Bust the Rust: 4 Ways to Prevent Corrosion in Your Commercial Property

Rust isn’t just a problem because it’s unsightly; it also damages equipment and causes structural integrity. Rust causes pieces of iron equipment to flake off, contaminating products and putting employees at risk. Luckily, rust and other forms of corrosion can be avoided with awareness and regular maintenance. Here are four ways to prevent corrosion in your commercial property.

Identify Metals that Can Rust 

Rust can only appear on objects made of iron or iron alloys, including steel. You can easily tell which parts of your building are made of iron by testing to see if they are magnetic. Other metals like copper can become corroded, but don’t necessarily pose the same inherent health risks as rust. Take the time to identify the rust-prone areas of your building and maintain them accordingly. 

Clean Wet Surfaces Immediately 

Corrosion is caused when metal is exposed to oxygen, which means all metal will corrode if given enough time. Water spills kick start this chemical reaction and let rust set in significantly sooner. In addition, any salt or other minerals within the water can dry onto the metal surface and allow corrosion to set in even deeper. The solution is to clean up any spills as soon as you notice them. If the water had salt content, scrub the area to make sure no residue is left. 

Watch for Signs of Concrete Cancer 

Concrete cancer occurs when the steel beam within a concrete fixture begins to rust. This corrosion causes the steel to expand, displacing and cracking the surrounding concrete. If you notice signs of concrete cancer, including cracks and rust stains, make sure you attend to them immediately. Simple concrete repairs can fix the problem if it’s caught early enough; but if it’s not, you might have to replace part of the foundation. 

Perform Regular Inspections 

Rust and other types of corrosion occur when metal surfaces are left unattended for lengthy periods of time. Conduct regular inspections on your property and make sure to pay careful attention to any iron fixtures. Other areas of concern include plumbing, drains, areas exposed to weather, and anywhere else that moisture might be present. If you perform regular maintenance, you can greatly increase the lifespan of your property. 

Corrosion is a common problem that can easily be avoided with proper inspections and maintenance. Keep moisture away from sensitive equipment, and perform regular checkups on any problem areas. If you do notice signs of rust, take action right away; the potential damage to your property’s structure far outweighs the cost of an immediate repair.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.  @LizzieWeakley

The Business of Growing Companies in These States

construction2The construction industry in the United States is showing strong signs of recovery, mainly due to an increase in commercial construction activity.

As the U.S. economy continues to gain momentum, rising business confidence has led to a growth in demand for commercial buildings. However, not every state is experiencing commercial construction growth.

Overview of Commercial Construction in the U.S.

According to data released by McGraw Hill Construction, new construction starts in the U.S. rose 10 percent in September, 2014.

A rise in non-residential construction activity, which amounted to an annual rate of $228.5 billion, is the main factor contributing to the nationwide construction growth. The growth resulted in a significant increase in demand for construction workers.

As mentioned in an article entitled “29,000 Construction Jobs Added in February“, the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the number of people working in the construction industry increased by 29,000 in February this year, which was the largest growth in February since before the recession.

States Experiencing a Commercial Construction Boom

Here is a look at five states that are undergoing a commercial construction boom:

Texas

Commercial construction activity in the cities of Dallas and Houston totaled $11.1 billion in 2014, according to Construction Global. In North Texas, more than 20 commercial buildings with a combined office space of nearly six million square feet are being built, and warehouse space totaling over 16.5 million square feet is in the pipeline. There has been a mini-boom in hotel construction in downtown Houston, but developers are beginning to feel pessimistic about the future of commercial construction in the city because of falling oil prices.

New York

The U.S. Census Bureau’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas revealed that commercial construction activity in New York City exceeded $20 billion in 2014. Up to 13 new office buildings are expected to be built in the city from 2014 to 2016, including the World Trade Center and the Hudson Yards district.

Utah

Due to its booming economy, Utah is now home to one of the most robust construction markets in the country. Its construction boom is fueled mainly by a growth in demand for commercial and industrial space, especially along the Wasatch Front. Construction employment in the state is expected to increase by 5.2 percent in 2015.

Florida

Data from McGraw Hill Financial showed that construction contracts awarded in South Florida increased by 19 percent through the first three quarters of 2014. Commercial construction in Miami amounted to more than $6 billion in 2014, and the hotel construction sector in Orlando is experiencing a mini-boom.

California

New commercial space is projected to increase across most parts of California through 2017, according to an Allen Matkins/UCLA Anderson forecast survey. Some of the Californian cities that are seeing strong growth in commercial construction activity include Los Angeles, San Francisco and Bakersfield.

According to FMI, the U.S. construction industry is expected to grow about eight percent this year, while the commercial construction industry is projected to see a 15-percent growth.

As such, construction companies can look forward to more prosperous times ahead

About the Author: John McMalcolm is a freelance writer who writes on a wide range of subjects, from running a small business to the construction industry.