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The National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) estimates that rust and corrosion costs asset owners around $276 billion annually. That’s an equivalent of roughly 3% of the U.S. GDP. But there’s good news: Luckily, many asset owners now use rust and corrosion paints and inhibitors to battle the damage.  Unfortunately, there’s some bad news too: Read on to find out what, and how you can turn it around!

Rust paints sometimes won’t work

The bad news is that, sometimes, try as hard as you may, rust paints just don’t work. And the $276 billion cost mentioned above doesn’t take into account the cost of those failures. In effect therefore, rust and corrosion wipe out a lot more than 3% of the American economy!

Asset owners may paint their fleets of vehicles, stacks of industrial machinery and rows of factory buildings – but rust and corrosion persist. Assets still degrade and depreciate at an alarming rate, even as their owners try still harder to paint them into good health.

But there’s even more bad news baked into that story. Along with de-treating assets, comes operational losses. The assets don’t perform to spec, resulting in financial losses to their owners. Cars, trucks and tractors are working less and more in maintenance workshops, as owners pour more money to fix the damage that rust and corrosion caused. But wait…there’s more!

In some instances, when rust paints don’t do what they are meant to do, rusting infrastructure exposes building and plant owners – as well as owners of heavy industrial equipment – to civil and criminal liability. When there’s an accident at an industrial or commercial site, and the cause is determined as a piece of corroded or rusted machine or infrastructure, that’s bad news.

Understanding the signs of failure

Rust and corrosion paint manufacturers, like RustBullet, understand the nature and cause of coating failures.  Typically, asset owners see the signs of paint failures at four critical stages:

  • Before the application of a coating: You’ll notice settlement or skinning on the paints and coatings
  • When applying the coating: Often, as soon as you’ve finished coating a segment or section of the asset, you’ll see the coating sag, or notice runs of the material
  • Following the application: Paint failures will manifest itself in the form of solvents popping or layers of paint start peeling off prematurely
  • During routine inspections or servicing: Blisters and rust spots appear prematurely on recently coated or painted assets

Asset owners, who are primarily concerned with protecting their assets from corrosion and rust, invariably fail to recognize that the paint job they’ve just completed, isn’t working! That’s because, even though they see the signs, they fail to understand its root cause. As a result, they typically take stop-gap measures – spot painting or touch-ups – hoping to address the issue.

In the worst of cases, they may just decide to scuttle the entire paint operation and start from afresh. What a waste of time, effort and money! If only they knew how to recognize the signs of rust paint failure, they would have caught the issue earlier on, and saved themselves a ton of cash!

Avoiding rust paint failure

One of the primary reasons that rust paints fail, is because asset owners choose the wrong type of paint for the asset. Understanding that rust attacks each family of assets differently, helps you make informed choices about the type of rust inhibitor or paint to choose. For instance, always use a high-quality industrial rust inhibitor if the application pertains to home and farm, marine or outdoor industrial needs. Other specialty rust inhibitors exist, for instance automotive rust inhibitors, which protect all types of fleets from rust and corrosion.

Another common critical factor, that aids and abated rust paint failure, is that painters often disregard the manufacturer’s application guidelines. These include:

  • Surface preparation
  • Product preparation
  • Product application; and
  • Product storage

Simple things like sealing the paint container between coats can often mean the difference between a successful painting project or a paint application failure. It’s vital therefore, that before you begin application of a rust inhibitor or paint, to always read and understand the guidelines offered.

Making sense of it all

Finally, it’s important to reiterate that rust paints don’t just fail post application. The signs that failure is imminent display themselves during various stages – pre, during, post and even a long time after the application is complete.  That’s why it’s important for asset owners to choose the right paint for the right project, follow the manufacturers guidelines for using their product, and always keep vigilant and watch for signs of paint failure.

Often, if you catch the signs earlier on during the painting process, like as soon as you open the container, it can save assets a lot of time, energy and investment. Instead of using a defective product, simply substituting it for better quality rust inhibitors provide long-lasting rust and corrosion protection.