The Top Ten Things to Know About Caring for Metal in the Florida Climate

From the delicate brass embellishments of vintage cars to the imposing iron gates that enclose many a beachfront property, the metallic accents and infrastructure we have in our lives need tender love and care, especially when faced with Florida’s climate. The sunshine state is famed for its year-round warm weather, high humidity, and coastal air, all of which can accelerate the wear and tear of your treasured metallic possessions. Here are the top ten things you should know about caring for metal in Florida’s unique climate.

1. Understanding Corrosion

The Florida climate, particularly in coastal regions, accelerates corrosion, a chemical reaction that results in the degradation of metals. The salt in the air combines with the high humidity and elevated temperatures to create an ideal environment for corrosion to occur. Understanding this process can help you take preventative steps to preserve your metal items.

2. Regular Cleaning

A routine of regular cleaning can drastically reduce the risk of corrosion and degradation. Using mild, non-abrasive cleaning solutions will remove salt and other corrosive elements from the metal surface. Remember, aggressive cleaning agents can potentially damage the protective surface layer of certain metals.

3. Using Protective Coatings

Protective coatings such as sealants, paint, or powder coatings can provide an additional layer of protection against the corrosive elements. When applied correctly, they create a barrier that prevents the harsh weather conditions from directly affecting the metal.

4. Regular Inspections

Keeping an eye out for early signs of corrosion is key. Look for areas where the protective coating may have chipped or worn away, or where rust is starting to form. Catching these early can prevent the problem from worsening and spreading.

5. Implement Desiccants

In high humidity regions, desiccants can be useful in protecting metals. These substances reduce the amount of moisture in the air, slowing the corrosion process. They are especially handy for enclosed metal spaces or stored metal items.

6. Choosing the Right Metals

Certain metals are more corrosion-resistant than others. Stainless steel, aluminum, and copper are known for their resistance to rust and can be ideal choices for outdoor and coastal applications.

7. Understand the Impact of Sun Exposure

While we often worry about moisture when it comes to metal care, the Florida sun can also do damage. UV radiation can degrade protective coatings over time, so where possible, try to limit your metal’s exposure to direct sunlight.

8. Professional Care

For precious or significant items, such as vintage cars or historical metal artifacts, professional conservation may be the best route. These professionals can offer custom solutions and advice to ensure the longevity of your items.

9. Storing Metal Items

When storing metal items, ensure that the storage environment is dry and free of moisture. Climate-controlled storage units can be particularly effective for this, as they allow you to control both temperature and humidity levels.

10. Regular Maintenance

A combination of regular cleaning, inspections, and touch-ups to the protective coating will keep your metal in top condition. This routine maintenance can extend the life of your metal items and keep them looking their best.

In conclusion, the Florida climate can certainly pose challenges when it comes to caring for metal. However, armed with this information, you’ll be well-prepared to protect and maintain your metal items, ensuring they remain in excellent condition despite the elements. Always remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Reach out if you have questions!