Rust never sleeps

imagesFor those of you that live at the beach, this is more important than in Merida, but not quite as much as you think. Rust is occurring anytime there is an interaction; between iron, oxygen and moisture and in the tropics all abound and rust is an issue. Throw in a dash of salt and rust occurs more rapidly due to the electrochemical action. Why is this important, well the answer is simple, in most cases you will not notice the rust until the damage is already done. As an example, if you have a small rock hit your car and you do nothing about it, rust will form on the surface and most likely you will notice the reddish mark. If you have it sanded, sealed and painted it should be good. But what if that small chip is on the other side of the fender? Sooner or later when you see a little bubble on the paint and you scratch it, you most likely will be shocked, as a hole appears. The same problem occurs with rebar in structures, if it is not treated. Slowly and undetected is will start to corrode, until you start to see telltale signs, like cracks in your concrete that are swollen apart or reddish water streaks. But by then, it is already too late. Most major structural damage doesn’t show up until it is too late. Take for example a loza roof (cement, small stones and rebar) which is very common in Merida, as it was the type of roof used a hundred years ago. Structurally it  needs the rebar to give it the required strength. If the rebar rusts and is corroded away, what do you think happens to the strength? Yup, you have fragile material, that weighs a lot, over your head with no structural strength or rigidity and when loza roofs fall they usually do so after a heavy rain. But those are big examples of rust issues. How many of you folks have sliding patio doors? Ever had them get really stiff and hard to move? Most times it is because the cheap roller pins have rusted out. You can’t stop rust without a lot of hassle, so your best bet is to try and stop it before it starts. If you are building new, make sure all your rebar and and other structural iron is coated with rust preventatives or better yet galvanized. Spray light oils or grease other exposed metals to prevent oxygen and water from making contact with iron parts. If you have used concrete nails to hang pictures, coat them with paint, unless you want to see rust streaks on your wall. When ever possible use galvanized products to help slow rust, it is not a permanent problem solver, but sure helps in the short term. Most important of all if you see something in your home that you thinks is a rust stain, get it checked out ASAP. Better a fix today, than a total teardown a month from now, simply because you waited to long.

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