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A stitch in time

A stitch in time

The old adage that “A stitch in time saves nine” is difficult to dispute, yet it doesn’t even scratch the surface – if you’ll excuse the pun – of the potential benefits to as a first resort in most areas of construction.

And if patching a chipped tile in the splash-back to a wash basin is the right idea, then the savings in terms of time, money, disruption and avoiding sending valuable materials to landfill are almost certainly going to be multiplied as the work scales up.

One of the main problems with trying to replace building components that have been scratched, dented or discoloured is the likelihood that you are going to cause more collateral damage through the process of removal and reinstatement.

Think about taking a shower tray out of a bijou bathroom lined with marble tiles, or fitting a new powder coated aluminium window within deep reveals. In the latter case you are not just concerned about the aesthetic effect on the surrounding elevation, but also compromising what are nowadays, double or triple layered air leakage barriers sealing frames into the building envelope.

On housebuilding projects it is not unknown for the client to force the brickwork contractor to take down and rebuild the gable end to a property because the ‘trowel hands’ failed to mix bricks from different deliveries: resulting in a banded rather than blended appearance to the face work.

On high rise developments the fenestration is frequently a factory fitted feature to a storey-height cladding or curtain walling system; and the specialist contractor will not be popular for requiring extra crane time to remove and replace something probably costing several thousand pounds. It may even require the interior wall assembly to be taken down again in order to access the retaining anchors.

These are all reasons why the UK construction industry is increasingly turning to cosmetic repair specialists like Plastic Surgeon in order to rectify damage or discolouration with the minimum of bother and expense.

If anyone hasn’t yet grasped the concept of cosmetic repair, or wants to learn just how it fits into the overall sustainability agenda, then next week’s Ecobuild exhibition at London’s ExCel centre could provide the ideal opportunity.

Visitors to stand N 1420 will be able to watch Plastic Surgeon’s highly trained technicians demonstrating a variety of the company’s repair techniques: realigning, bonding, filling, smoothing, colour matching and sealing a variety of substrates in the ‘Repair Clinic’.

As well as informing the industry about its “Save our Surfaces” campaign, Plastic Surgeon’s senior management and representatives from the company’s regional teams of Finishers will be on hand to answer questions or advise on specific situations; while videos and other displays relating to past projects illustrate the wider potential for effective cosmetic repair.

Ecobuild is all about saving the environment and we believe that the ethos of ‘repair rather than replace’ is the right place to start.