Founded in the Netherlands more than 30 years ago, APP All Remove B.V has built up an enviable reputation of maintaining architectural beauty and integrity through its innovative solutions that remove graffiti and other vandalism on horizontal and vertical building surfaces.
Business Britain spoke at length to Brigitta van Staveren, about the company’s products, its journey, and future expansion plans.
This is an excerpt – the full interview will appear in the next edition of Transport Britain.
Can you tell us a bit about the company and its origins?
APP was founded in 1985, the brainchild of our current CEO’s father, Piet Nuijs. He started the business to clean, protect and maintain horizontal and vertical building surfaces.
Initially, it was a case of purchasing products to try and keep the surfaces and built environment clean. Along the way, we started to cooperate with different organisations to try and find a way to produce our own protective coatings.
Nowadays, we have our own product engineers, we take care of our own production and shipping around the world. Our product engineer aims to develop one or two new products a year, which is something we strive for. To do so we have our own laboratory, which has produced three mainline coating products, that can be adapted to the client’s specific needs.
What we do with the coatings we have is get them to the various surfaces. For example, if you have a concrete surface and want a special finish to it, we can adapt our coating to that finish. That is what we do; we can create tailor-made products for each client and organisation.
The impregnation for horizontal surfaces and the permanent anti-graffiti have also evolved along the way, becoming more and more apt to protect all kinds of architectural surfaces from pollution.
In our privately-owned laboratory in Beers, the Research & Development department is engaged in research, product and process development and provides technical support to our customers.
To do so we are supported by teams of scientists and engineers from various national and international universities and knowledge institutions in the particular field of surface protection.
In this way we are well organised to provide the knowledge and the skill for customer-oriented research and advice. Specific product features for individual projects and new products and processes can be extensively tested to optimise end products.
What do you feel you have been able to offer the UK market that nobody else can?
We are not yet in the UK market but we have a very close relationship with a Belgian concrete producer, and this company produces architectural concrete that is used in the UK. It was used on the Athletes Village for the 2012 Olympics in London, and these concrete frames were protected in the factory in Belgium with a solution that was developed specifically for new concrete.
Usually, you can only protect concrete after 28 days because it has to be secure first, but this solution we have developed can be used on concrete right after de-casting it. This makes it very easy to keep frames clean, even after installation.
For the UK specifically, we feel we are ideally placed because of our track record in developing and producing functional coatings that protect the built environment.
We develop and produce functional coatings that protect the built environment. Architects demand that their creations are delivered CLEAN. But how to achieve that when there is always oil, chewing gum, urine, water, exhaust gases, graffiti and soot?
APP creates impregnations that can be used to protect most kind of building materials against these pollutions. Our in-house developed products do not change the visual or physical properties of the ever-innovative building materials.
Our impregnation for horizontal surfaces transforms porous substrates into ultra-hydrophobic and oleophobic supersurfaces that repel water, oil-based contaminants and other stains. It is environmentally friendly, water based, vapour permeable and zero-VOC. The surface is protected and without change; it is completely invisible.
Our semi-permanent and BIOBASED anti-graffiti system provides an efficient and weather resistant protection against graffiti. A mix of 100% natural polysaccharides and water. After drying it forms an extremely thin, invisible, protective film and leaves the surface completely vapour permeable. Graffiti is easily removed without the use of any harsh products; just hot water!
Our coatings protect various commercial, civil engineering and infrastructure projects, art and heritage against graffiti, oil, chewing gum, urine, exhaust fumes and soot.
In this way we offer a solution for the cleaning and keeping clean various architectural surfaces. Our protective systems are suitable for the ever-innovative materials used in construction, production facilities, architectural buildings, food industry, retail and automotive production and communication industry.
Could you give us an idea of the sectors your clients are in?
We have a wide range of clients including companies that undertake building maintenance, owner associations of flat buildings; infrastructure builders; general construction companies; façade maintenance companies; we have a lot of managers of shopping centres that are clients of ours, but they are individual clients. We also could be looking for an agent or distributor.
There are lots more, and we work alongside municipality, province and government authorities.
How many countries do you have clients in?
Our expertise are used in so many countries, including the United States, Australia, Turkey, France, Cyprus, Spain, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic. We have a client in Indonesia, Portugal, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, to give you an idea.
Read our Transport Britain publication for the whole interview about APP and the company’s products and services.