Companies specializing in cleaning and painting buildings are busier than ever, following bouts of Saharan dust in southern Spain that stained exterior walls a reddish brown
After the first episode of calima (airborne dust in the Sahara desert) in Malaga, there were queues at car washes. The second, even heavier, shipment stained the buildings red. And, as they say every cloud has a silver lining, companies that clean walls are busier than they’ve ever been, with requests for quotes from communities of homeowners, businesses and councils who want be at the top of the list once the muddy rain has moved on.
Many homeowners have spent the past weekend hosing down the front of their homes, but when it comes to a building, professional help is needed as the walls need to be high pressure washed with a descaling solution.
“It’s unbelievable. We must have received 80 calls this morning,” says Alejandro Checa, the director of Grupo Limsama, who is currently organizing interviews because he needs more staff to meet the demand. than we could after the first batch of calima, but this time it was much worse,” he says.
Mario Martín of Servihogar Málaga agrees. Most of the work of this company is carried out for communities of owners. “We get a lot of requests, but we can’t process them all at once,” he says. Some buildings can be cleaned, he explains, but others, depending on the type of surface, will also need to be repainted.
“Since Friday, we have been inundated with calls from people between Torrox and Marbella,” explains Jesús Santiago, from the company Malaga Colors, which specializes in repairing building exteriors.
“It was crazy, we’ve had around 20 calls and emails every day since Friday from people wanting quotes,” says Francisco Hernández, chief technology officer at Limpiezas Castor, a company with branches across Andalusia that has now hired another team to help deal with all the extra work. He thinks things will get even busier once better weather arrives, as some people have decided to wait until there is less chance of rain before cleaning their buildings.
The cost of this type of cleaning depends on the size, type of wall, amount of dirt and height of the building. Companies say that the exterior of a house can cost around 400 euros, and for apartment buildings the cost per square meter can vary from 1.20 to 2.40 euros, depending on the difficulty and the amount of dirt. .
For those considering doing it themselves, Jesús Santiago has some advice: “Be careful. Accidents can happen when working at height and you need to know what treatment to apply to each wall depending on how it was painted and finished,” he explains.