Are Your Steel Structural Components Damaged?

Your steel structural components are essential to the physical presence of your business. With all that you’ve invested in your commercial or industrial facility, severe damage to these foundational components can not only cost you substantially, but may also cause a domino effect of more expensive repairs.

How damage is caused

Because of its strength, steel is used for industrial and commercial construction. However, every substrate has its weakness—and when it comes to steel, the main adversary is the environment.

Exposure to extreme hot or cold temperatures, humidity and precipitation, salt water, and sunlight creates oxidation and corrosion in steel, which weakens the structures. The longer your steel structural components are exposed to the elements, the greater this damage can become.

Signs of potential problems

A visual inspection of your steel structural components can sometimes indicate damage or potential problems. Look out for these warning signs:

  • Corrosion. The most common type of structural damage, corrosion is characterized by rust and/or a pitted appearance.
  • Stress corrosion cracking. This simply refers to cracks in the steel caused by corrosion in weight-bearing structures.
  • Brittle fractures. These flat fractures are often caused by weld deformations.
  • Ductile failure. The least common type of structural damage, ductile failure causes deformation of the steel components.

The signs of structural damage, particularly in the early stages, may be difficult to spot if you’re not familiar with them. It’s a good idea to enlist a professional contractor to check your steel structural components. This may include a visual inspection along with more thorough techniques, such as an X-ray or chemical inspection.

Can the damage be repaired?

If your steel structural components have suffered minor damage like rust and corrosion, a commercial painting contractor can repair or reverse the problems through a variety of techniques, while also protecting the components from further corrosion.

When the damage is left unchecked, corrosion can lead to situations where a professional contractor must remove and repair or replace portions of your structural components—a very expensive process. A better option is to ensure that your steel components are protected with steel structural coatings and corrosion control methods, implemented by a professional industrial painting company, so you can avoid expensive replacements.

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