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How To Choose Preventive Rust And Corrosion Coating For Your Building

October 16, 2018


Your commercial building is an expensive asset you expect to be able to use for years to come, but if you don't take care of it, it won't last as long as you'd like. A huge problem with metal buildings is rust and corrosion as the structure is consistently exposed to the natural elements.

To avoid rust and corrosion, several coatings are available to protect your investment. Here's a look at which coatings do and don't work at preventing rust and corrosion.

What Not To Use

Decorative wallcoverings are durable and last about three times longer than wallpaper and paint. However, it's also susceptible to damage based on the building material and exposure to the elements. Wallcovering doesn't prevent rust and corrosion and actually worsens the problem.

Wallpaper is commonly used because it's inexpensive to purchase and apply, but it also peels away from the wall in damp environments and traps moisture against the wall surface, causing rust and corrosion. 

Paint is used for interior and exterior finishes, but if the paint is scratched or chipped, it creates an opening for rust and corrosion to cause damage to your commercial building

The solutions is a preventative coating that provides strong, durable performance against rust and corrosion for many years. Here's a quick look at three of the most common coatings that are used on commercial buildings and the benefits of each type.

What To Use


For nearly 200 years, zinc is used in a wide range of applications to prevent corrosion of steel or iron. Often applied at the point of manufacture, galvanization techniques apply a thin layer of zinc to the surface of the metal to protect it from rusting.

Another benefit is that zinc doesn't have to be added at the time of manufacture to seal your metal building's surface. It can be painted onto your commercial building years after the initial construction process using zinc-rich paints and sprays. These coatings seal the surface and provide solid protection against corrosion and rust.


Polyurethane delivers strong performance as a surface treatment or building coating. Used as a sealant or top coat, it delivers strong, durable performance for commercial buildings. It works especially well in environments where stainless and high-carbon steels are used extensively.

Polyurethane provides an economical all-weather sealant while protecting against scratches, abrasions, impacts, UV, rain, snow, and chemicals. It also provides a pleasant, durable top coat to your building's finish and creates a thin, high-gloss texture on the surface of the metal. 

Powder Coating

Though not an option for re-coating a structure after construction like zinc, powder coating provides a strong, durable finish that lasts for years. It must be added during the manufacturing and construction process. Powder coating consists of either spraying an electrostatically-charged powder onto the steel or lowering the steel into a fluidized powder for coating.

After this point, the steel is baked at a high temperature, typically about 375 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, allowing the powder to melt and form a firm, durable finish. Powder coating includes a variety of different formulations, including abrasion resistance, protection from chemical exposure, and UV protection.

By educating yourself on different types of coatings that deter rust and corrosion, you ensure that your commercial building will continue to perform well through the natural elements.

If you're not exactly sure which coating delivers the best performance for your commercial building, Cochran & Mann can find the right solution. 

Download our Guide To Choosing The Optimum Exterior Coating to learn more about the best possible coating for your building. Click below to get started:

Download The Guide To  Choosing The Optimum Exterior Coating


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