When installing metalwork outside, here at Gates & Automation Direct we believe it is a must to galvanize your new gates or metal fabrications. Take a look at what the result is when you do not galvanize:
If you are currently in the market to buy a gate, even if it is not from ourselves, make sure you ask ‘is it galvanized?’. Why spend £100’s or £1000’s on a product that is not properly protected for the environment it is designed to be installed and used in? It is also unlikely you will be given any decent warranty/guarantee from a company if your metalwork is not galvanized – there is a reason for this… Because they know it will definitely cause future rust issues!
Galvanizing does create more work for us and it makes our production more difficult, however, it is the only way we would have it!
All paints (no matter what kind, how they are applied or what base coats you use) are porous to some degree. The water eventually penetrates and the rust will show through, before long taking over your gate, and likely your Sundays (spent sanding and painting)!
Gates are also a ‘working’ item – they are going to be subject to bumps/general wear and tear. If your gates are not galvanized, any areas not immediately attended to will start to rust very quickly.
What is galvanizing?
We use a process called ‘hot dip galvanizing’. During this process your gates are dipped into molten zinc (a non-ferrous metal) at over 460 degrees. The zinc coats the complete gate or metal fabrication (inside and out, so your gate won’t rust from the inside). The process allows the zinc to bond to the bare steel and create a lifetime protective coating.
This layer of zinc is extremely hard wearing. If you look in your street you will see all of the street lights/railings are galvanized. This means that the council have zero maintenance on these items.
Does it cost extra for galvanizing?
Galvanizing is included in all of our gate costs. You will probably find that our galvanized gates are the same price as other manufacturers ‘non galvanized’ gates. This is due to the volume of metalwork we galvanize every week, which keeps our costs to a minimum.
Can I paint over my galvanized gate?
However, it is recommended to let the gates ‘weather’ for 3 – 6 months (the longer the better). This allows the ‘salts’ in the galvanized coating to escape. This will allow a much better adhesion of your paint and will prevent it from flaking off. (This waiting period is not required for powder coating – the gates are pre-treated using an acid etching solution before the powder coating process).
If you wish to paint them immediately you can use a special solution (readily available on our website) called ‘mordant solution’ or ‘T-wash’.
Mordant Solution/T-Wash Guide:
This solution is a pre treatment for newly galvanized steel to ensure the subseqeunt adhesion of a wide range of paints/coatings. A colour change from silver to a dull black shows that the entire surface has been satisfactoyly treated.
Ensure that all oil and grease are thouroughly removed using a degreaser/panel wipes/degreasing wipes etc. Then wash down with warm water/detergent, rinse and allow to dry.
Finally, work the t-wash into all areas and surfaces of the gate.
You can now paint your gate for a rust free finish!