Various Causes for Corrosion in Steel Structure and How to Prevent It

Various Causes for Corrosion in Steel Structure and How to Prevent It

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Usually steel structures are quite durable and it can last many years, however they too need some protection so that it can give better service. Steel material is susceptible to moisture and hence may get corroded due to it. If there is rusting then it becomes costly to get it repaired and it can become a safety hazard for the occupants and neighbors of the building.

Therefore, the owners of such metal or steel building must immediately undertake steel building repairs in case initial indication of corrosion is observed in the steel structure.

There are different types of corrosion that can take place which are as follows:

  • Basic corrosion

Reasons for corrosion is partly chemical and partly electrical. The combination of oxygen and moisture can cause corrosion. The following problems can occur due to these two factors –

  1. The iron atom loses few electrons and get positively charged and naturally gets attracted to negatively charged ions
  2. The negatively charged ions attract more positively charged iron atoms and as a result iron hydroxide is formed.
  3. Iron hydroxide continues to react with oxygen and forms hydrated iron oxide which is the brown rust.

As long as iron is exposed to moisture and electrochemical reaction continues steel will continue to get rusted.

  • Bimetallic corrosion

Another corrosion takes place due to two different metals coming in contact. This type of corrosion generally happens with alloys. Therefore, any experienced installer will ensure that chances of bimetallic corrosion is prevented during construction stage.

  • Environmental corrosion

Certain polluting substance in the environment can also cause corrosion. Therefore, certain location is not very suitable for construction of any metal or steel buildings. Such environmental problem can be either due to industrial pollution or the vicinity of seashore area.

Following are few causes of corrosion:

  1. Uncoated steel
  2. Steel that has not been coated as per the environment requirement
  3. Poorly maintained steel structure
  4. Lack of insulation or vapor barrier in the building
  5. Maintenance issues like plumbing leaks, leaky roofs, standing water etc. remain unaddressed for long time
  6. Building foundation was designed incorrectly

How to prevent corrosion in metal or steel building

  1. Always work with experienced and well reputed metal builders
  2. Choose the best quality of materials for the construction
  3. Observe protection from moisture in every step
  4. Observe right principles for avoiding corrosion

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