Over the international break, Crystal Palace decided it was time to finally clean the roof of ‘iconic’ Holmesdale stand for first time since 1995 – but they hired a robot – ‘The Mossy’ – to “reach the bits human hands can’t!”.
A huge amount of bacterial growth built up so much over time that it turned the roof a dirty grey colour, making the ground look worse for wear. You can see the different the cleaning job made in the photo below…
This is so brilliant I don't care if we never win a game again and Benteke never scores.
Holmesdale roof given new lease of life by four Welshmen and a robot https://t.co/fwlcBFRNP2
— typical palace (@typicalpalace) November 21, 2019
Workmanship of a team of experts abseiled up and down the 45m-high roof with their specialist power steamers.
The front of the front was an issue for them as it has such a steep curve. It was so risky to rope access it, so they purchased a robotic cleaning device.
Sharon Lacey, the club’s Operations Director said: “To our knowledge, the roof has never been cleaned since the day it was opened. We were obviously aware of several leaks which have been a frustration for the supporters over the years, but it has taken months to arrange safe passage onto the roof to assess it’s condition, then of course give it a long overdue clean, and repair any issues with it.”
Wayne Nyland, from Abergavenny-based company H20 Cleaning said: “The cladding was covered in 20-odd years of organic bacterial growth which appear as little black dots.
“They look awful and are hard to get off, as they stick and multiply.
“We removed it all using steam – 150 degree heat, and really low pressure. It literally burns it off, but in a non-aggressive way, so as to not damage the paintwork or the metal.
“The roof is about 45 metres high – so it’s high risk, dangerous work. The guys were abseiling up and down all week long.
“We spent all week steaming – ha ha – not steaming like that, but steaming! We all worked our socks off up there.
“We all had steam pressure washers on our backs like Ghostbusters – two lances at one end, two at the other – and we met in the middle.
“We covered the whole roof in anti-fungus spray too, which sprays into the steel and kills off any remaining spores.”
After checking out Crystal Place’s newly cleaned stand roof, fans took to express their delight with it but all joked about it and others had questions about that new planned redevelopment of the adjacent Main Stand – see what they had to say on the next page.