Maintenance Advice for Modular Buildings


HOW DO I MAINTAIN MY MODULAR BUILDING?

Further to the recent completion of your new Green Modular building, this page is intended to provide additional recommended maintenance advice for modular buildings, which will ensure the longevity of your building.  On completion of your project, you will also be issued with our Operations & Maintenance Manual for further reference.

Whilst all our products are designed to require minimal maintenance, if you follow these simple guidelines, you can be confident that your Green Modular building will stand the test of time and have a useful life well in excess of 20 years. Our recommended maintenance includes:

EXTERIOR CLADDING

Western Red Cedar and Siberian Larch are superbly durable and elegant forms of sustainable timber cladding and as such can be left un-treated with no additional maintenance for over 20 years.

However, it will begin to fade in colour within a few months, gradually taking on a lighter appearance until it eventually turns to a silvery-grey finish. For most of us, this is an attractive ageing process of oxidisation, a natural occurrence as the external face of the cladding fades under the impact of UV light.

To ensure that the cladding maintains it’s durability and longevity, we recommend that you follow these simple steps:

  • Every 2 months, brush the cladding with a soft sweeping brush to remove any debris, notably dirt particles which can splash onto the surface.
  • To minimise such splash-back, we recommend that you install a 30cm wide margin of gravel around the full perimeter of the building. (A small size gravel, such as pea shingle, or other small stone is ideal). Without this, each time it rains onto bare ground or lawn, small dirt particles will splash onto the timber cladding.
  • Never bank up soil against the side of your Studio.  Always maintain a gap of at least 5cm (2 inches) around the structure to ensure that adequate air-flow can be maintained. Your timber structure needs to breathe in order to stay dry and prevent the ingress of any moisture.
  •  Similarly, keep all neighbouring shrubs well trimmed and away from the structure so that there is no opportunity for water ingress.
  • If you want to preserve the timber cladding and prevent the oxidisation process (turning silvery-grey), you have two options:
  • In the short term, you can only prevent oxidisation by adding a colour-finish to the timber cladding which will prevent UV-penetration. This involves applying a wood-stain, which will change the appearance of the wood.  We recommend the Sadolin range of woodstains (very high quality, commonly available from high street stores), in particular Sadolin Extra (yellow tin) in Natural finish.
  • Alternatively, if you wait 2 months until the timber cladding is properly seasoned (weathered), you can apply a professional penetrating oil finish like Osmo UV Protection Oil Extra (search online to find a professional decorating merchants to order) which will maintain a clear finish and not change the colour of the wood.  Whilst the cladding will have faded a little in 2 months, this product allows for the most natural finish.  ALWAYS follow the installation instructions provided with the oil – this is an expensive, specialist product which requires due care.

FURTHER EXTERNAL MAINTENANCE

We recommend that the following maintenance programme is undertaken to ensure that the Studio remains in sound order:

  • Every Winter, after all the leaves have fallen from nearby deciduous trees, use a stiff brush to sweep the decking and remove any debris.  Then, using a pressure-washer, clean the deck boards thoroughly.  This will remove excess lichens and fungal growth, which can make decking particularly slippery and hazardous.

ROOF AND GUTTERING

We recommend that every Winter, after all the leaves have fallen from nearby deciduous trees, that you sweep the roof membrane with a soft brush to remove all debris and that you remove any leaves and other debris from the guttering. (Please ensure that you take appropriate safety precautions and that your shoes and the sweeping brush are free from any grit, which may damage the roof membrane).

INTERIOR PAINTWORK

The interior of your building has been lined with Fermacell boards, a sustainable alternative to plasterboard, prior to decorating with matt white paint on the walls and white gloss paint on the skirting boards.

Please note: as the interior has been finished with a skim finish, it is inevitable that minor cracking will occur in the wall finish during the first 12 months. This is a result of normal plaster shrinkage, as the building itself settles causing minor expansion. Any such cracking can be easily remedied using fillers and paints available from normal decorating merchants and is excluded from our warranty.

All electrical cabling is routed within ‘permitted zones’ in compliance with current Building Regulations as such, as long as you avoid placing fixings (picture hooks or screws) in line between power sockets, light switches and the consumer unit, you will avoid damaging any cables. As a simple rule of thumb, do keep your fixings above the power sockets and to either side of the light switch and consumer unit.

ELECTRICAL FIXTURES & FITTINGS

If you require any additional or replacement units, please contact us. We will replace any faulty items within the first 12 months of your warranty period.

CONSUMER UNIT AND POWER SUPPLY

PLEASE NOTE: whilst your consumer unit affords you capacity for future expansion, the extent to which you can do so is always limited by the size of the incoming power supply. Before any new circuits are added, please ensure that a competent person (a qualified, time-served electrician) has made an assessment of the power supply and current load. By supplying a large capacity consumer unit, we have simply aimed to make future expansion as easy as possible, though we accept no liability for any future additions to this consumer unit.

HEATING AND VENTILATING YOUR GREEN MODULAR BUILDING

We recommend that you leave any heater (or air-conditioning unit) on a frost setting throughout the winter months. This setting typically ensures that the room does not fall below 5oC, particularly useful if you leave the building unoccupied for any period longer than a couple of days. This will prevent the interior build up of condensation and subsequent issues with damp. Furthermore, we recommend that you leave opening windows in the locked, ventilated position all year round to maintain a low level of air-flow through the room.

If you require any further maintenance advice for your modular building, do not hesitate to contact us.

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