Tips To Maintain A Preengineered Steel Building When Living Near The Ocean

Prefabricated metal buildings can be a great addition to your property if you need a barn, shed, or other type of storage building. Generally speaking, the buildings are both easy to install and maintain. However, if you live in an area that is close to the ocean, then the salt-filled air may create issues where oxidation is more likely. You can prevent damage issues by making sure to stay on top of maintenance practices, and the following information can help you with this.

Wash the Building Regularly

Most steel buildings can be easily cleaned with a spray of water to remove dirt and debris. If you live near the ocean though, then the sea is likely to release an aerosol that contains some salt water. Depending on the wind speeds and strengths in the area, as well as precipitation, some of this salt is likely to land on your building and remain when the water evaporates. While only a minuscule amount of salt is likely to land on the steel at one time, it can accumulate and cause corrosion. This means that you should clean your metal building about every month, and a mild cleaner should be used. Otherwise, the salt is likely to form a brine solution when mixed with plain water, and the salt can form on the metal again.

Dish soap is one mild detergent you can use to release and remove salt from your metal building. The soap will help to pull the salt away from the metal so that plain water can wash it away. Use a pressure washer with a detergent tank. Place your dish soap in the tank and place your pressure washer on low pressure. Let the water and soap mix as you spray the building down. Use warm water to rinse the soap and salt away afterwards. 

If you want to prevent salt from building up on your building, then think about purchasing a combination washing and waxing solution for your pressure washer. These solutions often contain carnauba wax and are marketed for use with cars. This means that the solution will leave a shiny and protected surface, much like what you can expect after waxing your vehicle.

Tend to Scrapes Immediately

A sudden wind storm that forces branches or debris against your steel building can cause scrapes to form. Most of the time, the scrape will cause damage to the outer finish coat of the metal. This is not necessarily bad, since the steel will be covered in three separate protective layers of material. This is called the protective paint system that keeps the steel from becoming exposed.

The paint system will include a primer, an intermediate coat, and a final finishing or clear coat. While the finishing coat is most likely to become scraped up, the intermediate coat and primer can be scraped away too. If you see exposed metal, then you know all three coats have been removed and it is time to make a repair. It is ideal to do this sooner than later, because the salty air from the sea will cause oxidation to appear much sooner than it normally would. 

To repair the deep scrape, look for any signs of rust, since almost any exposure to salt will cause oxidation to appear. If you see rust, use a fine grit piece of sandpaper to remove it. Also, use the sandpaper to lightly score the steel so your paint can stick better. Go to your local home store to purchase a small can of metal primer. An anti-rust zinc chromate variety will work well for this. Also, purchase a matching steel touch up paint. Try to avoid paints that claim they contain primers and paints in one mixture. These paints will not allow you to build up layers like the separate paints will. 

Use a small paintbrush to add the primer to the scratch area. Two coats of paint that are allowed to dry for one full day a piece will work best. Apply the touch up paint over the top of the primer. You can add a clear coat if you wish by adding an automotive sealer afterwards.

For more information about the proper maintenance for still buildings, contact a local fabricator or retailer like Commercial Industries Company Inc.