News for the Hospitality Executive
Stuart Dean Asks: ‘Have You Tested the Metal of Your Hotel?’
New York — June 15, 2009 — Over the ages, the “metal” of a man – his spiritual, emotional or physical aptitude – has always been tested, but what about the architectural metal of a hotel? The Stuart Dean Co., headquartered here, reports that the deteriorating appearance of a hotel’s metal architectural elements – banisters, railings, doors, elevators, signage and ornamental treatments – can be a real turn-off to guests, giving hotels failing marks in its overall appearance and appeal.
As part of its proclamation to make “2009 the Year of Preventive maintenance,”
hospitality’s leading restoration and maintenance company remains devoted
to the restoration and preservation of architectural metals, including:
aluminum, bronze, copper, nickel, stainless steel and other non-ferrous
metals. Properly selected, installed, and maintained, architectural metal
elements are among the most durable and permanent building materials. However,
metal elements that are not properly suited for the chosen function or
are not properly cared for can be very fragile and short lived.
“No hotel today can afford get a black eye in regard to its appearance – especially when their bruised façade comes by way of scratched, vandalized or misused metal elements,” said Greg Schall, Stuart Dean Director of Hospitality. “All architectural metal weathers or oxidizes -- a fancy way of saying it changes appearance: iron produces rust, copper produces copper oxides, like the Statue of Liberty and aluminum produces aluminum oxides which can eventually cause pitting. Equipped with that basic knowledge, there is no reason that a hotel should ever let its metal elements tarnish their way to oxidation. If metal is left unattended, it will deteriorate in appearance.“
Schall said that while the industry is looking for ways to cut costs due to the economy, ignoring preventive maintenance and routine treatment to metals is not a place to cut corners.
“Oftentimes our technicians hear hotel maintenance staff say: ‘I know I have to periodically clean this stuff (the metal appointments), but locking myself into fixed payments is too expensive. When I see that the metal needs to be cleaned, I’ll hire someone. This way, I save money by only spending the absolute minimum necessary. It seems to me these metal guys are always cleaning metal that already looks pretty good.’ Others have said: ‘“Every time I need some items done, I bid the job out. This way I always get the lowest price for every single item. When I tie myself up in a contract, I lose that economic leverage and end up spending way too much.’ Or, ‘I’ll do it when I need it, when I see that it looks bad.’
“There is a serious flaw in this thinking,” Schall said. “Waiting until the building looks poor prior to doing something risks alienating customers. In addition, waiting until something looks bad might end up costing far more than periodic regular maintenance. This is especially true for anodized aluminum whereby damage may be irreversible or any copper alloy, such as brass or bronze, where neglect may cause dezinctification, also irreversible. .”
The Mechanics of Metal Maintenance
Stuart Dean stresses to all hoteliers that practicing preventive maintenance for architectural metals is a science in its own respect. It takes a trained professional to identify the right application method of refinishing for each type of metal. Methods include, lacquering or oil rubbed, non-directional or directionalfinishes, , oxidation, painting, patination, polishing, graining, removing scratches and more.
“Bronze is relatively expensive to maintain and when left unprotected it oxidizes quickly, tarnishing to a blotchy brown color within weeks, if not days,” Schall explained. “Aluminum, which is the most common architectural metal in the United States, corrodes which can eventuall causes pitting on the surface and cannot be restored once it has pitting. Stainless steel, which is sometimes confused with aluminum, is more lustrous in appearance, but its name is deceiving. Stainless steel is not always stain-less: depending on the grade of metal it will rust. This is accelerated in wet-climate or highly polluted parts of the country. Where climate is controlled on the interior of a building, areas such as on the operating wall of an elevator, stainless steel will not rust, but it will gradually begin to show a greasy film and fingerprinting from frequent hand contact.
“All these things must be taken into consideration when maintaining metals,” he added. “While it may seem relatively simple, there are many variations to these metals to also to consider. Not being skilled in the right refinishing techniques for the right type metals may prove to be more costly in the end.”
Stuart Dean cites the following causes for metal deterioration:
Stuart Dean offers the following tips when providing routine daily maintenance for metals:
The Stuart Dean Co.
|Also See:||Stuart Dean, GlasWeld Form Strategic Alliance to Bring Glass Restoration to Hospitality / April 2009|
|Stuart Dean Co. Debuts Sustainable, Self-Cleaning, UV-PCO Surface Solutions / February 2009|
|Stuart Dean Co. Proclaims 2009 “The Year for Preventive Maintenance” / February 2009|