Preventing corrosion

I’d like to start things off right rather than dealing with damage after it has already happened, so I’ve been looking into what to use to prevent corrosion. I’ve mostly come up with paints. Are there any clear exterior treatments or is a rust-preventing paint the way to go?

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I’m curious about this too. Prevention is so much easier than waiting until a problem comes up.

Short answer is: anodes :nerd_face:

…but you’ll want a tall cup of coffee before diving into this article.

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Upon further review, a quality paint is cheaper, quicker, and the easiest corrosion protection. Paint requires little maintenance too.

I’m going to need a full pot of coffee to read that article and I probably still won’t entirely understand it. It’s a really interesting concept, though. If I had someone seriously science-minded in the house, I would so see if they could find a way to make it work.

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Paint would definitely be easier to maintain. That’s an interesting concept, though. It’s given me something to think about.

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The issues I see with anodes…
Magnesium ($) is preferred over zinc for non-saltwater applications.
All panels and steel frame needs to be electrically connected.
Moist air is a poor conductor of ions and electricity… hence the high voltage required for lightning to strike… or a spark plug.

So it appears that magnesium ingots would need to be attached to the steel in hundreds of locations and would eventually require replacement.

Nope… I’ll stick with the galvanized panels and have the grand kids touch-up any rust that shows up.

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Yeah, paint doesn’t look so bad when you consider all the factors.

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Based on my user name, you might guess I am into boating. Have kept a boat in the water on Lake Michigan for the last 12 years and been boating for 35 years, and this is an interesting topic. We deal with this all the time as there is current in the water and it will chew up metal, particularly where two dissimilar metals meet. Engines, running gear are very vulnerable.

You are dead on about paint, electrolysis, stray current, galvanic corrosion, etc is a complex topic.

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It’s great to have so many minds here to work on the problem.

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Per WorldWide, they warranty their steel trusses for 50 years… and the Prime SMP sheet metal, which comes from Central States Mfg., comes with a “limited lifetime paint warranty”… 30yrs per attached details.

Statistically speaking, I likely won’t be around to see the end of either warranty. And neither appears to cover surface rust per se… but… I do feel a little at ease with this building structure since we are so far away from a coastline.

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Those are good warranties. That’s a bit of peace of mind right there. I’m amazed that the paint one is so long.

My only concern with a long warranty is if the company will still be around to honor it when the time comes. Obviously, if they have a long history, they’re probably more likely to, but still… things happen.

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I gained most of my experience with steel framed structures building manufacturing facilities. I’ve seen some that have been operating for over 50 years with no damage. The key is inspection, cleaning, and coating. If you’re really worried about it, you can use POR-15 as a coating, then paint it. I think most reputable companies making the steel structures and sheeting are making products that will last longer than me, so I’m not really worried about it. The siding I’m using is a bonded color similar to powder coating, and the roof panels are galvalum.

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That’s enough experience to get the job done!
Noted on the POR-15. I’ll look into it.

POR15 has great products, albeit priced accordingly. When I used it, ~20 years ago, the durability was impressive… not affected by moderate strikes with a hammer. At that time, we primarily used their products as a primer or base coat to restore older automotive chassis components. Great for rusty or pitted steel. POR did require a top coat to protect the base from UV light… it’s Achilles heel.

I’m running a gas tank that was acid etched and coated on the inside with POR’s tank sealer 20 years ago. The outside is POR15 with a silver top coat… no leaks, no rust, no flaking off (inside or out), and very good appearance. :grin:

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That’s what I would call a good review!