Commercial properties are exposed to a wealth of conditions, meaning that they are prone to their fair share of wear and tear. While many cause an immediate worry due to their ability to dampen aesthetics, others not only look unappealing but can also have a detrimental structural impact if left unresolved. One of the most common issues which fall into this category is cut edge corrosion, a problem that we frequently tackle yet is somewhat unfamiliar to anyone not in the industry. With this in mind, to ensure that no clients fall victim to the consequences of this issue, we have put together everything that you need to know to answer the question ‘what is cut edge corrosion?’
What Is Cut Edge Corrosion? A Just Spray Guide
There are many ways in which cut edge corrosion can affect your property and failing to resolve the issue promptly will cause further damage which becomes more complicated, and more costly, to repair. Knowing when your property is showing signs of rust and corrosion will help you to distinguish when it is time to call in the professionals for advice on cut edge corrosion treatments. The main problem with cut edge corrosion is that unless you are in the construction industry, the term is likely to be unknown; however, it is, in fact, very straightforward to explain. Cut edge corrosion is the result of a small step carried out between the manufacturing of cladding panels and the final installation. So, let’s delve deeper into the following topics:
- The definition of cut edge corrosion
- The causes of cut edge corrosion
- How to spot the signs of cut edge corrosion
- How cut edge corrosion can be prevented
- How cut edge corrosion is repaired
During the manufacturing process, metal cladding panels and roofing sheets are completed with a final plastic coating which forms a layer of protection over the material. This coating is of utmost importance as it prevents the metal underneath from corroding when exposed to different elements. However, when the panels or sheets reach the building site ready for installation, they are often cut down and altered to fit with the size and shape of your building. The moment that the ends of the metal are cut, the material is no longer protected, leaving the edges exposed to corrosion – this is cut edge corrosion.
As a result of cut edge corrosion, the leftover protective coating on the remaining panels or roof sheets can quickly begin to peel back; consequently, leaving more and more of the metal exposed to rust. This means that the corrosion will continue to spread across your commercial building, which comes alongside a host of dangers. The biggest concern with regards to corrosion is that it will begin to threaten the health and safety of those on site, particularly if it reaches the interior of your property. When corrosion occurs on internal components, it can cause chemicals to be released, which are toxic and incredibly unsafe. Exterior cladding and roof sheet corrosion, on the other hand, will not only look aesthetically unappealing but will also begin to leak, causing water damage, rust to form and paint to flake. More information on the dangers of a leaking roof can be found on Rain Go Interiors.
Although cut edge corrosion is down to panels and sheets being cut down, there are a host of triggers which will cause the metal to begin rusting – the most common being weathering. Particularly when faced with the ever-changing British weather, your building becomes exposed to all manner of conditions, whether it may be heavy rain one minute and sunshine the next. As we all know, rust is caused by a combination of oxygen and moisture, which means that each time that you experience a rainy day, the metal begins to erode more and more. Freezing temperatures can also contribute towards this as the expanding of materials causes cracks, leaving more exposed areas of metal to rust.
Along with adverse weather conditions, cut edge corrosion can also be triggered more due to the location of your property. For instance, those who are based in coastal areas are more likely to experience rusting due to the particles in the sea air. This is most common on external wall cladding systems as they are directly exposed to the impact of the sea. Find out more about the potential damage that your cladding may experience in our previous article.
In some cases, the cause of your buildings cut edge corrosion could merely be down to general wear and tear. With age, it becomes inevitable that the components of your property will not be as robust as they once were, meaning that they are more prone to damage. The coating that was initially installed may begin to wear down, which means that it will start to peel back, exposing the underlying metal. It is never recommended to allow your commercial property to reach this stage as it will become unstable, multiplying the severity of potential damage and dangers. This can easily be prevented by scheduling regular building maintenance, which not only keeps your site safe but also saves money on expensive repairs. If you would like to find out more about this topic, head over to our post on the importance of building maintenance.
Luckily, the first signs of cut edge corrosion are visible, which means that it is relatively straightforward to spot the issue arising before it has a chance to worsen. If you have an on-site caretaker, then we recommend delegating them the task of giving, particularly the edges of roofing, a once-over every month to ensure that you can detect corrosion in the early stages. Alternatively, if you do not have a professional on hand, then you may want to outsource your site maintenance and arrange a contract with a company that you trust with your property. Regardless of the route that you choose, spotting signs of cut edge corrosion shouldn’t be too tricky. Keep a careful eye out for damage such as discoloured, flaking metal along with warping around the edges. Any horizontal edges will be the most susceptible to rust, so don’t forget to assess areas such as overlays, eaves and seams. If there are any problems around the joints, then this will be visible through blistering on top of the material.
While cut edge corrosion can occur on any commercial property type, there are particular premises which are more likely to experience the problem. Buildings which are designed with larger roof dimensions are more prone to noticing damage down to corrosion, for example, warehouses, distribution centres, retail units and supermarkets. You can find more information on the different types of commercial properties to determine which category you fall into on Savoy Stewart.
It is most definitely possible to prevent cut edge corrosion and other damages to your cladding as a result of removing the upper protective layer. The most effective way to achieve this is to ensure that along with your installation; your chosen operatives complete the project by reapplying a plastic coating over the surface, ensuring that all edges are covered. This will mean that you never have to worry about cut edge corrosion causing a problem. There is an abundance of different roof coatings and cladding services which can provide your property with full protection against rusting. These can also be used on existing cladding and roofing systems which were not installed with a protective coating. There may be the need to first apply a treatment to any corrosion that has started to form, but you can put the damage at a halt and prevent any further deterioration.
Luckily, cut edge corrosion can be repaired, which means that you can eliminate the hassle and cost associated with a full system replacement. With many years of experience working with clients in various industries, from industrial to food and beverage, Just Spray can provide reliable roof and cladding repairs to resolve the issue of corrosion. Each operative follows strict health and safety process to ensure that your cladding protects your building and those that are within it. Each step is carried out with care, as every stage is vital for the whole process to run smoothly and work effectively. Here is a simple guide to the process that the Just Spray team uses:
- First, the team will remove the paint that has been corroded while also removing any moss, algae and grime from the cladding.
- Then, they will feather the delaminated edges, making the surface smooth so that no defects appear once the paint has been applied.
- A layer of corrosive resistant will be added as a coating of protection from adverse weather conditions and preventing future corrosion.
- Cracks and blisters will be eradicated, and on site spraying will take place in order to improve on any dulled coating.
Tackle Cut Edge Corrosion In The Early Stages
If your cladding is experiencing any corrosion, particularly around the edges, then it is most likely a result of cut edge corrosion. As discussed in our article above, it is still possible to rectify problems of corrosion and protect your property from it occurring again in the future. If you would like to know about the range of services and the process involved in cut edge corrosion, please feel free to speak to one of the Just Spray specialists and book in your treatment or repairs today.