Five Things to Avoid When Applying Anti Corrosive Coatings

January 1, 2010

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The ever-present menace of corrosion in metal structures tends to give facility managers a major headache when the time comes to repair corrosion-related structural damage. It is better to prevent corrosion than to remediate later on, which is why exterior painting of corrosion-prone metal surfaces is more and more the solution of choice for facility managers. 

No coating system can offer a one-stop panacea to corrosion, but a careful avoidance of the painting practices below will provide a better chance in corrosion management and alleviation:

1. Choosing inappropriate anti-corrosive products 

The most effective exterior painting product to use should be one that accounts for the conditions of the metal surface, where is it located, what is its function and how is it exposed to these corrosive elements. A barrier coating that addresses these aspects ensures proper protection and assures the longevity of the coating system.

Anti-corrosive coating systems may also utilize primers and topcoat components to complete the anti-corrosion painting application, and these components should be carefully identified based on the requirements of the job.

2. Non-adherence to the product specifications 

Anti-corrosion exterior painting product comes with a fact sheet or a material safety data sheet (MSDS) that indicates the specific application preparation, actual application, and post-application instructions for the particular product. Not following the instructions jeopardizes the application of anti-corrosive coatings, and can even lead to a coating failure. 

Another possible risk of not following the correct application guidelines is that the exterior painting job, rather than provide effective anti-corrosive solution, may even introduce further vulnerabilities to the metal surface. The wrong application of these coatings can leave weaknesses to the system that may allow corrosive agents to enter the metal surface and work their way undetected inside. 

3. Taking safety risks for granted

Components in anti-corrosive exterior painting products carry certain properties that may pose safety risks to workers handling the product. The MSDS is a valuable guide in how to handle and store paint products, primers and finishes the safest possible way. The MSDS lists out such properties like melting, boiling, and flash points. More importantly, any toxic properties, reactivity or health impacts are declared in the MSDS. Knowing these potential sources of risks help in first aid and emergency preparation. 

4. Underestimating environmental hazards

The MSDS is also a valuable source of information on the environmental hazards posed by handling particular substances in the painting product. Workers are apprised of the chemical risks, the impact of the application, and disposal of chemicals to the environment. If the proper handling, storage, application, and waste management of anti-corrosive exterior painting product are ignored, VOC and toxic substances may be released, with grave damages to human health and the environment. 

5. Relying on inexperienced painting contractors

Exterior painting jobs require the aid of expert painting companies to deliver total anti-corrosion protection to the facility. Every aspect of the painting application lay prone to mistakes when done by an unskilled contractor. Inspections may lead to inaccurate evaluations, damages may be incorrectly assessed, and consequent solutions may not solve, and even worsen, the original problem. 

An expert contractor can deliver a quality solution and accrue lesser costs for the painting project, as opposed to potentially sub-par work delivered by an inexperienced painting contractor.

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