Several different factors can cause metals to corrode including the amount of moisture they are exposed to, the pH of the water, the chemical elements in it, bacteria and air pollution. All of the factors can work together to cause corrosion and leave metal objects brittle and weakened. There are several ways to treat metals to reduce the risk of rusting but it is extremely difficult to prevent it happening altogether.
Corrosion is a big problem from an aesthetic standpoint, but more importantly also puts the integrity of structures at risk. Metals used to construct buildings need to be carefully treated to ensure they will last and not deteriorate quickly. There are several methods to achieve this depending on the situation and the conditions the metal has to contend with.
Buried or submerged parts of the structure can corrode quickly because of the temperature in the ground, the moisture and chemical elements like chlorine salts. To protect materials you can use a CP (cathodic protection) system. Galvanic or hybrid anodes (also known as sacrificial anodes) made from softer, more active alloys than the structural material are the main part of these systems. When powered on the anode will attract corrosion because of its characteristics rather than the metals it is protecting.
Using a CP system to protect structural steels offers several benefits, most notably the fact that they can provide longer term protection with very little maintenance needs. Systems can be installed very quickly to keep downtime as low as possible. Performance of the anodes is very easy to monitor so you can ensure your structure is protected from corrosion.
If you are worried about the condition of your property, we can provide help. We specialise in corrosion control and have extensive experience working with buried and submerged structural steels, particularly those in concrete. We can offer bespoke protection and monitoring systems for our clients and ensure their needs are met. On top of this we also offer external building refurbishing services if you need help with corrosion control on cladding and other metal elements on the exterior of your property.