Stainless steel wire balustrades are both stunning and practical, when properly maintained they can last you a lifetime. It is however important to think about where you live – coastal locations for instance will expose your stunning stainless steel wire balustrades to salt and wind ad may need more care to keep them looking new and shiny. Temperature fluctuations and pollution can also affect the look of the metals and materials used in stainless steel wire balustrades. Proper care and maintenance will keep your materials looking as beautiful as the day they were installed. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
What are they?
Stainless steel wire balustrades are made up of an alloy which is resistant to corrosion because it contains a high percentage of chromium. Different elements include is the metal will produce different properties – so how do you know what kind of properties your metal has? Well for instance when nickel is included in stainless steel wire balustrades it changes the structure of the metal and makes it austenite. Grades of metal known as austenite are the most common and are usually identified by their ‘300’ serial number. Grade 316 metals for instance are highly resistant to pitting and corrosions from chemicals and are resistant to saltwater.
How to maintain and protect stainless steel wire balustrades
So what should you do to keep the surface of your metal looking good?
Although they will remain to look great even under the worst conditions, your stainless steel wire balustrades will still require regular cleaning and maintenance. In most cases soap and water is all you’ll require for good maintenance, a mild detergent will also do the trick. You should clean with warm water before rinsing down with colder water. The frequency of which you clean will depend on the look you’d like and also the environment they’re installed in.
Salt and other contaminants can cause brown stains to build up on the surface, this is called ‘tea staning’ and is different to rust. Tea stains can easily be removed with a specialty tea stain remover, if they’re allowed to sit for a long time however you may find them more difficult to remove and scrubbing may involve a bit more elbow grease. It’s important to avoid using an abrasive cloth or cleaning solutions as this can damage the surface and the look of your metal. You should also note that it’s important to scrub in the direction of the grain of your metal. In the case of tea staining, corrosion or rusting it’s a good idea to closely inspect the issue and try and work out why it’s happening and how much of a problem it is.
In terms of frequency a once a week rinse can keep the surface looking good and will avoid any issues with staining from developing. In most cases it’s best to opt for a 316 grade finish when your materials will be kept outdoors.
Here are a few quick tips to keep in mind:
- Wash your stainless steel wire balustrades regularly with warm soapy water and detergent with a non-abrasive cloth such as a micro-fibre cloth, cleaning cloth or a soft bristle brush.
- Stains should be washed with specialty cleaners
- You should only clean in a single direction along the grain of the metal
- You should rinse down well and wipe dry for a shiny finish
- Use abrasive cleaning solutions and clothes such as steel wool as this can scratch the surface and cause rust to develop
- You also shouldn’t allow dirt to collect
- Don’t use harsh chemicals such as cleaning solutions containing a lot of bleach
- Don’t allow stains to sit for too long
When it comes to keeping them for good maintenance, it is always better than trying to fix corrosion issues.