Maintenance of concrete street furniture
How to take good care of your street furniture?
Street furniture produced by URBASTYLE complies with European standards in terms of material composition, mechanical strength but also resistance to frost/defrost cycles, de-icing salts.
Depending on the type of finishing you choose, the surface is more or less smooth, more or less waterproof to dirt and water.
Our products can be treated against graffiti, this treatment also prevents against the penetration of oil, grease, water, urine, ...
It is always good to remember some recommendations to prolong the life of your furniture as long as possible.
We don’t clean street furniture as we want, because modern street furniture concrete may have an anti-graffiti treatment and must of course respect the environment.
We never use acid for example for cleaning street furniture, as this may deteriorate the concrete, steel, anti-graffiti protection. We do not sandblast the surfaces either, that would definitely lead to deterioration and damaging the protection.
Concrete, although an extraordinary material particularly suited for urban furniture, may be subject to factors that could make it look ugly or dirty:
- The efflorescence, normally a temporary phenomenon that causes white clouds on the surface of the material
- Vegetation growth
- Dirty by dust
- Dirty by graffiti
- Dirty by chewing gum
Efflorescence is a normal phenomenon with concrete made with lime. Depending on the acidity of rainwater, calcium carbonate dissolves and flows with rainwater without any consequences for the sustainability of concrete. You can use the water jet to clean your items. Beware that a water jet with too high pressure may damage your furniture, or takes away the rocks by natural water erosion phenomenon. Adjust your pressure.
Sometimes, specific vegetation grows on the surface of concrete: algaes, mushrooms, moss ... This can be also quite aesthetic, but often the application of a biocide solves this problem. Our anti-graffiti treatment also reduces the appearance and development of these vegetal organisms. Choosing a smooth finish is also preferable to a "fair face" finishing to prevent this.
Wind and rain carry dust, fine or large ... Often this dust accumulates at the foot of street furniture. Therefore prefer a design that, with a little design of 2 cm off the ground, keeps the visual cleanliness of the base of the furniture. Occasionally, you can brush when it is dry or use a light water jet.
At URBASTYLE, we try to develop products with studied design and high perceived value, which do not encourage tagging. In this case, prevention comes first. But our furniture can be treated with anti-graffiti products. Treatment should be repeated preferably every five years for better efficiency.
So far, the best treatment found to remove chewing gum is to spray high-pressure steam to loosen the sticky one. A small scraper and a vacuum cleaner complete the system.
URBASTYLE has a FSC agreement. If you have chosen furniture which includes wooden elements, either you choose a wood naturally resistant to the environment, or you have chosen treated wood. Paints, varnishes must be renewed regularly, 1-2 times a year in case of intensive use. Prefer a summer or warm autumn day for this treatment because if you leave untreated wood in humid conditions, cold, it will gray out, inflate, get black, it will break even more your varnish and it will be very difficult to hide the color or material difference at the surface of the wood. In general, for urban furniture, we rather try from the start, to choose a wood that does not require maintenance, treated by saturation, autoclave, or heat treatment, high-class wood, FSC, naturally resistant, because the maintenance staff does not always have the time to take care of it. If the wooden element has been tagged or burned, the only solution will be to sand the damaged part up to a clean surface or to replace the part. Be careful not to sand too much and weaken the mechanical characteristics of the plank or wood section that you use.
All these recommendations are not complete. We must consider the problem from the start. When designing the layout, it is best to avoid placing street furniture near a road where lorries are salting with wide spectrum for example because the action of the salt deteriorates materials, even stainless steel.
The best prevention is to stimulate the continued use of the furniture by people who, by using it, will naturally polish and clean the furniture, it will also prevent physical deterioration or tags. Choose a high level designed furniture that has been designed down to the smallest details, a well-designed quality furniture is more easily used and respected.
To preserve your street furniture, simply clean it from time to time with a water jet or stiff brush with a little bit of soap. Always rinse thoroughly after use. However, be sure not to damage the concrete structure with too concentrated and too powerful jet.
In case of accident or if you notice a significant physical deterioration of the urban furniture that requires an intervention, evaluate the type of problem: crack, break, risk of physical danger, need for repair or replacement, take a picture and write a report ... In some cases, we can repair the part on the spot, if temperatures are positive and the furniture is a URBASTYLE product (We know our specific mixtures that we can reproduce).
If the element is too damaged, or if it is an important historical element (fountain, signal, column, memorial ...), we can also think about a restoration after evaluation and quote.
We wish you a lot of pleasure and satisfaction with URBASTYLE services and street furniture.