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Get a jump on rust

  • SIMA
- Posted: February 18, 2016

Winter takes a toll on snow and ice management equipment. Lax maintenance can compound the stress and cut into the life of your equipment. One area that contractors should pay particular attention to is corrosion prevention.

The key, according to Rhomar Industries President Maurice Slayden, is to be proactive and diligent with maintenance. Following are five steps to improve your corrosion control:

1. Go beyond washing. Contractors should thoroughly wash and dry their equipment, including all components. It’s an essential first step but washing doesn’t remove the white, powdery deicer film that magnetizes and clings to the metal. Contractors must then use a salt remover or neutralizer to ensure the deicers don’t get into the pores of the metal, and cracks and crevices. “Metal, chlorides and oxygen combine to create a horribly corrosive environment. When you can take the chloride component out, you have the ability to mitigate the rusting process,” he says.

2. Seal the deal. Once the equipment is clean, the salt has been removed and the surface neutralized, use a rust inhibitor with sealant to further protect the equipment while not in use.

3. Lubricants add layer of protection
. “It’s really important for movable components like spreader drag chains, etc., to be coated with a product that includes a lubricant,” Slayden says. “This will eliminate freezing or seizing of components.” At a minimum, sealing and lubricating should be done twice a year – immediately after the season ends and you’re prepping equipment for storage, and then during a comprehensive preseason maintenance and equipment check. However, it’s doesn’t hurt to provide light coatings after each event.

4. Got rust? For contractors who may have slipped with their maintenance and are starting to see rust, all hope is not lost. Slayden says using a cathodic rust arrestor can help. Painting over the rust with an arrestor acts as a primer and seals the surface, allowing you to repaint and prevent the spread of further damage.

5. Store equipment properly
. Using rust inhibitors and good preventive maintenance can go a long way to improving the life of your equipment; storing it inside or under cover if possible to protect it from the elements is also beneficial.

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