When it comes to maintaining your home, most tend to focus on repairing leaks, painting the walls, and upgrading appliances. However, one hidden enemy can quietly wreak havoc on your home's structure and safety: corrosion. Corrosion can affect numerous materials in your home, such as pipes, electrical systems, and even the very framework of your house. Here's why corrosion is a major problem for homeowners and what you can do to prevent it.
What is Corrosion, and Why is it Dangerous?
Corrosion is a chemical process whereby materials in your home break down due to exposure to various elements, such as water, air, and chemicals. Corrosion can happen to metal, plastic, and other materials that comprise your home's structure and components.
The most significant danger of corrosion is that it weakens the affected materials, making them more prone to failure or collapse. For instance, corroded pipes could lead to leaks, damaging your walls, ceilings, or floors. Or, if the foundation of your home erodes over time, this could cause structural instability.
What Causes Corrosion?
There are various reasons why corrosion can occur in a home. Here are some of those reasons:
Water and Moisture
One of the most common reasons for corrosion is water and moisture. This is called atmospheric corrosion. Water is essential for life, but it can also cause significant damage to your home if it's not appropriately managed. If moisture is abundant in your home, it can lead to rust and corrosion.
For example, if the gutters aren't cleaned frequently, water can collect and create a damp environment where corrosion can occur. Similarly, moisture can seep in and cause corrosion over time if you have exposed metal pipes. To avoid this, keep your home dry and manage your water sources.
Salt is another well-known culprit for corrosion. It's frequently found in coastal regions, where the salt in the air can cause specific objects to corrode more quickly. Salt reacts with the metal to form a corrosive solution, which eats away at the metal. Take specific precautions if you live near the coast or in an area with lots of salt in the air. For example, you might need to apply a protective coating over metal objects to prevent salt from infiltrating.
Chemicals can also contribute to corrosion. Some household cleaners contain harsh ingredients that can corrode metal objects or appliances. Similarly, certain chemicals found in swimming pool water can lead to corrosion. If you must use chemicals in your home or pool, read the labels to see which ones are corrosive. It's also a good idea to rinse any surfaces that come into contact with chemicals as soon as possible to lessen the chance of corrosion and to keep your kids safe.
Finally, a lack of proper maintenance can also lead to corrosion. Appliances not maintained correctly or regularly inspected can become extremely rusted and corroded over time. Similarly, rusty nails or screws can threaten the structural integrity of your home. To avoid this, make sure to schedule routine maintenance and keep an eye out for any signs of corrosion.
Taking Care of Your Home Against Corrosion
Dealing with the problems above is one way to prevent corrosion in your home. Here are some other tips to keep in mind that can help you avoid corrosion:
Use the Right Paint
The paint you use can combat corrosion in your home. For the best protection, use robust epoxy paint to protect metal surfaces from corrosion and provide a waterproof barrier. It forms a hard, durable layer of protection that can prevent moisture and other elements from causing corrosion.
Invest in Sealants
Sealants are another great way to protect your home from corrosive elements. For example, rubber sealant around pipes or windows can create an airtight barrier against moisture or dampness, essential for preventing corrosion.
Regularly Inspect Your Home
Finally, it's essential to inspect your home for any signs of corrosion regularly. Check corners, near joints, and around windows and doors for corrosion. If you spot any corrosion, address it immediately with the right products or sealants before it worsens.
Corrosion can be a major for homeowners, but it doesn't have to be. By taking the right steps and being mindful of the causes of corrosion, you can protect your family home from this hidden enemy.
If you suspect your home has been affected by corrosion, contact a professional immediately to inspect the damage and make repairs. With the correct precautions, you can keep corrosion at bay and ensure your family home remains safe and secure.