Pipe bridges and other elevated steel structures are relatively common sights at both commercial and industrial facilities. Typically, they act as support systems for mechanical equipment and other key components that are necessary for essential processes at that facility. For that reason, it’s easy to see how a breakdown or mechanical failure of these pipe bridges and elevated structures can have a drastic impact on that facility’s production.
The easiest way to avoid situations like this is to keep up with regular maintenance of rooftop steel structures, watch for signs of wear and tear, and reapply the proper paint and coatings at least every 5 to 10 years.
The Dangers of Corrosion
When pipe bridges and elevated steel structures fail, it’s usually due to corrosion and rust. Corrosion, if left unchecked and allowed to run its course without intervention, can lead to weakened steel structures and true disasters, such as roof collapse or equipment failure.
That’s why regular inspections and appropriate maintenance are so important for keeping your facility safe and productive. Discovering corrosion could lead to shutdowns, so stay ahead of it. This is especially important if you’re part of a regulated industry, such as food and beverage manufacturing or chemical manufacturing.
Take Care of Your Steel Structures Now to Avoid Costly Repairs Later
Because pipe bridges and elevated steel structures often play important roles in a facility’s production, maintenance should never be overlooked or postponed. Inspect your steel structures and equipment for corrosion regularly—at least once every year. Some signs that action should be taken include:Fading or Chalking Paint: When paint or protective coatings become discolored, start to chip, or begin to flake off, that’s a strong indicator that it’s time to call an experienced industrial painting contractor for an on-site inspection. The pipe bridge or elevated steel structure is likely overdue for a fresh protective coating.Standing Water: Water increases the likelihood and rate of corrosion, which is why noticing standing water around the base of a pipe bridge or elevated steel structure should raise a big red flag. More drainage should be added, and an industrial painting contractor should be called to apply the appropriate protective coatings and make repairs.Existing Corrosion and Rust: Existing corrosion and rust can signify an environmental factor that needs to be addressed, and it can indicate that the pipe bridge or elevated structure is nearing the end of its lifetime. But don’t panic just yet. An experienced industrial painting contractor might be able to help you salvage it.Once these factors have been appropriately dealt with—with a fresh protective coating, better drainage, or replacement—stay on top of routine maintenance and inspect your pipe bridges and elevated steel structures at least once per year. Doing so can help you get more use out of your equipment and save you money on costly repairs and replacements. In the long run, protecting and maintaining your investments will be the safer and more affordable option.
What You Can Do
Maintaining pipe bridges and elevated steel structures should be near the top of your to-do list for industrial facility maintenance, as a failure of either of these pieces of equipment can hinder production and compromise safety. To stay ahead of situations like this, we recommend:
- Paying special attention to steel structures and equipment that have required repairs in the past.
- Cleaning or pressure washing pipe bridges and elevated steel structures regularly to remove any debris that could accelerate corrosion.
- Scheduling regular inspections with your industrial painting contractor to stay on top of any new corrosion or damage.
- Reapplying a protective coating every 5 to 10 years.
Your contractor will be able to help you determine how often your steel structures and equipment should be repainted according to your facility, weather, chemical exposure, and industry regulations.
A&K Painting has years of experience helping industrial facilities protect their pipe bridges and elevated steel structures and equipment from corrosion. Reach out today to speak to an expert and schedule your on-site consultation.