What is Metal Corrosion?
Whether you live in Utah or another state that experiences harsh winter weather, metal corrosion of vehicles, furniture, and the like can be difficult to keep from happening. Corrosion, of course, is a deterioration of the metal material mainly caused by interactions with environmental elements. Although this is a completely natural occurrence, there are three main conditions that cause corrosion to happen quickly:
- The metal material itself
- An electron acceptor (an oxidizing agent)
The three together make the surface of the metal more reactive. We see this work often in the form of rust. Of course, corrosion of any kind is something we want to happen to our metal objects. It may be natural, but its effects on the material aren’t positive. Rust can be an annoyance on our outdoor furniture and around the home, but rust on larger objects such as vehicles or agricultural equipment can prove dangerous. Even corrosion that could be considered minor should undergo proper maintenance and repair. All metals eventually corrode, but corrosion can be prevented with the right protection.
How Do I Prevent Corrosion?
Choose metal material wisely. Whenever purchasing new metal items that may be exposed to rain and snow, choose a corrosion-resistant metal. The simplest to find are aluminum and stainless steel. These metals may or may not need additional corrosion protection. For objects like rain gutters and outdoor tools, choosing a less penetrable metal can save you from spending money on near-annual replacements. But what about the outdoor furniture, recreational equipment, and vehicles that aren’t made of stainless steel or aluminum?
Use a protective coating. Not every metal will be able to keep corrosion at bay. For those objects small or large that need help keeping natural corrosion away, use a protective coating, like powder coating. Powder coating is more cost-effective than replacing and helps to prevent corrosion from starting in the first place. A layer of powder coat acts as a barrier, preventing the chemical reaction that causes corrosion in most metals. During the powder coating process, a dry powder mix is applied to the surface on an object, after it has been blasted clean of any debris or rust sticking to it’s top.
Prepare for its environment. Regardless of if you choose powder coating or another type of protective or sacrificial coating, be sure the take proper measures to keep those objects protected from the elements. You can prevent corrosion by simply reducing exposure to rain, snow, and salt. Make sure to cover metal outdoor furniture, store bikes, camping gear, and other seasonal items in a dry environment, and always spray your vehicle after salt or snow has adhered to its surface.