Coastal Housing
Render Cleaning - Case study

How to Save Time and Money on Planned Maintenance

A simple secret to saving you time and money

Planned maintenance is a huge cost for UK Housing Associations.

The UK Social Housing Sector alone spent 2.3 BILLION pounds on routine maintenance in 2019-20 (source Inside Housing).

Coastal Housing Association is based in Swansea and manages over 5000 homes. The welfare of their tenants comes first and this means maintaining these properties to the highest standards.

Someone who knows this only too well is Craig James who is the Planned Maintenance Officer for Coastal Housing.

As Craig explains:

“Maintaining our properties never ends and the welfare and well-being of our tenants is paramount at Coastal. I have to balance this with being accountable for costs, and the time it takes to complete each task. So saving time and money is a constant goal for us.”

Str Cleaning - Algae on render


Three-storey block of flats – Ty Mawr – in Swansea City Centre.


Craig and his team already knew that if left untreated the algae and mould would build up and cause specific issues such as:

  • Algae growth can spread causing moss & lichens to attach to the surface.
  • If allowed to accumulate, this can cause ingress of water, and damage to the wall itself.
  • The life of the render will be shortened
  • The property looks unsightly & uncared for – which is off putting to tenants and buyers alike.
  • It can cause the colour of the render itself to fade.


These issues were addressed by using outside contractors to completely re-paint the offending surfaces and this was both costly and time-consuming.

Disadvantages of this method:

  • This process is expensive and very time-consuming.
  • The contractors have to use extensive scaffolding (expensive) and sometimes there are problems with security in the city center with people climbing on them.
  • The scaffolding needs permits and specific RAMS.
  • Continually purchasing paint (chemicals) is not good for the environment or sustainable practice.


Craig explains: “STR Cleaning suggested we test clean the property in a different way so that a complete repainting was needed less frequently. They also stated that this would save us both time and money. So we decided to test this method out”

STR cleaned the property using a biocide agent called Algoclear. This is known as a Quaternary Ammonium Compound or QAC for short.

A form of this compound is used to disinfect medical equipment and Algoclear is a more environmentally friendly substance than paint.


This method does not need (expensive) scaffolding, as the cleaning can be performed from a moving elevated working platform (MEWP).

It is also far less expensive than paint and far better for the planet.

STR also employs a fully qualified painter and decorator who can “touch up” any blemishes on window sills or window frames and decorative facades.



  • Money Saved £20,750
  • Time Savings 12 days – 2 days instead of 14
  • No Need For Scaffolding
  • No Need To Purchase Paint
  • A Sustainable Solution – Environmentally friendly
  • Window Sills & Facades Cleaned In Addition
  • Saves On Future Maintenance Costs

STR Cleaning are working with Coastal Housing Association to estimate the total cost and time savings across the whole of their portfolio of properties using this method.

“ We were amazed by the result of this test. We saved a great deal of time and money.  Simon and his team, work quickly and effectively and really go the extra mile to ensure we were satisfied. We are now thinking of rolling this new method out to other properties in our portfolio.”

Craig James – Coastal Housing Association


– to see if you can save on YOUR planned maintenance.

Free initial onsite visit & quotation.

We work with your maintenance team & help you manage the work.

We give specific times for project completion.


01792 293 937