Powder coated security gates and burglar bars are exposed to weather conditions that degrade them over time, especially when installed externally. The elements combine with stray electrical currents, dissimilar metals, and physical contact with abrasive materials that cause wear, damage, or erosion and corrosion of the coating and underlying metal substrate.
This begs the question: ‘What can we do to prolong the life of the finish in the field?’ The answer is an obvious one – proper care and maintenance. Shutterway has outlined a few tips below:
Maintenance of a Powder Coated Finish
Powder coating is not invulnerable to harsh solvents, and many commercial cleaning solutions will damage the finishes. This unfortunate damage accelerates staining, fading and ultimate failure of the powder coated finish. What’s more, cleaning with such chemicals can cut the life expectancy of the finish in half. We do know, however, that correct cleaning and maintenance can actually double or triple the coating’s effective service life.
- Pressure Cleaning
The most efficient method – according to most experts – is with a pressure washer using filtered water under low pressure. Mild detergent can be used, but chlorine or harsh cleaning solutions should be avoided. It is very important that low pressure is used in pressure cleaning, because if it is too strong it may damage the finish. Avoid using unfiltered tap water or groundwater when cleaning your security gates and burglar bars, and pay attention to where the wind blows the water from sprinkler systems.
Unfiltered water often causes staining on outdoor products due to sulphur, iron oxide, chlorine, fluoride, and other minerals commonly found in hard water or groundwater. Only filtered water should be used to clean and rinse powder coated products whenever possible.
- Clean with Mild Soap & Warm Water
Powder coated security gates and burglar bars should be cleaned with a soft brush or cloth, using mild soap and very warm water. Soaps that have emulsifiers that break down common stains and are scum free are considered the best to use. The exposed surfaces of powder coated products that are most critical should be cleaned weekly or bi-weekly. Simply wipe down the top surfaces and rinse with filtered water (not hard water).
- Wax the Exposed Surface
Just as your car benefits from wax applications, so the finished surfaces of your security gates and burglar bars do. Lightly wax the coated surfaces with a high grade, non-abrasive car wax that contains U.V blocker and/or U.V. inhibitors. Refrain from using compound waxes that have abrasives, and be sure to wipe off any residual wax. Wax that remains on the coated surface could bake on in the ultraviolet light from the heat of the sun and cause permanent staining.
Be cognizant of the fact that there are many contributing factors that affect the service life of security gates and burglar bars. The protective value or expected life of the finished coating is influenced by a combination of the following conditions:
- Frequency of condensation (water trapping)
- Damage in use (abrasion)
- Chemical or mineral exposure
- Pollution exposure
- Ultraviolet light exposure
- Temperature (extreme exposure and rapid variation)
- Humidity exposure
- Stray electrical current exposure
Following these simple rules will result in extended life for your outdoor powder coated Shutterway products, keeping them looking good for many years to come:
- Maintain a moisture free surface
- Cleaning the coated surfaces regularly
- Performing regular inspections for moisture and contamination
- Repair and touch up of the breached areas
Adapted from Original Author: Michael W. Cravens President, IKON Powder Coating, Inc CEO, Powder Finishing Consultants