Powder coating is an outstanding way to add stability to metal applications. Of course, some routine maintenance is needed to make sure those powder-coated surfaces stay in good condition for many years to come.
There are many conditions that can contribute to shortening the lifespan of your powder coating. Long-term exposure to sun, rain, wind, cold weather, salt water, electrical currents or contact with dissimilar metals are all examples of common causes of degradation of powder coating. With so many possible elements out there that could compromise the coating, it’s no surprise that most powder-coated surfaces will break down at some point, which makes it extremely important to engage in regular maintenance and limit the exposure to these elements as much as reasonable or possible.
Here are some tips about how you can protect your powder-coated service, from a company specializing in metal fabrication in Umatilla County, OR.
Using wax to protect exposed surfaces
Finished surfaces that will come into contact with other objects or that will be handled by people will always benefit from being treated with wax. Some examples of these kinds of surfaces include handrails, guardrails, outdoor furniture, lighting fixtures and stairways.
To protect these surfaces, apply a light coating of a high-grade, non-abrasive vehicle wax. The brand of wax you choose should contain a UV inhibitor or blocker. Don’t purchase compound-type waxes, as these waxes have abrasives that could damage the powder coating. In addition, make sure you wipe off excess wax remaining on the surface after application. This excess wax could bake into place if left there, which would cause staining of the surface.
Properly clean your powder-coated surfaces
There are several methods you can use to clean your powder-coated surfaces. The most efficient method is pressure cleaning, which is especially useful for larger surfaces, furniture and structures. Put the pressure washer on a low setting and use filtered water to prevent stains from building up on the surface of the metal.
You can also use a simple mixture of a mild soap and water. When applying the solution, use a soft cloth or brush. The soap you choose should have emulsifiers meant to break down stains and debris. Exposed surfaces should be cleaned regularly—every week or every other week. All it takes is a quick wipe-down.
Finally, make sure you avoid using commercial cleaning solutions. While these products are often extremely effective at removing grease and dirt, they can also cause damage to powder coating, removing layers of the finish, which could, over time, compromise the integrity of that finish and the protected metal part. These coatings will first become stiff and then start to chip.
But as long as you make proper cleaning and regular maintenance a priority, you could double or triple the service life of the powder coating.
For more information about how you can better maintain your powder-coated surfaces, contact a company specializing in metal fabrication in Umatilla County, OR. Reach out to NW Metal Fabricators Inc. today to learn more!
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