How to maintain stainless steel for long-lasting performance

While stainless steel is known for being a resilient and versatile metal, it still needs a regular maintenance routine in order to stay effective in the long run. Not protecting stainless steel from elemental damage or wear and tear can lead to corrosion and structural failure.

Responsibility from initial design

Some stainless steel structures can be made easier or harder to maintain simply by being designed with maintenance in mind. For example, an architect should be mindful of having too many horizontal features or complex joins on a building surface, which would result in rain not coming off cleanly or the accumulation of dirt in corners.

The steel fabrication plant also has a role to play. The integrity of the clear oxide around the surface of the stainless steel can be compromised if the plant has contaminants in the air or other elements are mixed in through dirty brushes.

When the stainless steel is being welded, it’s important that no lubricants or paints find their way into the weld. This can break the oxide seal and expose the raw steel to corrosive elements down the track. A quality steel cutting provider will have procedures in place to ensure this does not happen.

Onsite maintenance

As the stainless steel structure is being installed, construction crew members need to make sure they don’t leave the surface in contact with cement as any chlorine within can stain or break down the coating.

Often sheets of stainless steel are wrapped in cardboard packaging, and it’s essential that this be removed or at the very least not get wet, as the water can cause discoloration. Plastic coating should be removed when practical too, to prevent any glue residue from sticking and burning into the metal.

Day-to-day cleaning

It’s a fairly simple process to clean a stainless steel surface once it’s put into place, and all you need is water combined with some soap, liquid detergent or 5% ammonia solution. Rinse it off with water, ensuring that you’re brushing away in a uniform fashion. Ensure you clean away any excess build-up of dirt beforehand, so you don’t scratch the surface, and you’re certain to have many years of smooth and strong stainless steel to enjoy.

At ShapeCUT we use the most effective methods to make sure our stainless steel products are durable in the long run and easy for you to maintain. Talk to the team at ShapeCUT today to find out more.