Steelwork Maintenance and Repair


We’ve Gone Pro! 

We’re always out taking pictures for site surveys or of finished products and find ourselves having to lug around a large bulky camera or fumble around with our phones to take pictures-  so we’ve opted to buy a Go-Pro to pack a pocket-sized punch to our equipment and photography needs.

The camera is small and portable and perfect for taking with us wherever we go but has great functionality for video footage too. If a picture says 1000 words, how many does a video say!? Video footage will help to make sense of any tricky site survey, allow discussion about our products and document installation guides for our steelwork. Stay tuned for more info!

A quick walk-around test of the camera functionality in our locality brings immediate ability to spot, and quickly document our findings on an area rejuvenation project along the Don Valley canal and to keep on topic, we take our focus to the steelwork maintenance.

A footbridge over the canal is being repainted and we’ll use our pictures to explain the process:

Our first image, below, shows the initial signs of deterioration of the tubular steelwork handrail over the bridge. We see from this image a few minor rust spots beneath the paintwork which give us a great indication that the steel is probably not galvanized. These rust spots are the metal corroding, and left without treatment could cause extensive damage over time.

Metalwork beginning to show signs of rusting


Our second image shows more extensive corrosion and we can now see that the rails are not galvanized, where we can view straight through to the bare rusting metal beneath the layers of paintwork. It seems from this image that the rails have been primer painted (undercoated) and then gloss painted over the top. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this method of treatment and painting, it is just one that will require reqular maintenance over the years to prevent any serious deterioration in the steel structure. The remedy for this corrosion would be to sand back the rust and current paintwork and apply another coat of primer paint and one to two coat of top coat gloss. 

rusting steel handrail repairs
Extensive rusting along handrail length


Our third image, well quite honestly we’ve just tried to make it look a little arty! but what we see here is a repainted ring detail in the railings. All corrosion signs have been removed and the first layer of gloss paint has been applied. After the first coat, we still see some brush strokes and evidence of the primer paint beneath which could be left alone but for a more professional finish, another coat should be applied. We also see in the photo that there is white paint overlapped onto the black surrounds- when painting dual colours onto railings, always complete your lighter colour first, which can easily be painted over with the darker paint afterwards.

repainted metal railings
Repainted metal railing ring detail


In our final picture we see a completed area of metal railings to the bridge steps. The paint looks thick and the gloss is shining like new and it’s clear that the rails have had a couple of good coats of fresh paint. Railing maintenance requires regular upkeep so if you have a large area of railings, we’d recommend you spend a little more and go for a galvanized finish which will not rust for over 25 years.

repainted steel railings
Repainted steel railings to Sheffield canal bridge


DioMet also note that none of the above steelworks or painting maintenance were carried out by ourselves, we’re simply playing with our new toy camera! Stay tuned for more of what we see when we’re out and about!