Anyone in construction or engineering knows the cost of rust. It’s not just expensive but can also cause massive logistical problems and major safety issues. Rust is an even bigger concern for projects in and around saltwater. Water with high salt content is something of a perfect storm when it comes to corrosion; it works as an electrolyte and speeds up the rusting process. The issue we hope to tackle today is preventative maintenance, namely an industrial rust remover can play. We’ll review some basics about rust, its cost, and why removal is an important part of the cleaning process.
Why We Need to Care – Industrial Rust Remover
Newcomers to engineering and construction often underestimate the sheer damage corrosion can do. In part, this may be because modern construction techniques and good materials may mean these issues don’t rear up until a few years down the line. However, without proper industrial maintenance, corrosion can tank a project and, in the worst cases, may cause an environmental disaster or even get people killed.
To put things into perspective, corrosion costs most industrialized nations tens of billions or even hundreds of billions of dollars each year. While not the only form of corrosion that must be planned for, rust plays a big role in this cost. If a project involves steel or iron, you must account for rust.
In fact, this is one of the main advantages of galvanization. Metal in everything from pipes to fencing can use zinc as a sacrificial element in order to delay rusting.
However, no matter what you do to delay it, rust is more or less inevitable if a project is using iron or steel. This is where preventative maintenance comes into play.
When You Notice Rust
Let’s imagine you’re a business owner or an engineer working on a project and notice rust. What should be your first step?
First, report it to any superiors or relevant safety personnel. Then the individuals responsible for maintenance will try and see how extensive the problem is (and identify why the corrosion occurred if it was unexpected).
The goal will be to stop the rust from spreading so only a small portion of the project needs replacing. While rust doesn’t “spread” like a bacteria or virus, it does wear away much faster than iron or steel. As the rust chips and flakes, more metal is exposed, and thus more metal can begin to rust.
Time for an Industrial Rust Remover
If the metal has experienced any significant rusting, it can be difficult to remove with traditional methods. This is when a company should consider contacting a professional industrial rust remover and cleaning service, such as Schaus-Vorhies Kleaning, Inc.
Removing rust is important because it can conceal the depth of a problem and also makes other preventive maintenance measures from being as effective. (For example, it doesn’t make sense to apply rust-resistant paint over rust. The rust must first be removed.)
A professional industrial-grade remover is best if you want the removal to be safe, effective, and efficient. You certainly need to take care if the rusting metal in question is piping or structurally important. Corrosion problems should be dealt with swiftly and thoroughly, which many construction and engineering firms aren’t equipped to deal with on their own.
An industrial cleaner will also have special tools to help give a thorough cleaning with almost zero fire risk. If a given site has combustibles around, especially if a pipe that needs rust removed may have flammable gas within it, companies like ours can still clean it safely. For obvious reasons, traditional methods like using a wired brush or grinder for cleaning will not be suitable for such projects due to sparking risk.
It Doesn’t End at Removal
As we discussed, removing rust does not mean the maintenance process isn’t over. Rust is a constant battle and it’s likely the conditions that caused rusting to occur are still factors you’re going to be dealing with for some time. Corrosive environments can be somewhat controlled if indoors, but outdoor environments or those with significant amounts of liquid or gas require constant vigilance and regular maintenance.
This is why many pipes are lined internally with material that helps to separate the contents flowing through them from the pipe’s metal. On the outside, this is why most metals considered a corrosion risk is painted. Paint can be aesthetically pleasing, and convey information, but its primary purpose is to help a surface resist rust.
Paint helps to prevent corrosion. After all, rust cannot occur if the metal is not exposed to water. By covering a surface with paint, at least paint designed to be protective, it won’t be exposed to moisture in the air or from rain, and therefore won’t rust.
The issue is that paint wears away over time. Thus, repainting is a critical part of preventative maintenance if you wish to prevent rusting. Whether you’re painting for the first time or adding a new layer to maintain worn paint, we recommend using a professional service like the one we offer to prevent issues.
Thorough, regular painting is much cheaper than dealing with rust. Rust is irreversible and if it affects too much of a metal piece, it will need replacing. (Remember to maintain both sides of a metal surface; pipes require internal maintenance too.)
Don’t Cut Corners When It Comes to Maintenance
Preventative maintenance is important. While an industrial rust remover may not always be necessary when you notice rust, you need to make sure the rust is dealt with. Not only that but, once it is, you need to make sure structural integrity is intact and the vulnerable surface is protected.
If you’re unsure how to tackle those problems, contact Schaus-Vorhies Companies. That sort of maintenance and more are our specialty. If you have a maintenance need, there is more than likely a company under our umbrella that can tackle it!