Painting high-rise buildings

There are many aspects to the maintenance of a tall building. One of the most challenging is the task of the exterior painting, usually conducted every ten to fifteen years. Most property management teams do not have the capabilities to complete this task themselves and will need to hire a painting specialist for the job. With the safety of the public, building users and the painters at stake, high rise painting tasks are a complicated and technical affair.

There are two main techniques when it comes to high rise painting. Firstly, the use of boom lifts may be appropriate for shorter buildings or the lower floors of larger structures. Secondly, rope access or abseiling can be used to reach the higher levels. Both of these are tasks which can only be undertaken by full trained painting specialists due to their relative danger factors both to the painters themselves and the public. Here’s how each works:

Boom Lifts 
This piece of specialist equipment is sometimes referred to as a cherry picker can be rented for high rise painting tasks. Depending on the machine, they can reach up to 180 foot but most operate at no more than 100 feet. This small and manoeuvrable structure allows painters to reach the lower storeys for high rise painting and, working as a team of painting specialists, can be operated from the ground for faster movement around the building.

Rope Access/Abseiling 
More specialist and more advanced, rope access painters reach their exterior painting tasks by descending from the roof of the building. Often going unnoticed from the ground, abseiling painters must pay special attention to health and safety as they work. Equipped with everything they need to complete the task, painting specialists with extensive training always work in teams to complete rope access projects. It can be a lengthy process because moving the abseiling painters to different sections of the building takes time but there is no other safe nor practical way to complete high rise painting on buildings over ten storeys high. Ropes can also be used for difficult access projects at any height in the event of support machinery such as a boom lift being unable to access the property.

Alongside the ability to provide two different approaches to elevated exterior painting tasks, painters must also comply with the health and safety rules in regards to working at heights. These include:

  • Fall arrest systems
    Nets (for worker and public safety)
    Catch platforms
    Safety harness
  • Travel restraint systems
  • Restricted access for the general public
  • Extensive training
    Self-rescue abilities
    Knowledge of ropes
    Knowledge of machinery controls
  • Safety/secondary/backup lines in place for abseilers
  • Well maintained machinery
  • Complete risk assessments
  • Clear and regular communication at all times

Grange Banks works alongside fellow painting specialists to provide boom lift and rope access services. We have extensive experience with high rise painting projects and have been contracted by a number of property managers to complete exterior painting work. We recently painted The Exchange Tower in the heart of Melbourne’s business district. Throughout this project we complied to regulations and completed the task without any incidents to our painters, the building users nor the general public. If you are a property manager for a high rise structure and you are interested in Grange Banks’ services, contact us today to arrange a free no-obligation site visit and quote.

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Exterior Painting