POWDER COATING CARE AND MAINTENANCE
Proper Care of Powder Coated Surfaces Is Essential
Powder coatings that are applied to metal products exposed to the weather will inevitably degrade over time. A number of conditions, including those found in nature, will contribute to shortening the life of this type of protective finish.
- Cold weather
- Salt water
- Electrical current
- Dissimilar metals
Given that there are so many elements that can affect the coating, it’s not surprising that it will break down over time.
The right type of care and maintenance is essential to combat the detrimental effects of the elements when finished parts are exposed to the sun, wind, rain, etc. No powder coating is entirely maintenance-free — over time, it will lose some (or all) of its decorative and protective properties due to the effects of weather and other influences.
In coastal areas, salt water can damage metal sign brackets, window boxes and faux balconies situated close to the ocean. If they are not thoroughly cleaned at least once a year to remove the buildup, salt will remain attached to the coating and dull its appearance, leaving it looking chalky. To extend the life of your powder-coated metal items, you’ll need to make sure you clean it properly.
How to Maintain Powder Coated Surfaces
Avoid Harsh Chemical Cleaners. Powder coatings can be damaged by harsh solvents.
Use a Mild Soap and Water. All powder coated products should be cleaned with either a soft cloth or a brush, using a solution of mild soap and warm water. The best type of soap to use for this purpose is one that has emulsifiers that can break down the most common types of stains.
In the event rust does appear on a powder-coated surface, the following steps should be followed:
- Remove all loose and flaking coatings from the damaged area with a wire brush or putty knife. Fine grit sandpaper is also recommended. Steer clear of coarse-grit sand paper as that could leave noticeable scratches.
- Optional… prime the area with a zinc rich primer (zinc is a natural deterrent to rust)
- Spray area with Rustoleum Textured Black to match our black powder-coat. It matches exactly, and can be blended in over the powder-coat, enhancing rust protection and extending life of your metal product.
A Word About Commercial Cleaning Solutions. Commercial cleaning solutions have their place. Solvents and petroleum-based cleaning products are very effective at removing dirt and grease from surfaces. They are not the right choice for powder coated surfaces, however. These types of cleaners will remove dirt, but they also remove layers of the finish from the surface of the object they are cleaning. Over time, the finish can become compromised.
The coating can become stiff and hard with repeated applications of these types of cleaners, and it will no longer be as effective at protecting the underlying surface. In some instances, the coating may begin to crack and fade. While it’s inevitable that coated surfaces that are exposed to the weather will undergo physical aging, exposure to harsh chemical products will only accelerate this process.
Protect the Exposed Surfaces with Wax. Finished surfaces that will be handled or may come into contact with other objects will benefit from being treated with wax. Examples of these types of surfaces include the following:
- Decorative Grills
- Faux Balconies
- Post and Panel Signs
- Sign Brackets
- Window Boxes
Apply a light coating of high-grade non-abrasive car wax. Use a brand that contains a UV blocker or UV inhibitors. Do not use compound-type waxes for this purpose. This type of wax contains abrasives that can harm the powder coating.
For a handy PDF copy of these useful tips and tricks download a copy now.
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