Abseiling vs Scaffolding: Which Way Works For Your Project?

Painter abseiling down high rise from roof | McAuliffe Painting

When working on a project where heights are a factor, there is a question that does tend to get asked: Should we use those who are skilled in Rope Access or just use scaffolding? This all really depends on how high the building or project is and what sort of work needs to be undertaken. If it’s something that doesn’t require many levels to be painted and has easy access around the ground area then scaffolding or the use of EWP is definitely a viable solution. But if you want the least amount of disruption or need work done on a building where it isn’t possible to have scaffolding, you need a company that specialises in abseil work (like McAuliffe Painting).

What is the difference between abseiling and scaffolding?

Abseiling and scaffolding are two ways of performing tasks at great heights, but they are very different. Abseiling is when you connect an anchor point to the roof of a building and scale down to perform the task. Scaffolding is a platform that is constructed from the ground up to allow tradespeople to perform their duties. 

Abseiling causes little disruption to those that reside within the building and the foot traffic that may pass by on a constant basis, where scaffolding needs to take up a significant portion of the area both below and above the area that needs work done but doesn’t require any abseiling equipment.  With Rope Access you just pull up the ropes at the end of the day and disturbance is caused.

Which method works best?

This all depends on what the project is, access to the ground and what work is being undertaken. Usually, Rope Access is used where it is not possible or too expensive to access via scaffolding. Sometimes there is a steep block or even water below and it’s not possible for scaffolding to be erected, not to mention the cost alone of scaffolding often is more than the work performed on ropes. 

For those buildings that are located on a main road where both vehicle and foot traffic is a constant factor, then using an abseiling specialist is the best option. Also, if we are talking about high-rise commercial buildings that span multiple levels, constructing a scaffold that reaches the heights required is not exactly viable and often very expensive.

Can McAuliffe Painting help with both?

Absolutely! Our team have decades of experience working with both scaffolds and Rope Access equipment, working on every type of structure you can imagine, from your everyday residential property to your 40-floor commercial buildings. If you need any high-rise painting work done, contact the team at McAuliffe Painting today and we can help you wherever we can.

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