Preventing Wet Storage Stains On Stored Steel Products

Posted on: 9 March 2016

A wet storage stain is a form of zinc corrosion that occurs when a fresh zinc surface comes into contact with moisture in an environment with poor circulation of air. For example, it may occur if you stack up zinc products in a storage place with inadequate air circulation and improper moisture control facilities. It is also known as white rust or white corrosion.

As you know, galvanized steel products have been treated with zinc coating, which means they are susceptible to white corrosion. Therefore, you need to take precautions to prevent this type of corrosion while storing galvanized steel products. Here are a few measures that help:

Limit Stacking 

As explained in the introduction, limited air circulation is one of the catalysts for wet storage stain. The more you stack up your steel products, the more you reduce air circulation across their surfaces. Store them in alternative ways that encourage the free flow of air, for example, by laying them down in crisscrossing patterns.

Incline the Metals

To deal with the issue of moisture, incline your steel products to encourage water to drain from them instead of accumulating. It may also be helpful to spacers or tarp materials to keep off moisture. Since floors tend to experience moisture problems, ensure your products are elevated off the floor too.

Use a Dehumidifier

If the environment is particularly high in humidity, then a dehumidifier may also help. The dehumidifier works by extracting moisture from the air and discarding it elsewhere. Combine this with other methods of moisture control, for example, sealing all possible leaks that may let water into the storage place.

Remove Rusting Catalysts

It may also be helpful to clean the metals and rid them of any rusting agents they may have gathered, say, on the road. For example, if the metals have been recently transported by road, they may have come into contact with road salts, especially if it is the winter season. Cleaning and drying the metals will get rid of the road salts and reduce the risk of rusting.

Treat the Metals

Finally, different treatments may prevent zinc from reacting with moisture and air. Most of the treatments work by providing an overcoat over the metals surface. For example, you can treat the metals with waxes and oils, which protect them from moisture contamination.

It's clear that it's difficult to prevent white rust if you are storing steel products at home, for example, in improvised storage sheds. It's difficult to meet all the safe storage conditions. An ideal alternative is to rent a climate-controlled self-storage place that meets your storage requirements. This is especially necessary if you are going to store the metals for more than a few days. For more information, contact companies like Security Self Storage.