Transmission Towers: Rusting Issues And How To Prevent Them

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Electric companies use transmission towers to support overhead power lines. If you have never seen a transmission tower, picture a tall structure made primarily of steel. These large structures carry electricity over extensive distances. They do that by supporting high-voltage transmission lines that typically feed into substations that ensure consumers get the right amount of power. However, numerous issues often affect the towers in context, the topmost being rusting. Keep reading to learn more about this issue and how to remedy it.

Common Transmission Tower Issues: Rusting

Transmission towers are installed outdoors and exposed to high moisture content. And, since most of these structures are made from steel, a combination of moisture and oxygen makes corrosion inevitable. Some companies try to prevent this problem by using galvanized steel, which has a zinc coating protective layer. However, these too rust over time. When galvanized steel transmission towers start to rust, the problem will continue to get worse. To prove how significant this problem is, consider the following: according to experts, a 30-year-old galvanized transmission structure with no more than 5% rust can oxidize and corrode enough to fail within a decade. You don't want that to happen because transmission towers are costly. To make matters worse, repairing a transmission tower requires more labor, resources, and time once corrosion has spread.

There are several phases associated with transmission tower corrosion. The first involves rust resembling coffee stains. At this stage, the problem undermines the tower's cosmetics, not the structural aspect. The second phase involves abrasive rust affecting horizontal flat areas, bolts, and edges. Flakes fall off if you touch a transmission tower's surface affected by phase 2 corrosion. In the third phase, abrasive rust continues to eat through your transmission tower. Finally, the structure collapses when the problem reaches the fourth and final phase.

How to Prevent Rusting in Transmission Towers

If you want to protect your company's transmission towers, consider painting them. That often works because top-quality paint prevents moisture from reaching metallic surfaces. And, since the air contains moisture, decreasing its chances of affecting your structures by using paint is important. Transmission towers have to withstand rainy weather associated with high humidity levels. In short, you can prevent premature corrosion from negatively impacting your transmission towers by painting over every metal surface they have.

Hire Transmission Tower Painting Experts

Painting is essential for corrosion prevention in transmission towers. However, don't DIY this project unless you are a skilled expert. Hire certified painters because they have the experience required to pick the best paints and prepare surfaces accordingly. Surface preparation in transmission tower painting jobs is vital because the paint will not adhere properly if the structure is not clean and solid. Plus, climbing a transmission tower is a dangerous affair and should only be attempted by trained personnel to avoid catastrophic injuries.

For assistance with transmission tower painting, contact a professional in your area.