The challenge of corrosion control

Steel is widely used to give properties more structural strength, whether it is in foundations, load bearing walls or exterior surfaces. The material is popular because it is low cost, versatile and is both strong and durable. The only worry about using it is that it can corrode when moisture and oxygen is present in the environment it is located in. Removing either of the two will prevent it from happening and leave materials in the perfect condition.

Determining the corrosion rate of steel is challenging because it is tough to accurately measure the environmental factors you face. In terms of water you need to calculate how long the steel is wet and the level of moisture in the air. With oxygen you need to take into account the level of sulphates and chlorides in the air as well as other minerals that cause corrosion.

Designing a system to combat steel corrosion can be difficult and will largely depend on the environment and the application. Exterior steels can be coated or painted to give them an extra layer of protection. They will also need to be monitored closely so they can be treated as soon as signs of rust start to show.

With buried or encased structural steels, particularly in foundations, you’ll need an alternative method because they are difficult to reach to treat. One of the most effective methods is to use galvanic anodes (alternatively known as sacrificial anodes). These are made from metals that are more prone to corrosion so they will corrode instead of the steel. Things like zinc, cast iron and lesser alloy steels can all be used as the galvanic material.

If you need help planning a corrosion control system, need to refurbish rusted steels, or require our surface preparation expertise, our experienced team can help you. We are equipped to work on properties of every scale. We can survey the property for you, devise the perfect monitoring and control systems and install them for you. From start to finish, clients can rely on us to offer the best level of service and support.