Sheet metal is a thin, flat piece of metal with various applications. Because of its durability and its flexibility, it's often used for roofing, siding, gutters, siding, and flashing. It's also used to build and restore historic building features, such as domes, church steeples, custom cupolas, Kalamein windows and doors, cornices, etc.
Though it is durable, sheet metal can become corroded, dented, or otherwise damaged over time. Preserving your sheet metal will help extend its lifespan and keep it looking its best. Here are a few tips for preserving your sheet metal:
1. Inspect your sheet metal regularly.
Check for signs of corrosion, such as rust or pitting, and inspect for dents or other damage. If you notice any damage, take steps to repair it right away. When metal elements are damaged, they become more vulnerable to corrosion. The sooner you make repairs, the better.
2. Keep your sheet metal clean.
Dirt, debris, and pollutants can lead to corrosion and other damage to metal surfaces. To help prevent this, regularly clean your sheet metal features. Although you can use mild soap and water, you may need to use a pressure washer to remove stubborn dirt and grime.
3. Remove rust as soon as possible.
Ferrous metals, which are metals that contain iron, are prone to developing rust over time. Rust occurs when the iron in the metal reacts with oxygen and water, and this reaction causes the iron to oxidize or rust.
Rust can cause extensive damage to sheet metal, so it's important to remove it as soon as possible. If you leave it be, the rust will continue to form and affect a greater area, eventually causing the metal to disintegrate. Rust can be scraped off using warm water and soap, but you'll also need to add a protective coating to ensure it doesn't form again.
4. Prevent corrosion with protective coatings.
There are a variety of coatings available that can help to prevent corrosion. For example, zinc coatings are often used on steel elements to prevent rust since zinc is more reactive than iron and will corrode before the steel does. You can also apply a powder coating. This type of coating is applied as a dry powder and then cured under heat, creating a hard finish that's resistant to corrosion and other damage.
These are four tips for preserving sheet metal. To ensure that your sheet metal work is properly preserved, be sure to contact us at Heather & Little today. We offer a wide variety of custom metalwork preservation and restoration services to meet your needs.
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