In our last blog we talked about the advantages of steel-frame construction over wood-frame construction. These include faster construction time, no wood-warping worries, lower maintenance and insurance costs, and resistance to pests like termites. But in order to get the most benefit from your steel-frame building you must protect it against corrosion. Following are 4 important ways to ensure that protection.

1. Careful Inspection
When considering the possibility of corrosion in your steel building, the interior and exterior environment is key. When steel is in a dry, heated, interior environment the risk of corrosion is irrelevant and a protective coating may not be needed. But the exterior of a steel frame construction in a New England environment, for example, needs protection. The same goes for the building's interior if the activity inside involves moisture that can cause rust.

We recommend a professional experienced with steel buildings and corrosion to inspect your steel building. There are chloride test kits to test your steel structure for chloride, as it is the most corrosive to steel and the primary cause of premature deterioration of a steel building's coating. However, we do not recommend doing this yourself, as some chemicals used in chloride testing can be hazardous if not handled properly.

2. Removal of Contaminants
Before any protective coating can be applied, all contaminants must be removed--surface contaminants like grease and dirt, as well as rust, mildew, and paint. Grease and dirt can easily be removed with power washing. Rust, mildew, and paint can be removed using a steel brush and abrasives. You can do this yourself or hire a professional service.

3. Application of Protective Layer
Once you've removed the contaminants and let the building dry, you can apply a rust-inhibitive primer or finish and then a base coat or acrylic primer. Using a brush, roller, or paint sprayer, the process may involve several layers of coating to ensure protection. Again, you can do this yourself or hire a professional service.

4. Regular Maintenance
Steel buildings are far easier to maintain than wood-frame buildings, but still must be properly maintained to offer long-lasting performance and avoid corrosion. Periodic cleanings and inspections are needed. Monitoring of the roof sheets, gutters, and under-eave areas is advised as these areas are more susceptible to corrosion.

We hope these 4 points help you to make sure your steel frame building is safe from corrosion. If you have any questions or are interested in a new steel frame construction please feel free to contact us. Email us or give us a call at 603.926.4966.