Despite the nice friendly names, storms are often anything but. Time to check your Brise Soleil.

Posted by Tom Archer on 08/12/20 11:00

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Here in the UK, we get more storms than we used to and Met Office have been giving them nice names. You may remember in February this year we had Storm Ciara followed immediately by Storm Dennis.

Their impact, though, can be anything but nice. Ciara recorded 97mph on the coast, with widespread gusts of 70 – 80 mph even in less exposed inland areas, causing trees to be blown down. The destructive winds and heavy rainfall of Storm Dennis claimed at least five UK fatalities.

The Met Office tells us that our next visitors will be named Bella, Cristoph and Darcy. But beware, they are unlikely to be as nice as they sound.

With strong winds and storms becoming a more frequent feature of the autumn and winter weather patterns in the UK, external building features are being exposed to these more unpredictable elements.

However, Brise Soleil systems and typical architectural shading products are generally overlooked when considering inspections for damage. Under BS EN 1991-1-1-4 2005, it is a requirement to carry out inspection works to the fixings of external architecture to prevent wear and tear, check for vibration, divergence, and fluctuations to the system which could cause fatigue and cracking.

The potential for property damage, personal injury and even fatalities could easily become a reality. You must ensure you have a maintenance engineer you can trust. One who will check for galvanic corrosion or wear and tear and who will ensure that the installation hasn’t become loose or damaged from high winds.

An example of what can go wrong if you fail to maintain your Brise Soleil systems:

Brise Soleil systems are a common sight on many buildings in the UK. The building in the image had a Brise Soleil system that had been poorly fixed. As a result, a 5-meter section weighing approximately 260kg has fallen away.
This section came crashing down to the ground from the 12th floor. Thankfully and extraordinarily, no injuries were caused as a result of the incident. However, the story could so easily have been much more tragic.
After an inspection from Colt, wear and tear of inadequate fixings was identified as the cause. Regular service and maintenance on these types of systems can help to prevent system failures such as this and will improve safety for all those in proximity.
Colt have been servicing installed External Architectural Solutions for almost 50 years and were the first to recognise the importance and customer benefit of having regular, scheduled checks, performed by our in-house professionals.

Colt can offer servicing, inspections and repairs to external architecture for all types of systems anywhere in the UK. Our engineers can access any building type using access machines or our team of IRATA Roped Access technicians. Once an inspection and photographic condition report has been issued by us, we can then recommend a programme of planned and preventative maintenance, replacing parts where necessary. Colt can provide this service on our own systems as well as systems provided by others.

Talk to us today if you need your Brise Soleil systems checked and serviced. 

Topics: service, Brise Soleil