Maintaining the exterior appeal of a unit complex adds value to an investment, creating street appeal for residents, potential tenants, and buyers alike.

Keeping buildings that are often multi-storey tidy, free from grime and fresh in appearance is an ongoing task for any body corporate. Even recently painted buildings can fall victim to road grime, mould and occasional acts of unwelcome vandalism.

So how do you make the call on whether the body corporate should fork out for a fresh coat of paint, a touch-up or a quick pressure clean?

Full paint

Sadly, no amount of cleaning will alter the fact that every now and then a body corporate will have to bite the bullet for a full repaint of the building.

While exterior paint technology has improved greatly in recent years, the harsh Australian sun, wind, sea mist and simple age mean every now and then your building will be due for a full repaint. And that’s not to mention paint colours, like most things, go through fads.

The average building exterior requires repainting every seven to 10 years, depending on the environment. But if you’re in the market for a full repaint here are some tips.

  • All contractors are not equal – ensure your contractor can provide examples or pictures of buildings they’ve painted, that they give you a set time frame to have the job complete, and that a quote covers all contingencies, like pealing or cracked render.
  • All paints are not equal – your contractor should use long-lasting paint, even if that incurs additional expense. In the long run it will save you repainting earlier than you anticipated. Also ask them to either leave you the brand and colour code, or a paint tin for touch-ups.
  • All colours are not equal – certain shades go in and out of style (consider the salmon phase of the late ‘90s or the blues of the ‘50s). Try to select a neutral paint colour that will last at least a decade in style.


Sometimes all your building needs is a touch-up in high traffic areas, complemented by a good pressure clean. This can push a full repaint of the building out for a couple of years, saving your body corporate huge expense.

If you don’t happen to have paint codes or leftover tins lying around, a good painting contractor should be able to accurately match the colour.

Pressure clean

Keeping your building clean with regular pressure cleaning not only improves the appearance in the short term, but can actually extend the life of your paint.

This is a great option to wash off sea spray and lessen the potential of concrete cancer (Alkali-silica reaction) and damage caused by grime or mould.

Conducted on an annual basis, a pressure clean also allows you to see and touch-up any areas that aren’t standing up to the task under the sweltering Australian sun, or flag any major maintenance issues developing. It can also even tackle graffiti if unwelcome visitors with artistic aspirations have come calling during the night.