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Maintaining your Exterior: New York Architecture’s Self Care

Maintaining your Exterior: New York Architecture’s Self Care

Author: Joshua Rodriguez-Valenzuela;

The exterior of your building is obviously the first thing that everyone sees as they’re walking in; your building should be the most hip on the block, even if it’s the oldest. While New York City is heavily fashion-oriented, all of this TLC is given to the interior, leaving the exterior unattended.

Are we still talking about buildings?

You know the sight: gaudy green wood hoisted above stale steel, a New York Landmark only second to the Statue of Liberty. While the sight itself isn’t the prettiest, the site itself is built in the best interest of all construction workers, requiring 40 hours of site safety training before being allowed to even step foot on this wooden garden. This green steel monster, better known as a sidewalk shed, is the sign that there is some crucial, potentially dangerous, exterior work going on. Much to the chagrin of the affected business owners, these sheds are necessary to protect both those performing work on a suspended scaffold, and those walking down the street going about their day. Requiring regular maintenance, these sheds are built to last years, which is about the pace of any construction job throughout the city.

What are they for?

Besides looking pretty, buildings in NYC require periodic maintenance and restoration, a recent practice which recognizes and appreciates New York’s history, and works to maintain its original beauty. After 1997, New York State began requiring periodical facade inspections, then regulated to a period of five years in 1998. Buildings in New York are required to undergo facade inspections every five years regardless of physical appearance; the reason why this is so important is that things may not always be exactly what they seem. What may look like a cracked brick can actually be a cracked foundation, exposing a horrible future needing immediate remedy. Placed under intense scrutiny, and with plenty of reason, residential building owners in NYC are responsible for upgrading, maintaining, and periodically altering their buildings. There’s one major issue with this: there is no official checklist for building façade inspections, and there is only one status a façade can be in without needing immediate action.

Unless your building is marked as unsafe (meaning there is an obvious and immediate need for concern), there is no further action taken on your building. As a building owner, this may seem unsettling: You’re saving money but also unsure of how safe your building really is. Keep in mind: Your building inspection is under the discretion of whichever contractor you’re assigned, wouldn’t you want the strictest peace of mind when having your livelihood inspected?

With over 125 years of combined experience, NYCER’s team of specialists is always available to examine your property, providing transparent, efficient service, so you and your team can get back to work. Like you would trust only your dermatologist with your face, trust New York City Exterior Restoration for your aesthetic needs and rest assured your project is in good hands!


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