FACADES, FEATURES & FITTINGS
Sculpture and architectural features need bronze maintenance. It is the only way to keep them looking good and protect them.
Sadly, many things will damage bronze
- contact with the harsh urban environment
- excessive handling by the public
- acts such as urination
- graffiti and vandalism
The best news is that when bronze maintenance is undertaken frequently, the cost drops. This makes maintenance a more cost effective option than carrying out works now and again.
Bronze Maintenance on Buildings
If you have bronze on your building, then the best way to look after it is to have a bronze maintenance routine in place.
Some companies talk about bronze maintenance when really, they mean bronze cleaning. Cleaning is an important part of bronze maintenance, but it’s not the whole story. Bronze cleaning involves the removal of dirt, grime and urine residues in addition to applying a protective coating.
On buildings, this is never enough. You need to have bronze cleaning combined with bronze restoration,within one works package, to keep the standard high.
Bronze restoration is necessary when the bronze begins to corrode due to contaminants being in contact with the metal for a duration.
This kind of damage often happens by accident when other maintenance works are being carried out like window cleaning. Flooding the bronze with water which has grimy pollutants dissolved in it will etch the surface patina leaving runs marks behind. We work with other contractors to educate them on how they can prevent their work impacting on your bronze.
The use of commercial cleaning products on bronze might seem like a good idea. Yet, it will strip the bronze finish in the same way that overzealous cleaning can by inexperienced contractors.
Restoration involves removing the surface disfiguration and repatinating the bronze to match the original finish.
With bronze maintenance regimes, we think for our clients. We target the most damaged areas of the facade and restore them so that the condition of the whole doesn’t slide too far in the wrong direction.
Our bronze maintenance teams work reactively with your building to prevent the need for more costly restoration bills and each program is bespoke to your building’s needs.
Bronze Maintenance on Sculpture and Monuments
Monuments and sculpture require ongoing maintenance to slow down the kind of degradation that is natural in an urban environment. It is one of the few preventive conservation methods at our disposal.
Regular cleaning removes the catalysts of corrosion like leaf fall, guano and insect nests. When a clean and robust protective coating is in place, the beauty of bronze is breathtaking.
Bronze maintenance can also be useful as it ensures a regular inspection of the sculpture is undertaken. Reports on physical damage or vandalism means that safety risks, or offensive slogans, don’t go undetected.
Sometimes treating sculpture is not the hardest part of bronze maintenance. Access can be a significant challenge as well as interaction with the public.
Our teams have regular training to work at heights. They are PASMA and IPAF qualified. They also know from experience, the best ways of looking after sculpture, even in the most awkward of situations.
When the public enquires, we do answer questions in order to explain what we are doing to those with an interest.
Protecting sculpture from the environment is not only about conservation treatments, but also about involving people who might watch over the sculptures when we aren’t there. There is no doubt that sculptures in public spaces can have a rough time of it and need a few guardians.
How often should bronze be maintained?
In the case of The Young Dancer, outside The Royal Opera House, in Covent Garden, the sculpture is outdoors and often touched by its fans. Maintenance is more frequent than statues located on a high plinth.