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Don’t Neglect Facility Exterior Maintenance

Crumbling building facades can lead to injuries and deaths

February 7, 2020

Indoor facility maintenance can be very labor intensive, from floor and carpet care to HVAC and electrical systems. It’s not surprising that exterior building maintenance can sometimes be overlooked.

However, crumbling brick and uneven sidewalks can be more than eyesores; they can be the cause of injuries and even deaths, Facilities Net reports. Late last year a pedestrian in New York City was killed by falling building debris. The debris, crumbling terra cotta, came from a 17-story office building. Earlier in the year the owner of the building had been fined by the city because the terra cotta was at risk of falling.

After the death, the city’s building inspectors found 220 other buildings that had serious exterior maintenance violations their owners had failed to address. Some of the violations included cracks in facades, missing bricks, and loose masonry. Inspectors considered these violations dangerous enough to pose a threat to the public and required building owners to immediately put protections in place for building residents and pedestrians.

Time and exposure to weather can cause the sturdiest buildings to undergo erosion. Learn effective procedures facility managers can incorporate into an exterior maintenance plan, such as tuckpointing and caulking, to keep buildings well-maintained and safe.

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