Maintenance Program

The most economical approach to maintaining a coating system is the establishment of a periodic maintenance program. If the appropriate structural steel alloy is selected, uniform corrosion should be the only corrosion encountered without a protective coating system. Proper surface preparation and selection of a coating system suitable to the ambient conditions can provide a 10-year life cycle for the coating. An annual touch-up and the application of a full topcoat after 5 years of exposure can provide this 10-year life cycle.

A spotty appearance can result from periodic touch-ups, especially if the topcoat has chalked. In addition, catalyzed coating systems are difficult to topcoat, because only cohesive forces hold the freshly applied topcoat to the aged coating, and the aged coating must be roughened by brushoff blasting before applying a fresh coating. A maintenance coating must be compatible with existing coatings.

When programmed maintenance is instituted, all structural exteriors should be inspected annually to establish the following:

• Update the condition of the structure to determine the priority for painting

• Determine if washing is the only process needed to improve or maintain appearance

• Determine what portions of the structure require touch-up painting

• Determine if the structure requires a totally new coating system

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