A visit from a dear friend who does commercial roof cleaning in Vancouver, British Columbia, has opened my mind to a new broad scope of details that I believe every architect should be aware of. What are these details? To get started I’ll say that when an architect is designing a roof, they should be aware of how easy that roof will be to clean once it gets dirty or covered in moss.
How do you design a roof with roof cleaners in mind? Don’t do what many architects are doing and make roof tops super intricate with lots of pokes and pockets. A roof cleaner, for his own safety, always wears a harness but when the roof is at ridiculous slopes and dangerous heights then they might charge your client way more for roof cleaning services then they might otherwise do.
Keeping in mind how your building design will by washed by exterior cleaning companies when drawing your blue print is a sign of being a more experienced architect. My dear friend who visited had been doing roof cleaning Vancouver services for nearly a decade before he decided to bring this issue up with me. He knows I’m an architect, and he first came to me asking, “Do all architects do this?” and then he showed me a picture of one of the craziest roof tops in Vancouver. He began to complain about architects and how some of them refuse to appreciate function and instead seemingly wish to make cleaning roofs as hard as possible. I had to tell him that this wasn’t true.
Here is what the truth is:
Architects don’t know how hard it can be to clean a roof in the heat or window washing in the winter. They design a building with both beauty and function in mind, and not all of them think of roof cleaners when they think of function. They’re actually trying to design roofs in ways that they might not need to get cleaned as often because of the way angles slope and certain corners block the sun.
It is also true, however, that all architects should be aware of how a roof cleaning company operates before they complete their building designs.
“Imagine if I had to clean Science World,” my friend said. And then I rebutted with, “Imagine if beautiful buildings like Science World didn’t exist because architects were always trying to cater to roof cleaners.”
My friend started to understand my points after that rebuttal, and I was already understanding him. After all, he does have a good point. Some roofs are nearly impossible to clean without it being a stressful hazard because the architect had no idea how the roof should be cleaned. Most architects aren’t like this, but the ones that are who are new to designing buildings need to learn from this.
What do roof cleaners need from architects? They need the following 5 things.
- Ways to anchor their harnesses onto the roof.
- Easy ways to access the roof.
- If slopes are steep and high, then extra anchors.
- If roofs are round, then steps for them to work on.
- If roofs are glass, then places to stand without scratching it.
My friend told me a bunch of things that would make architectural roof tops in Vancouver easier to clean, but these were the biggest ones I took away from our discussion. If you’re an architect like us, then we hope you took something away from this architecture fact. Tell your friends about it, because we need roof cleaners just as much as they need us.
Thanks for visiting.