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Maintenance of Metal Components

Maintenance of Metal Components


Iron oxidation, commonly referred to as rust, is a chemical reaction that is produced when oxygen in the air reacts with iron. Our atmospheric conditions in Florida are ideal for the formation of this corrosive reaction. In addition to oxygen, moisture, sodium chloride ions and salt laden air attacks steel immediately upon exposure. These metallic components will rust and corrode and are not covered by any warranty. It is imperative that a monthly inspection and maintenance program be established to ensure that those metals are completely sealed from moisture and salts. The following lists several of the metal components which will require inspection and maintenance throughout your installation:

  1. Sheet Metal Screws
  2. Eyebolts of Cable Tie Downs
  3. Concrete Anchors
  4. Other Misc. Fasteners


There are numerous products on the market which will treat and prevent rust. If rusting conditions are present, treat immediately by the following general guidelines:

  1. Remove all Rust by the use of wire wheels, wire brushes, sandpaper. NOTE: Any rust not removed will continue to corrode underneath coating system
  1. Wipe down the prepared surface to remove residues, dust, and grease.
  1. Apply a rust inhibitive primer following the product installation instructions.
  1. Apply two coats of the prescribed finish coat

Maintenance programs which institute periodic cleaning of dirt, grime and salt spray, with mild household detergents, form metals exposed to our corrosive atmosphere provide a well maintained appearance and extend the life of these surfaces for many years to come.

Paint specification requirements vary on each installation, therefore it is recommended to become familiar with the type paint utilized to coat the metal on your installation. If you have any further questions or need additional assistance, please contact a Liberty Aluminum representative.


Metal Railing Posts Anchored into Concrete Floors

Metal Railing Posts Anchored onto or into Concrete Floors

The purpose of this Technical Topic Bulletin is to advise you how to maintain anchorage of metal railing posts.

Many metal railings on stairways, walkways and balconies are secured in place by having the posts extend into the concrete floor. The area around the post is filled with a high strength, quick setting grout (cement).

These post penetrations into the concrete floor are not maintenance free and must be inspected on a regular basis for cracks, which may develop between the post and the grout or within the grout itself. These cracks are created by the movement of the posts from expansion, contraction and normal use.

If cracks go unnoticed or not repaired, water will enter the cracks causing deterioration of the grout, which may cause posts to become loose. Prolonged exposure to water may even damage the post and the surrounding concrete floor.

Never place carpet or tile over the grout area as this will create additional problems, and you will not be able to readily examine the area.

If  you suspect that your rail posts need re-anchoring, the grout around the post should be chipped out, the hole and post cleaned, and new high strength cement poured into the hole, crowned at the top. Recently, local waterproofing companies have been using epoxy materials in lieu of cement to secure posts. You may wish to contact several for quotes for this type of repair. If you have further questions or need additional information contact a Liberty Aluminum representative.


Protection of Aluminum Frames

Protection of Aluminum Frames

Initially, it is imperative that any applied floor or wall covering be installed without covering any of the aluminum framing. Special care must be maintained to prevent any material used in the floor and wall coating process to come in contact with the screen rail enclosure components. Warning: Tile or other cementitious products in contact with aluminum may cause corrosion of the aluminum. This condition will void warranties on aluminum products.

It is recommended that all aluminum installations be protected from the direct exposure to concrete and other similar cementitious product. Warning: Installation of tile or other cementitious products adjacent to aluminum will cause discoloration of the aluminum. Whenever these materials are required to be in close proximity, it is mandatory that PVC angle tile stop be installed to separate the two dissimilar materials. All warranties on aluminum products are void if in a contact with cementitious products such as grout. See recommended PVC tile stop detail for railing posts, screen enclosures, and storm shutter assemblies. Installation of the tile stop will also allow for proper drainage through weep holes located at the base of screen enclosures. Do not allow the installation of sealant between tile termination and enclosure weep system.

If there are any questions concerning this information, please do not hesitate to call our Customer Service Department.


Cleaning Procedures For Screen Enclosures and Aluminum Railings

Cleaning Procedures For Screen Enclosures and Aluminum Railings

The purpose of this Technical Topic Bulletin is to give suggestions on how to maintain aluminum railings and screen enclosures. These surfaces should be cleaned every six months at a minimum.

Summary of General Cleaning Tips

  1. Over cleaning or excessive rubbing can do more harm than good.
  2. Strong solvents or strong cleaner concentrations can cause damage to painted surfaces. Always use the mildest cleaner possible.
  3. Avoid abrasive cleaners. Do not use household cleaners that contain abrasives on painted surfaces.
  4.  Abrasive materials such as steel wool, abrasive brushes, etc. can wear and harm finishes.
  5. Avoid drips and splashes. Remove run downs as quickly as possible.
  6. Avoid temperature extremes. Heat accelerates chemical reactions and may evaporate water from solution. Extremely low temperatures may give poor cleaning effects. Cleaning under adverse conditions may result in streaking or straining. Ideally, cleaning should be done in shade at moderate temperature.
  7. Do not substitute a heavy-duty cleaner for a frequently used milder cleaner.
  8. Do not scour painted surfaces.
  9. Never use paint removers, aggressive alkaline, acid or abrasive cleaners. Do not use chlorine bleach, trisodium phosphate or highly acid cleaners. Always do a test surface.
  10. Follow manufacturers recommendations for mixing and
  11. diluting cleaners.
  12. Never mix cleaners.
  13. To prevent marring, make sure cleaning sponges, cloth, etc. are grit free.
  14. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.

To read the full Cleaning Procedures For Screen Enclosures and Aluminum Railings technical paper, please click here.


National Ornamental and Miscellaneous Metals Association



Trade association. Members fabricate everything from railings and driveway gates to structural and industrial products.

NFIB: Small Business Association



NFIB is America's leading small business association, promoting & protecting the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses.