Power Washing and Pressure Washing
2020 proved to be a challenging year for facility management. Given the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic, many buildings and parking structures were shut down for extended periods of time, and countless events were postponed—due to inactivity as a result of related quarantine and social distancing efforts.
This year, however, as positive case numbers go down and the number of vaccinated people goes up, the world has begun to slowly resume its usual routine once more. Learn what this means for facility managers, including what trends you can anticipate in facility management during 2021, and how Wahlen Works is here to help.
Facility management trends in 2020
Facility managers are responsible for a building or facility’s maintenance, including operational duties, productivity support, risk management, and more. Their goal is to “make sure the places in which people work, play, learn, and live are safe, comfortable, productive, and sustainable,” according to the International Facility Management Association (IFMA).
In many instances, preventative maintenance, including commercial power washing and pavement marking, was delayed last year. More buildings were shut down; parking and event revenue was lost; less snow and salt damage occurred to structures; and money wasn’t spent to get facilities cleaned.
Upcoming trends in 2021
Major events in Milwaukee, such as the Wisconsin State Fair, Irish Fest, and Summerfest, all of which didn’t occur in 2020, are set to open their gates for people this year in 2021. For events alone, this means preparing the grounds they occur on, the parking structures people will park in to attend said events, and more.
To get everything ready for a resurgence in the use of buildings, facilities, parking structures, and event spaces across the city, however, facility managers will be searching for the right companies to help them prepare accordingly. There’s no company better than Wahlen Works to tackle this backlog of work that must now be attended to.
Wahlen Works is here for all of your full-service pressure washing, pavement marking, and concrete sealing and waterproofing projects—offering quality service at an affordable price. Client satisfaction is our number one priority, which is why we create a detailed plan for you before starting any job. Having worked with large and small businesses throughout the Greater Milwaukee Area for over 50 years, we guarantee both efficiency and expertise for all of your facility management needs.
Let Wahlen Works help you get your facilities summer-ready! Contact us today for a free quote.
Few buildings experience more exterior wear and tear than commercial facilities and entities, including office buildings, parking structures, sidewalks, industrial equipment, and more. From dirt and debris to grease and graffiti, commercial facilities require special care to keep them looking nice for the many people who use them each year.
Learn more about the benefits of commercial pressure washing and why to choose Wahlen Works’ high-quality pressure washing services.
What are the benefits of commercial pressure washing?
1. Increase the curb appeal and value of your building.
A dirty and unkempt building will leave a negative impression on all who enter your facility. This could also negatively impact future business, as people who would consider using your building may decide to opt for a cleaner facility elsewhere. Regularly scheduled pressure washing will eliminate this possibility and ensure your building has a good reputation and is viewed in a positive light.
2. Save yourself time and money.
When regular maintenance is performed on a building in the short term, you are saving yourself both money and time in the long run. Commercial buildings get much more use than residential properties, and people tend to not treat commercial buildings as nicely as they do their own houses.
If you don’t keep up with cleaning your commercial facilities, they can get excessively rundown—and cost you much more to repair. A great example? In scheduling regular power washing sessions, you’ll save money on other recurring maintenance costs, like not having to repaint the building’s exterior as often.
Regular power washing will also allow you to more easily inspect and assess any other potential damage or repairs by being able to see each element (siding, windows, walkways) more clearly. Commercial power washing should also include the roof, in order to better repel heat and water, as well as prevent roofing material decay.
3. Improve building hygiene.
Say goodbye to nasty dirt, mold, and bacteria! Particularly with mold, don’t give black mold an opportunity to grow at its leisure on the outside of your facilities. Mold and spores release toxins that contribute to building decay—dissolving materials over time.
Against power washing, however, black mold and other dirt and grime don’t stand a chance, extending the life expectancy of your building. It also guarantees that less contamination, brought into your building unknowingly by employees and customers alike, occurs—keeping everyone healthier and happier.
4. Don’t forget the sidewalks!
Your building itself is one thing, but what about the sidewalks outside of it and leading into it? Sidewalks can get disgusting over time—everything from old, smushed gum to garbage stains and general dirt. A clean facility will also only get you so far if the sidewalks outside of it are so gross that people would rather avoid your building altogether. Commercial pressure washing your sidewalks will remove even deeply set-in stains and leave them looking as good as new.
How Wahlen Works can help
It all started with pressure washing for us—over 50 years ago. Here at Wahlen Works, we have the knowledge and experience to offer high-quality commercial pressure washing services for the following:
- Industrial complexes
- Business storefronts, entryways, and walkways
- Signage and awnings
- Gutters and downspouts
- Truck and trailer fleets
- Roadways and ramps
- Parking lots
- Outdoor restaurants (including commercial patios and decks)
- Valet and foyer areas
- Government buildings
- Delivery truck bays
- Industrial equipment
We use hot water pressure washing units and have experience in using a variety of different chemicals to obtain the best results. The environmental impact of the work that we do is always at the forefront of our minds, which is why we have the equipment to recover wastewater and other measures to minimize said impact.
Are you interested in Wahlen Works’ pressure washing services? Get a free quote for your commercial facilities today!
Founded more than 125 years ago in 1893, the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) was first known as the Wisconsin College of Physicians and Surgeons, only to later become the Marquette University School of Medicine in 1913. It officially became the Medical College of Wisconsin in 1970, and one year later, in 1971, the Wahlen Corp. was formed by Ted Wahlen.
In the years since, Wahlen Works has become the caretaker of some of Milwaukee’s most historic and distinctive properties—earning the trust of facility managers, property managers, and general contractors throughout Milwaukee and southeastern Wisconsin. In addition to MCW, here are some of the Milwaukee landmarks we are proud to service and maintain.
Milwaukee Art Museum
Art got its start in Milwaukee in 1888 with Frederick Layton’s art gallery in Cathedral Square. In that same year, the Milwaukee Art Association was established. Milwaukee’s art collections and display facilities grew over the years, and the Milwaukee Art Museum celebrated its centennial in 1988.
In 2001, the Quadracci Pavilion opened, with its movable, wing-like brise soleil becoming an instant Milwaukee icon. We are honored to be responsible for the care and maintenance of their stunning underground parking facility—one that has inspired a Porsche commercial and is the first impression most visitors have of the museum.
Discovery World started out in a basement, moved to the Milwaukee Public Library, and then shared space with the Milwaukee Public Museum, all before moving to its permanent home on Lake Michigan’s shores in 2006. Situated near the location of Milwaukee’s first cargo pier, it’s our job to keep the decks and parking areas of this beautiful facility in pristine condition.
Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital
Founded in 1894, Saint Mary’s School of Nursing corresponds to Wisconsin historical marker #186, located on the grounds of the historic St. Mary’s Hospital. This hospital opened in 1848, and its sister hospital, the non-sectarian Columbia Hospital, began operations in 1909. Both are located in Milwaukee’s East Side neighborhood.
In 1995, the two hospitals merged, and Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital was formed (now Ascension Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital). Their new $417 million-dollar state-of-the-art facility opened in 2010. Wahlen Works ensures that its exterior and parking areas are pristine and safe for patients and visitors.
You wouldn’t believe it nowadays, but the ASQ Center was once a Gimbels department store, later to become a Marshall Field’s. Built in the 1880s, the building was designed after Selfridges in London, England, but over time, it had deteriorated significantly before its eventual renovation in 2001. Today, the beautiful structure is part of the National Registry of Historic Buildings and stands proudly in the heart of downtown Milwaukee—a successful, 195,000-square-foot office building.
Northwestern Mutual has called Milwaukee home for 160 years. The company was born on March 2, 1857, known as the Mutual Life Insurance Company of the State of Wisconsin. By 1865, it had expanded into other parts of what is now the Midwest and changed its name to the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company.
In 2019, it was ranked #111 in the Fortune 500 list for revenue. Northwestern Mutual now occupies the Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons in Milwaukee, as well as an 84-acre campus in Franklin. They also own the 7Seventy7 apartment high-rise on 777 North Van Buren Street. The Franklin location includes two parking ramps: one with four levels and one with six levels, a 1,625-stall structure. Wahlen Works handles the maintenance of both of those parking facilities and the external garage at 7Seventy7.
Garages of the Third Ward
The Historic Third Ward District is called that because 70 of the buildings within its 10 square blocks are on the National Register of Historic Places. They were built in a 36-year span after a fire destroyed 440 buildings in 1892. Today, the Third Ward is a must-see for visitors to Milwaukee.
“Its district of well preserved, large historic buildings, festival grounds, art galleries, theatre groups, eating and drinking establishments, and special events make it a unique attraction in the Milwaukee metro area,” according to the City of Milwaukee’s Department of City Development. We are as proud of the Third Ward as we are to maintain the vast majority of the garages in the district.
The work Wahlen Works does each day takes us to some of the most recognized and iconic locations in Milwaukee. We do our part to maintain Milwaukee’s historic properties, and we feel honored to do so. It’s what it means to be Milwaukee trusted.
Know of another historic building that needs some TLC? Send them our way for a free quote!
Parking structures are expensive capital investments. In 2019, the median cost to construct a new parking garage was $21,500 per space and $64.77 per square foot. If the average garage is 145,000 square feet, then you’re looking at almost a million dollars to build a new one.
Parking structures are so common that we have become oblivious to them. Customers expect them to be there when they need them, and they expect them to be safe. Property owners need them to generate a return on investment and be well maintained. Often they will hire a facility manager to ensure that their needs and the needs of their customers are met.
So it’s no surprise that a 2019 CORT survey of facility managers found that profitability is their #1 concern — up from #3 in 2018. When property managers are under pressure to do more with less, routine maintenance and proactive protection become important.
With that in mind, here are some useful articles offering good advice on parking structure maintenance.
How to Protect Your Parking Structure from Winter Weather Damage by Sarah Kloepple, Associate Editor at Buildings.com. 5 min read.
The biggest winter weather liabilities are slip-and-fall injuries, damaging deicers, improper snow removal, and clogged drains. Having your garage professionally cleaned at least once a month will minimize the risk of injuries and chemicals and ensure that your drains don’t get clogged. Pay attention to how your snow removal company does their job to ensure that they aren’t piling the snow too high or causing damage with the snow plow blades.
Protecting Parking Structures by James P. Donnelly, P.E., S.E. 7 min read.
In this article James Donnelly, a structural engineer, gives a concise but thorough overview of the ways that parking garages deteriorate, the types of routine maintenance that need to be done, how to schedule inspections, and effective waterproofing strategies.
Financing Parking Garages: Q&A with Parking Consultant Gerard Giosa. 9 min read.
Although the majority of this article deals with the costs of building structured parking rather than surface parking, it also addresses budgeting for operational and maintenance costs. Giosa says, “A good number to budget for ongoing parking garage operating and maintenance expense is about $500 per space per year…It is also critical to perform routine preventative maintenance on the garage, including sealing decks and replacing caulking and joints, to avoid major structural repair bills as the garage begins to age. With a good preventative maintenance program, a parking garage can be expected to last 50 to 70 years or longer.”
Planning for parking: How strategy and technology can improve garage integration by Stan Bochniak, former Facility Manager. 7 min read.
The focus of this article, which first appeared in FMJ magazine, is parking in mixed-use developments. These developments combine retail, entertainment, offices, and residences in a walkable space. But, people often arrive at their initial destination by car, which makes parking an important part of the experience. “Since mixed-use garages are used more than traditional garages, their maintenance demands are higher. Spaces turn over more quickly, and everything from elevators to trash cans are used more frequently. Regular maintenance tasks, like sweeping and steam cleaning, have to be done more often and scheduling is a bit more challenging.”
A common theme among each of these articles is that when you plan for the regular cleaning and upkeep of your parking structures, you are making the wisest possible use of your budget. At Wahlen Works, we can provide a single service or a combination of services to help you maximize your dollars spent. Instead of tackling problems as they occur, budget for proactive, pre-scheduled approach to maintenance.
- Trash and debris removal
- Concrete floor cleaning, polishing — and sealing if necessary
- Removal of oil, dirt, mineral residue, and paint from masonry
- Washing of walkways, entries, driveways, and parking areas
- Exterior building cleaning
- General pavement cleaning
Winter Preparation Checklist
- Clean your parking lot. Leaves are not as innocent as they seem. Their chemical composition can damage the surface of your concrete or asphalt. In addition, fall leaves that have been compacted and frozen by an early snowfall are a pain to remove. A professional sweeping will clear leaves and debris from places where water needs to flow freely. Then, pressure wash the entire facility for clean, odorless property.
- Inspect thoroughly for damage. Perform repairs on potholes or cracks. If you defer these repairs until the spring thaw, the damage will be greater and more expensive to fix.
- Check your drainage so water doesn’t pool in the lot or run back to the foundation.
- Seal your concrete. Concrete sealing creates a barrier between winter chemicals and salt and your parking surface. By the end of October, seal coating season is just about over, so don’t delay.
- Walk around all your snow plowing routes to ensure that they are unobstructed.
- Evaluate whether or not your pavement markings and signs are clear and easy to see. If not, consider new parking lot striping. A freshly painted lot increases the odds that people will drive and park safely. When large sections of your parking lot are used to store unmelted snow, you need to make sure that the rest of your parking lot can be used properly and efficiently.
- Review all customer and employee access points into your building. wash to make sure that people don’t slip and fall. check for irregularities in the walkway that can cause people to trip.
Spring has officially arrived! One of the first things we recommend you do is go outside and take a look at your parking structures and garages. Are they gray and dusty? Is there an unpleasant accumulation of sand and salt? Have the markings on the pavement faded? Has trash been blown into the corners? If so it’s time for spring cleaning. If the debris and chemicals and sand aren’t disposed of properly, you risk damaged concrete and clogged drains.
Your concrete needs regular cleaning and preventative maintenance to prolong the life of the surface and save money on expensive repairs. But it especially needs a deep clean after one of our long midwestern winters. Located in the middle of the “Winter Facts” page on the Wisconsin DOT website is a list of some the materials they use to treat roads for snow and ice: calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, salt brine. Property owners should remove and dispose of pollutants properly for structural preservation. This maintenance also maintains an aesthetically pleasing appearance and prevents environmental damage. Engaging in prompt clean-up will also reduce the risk of injury to pedestrians who might slip on accumulated dry sand.
Spring Cleaning List
The spring cleaning list for parking structures and garages includes:
- A thorough sweeping to remove trash, sand, salt, and any leftover leaves from last fall.
- Pre-treating stains from oil spills, beverage spills, and other dirt deposits.
- Professional power washing with a high pressure nozzle to deep clean the paved surface and lift out all of the dirt.
- Re-marking of faded parking stall lines, pedestrian walkways, and directional arrows.
- Concrete sealing to protect your surfaces from water, chemicals, and traffic wear-and-tear.
Once each of the items above is checked off, it’s time to think about ongoing maintenance. Some facilities, such as hospitals, have a high volume of traffic and high turnover in the parking areas. Dirt and debris accumulate much faster than in a structure, such as an apartment, that doesn’t see as many vehicles entering and exiting. A high volume facility may require monthly sweeping while a low volume facility may only need two to three maintenance sweeps a year.
Spring Cleaning Service Package
Spring is a great time to consider a complete service package for your property. Service packages include sweeping, power washing, pavement striping, concrete sealing, and ongoing maintenance. This type of package offers the greatest value to the business owner. At Wahlen Works the cost is significantly less than if the services were purchased separately. We can create contracts for time periods between one to five years so that you can plan and budget accordingly. Longer term contracts lock in current pricing and save the headache of having to address the same issue year after year.
Don’t hire a novice. Our knowledge of equipment, processes, and chemicals will ensure that your parking facility maintains a clean, professional appearance at all times. We provide our services on your schedule so that your business isn’t disrupted and we guarantee outstanding results. Contact us today to schedule an appointment that fits with your schedule. https://www.wahlenworks.com/estimate/
According to Greg Neiderer, Principal and Director of Restoration for Walker Consultants, a leading parking consultant in the United States, “Some parking facility owners and operators believe that as long as their structures continue to serve the public, few maintenance-related tasks need to be performed. Nothing could be further from the truth.” In a case study of three Pennsylvania garages, Neiderer shows that the one with the most comprehensive maintenance history had the lowest cost per space per year.
Proper parking structure maintenance reduces premature deterioration and future operating costs. An important part of this ongoing maintenance is the cleaning and washing of concrete surfaces. Concrete is a porous surface that can absorb oil and other liquids like a sponge. Chloride contamination caused by deicing salt contributes to deterioration of the concrete as well. These substances need to be removed regularly. Professional pressure washing produces a deep, uniform clean that is both cost-effective and aesthetically pleasing.
At Wahlen Works we specialize in full-service commercial pressure washing for businesses that have high standards of property maintenance and cleanliness. We accomplish this with a thorough, detailed four-step cleaning process that consistently provides superior pressure washing results.
- First, we thoroughly go over the entire facility with pre-treating chemicals which are all biodegradable. We treat oil spots, beverage stains, and other dirt deposits.
- Second, we apply phosphate free, professional grade detergents to the entire surface of the garage.
- Third, we detail every square inch with a high pressure nozzle, providing a deep clean to lift out all of the dirt. In contrast to the surface cleaning used by some other companies, this is a close application to blast all the dirt out.
- Fourth, we drain the waste water. We use polypropylene filters over the drains which pull oil from the water and prevent debris from washing into the sewage system. At the end, we pick up everything and dispose of it properly. If your property requires waste water recovery, we provide that service at this time.
When you hire Wahlen Works, you are investing in the longevity and appearance of your property. In addition to reducing overall operating costs, your facility will look better and make a better impression on visitors. Contact us today to get a quote on pressure washing services for your parking structure.