunshine’s success is multi-fold, president Mark Brouwers credits his grandfather, William, for initially paving the way. If he hadn’t taken the entrepreneurial risk in 1952, and persevered during the company’s formative years, there would simply be no Sunshine in southern Ontario. “He rarely said no to anything,” says Mark, fondly recalling his grandfather who passed away in 2012. This was no easy feat given William initially had to juggle his newfound venture with his full-time plumbing job. But like many immigrants at the time, the Dutch-born father of five embraced the good life Canada had to offer in the postwar years and the opportunity to provide for his family on his own. Within a decade of its founding, William’s one-man window cleaning business (originally called Sunshine Window Cleaning Co.) began to flourish thanks to the
/ cover story /
ABOVE: TED, JOHN AND MARK BROUWERS. SUNSHINE BUILDING MAINTENANCE HAS SURVIVED INTO THE SECOND AND THIRD GENERATION OF OWNERSHIP, WHICH IS AN INCREDIBLE FEAT. OPPOSITE PAGE: ESTABLISHED IN 1952, THE COMPANY STANDS IN STARK CONTRAST TO WHAT IT IS TODAY. COMPRISED OF MORE THAN 400 STAFF, SUNSHINE IS NOW ONE OF THE LARGEST PRIVATELY OWNED COMMERCIAL CLEANING CONTRACTORS IN THE GOLDEN HORSESHOE AREA OF ONTARIO.
addition of service offerings and growing list of clients, the most significant being a Hamilton-based steel manufacturer. “Every week he would go to the prospective client’s parking lot and wait for the purchasing agent to ask him if he had any work,” says William’s son Ted. “After about two months, he finally got a job cleaning the change houses and Sunshine’s been with the company ever since.” This is true of a number of Sunshine’s clients whose relationships span multiple decades. By the mid-‘70s, Ted and his nowretired brother John joined their father’s burgeoning business and its 75 employees, eventually becoming equal partners in 1990. Upon William’s retirement in 1999, the company’s new management structure was literally decided on a flip of a coin and the newly minted president, John, and vice-president, Ted, led Sunshine into the next century, where it continued to grow at a steady, manageable pace. THE NEXT GENERATION
Around this time, Ted’s son Mark began working at Sunshine as a part-time warehouse stocker while he put himself through school. But upon graduation, instead of 8 / FACILITY CLEANING & MAINTENANCE / JUNE 2018
moving up the ranks like his father, Mark decided to blaze his own path and pursue his interest in construction, leaving Sunshine behind — or so he thought. After bouncing from job to job because of the seasonal nature of the industry, Mark began to reconsider his career. Yet, it wasn’t until the summer of 2010 that he finally decided to change course and revisit his family roots, fuelled by an unfortunate workplace incident. “I approached my employer at the time asking for more responsibilities and I was told, ‘No, you’re good with where you’re at,’” recollects Mark. “The response I received that day made me realize I’d be better off in an environment that challenged me.” And that Sunshine has. Mark faced a steep learning curve when he returned in November 2010 in a sales capacity; selling services to customers was a far cry from supervising contractors on a construction site. Then he had to manage internal perceptions and prove to his fellow coworkers that he had rightly earned his place. “I didn’t want to be seen riding the coattails of my dad and uncle,” he says. “I wanted to stand on my own two feet and earn my stripes.”
This, Mark says, required a lot of selflearning and self-growth. He also credits the strong support network at Sunshine, particularly Ted, John and now-retired general manager Bob Pottruff. As an astute observer and hard worker, Mark quickly moved into progressive management positions and by 2013, he expressed partnership interest. With the addition of cleaning industry veteran Bill Houston to the senior management team that same year, John and Ted felt instead it was time to work toward ownership transition, so they began to pave their exit. With Bill serving as mentor to Mark and eventual business partner (effective April 2017), the two brothers slowly moved out of the company limelight so that the new dynamic duo could shine. “They’ve exceeded expectations,” says Ted, who is set to close the book on his long, storied career at Sunshine when he retires next year. “There’s no doubt in my mind that this company is stronger with Bill and Mark at the helm, and has been for a few years. I can now drift off into the sunset knowing that our customers are better for it.” Mark’s drive and fresh perspective on the industry, combined with Bill’s wealth of
/ cover story /
experience in both the janitorial and healthcare sectors, has positioned the pair to succeed. In the last five years alone, Sunshine has increased its revenues by 80 per cent, thanks in part to landing a large contract with a long-term care provider. “My background opened a new market for us that is quite lucrative,” explains Bill, who spent five years overseeing the environmental services department at Brampton Civic Hospital. “With the provincial government committed to creating another 30,000 long-term care beds in the next 10 years, it provides significant opportunity for future growth.” One area that Sunshine’s already capitalized on is the education sector, which now comprises 60 per cent of the company’s customer portfolio. By taking a more aggressive approach to growth than their predecessors, Mark and Bill have secured cleaning contracts with 98 per cent of the schools in two regional school districts, almost doubling their business in this market. The new management’s recommitment to health and safety has also played a pivotal role in the company’s recent successes.
“We are much more marketable with our improved safety record,” says Bill, noting it’s been four years since the company has had a lost time accident and its injury rate is now a fraction of the industry average. “This has made Sunshine particularly more attractive in the industrial market,” he adds. It has also reduced Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) costs by 20 per cent. Bill explains that there was no one thing that Sunshine did to improve its health and safety outcomes, but a top-down approach was key. Safety became a mandatory subject of discussion at all management and operations meetings. When employee concerns were raised or incidents brought to light, management moved swiftly to improve the situation and ensure those incidents did not recur. “By demonstrating to our employees that we take safety seriously and ‘walk the talk,’ our employees quickly came onboard,” says Bill. Providing comprehensive training to the company’s more than 400 full and parttime staff has also been important to creating a culture of safety, as has performing regular inspections to ensure compliance with safety policies. Technology has been useful, too. All of Sunshine’s auto scrubbers have been converted to gel batteries, eliminating the lead acid batteries that present numerous safety issues. The company recently adopted a high-reach cleaning system with 60-foot telescopic pole and camera mount that allows staff to view what they are cleaning above via the camera while their feet remain firmly planted on the ground, preventing bending, back and fall-related injuries. Sunshine also installed global positioning system (GPS) devices on its fleet of vehicles to track people’s driving habits, which has reduced speeding and other traffic violations. “When our employees are driving, their safety should be their top priority, not whether they’re going to get to a job on time,” says Mark. “If they’re likely to be late, it’s best to call rather than jeopardize their personal well-being.” A WORTHWHILE INVESTMENT
Mark and Bill’s genuine appreciation for
their staff extends beyond safety. The pair are strong supporters of a living wage, and regularly recognize and reward workers for their efforts and commitment to the company. For instance, every pay period, Sunshine holds a draw and awards a $100 gift card to one employee who has neither missed any days of, nor been late to, work. The company also hosts an annual catered dinner following summer holiday school deep cleaning. Small gestures such as these maintain staff morale and is good for business. “It has helped reduce our turnover rate to less than 20 per cent per year and improve our quality of service,” says Mark. The use of Cleantelligent janitorial software allows Sunshine to closely monitor its staff performance to ensure the company continues to go above-and-beyond expectations. The web-based portal also benefits clients as it provides them with access via a personal online account to real-time information about the condition of their site, including project progress, inspection reports, scheduled work orders, and much more. Always striving for greater customer satisfaction, Sunshine recently obtained CIMS (Cleaning Industry Management Standard) certification. While similar to ISO 9001, an accreditation Sunshine achieved in 2005 and held until early spring 2018, CIMS is the only standard specific to the cleaning industry in Canada and the U.S. Conformance demonstrates a company is structured to provide consistent, high-level janitorial and maintenance services. Sunshine underwent a comprehensive assessment conducted by an accredited, third party testing agent in March, resulting in the designation being awarded. At the same time, the company achieved CIMS-GB certification. The ‘green building’ component of the certification establishes Sunshine is capable of providing an environmentally preferable cleaning service and assisting clients in earning LEED EB:O&M (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance) points. “It pays dividends to be corporately responsible,” says Mark. “Benefits include better brand recognition, positive business reputation, increased sales and customer loyalty, but the bottom line is it’s just the right thing to do.” / www.REMInetwork.com / 9
/ spotlight /
HELPING KIDS HAVE FUN The five Ws of playground equipment safety by Susanne Dusselier
laygrounds are a hot spot for kids when the warmer weather arrives. They’re great places to stay fit and have fun, so long as no one gets hurt. Unfortunately, more than 28,000 children are injured every year on playgrounds across the country, according to the Canadian Paediatric Society. While children are taught playground rules to promote safety, lessons learned are of no help if play structures are not regularly inspected, properly maintained and upgraded as needed. To minimize the potential for accidents, facility managers and maintenance personnel should know the five Ws of playground safety.
START WITH WHY
Consistent, documented playground inspections assist in drastically reducing injury to children and protecting a facility against potential lawsuit should an accident occur. Catching deficiencies early and providing routine maintenance also extends the life of the equipment. WHAT TO DO, WHEN AND WHERE
Play structures should be inspected daily/weekly, monthly and annually to ensure they are clear of hazards and in good working order. The type, nature and extent of each inspection will depend on the playground environment, frequency of use, structure materials and weather/climate. Details of each inspection should be recorded in a journal or 10 / FACILITY CLEANING & MAINTENANCE / JUNE 2018
logbook for reference, and include the date, name of the person who conducted the inspection, findings including on-site measurements and photographs to quantify the inspection, and identify hazards and required actions. If any piece of equipment is found to be unsafe, it should be immediately reported and secured against use until it is repaired. Daily/weekly inspections involve a visual check for, and removal of, broken glass, vandalism and animal droppings. Sometimes dangerous debris is hidden, so it’s prudent to rake the groundcover, paying particular attention to exit points such as slides and climbing apparatuses. Examine equipment components including hardware, S-shaped hooks, bolts and unfinished edges that may stick out and could cut a child or cause clothing to become entangled. All hardware on equipment should be secure, with no loose or broken parts. Monthly inspections are more detailed and involve a thorough check of playground equipment for general wear and tear. Long-term exposure to the elements can damage structures over time, so it’s important to examine wooden equipment
for rot as well as splintering, steel structures for rust, and plastic equipment for cracks and breakage. Pay particular attention to moving components such as swing chains, spinning pieces and teetor-totters that tend to deteriorate over time. Annual inspections involve a comprehensive audit of the playground site based on CSA Z614-14, Children’s Playspaces and Equipment. The standard provides detailed information about materials, installation, surfacing, inspection, maintenance, performance requirements, and access to the playground, play space layout and specifications for each type of equipment. REMEMBER WHO
Playground audits should be conducted by a certified playground safety inspector who has specialized knowledge of the CSA standard and equipment, is competent using playground test gauges and probes, and can confidently identify hazards and clearly document their findings. Before hiring an inspection contractor, it’s prudent to check qualifications of the company and their employees. /
Susanne Dusselier is the business development manager for Parcs Ltd., part of the Liftsafe Group of Companies. Established in 2001, Parcs provides more than 30 types of safety services to school boards and municipalities throughout Ontario, including recreational and playground equipment installation and inspections, as well as maintenance and repairs. Susanne can be reached at 519-571-0003.
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SURVIVAL OF THE FITNESS Keys to keeping gyms in tip-top shape by Shirley Klein
ronically, the place people go to get fit and healthy could potentially be making them sick. Several studies have found that gyms are a breeding ground for germs. The combination of a warm, humid environment, multiple touch surfaces and high number of users results in a setting that is susceptible and conducive to spreading bacteria. While gym-goers are typically encouraged to wipe down equipment after each use, this doesn’t always happen, especially since there is an expectation that member dues are helping pay for a sanitary, germ-free health club. So, to prevent colds, flu and other illnesses, including MRSA, from spreading to members and guests, gym staff need to regularly clean exercise equipment throughout the day, as well as touch points with high germtransfer potential like free weights and fitness machine controls, handles and seats. This involves the use of hospitalgrade disinfectant wipes and sprays. Facility managers can lend a helpful hand by strategically placing disinfecting 12 / FACILITY CLEANING & MAINTENANCE / JUNE 2018
wipes, paper towel and sanitizing spray throughout the gym. Customers will be more inclined to clean up after themselves if these supplies are on hand. As a gentle reminder, post signs to encourage members to wipe down equipment when they’re done and offer towels as an incentive. Gym staff should take care to check supplies multiple times throughout the day to ensure they’re fully stocked. If not, all will be for naught. Nightly professional cleaning is also necessary to eliminate germs that cause illness and infection and to return the gym to a safe, fresh-smelling and healthy setting. Not just the main fitness area should be properly sanitized but restrooms, showers, sink areas, locker rooms
and saunas, too, which are prone to fungus and mould growth. In addition, all surfaces in the facility should be dusted from the top-down, floors and walls scrubbed, and carpet vacuumed. A weekly no-touch cleaning of restrooms, showers and other heavily trafficked areas, as well as mats in workout zones, should be done to root out any missed dirt, grime and bacteria. This involves the use of a pressure washer and auto scrubbing machine to attack contaminants that traditional cleaning methods may fail to remove, eliminating odours and resulting in a healthier environment in the process. A complete deep cleaning of the facility should also be completed every month to penetrate these same areas. /
Shirley Klein is COO of Coverall North America Inc., a leading franchised brand that licenses thousands of entrepreneurs to operate independent commercial cleaning businesses using the Coverall brand and system. She is the strategic and operational leader overseeing the company’s franchise sales and support, business and operational development, crossfunctional synergies, as well as operational and franchise training programs.
/ exterior care /
BEWARE OF THE BUZZ How to identify, control stinging insects on site by Alice Sinia
tinging insects are buzzing around once again now that the warmer weather has arrived. They’ll multiply and become more active throughout the summer months into late fall, when they’ll eventually die off (except for newly produced queens). By September, a single colony of yellow jacket wasps may contain 1,000 or more workers. While bees and some types of wasps are considered beneficial to the environment, their presence on or around a property can prove troublesome and may even be dangerous as they’ll sting to protect themselves and their colony if they feel threatened. Stings are discomforting and some people may suffer allergic reaction, including anaphylaxis. If stung by a hornet, not only will it be more painful because their venom contains a large amount of acetylcholine but it could cause a serious medical emergency, particularly if stung multiple times, which serves to increase the effects.
Stinging insects are most commonly an exterior threat. Often found hovering around uncovered trash bins, they have a way of ruining outdoor activities and can make routine maintenance and landscaping difficult. Bee hives filled with honey can also attract other bugs. If given the opportunity, these pesky insects will make their way indoors. Yellow jackets, for example, can build nests in wall voids and, on occasion, will even chew through drywall to get inside. To control and eliminate stinging insects, proper identification is vital since each type requires a unique plan of action. TELL IT TO THE BEES
There are more than 20,000 species of bees so their appearance and behaviour can differ quite drastically. Bees can be black or brown with yellow, red or even blue stripes, and range in size from a few millimetres to centimetres long. However, all are hairy,
a crucial trait for pollen collection, and most are attracted to flowers and flourishing vegetation. With the exception of bumbles bees, bees are the only type of stinging insect incapable of multiple stings. After stinging, the bee will die and leave its stinger and venom behind in the victim. Bee nest identification can be difficult because the structural design of each nest varies by species. Some bees nest in the ground, while others create their nests under rocks, in trees and will even convert a bird or mouse’s nest into their wax-based nest. Since bees prefer dark and protected areas, they may also build nests in wall voids or chimneys. If left unattended, the hives can damage and stain structures. Signs of infestation include bee swarming, which typically occurs in colonies that are thriving and with robust populations. The only way to rid a home of bees is to remove the hive entirely. www.REMInetwork.com / 13
/ exterior care /
THE WASPS ARE HERE
GT French would like to congratulate Sunshine Building Maintenance for their continued success!
We are a proud supplier of Sunshine Building Maintenance. Food Service Janitorial/Sanitation Packaging
14 / FACILITY CLEANING & MAINTENANCE / JUNE 2018
Like bees, wasps vary tremendously depending on species. Most have a pinched waist and are black or have various markings of white or yellow, but can be green or blue in colour. They range in size from microscopic to several centimetres in length. Yellow jackets are more aggressive than other types of wasps, identified by their alternating black and yellow body segments and small size. They are often mistaken for bees but have a thinner, more-defined waist, less hair and lack the expanded hind leg a bee uses to carry pollen. Although it depends on the wasp species, popular nesting spots include eaves, soffits, gutters, voids, bushes, branches and along fences. Many yellow jackets are ground-nesters. Their colonies can be found under steps, in sidewalk cracks or at the base of trees. Some yellow jackets build aerial nests in bushes, low-hanging branches or in the corners of buildings and other manmade structures. Contrary to popular belief, nests left behind by wasp populations that have died off during cold weather months are generally not reused by subsequent generations. Wasps are drawn to the alluring smell of plants and flowers, and outdoor eating areas prone to crumbs and spills. Properties with uncovered trash receptacles, an abundance of other insects and spiders also attract wasps seeking food sources. Indications of infestation are dependent on species but often the workers and the nest are the most likely signs. DON’T BUG A HORNET
Hornets are larger than most other stinging insects, measuring 2.5 to 4 centimetres long. Some resemble yellow jackets but have whitish-coloured markings on their face, thorax and abdomen. These aggressive insects dine on insects and plant nectar, but fruits and sodas will also attract them.
Hornets overwinter in tree bark and rotten logs, but the most likely place to find their nests is on the branches of trees and large outdoor, tree-like shrubs. In late spring, they build aerial paper nests in tree branches and underneath eaves. The most obvious signs of a hornet problem are presence of adults and nests. During the time that nests are being built, it is common to see hornets scraping away a thin layer of wood from a wooden fence, an old log or the side of an unpainted wooden building. PREVENT THE CAUSE
If a stinging insect nest is found on or near the property, contact a pest management professional immediately. A facility manager that tries to remove a nest without proper body and facial protection and, most importantly, expertise runs the risk of getting stung, not only once but multiple times. A pest management professional will often apply a ready-to-use aerosol spray, liquid spray from power equipment or an insecticide dust to the nest entrance to help control insects that are entering and exiting the nest. If populations are small and in exposed, easy-to-access locations, removing the nest without using insecticides may be possible. This is best done at night and involves using heavy plastic bags to cover and seal the nest inside. It can then be removed and disposed. Upon removal, facility managers can help keep stinging insects at bay by modifying the area around the building to reduce suitable nesting sites, sealing cracks and crevices in the structure’s exterior, and maintaining building surroundings. Trees and landscape bushes should be well-trimmed, thinned and open. To reduce access to food sources, trash cans should be kept closed and regularly cleaned. Traps, light modification, and mechanical and insecticidal controls may also be required. /
Alice Sinia, Ph.D., is the quality assurance manager, regulatory/lab services, for Orkin Canada. With more than 20 years’ experience, Alice’s focus is government regulations that pertain to the pest control industry, as well as providing technical support in pest/insect identification to Orkin branch offices and clients. Alice can be reached at email@example.com.
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K l e e n z o n e, a J a n i t o r i a l S e r v i c e s Company that has been in business since 1985. We take pride in providing the highest possible quality of janitorial and complete cleaning services for any type/size operation. Kleenzone provides services to clients in the GTA, Southern Ontario, and many areas across Canada.
INSPECTIONS WORK ORDER MANAGEMENT JOB SCHEDULING REPORTS
Kleenzone has developed into one of the premier companies providing Cleanroom and GMP services and as a result of this our structures and practices that are required to operate in high level pharmaceutical manufacturing areas have fi ltered down into all areas of our business. Kleenzone is certified by CSSA/ISSA as a Canadian Green Sustainability Contractor and strives to be the leader in the janitorial industr y by using the Canadian Green Sustainability Program Practices.
SERVICES Janitorial Cleanroom and GMP Carpet & Upholstery Window Cleaning Sanitation Supplies
Toll Free: 1-877-686-6505 Telephone: 905-686-6500 Fax: 905-686-4556
www.kleenzone.ca E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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905.670.2778 Est. 1988 www.REMInetwork.com / 15 2018-04-26 4:30 PM
RAISE THE ROOF Coatings protect aging asset, extend lifespan but not all created equal by Dustin Brooks
he exterior of a building is subject to constant deterioration due to the elements but perhaps no component takes more of a beating than the roof. Coatings can be used to lengthen the lifespan of this costly asset, as well as provide a fresh aesthetic look; however, some may be reluctant to use them due to widespread failures in the 1990s. There is good news, though. The technology has improved dramatically over the years and now it’s simply a matter of matching the material type to the correct application. But with so many liquid roofing products flooding the market, that can be easier said than done. Roof coatings are often confused with roof membranes. While both serve a vital purpose for buildings with flat roofs, each has a respective role to play. Thankfully, there’s an easy way to remember: A roof coating is to roofs as sunblock is to skin. Skin is a membrane. It is tough, flexible, virtually impermeable and protects the underlying tissues and organs from the outside. However, skin can be damaged if it’s exposed to the sun too long. Sunscreen is a coating. Its purpose is to protect skin — the membrane — from damage. It is permeable, so it’s still possible to sweat, and it’s applied relatively thin. It doesn’t last very long, so it needs to be re-applied. Liquid roofing products are not all that dissimilar. There are those that work great as a coating (sunscreen). They are applied in thin layers of 20 to 30 mils (0.5 to 0.6 mm) total,
defend against ultraviolet (UV) degradation, are breathable, cool things down (thanks to their reflectiveness), but need to be re-coated and touched up often. They do not perform like a long-lasting membrane but they are great at protecting membranes. Then there are products that work best as a membrane. These are thick (50 to 80 mils, or 1.5 to 2 mm), durable, flexible, strong and impermeable. They serve as a primary barrier separating the structure from the elements. Some are reinforced, others are multi-layered, but the intended purpose is the same. They have no seams, adhere fully, withstand ponding water indefinitely and self-terminate. These liquid-applied, seamless membranes should act more like skin than sunscreen. Liquid roofing products are best used for repairs and/or the restoration of existing roof membranes to avoid costly, disruptive and wasteful roof tear-offs. However, not all are the same. Some are better used as a coating and others as a membrane. Here’s what to expect from the most common liquid roof products. ACRYLIC
Generally the consistency of paint, this coating is best used as “sunscreen” for UV protection of membranes to extend their life. Acrylic also dramatically reduces heat transfer by creating a thermal insulating barrier when applied. Application: Two to three coats is required to reach a thickness of approximately 15-30 mils (0.4-0.6 mm).
/ exterior care / Pros: Reflective, low-cost, variety of colour options, good sacrificial/wear layer and recoats easily. Cons: Won’t withstand ponding water, is low strength and inappropriately promoted as a membrane. SILICONE
Thick in consistency compared to acrylic coatings, it is best used as a top coat over a membrane to prevent premature degradation, extend roof life and keep the surface cool despite the sun’s rays. Application: Only one coat is needed on flat areas due to its high solid content, providing a thickness of 15-30 mils (0.4-0.6 mm). Pros: Reflective, withstands moderate ponding water, resistant to animal fats, good tensile strength and minimal degradation. Cons: Not water-based, picks up dirt easily (turns yellow/brown quickly), poor tear resistance, slippery when wet and difficult or impossible to repair/recoat as nothing but silicone will adhere to it. POLYURETHANE FOAM
Typically top-coated with acrylic or silicone, it is best used as insulation material, not as a waterproofing membrane. Application: Sprayed on as a liquid and then it expands into a foam, creating a solid layer across an existing roof often multiple inches in thickness. Pros: Excellent insulative properties (high R-value), can be applied to any thickness and watertight. Cons: Not UV stable (must be constantly maintained to protect the foam from UV exposure), requires a top coat to protect the foam from becoming open-cell, easily punctured and damaged by foot traffic, birds and insects, difficult to install, no elongation and low strength. URETHANE
Ideal for parking decks, flooring, plaza decks and other industrial applications. Suitable for use on certain types of existing roofs.
Application: Applied as a membrane,
usually in two coats, to an average thickness of 60-80 mils (1.5-2 mm), requiring some fabric reinforcement. Pros: Strong and durable, impermeable and has a high tensile strength. Cons: Sensitive installation, toxic fumes (contains isocyanate), f lammable in liquid form, can be expensive, low elongation and difficult to repair/ recoat. COLD PROCESS ASPHALT EMULSION
Manufactured by milling asphalt cement into microscopic particles and dispersing them into water using a chemical emulsifier. The result is a liquid product with the consistency of milk to heavy cream that is optimal for roof restoration (with top coat), but only in warm climates and over roofs in fair condition. Application: One to two layers is needed with full fabric reinforcement to add tensile strength. Thickness is approximately 60 mils (1.5 mm). Finished with an acrylic top coat. Pros: Low-cost, easily applied, withstands ponding and has a proven track record in the North American market. Cons: Not suitable for metal roofs, cracks in freezing temperatures, requires a top coat for UV protection, poor strength and elongation, and requires fabric reinforcement. SYNTHETIC RUBBER
Providing a seamless finish, this liquid membrane is best used as a roof restoration membrane with a reflective top coat. Application: Only a single coat is required for the desired effect of 60-80 mils (1.52 mm). Pros: High elongation, good tensile strength, impermeable (will withstand ponding water indefinitely), excellent adhesion and installed to membrane thickness. Cons: Only black in colour, typically requires a top coat, more expensive and cannot be installed in freezing temperatures. /
Dustin Brooks is vice-president and sales director at Triton Inc. in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. His group provides a variety of roofing products and services to building owners and operators around the world. Their focus is on protecting existing roof assets through proactive maintenance and restoration. Dustin can be reached at 319-861-5233 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
LEARN THE LINGO Choosing the proper roof coating system can be confusing for facility managers not familiar with certain terminology. Here’s a guide to four technical terms commonly used with coating products. Elongation: The amount of ‘stretch’ a material has before it tears. Considering liquids are fully adhered to the surface, high elongation is important to withstand structural movements or expansion/contraction of underlying materials. Typically, higher elongation equals better puncture, impact and hail resistance. Tensile strength: The amount of force required to tear a material after it stretches. Low tensile strength means the product is more susceptible to damage when subject to stress. Permeance: How much water vapour (moisture) can travel through the coating. Higher permeance means the product will not withstand ponding/standing water. It may be water-resistant but is not truly waterproof. Low permeance (under one U.S. perm) means it is impermeable and can hold water on top of it forever without moisture transfer. Adhesion: Represents how well a product sticks to a particular surface, typically provided as a value in pounds per square foot or PSI. This is how much force or pressure is required to remove the product from the surface. It is often used to calculate wind uplift strength.
www.REMInetwork.com / 17
SCRATCHING THE SURFACE Outdoor parking lots need extra attention to prevent asphalt failure by Dan Georgen
18 / FACILITY CLEANING & MAINTENANCE / JUNE 2018
egend has it parking lots used to last 30 years in Canada with no maintenance. Whether true or not, this is far from the case today. Annual pavement maintenance requirements are at an all-time high. The main culprit: climate change. Extreme temperatures and fluctuations, severe storms, flooding and frequent freeze-thaw cycles are wreaking havoc on parking lot surfaces, which adversely impact the performance and safety of the asphalt pavement. Surface parking lots are particularly susceptible to the elements as theyâ€™re permanently exposed to the hot sun, acid rain and snow. Even outdoor air is constantly at work destroying asphalt, causing the binder to dry out and make the pavement brittle. The wind then blows away any loose gravel, amplifying natureâ€™s destructive force. Road salt, snow plows, heavy-duty trucks, high traffic volumes and motor vehicle chemicals are also to blame for asphalt pavement deterioration. Predictive and preventative maintenance is now more important than ever. CONFRONTING FAILURE
There are many types of asphalt failure but cracking and ravelling are the most common, both of which can occur naturally or as the result of bad materials and/or workmanship. These problems are exacerbated very quickly by water and debris from a dirty parking lot. Pavement cracking is caused by incorrect asphalt thickness, improper compaction, overloading, temperature fluctuations, ground movement or poor bonding between layers. Once cracks develop, water is usually responsible for further deterioration. Whether from rain, melting snow, an irrigation system or, most often, improper drainage, water that penetrates the asphalt surface will begin to soak, soften and erode the subbase, leaving the pavement vulnerable. If the water has a chance to freeze, the subbase or asphalt may heave up, potentially resulting in more cracks. When it thaws, the pavement will further soften and as vehicles drive over it, the asphalt will break down from the weight, creating a pothole. Thermal expansion and contraction of asphalt also contributes to cracking. This is more evident in newer asphalt where cracks can seemingly form out of no-
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where following the first winter after a lot has been paved. While cracking often takes place at the bottom of the asphalt layer and works its way up, ravelling is a top-down phenomenon. It occurs when stone and aggregate particles are dislodged from the binder material (liquid asphalt), leaving loose gravel on the surface of the lot. Water, again, can accelerate the ravelling process (by washing away the binder material very quickly), as can an unkempt parking lot. Dirt, sand, gravel, debris and road salt act like sandpaper when vehicles drive over it. The constant grinding wears away the aggregate particles, leaving a thin, fragile top layer of asphalt.
vides waterproofing, as well. The process involves cutting the damaged asphalt with a pavement router, cleaning the cracks and then injecting hot rubberized sealer into them. When done correctly, it is considered the secret weapon of pavement maintenance and longevity. Unfortunately, not all cracks are created equal. Cracks that are too large and full of dirt cannot be sealed. The same goes for alligator cracks, aptly named because they resemble the dry and fractured skin of their namesakes. The most effective option is to repair the asphalt sub-base. It is advisable to consult a qualified pavement maintenance professional if concerned with cracks on the facility’s asphalt parking lot. An on-site assess-
ment will determine the best course of action. Remember, failure to repair cracks in a timely manner will result in more damage and the eventual need for costly repaving. A ravelled pavement can be repaired using slurry sealcoating, which essentially seals in the asphalt’s original properties while blocking out destructive elements, whether they be natural or manmade. This cost-effective pavement surface treatment can also seal small hairline cracks. The application involves mixing sand into an ecofriendly waterborne asphalt emulsion with a high aggregate level and then spraying two coats on the parking lot surface. When done every two to three years, it will extend the life and performance of the asphalt. /
A HEALING REMEDY
It is important to repair cracks upon discovery to prevent entry of water, debris and other particles native to parking lots. This can be done with hot rubberized crack sealant, which is not only inexpensive but pro-
Dan Georgen is president of The Parking Lot Guys Inc. (TPLG), a full-service provider of preventative and corrective parking lot maintenance and painting. TPLG also supplies and installs various traffic control products. Dan can be reached at 416-638-3110 or info@TPLGToronto.ca
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Insight Brands Group Inc. Green Drain™ is a floor drain valve constructed with a one-way silicone skirt that easily allows the flow of waste water and debris down the drain while blocking pathogens, sewer gases, odours and insects (including drain and fruit flies that breed in the bio-film on the interior wall of the drain) from entering the facility. Extremely durable - resistant to high temperatures and most chemicals. Available in 2”, 3”, 3.5” and 4” widths. Four flexible silicone sealing ribs ensure a complete fit in virtually any floor drain width. Simple to install. Easy to remove for inspection and regular drain maintenance. Ideal for the drain issues listed above that are prevalent in Health Care, Food Service, Lodging, Property Management, Education, Food Processing, Government, Wineries, etc. Green Drain™ - an eco-friendly and non-chemical solution to many of your floor drain issues.
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Learn more at www.ereinc.com www.REMInetwork.com / 19
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WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY Steps to prevent ladder falls, injuries when working at heights by David Purdy
lass windows are an integral part of the building envelope but they also improve a facility’s aesthetic, provide occupants with clear views and allow natural light to infiltrate a building’s interior, which research shows has a positive effect on human health. However, these benefits can be lost if windows are not kept clean. In some cases, facility managers will hire a professional window cleaner to keep their building’s glass façade free from fingerprints, dust, dirt, debris and bird droppings; in others, in-house staff will tackle this tedious task. Most often, though, facility managers opt for a combination of the two, with in-house staff assigned to clean windows on the first three storeys (and hired help to maintain those on the floors above). This mid-height work typically requires the use of ladders, which pose a risk to cleaners if not properly used. Accidents from ladders are common, with falls accounting for a significant number of visits to hospital emergency departments. For this reason, it is imperative that facility managers and their cleaning staff be aware of the potential for ladder-related accidents and take necessary steps to prevent injury.
THE BIG HURT
Falls from a ladder (resulting in injury) most often occur when: moving up or down the lower rungs of a ladder; a ladder moves sideways with a worker positioned on an upper rung; a ladder moves outward, away from the building; a ladder is placed on unstable ground; the ladder fails, for instance, a rung breaks or bends; and there are unexpected or adverse weather conditions. 20 / FACILITY CLEANING & MAINTENANCE / JUNE 2018
When working with a metal ladder, there is also the risk of shock or worse if electrical hazards are present. Injuries have also been reported while transporting, manoeuvring and installing ladders. Additionally, time pressure, overconfidence and complacency can cloud a cleaner’s ability to assess risk and make it more likely that accident will occur. SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED
The first step in ensuring safety while window cleaning is to check that the ladder has been tested and meets or exceeds the quality standards of the CSA Group. These standards are similar to those of the American National Standards Institute and U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. ‘Markings’ from these organizations may also appear on the ladder. Next is to choose the proper ladder height and style for the job. Using the wrong kind or simply ignoring the limitations of the ladder can result in a fall and injury. Mid-height work typically requires a medium duty ladder that can support 225 pounds. When placing the ladder, make sure the ground underfoot is stable and level. Do not place the ladder on wet leaves, moss, slippery surfaces or sloping terrain. As a general rule, the ladder base should be
one foot away from the wall for every four feet that the ladder rises. This will ensure the ladder is erected at the correct position, leaning against the structure at a 75-degree angle from the ground. If possible, tie the ladder to the side of the building to secure and stabilize it. In many parts of Canada this is a must if the ladder is longer than 6 metres. For optimal safety, use rope, wire or an anchor to affix the top of the ladder to the building. If the work is being performed by just one cleaner, the ladder should be secured to the structure in increments, starting at the middle of the ladder and working up to the top. When complete, the ladder should not move at all. Before climbing the ladder, check that rungs and shoe bottoms are dry to prevent slipping. Once work has begun, avoid overreaching as this is often behind many window cleaning accidents. Instead, use an extension pole to safely access high and hard-to-reach areas. Some poles are equipped with an inpad enclosed spray nozzle, preventing inhalation of cleaning liquid and allowing for a mess-free application. Those with a triangular swivel tool provide greater f lexibility, enabling workers to properly clean corners, tiny crevices and window ledges. /
David Purdy is national director of sales for Swish Canada. David has worked with property owners and managers for more than 13 years, helping them keep their facilities clean, healthy and safe. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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/ exterior care /
KEEPING UP APPEARANCES Exterior items that require routine care by Marc Ferguson
any people are only outside during the work week when commuting to and from their place of employment. This is true for a number of facility managers who, as a result, simply forget about the exterior of their building and the grounds. Since this area should be top of mind instead of an afterthought, here are five outdoor items that require special attention as the weather warms up each year.
1 Walls, exterior doors, drainage pipes, gutters, parking lots, sidewalks and more are susceptible to damage during winter due to successive freeze-thaw cycles. Building joints can also become disconnected or unhinged as a result of expansion and retraction. When this happens, leaks can develop and there is the potential for mould growth around doors, windows and drainage pipes, which can eventually penetrate the interior of a facility. To avoid this, a thorough inspection of the building’s exterior should be conducted to identify minor problems before they become major ones. 2 Inspect the roof to identify any potential problem areas as leaks can cause extensive damage before water is even visible inside the building. Note areas of ponded water or that are stained since that may be an indication of previous ponding, and remove any leaves and 22 / FACILITY CLEANING & MAINTENANCE / JUNE 2018
vegetation debris on the roof, as well as from drains and gutters. Look for signs of deterioration, including bubbles or cracks in the roof membrane, and mould or algae. While the fungus and plant-like organism may seem inconsequential beyond their unsightliness, the spores and bloom can slowly eat away at the structure from the top-down. Mould and algae are normally found on shaded roofs that have received a considerable amount of rain or snow, and are best removed using a pressure washer.
3 Ice melt is commonly used in winter months to stop ice from forming on walkways. Though most gets washed away by rain showers in spring, it leaves a powdery white residue behind that can be harmful to outdoor vegetation, concrete and brick. If tracked indoors, it has the potential to damage floors, dulling the finish and leading to dry rot issues in carpets and rugs. Increasing floor cleaning frequencies, particularly at entrances, will help rid the facility of the white residue. However, be weary about using a mop because the residue can collect on it and in the cleaning solution. As the mop is used, it spreads the residue over the floor and its finish. Instead,
consider an automatic scrubber or less costly auto-vacuum to clean floors.
4 Dirt and grime builds up on windows during winter months, so they’re in need of a wash come spring, as well as their screens. Often overlooked, dirty screens can become weak, damage easily and even rust. Before cleaning, remove them from the window frame. Place each unit on a flat surface, spray with an allpurpose cleaning solution and then rinse with lukewarm water. Alternatively, use a spray-and-vac machine. This no-touch cleaning method applies solution directly to the screens and then washes soils loose with a power rinse. The machine can also vacuum up moisture, resulting in a faster drying time. 5 One of the easiest ways to freshen up a facility is to tend to the land. Rake up thatch, leaves and debris, which can suffocate grass and its roots. Add mulch as needed to replace what’s vanished over the year, get rid of pesky weeds, prune and trim shrubs, and mow the grass. It is also prudent to inspect the irrigation system as it is key to keeping the grounds looking good all summer long. /
Marc Ferguson is the international business development manager for Kaivac, developer of the No-Touch and OmniFlex Crossover cleaning systems. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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