Anderson Facilities Group Blog

Keeping Up The Facade

Richard Anderson - Thursday, November 26, 2015

When discussing the cleaning of a building's facade with a potential client, I often hear the objection "Ownership won't spend money on the cleaning of the building. 

  • We know it is dirty and needs attention, but they won't spend money on anything that does not directly effect the common areas leading to their tenants' space." I then remind the potential client the exterior of the building is the first impression their tenant has of the space they are leasing. Furthermore, every building is a permanent billboard constantly selling their leasable space. The appearance of the building is the second most important investment for any owner, just behind their HVAC system (a tenant's comfort is priority #1).
When a potential tenant visits a building, the first impression is the building's exterior. Is the building clean? Is the facade covered in dirt and mildew? Do the windows appear streaky and dirty? Do the first floor windows have calcium buildup from the sprinklers? Is the monument sign clean and in good condition? Are the sidewalks leading to the entrances clean and free of dirt and gum? Is the parking garage (where applicable) clean or covered in dirt and pollutants. So often, the building's appearance takes a back seat to the interior surfaces.
Maintaining a clean exterior appearance is easier than you would think. With regular maintenance and cleaning, the building's facade and surrounding exterior surfaces can look their best at all times.


  • Here are some important factors to remember when maintaining the exterior surfaces of a commercial building:
  2.  - Aluminum mullions (window frames) should be cleaned and protected against potential pitting due to atmospheric contaminants to ensure longevity.
  •  - Stone surfaces should be cleaned using appropriate chemicals (when applicable) and a water-based surface treatment applied to allow for breathability, allow for ease of routine cleaning and protect from harmful pollutants.
  •  - Glass should be free of streaking caused by repeated runoff of hard water which carries calcium and other harmful minerals. These minerals will eat away at the surface of the glass and gradually cause the glass to appear "etched". Make sure to hire an experienced professional to remove the "etching" from the glass. There is a cost associated with this process, however, it is far less than replacing the affected windows.
  •  - Metal surfaces of entrances should be cleaned and protected (paint or clear lacquer) against potential pitting due to atmospheric contaminants and regular wear and tear from constant use.
By addressing each of these items above, you will provide each of your current and potential tenants with a building they can be proud to call their professional home.


Anderson Facilities Group provides facilities maintenance services such as (but not limited to) window cleaning, carpet cleaning, pressure cleaning, floor care, plumbing, electrical, architectural restoration and facade cleaning. For more information contact AFG at


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126 E. Wing St

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Arlington Heights, IL 60004


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