Powder coating is proven to be a fantastic resource for metal finishing across the board. Largely used in vehicle preparation and furniture design, there are many different reasons why powder coating your metal can make all the valuable difference. However, today, we’re here to talk about powder coating maintenance, and what you can do to make it last all the longer for you in the years to come.
Powder coating by design should weather a long period of time – but, as with most things, careful maintenance will always ensure you retain a great-looking, protective cover for as long as you need it. Here are five top tips for powder coating care and maintenance you may not have considered.
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Know your enemies
Before you start caring for anything you powder coat, it is worth remembering what the actual risks are. Which elements, natural or otherwise, are likely to cause the most damage and concern to your coating?
As you can imagine, the weather is always likely to be your worst enemy. Unfortunately, while we can’t ever stop the wind, the rain or even the sun from taking a swipe at our powder coats, we can make sure we are one step ahead of the game and to ensure we paint and care for our products regularly.
However, did you know that salt, in particular, is a huge enemy of the powder coat? While we have formulated and developed our powder coating solutions to be as resistant and as reliable as possible in the face of salt crystals, areas such as beachfront where salt water and sodium sometimes carried on the air can cause erosion over time. It is also worth considering that cold weather in general, too, can and will take a bite out of a powder coat – so do be careful.
Clean and care regularly
An absolute must-do for any powder coating project is to make sure you have some form of maintenance program or schedule in place. It is simply unwise to leave powder coats until they are flaking and eroding. As such, regardless of the area you may be powder coating in initially, you should clean at least once a year.
However, when it comes to high salt, it is likely you will need to clean and maintain more frequently. For example, an industrial unit is likely to need powder coating cleans at least twice a year. If you are looking after powder coated material in high wind, too, you may need to clean more regularly.
Yes, it is safe to assume that you can simply leave high grade powder coating to persist on its own – however, you are going to need to apply a little vigilance every now and again.
Don’t clean too much
While we’ve just told you how important a cleaning schedule is for powder coating, it’s just as important to avoid actually cleaning or scrubbing your material too often. The reasons for this may be obvious – ultimately, the more you clean, the more chance you have of actually rubbing off and eroding some of the coat.
Gentle cleaning is a must, and, as stated, you shouldn’t need to tackle a clean more than every few months. It’s all about making sure you take the worst dirt, stains and bacteria off. Otherwise, you could end up doing more damage than you ever set out to.
To protect your powder coating even more against the elements, and to reduce your need for cleaning even further, it is always a good idea to look into waxing the areas / units in question. Much as you’d use a specialist type of wax on your car to help it look great over the months, it also makes sense to wax down powder coated areas. This should, in effect, help to create a kind of barrier.
We highly recommend you wax and protect any powder coated areas or spots that are likely to see a lot of human contact. This, as you can imagine, is likely to cause all the more erosion and flaking over time. As such, a wax barrier will give your metal that extra line of defence.
As with cleaning and general maintenance, waxing your powder coating should take place once every few months, likely no more than four times a year. Make it a part of your powder coating maintenance schedule. Consider investing in a specialist wax product that’s formulated for these surfaces, too, for the best results.
Do also keep in mind that you can also buy wax for powder coating that will help to defend your paint and coverage against the sun’s rays. Unfortunately, UV from the sun is always going to put sensitive powder coats at risk. To avoid any chance of your powder coats fading over time and in the face of the sun, always make sure to wax with a product that gives you specific UV resistance.
Be choosy on cleaners
Finally, if you must choose any type of cleaner for your powder coating maintenance schedule, never go for an option that relies too heavily on the chemicals. Again, the reasons for this should be fairly obvious – you’re at risk of serious erosion.
Depending on the powder coating you are working with, our team will be happy to advise which cleaning solutions are likely to work best for you over time. More often than not, there is simply no need for anything high on chemical composure – it’s only going to eat away at your coat, and if it’s all for the sake of reducing a little bacteria here and there, there are certainly milder and kinder options you can swing towards instead.
Powder coating maintenance doesn’t have to be a chore. Powder coats are fantastic at helping to protect and style a wide range of metal surfaces and parts. If you are completely new to the concept of powder coating, make sure to contact Vibrant Coatings here in Chesterfield now for more advice and guidance.