Maintenance Guide

DISCLAIMER

The products must be maintained in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations. Where Freedom-Bars products are used for any purpose other than the intended use, or, where there has been clear abuse of the product or where natural disasters or unusual external environmental factors have resulted in damage, or, where the product has been altered in any way without Freedom-Bars knowledge, Freedom-Bars cannot be held liable for any defect.

Freedom-Bars uses powder coating to provide decorative and protective value to our home security products. With proper maintenance, one can substantially prolong the service life of the finish on their powder coated products.

It is likely that you have experienced at some point in your life the detrimental effects of ultraviolet light (sun) exposure on your unprotected skin (sunburn). Typically, it only takes a few minutes to an hour for us to realise that the sun is harmful to our skin. It is equally likely that you have seen what the sun can do to the paint on your car or truck if the finish is not regularly cared for and the vehicle is left unprotected for extended periods of time (chalking, erosion, corrosion).  To that end, it should be evident that proper care and maintenance is essential to prolong the service life of any surface that we value.

It should come as no surprise that organic finishing (powder coating) of metal products that are exposed to the weathering conditions such as sun, rain, wind, pollution, freezing cold, salt water and a host of other conditions will degrade over time.

The elements of nature combined with other contributing factors such as stray electrical current and physical contact with abrasive materials may cause wear, damage, or erosion and corrosion of the coating and underlying metal substrate and will therefore shorten the decorative and protective value of the finish.

In fact it would be surprising if coatings did not degrade over time to some degree when exposed to the direct effect of nature in any climate or region.

No matter how many protective layers are applied, the effects of water, sun, and all types of pollution are detrimental to the lifespan of your Freedom-Bars product. So what can we do to prolong the life of the finish?

Proper “care and maintenance” of course!

These cleaning procedures are intended to add to the longevity of the surface finishing of Freedom-Bars Security Solutions products.

Over cleaning or excessive rubbing must be avoided.

Strong solvents or strong cleaning concentrations can cause damage to powder coated surfaces.

Abrasive materials such as steel wool and abrasive brushes can damage the powder coated finish. Make use of soft clothes or sponges, ensuring that they are clean from dirt and grit as this will scratch the surface.

Avoid drips and splashes. Remove run downs as quickly as possible.

Avoid temperature extremes. Heat accelerates chemical reactions and may evaporate water from the solution. Extremely low temperatures may give poor cleaning effects. Cleaning under adverse conditions may result in streaking or staining. Ideally, cleaning should be done in shade at moderate temperature ideally on a mild, cloudy day.

Do not substitute a heavy duty cleaner for frequently used mild cleaner.

Never use paint removers or any type of mortar or cement remover. Do not use cleaning products containing trisodium phosphate or any other substances that are highly alkaline or highly acidic in nature. Surfaces should be cleaned with mild soapy water. Always do a test on a small surface first.

Follow manufacturers’ recommendations for mixing and diluting cleaning products.

Never mix different cleaning products.

Ensure that sheltered areas are thoroughly rinsed.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

If an aggressive cleaner is required for another component of the building near to a Freedom-Bars product, extreme care must be taken to prevent this substance from coming into contact with the powder coated finish of the Freedom-Bars product.

Construction soils, including concrete, cement or mortar should be removed as soon as possible. If allowed to dry on powder coated surfaces, irreparable damage will occur.

In the outdoor environment water and ultraviolet light exposure are the two factors that are most detrimental to any coated surface.  The frequency of condensation from fog, humidity, and rain are natural sources of water exposure but some coated items may be exposed to excessive water exposure for manmade sources.  Irrigation sprinklers may expose gates or window security screens to water several times per day. The effort to maintain the protective and decorative value of a finish is proportionate to the exposure of these and other conditions including contact with harsh solvents or cleaning chemicals and abrasives.

For outdoor products a maximum period of 3 months should not lapse between cleaning intervals.

For indoor products that are not often exposed to outdoor atmospheres and weather conditions, cleaning should only be necessary as and how the product becomes dirty or dusty. Dust and other residues should not be allowed to settle and remain on the product for extended periods.

Cleaning will be more frequently required in areas within close proximity (3000m) to the sea (salt water atmospheres) or in heavily industrialised areas. A general guide line is that when the home windows appear soiled, the product needs to be cleaned.

After it has rained, if the gate is not well sheltered from the rain and gets wet, dry the gate thoroughly with a chamois cloth or similar soft, non abrasive drying towel. Pay particular attention to the channels, edges and tight corners in the design where water drops tend to collect.

Carefully remove any loose surface deposits with a wet sponge.

Use a soft brush (non abrasive) and a dilute solution of a mild detergent, eg, pH-neutral liquid hand dishwashing detergent in warm water to remove dust, salt and other deposits.

Ensure you thoroughly rinse the surfaces with clean fresh water after cleaning to remove all residues.

DO NOT use turpentine, white spirits, thinner or other aggressive solvents on powder coating (these may be harmful to the extended life of the powder coated surface and should be avoided as the damage may not be visible immediately and may take up to twelve months to appear)

DO NOT rub powder coating excessively.

Keep sunscreens away from powder coating, some sunscreens adversely affect painted finishes.

Just as your car benefits from applications of wax, so will the finished surfaces of Freedom-Bars gates and window security screens. Lightly wax the coated surfaces with a high grade, non-abrasive car wax that contains U.V blocker and/or U.V. inhibitors. Do not use compound waxes that contain abrasives, and be sure to wipe off any residual wax.  Wax that may remain on the coated surface could bake on in the ultraviolet light from the heat of the sun and cause permanent staining.

It is important to note that powder coating is not to be considered protection against rust. Freedom-Bars will always give clients options regarding substrates suitable to the environment in which the Freedom-Bars product will be installed and operate. These options include mild steel, aluminium and various grades of stainless steel.

MILD STEEL, POWDER COATED, INDOORS

Powder coated mild steel products installed indoors, not in widows or doorways directly leading to the outdoors or leading to areas of high humidity such as bathrooms and kitchens, are covered under warranty for 12 months from the date of final installation. This warranty covers the appearance of red rust on the product. This warranty does not extend to the sharp edges and flat edges that run perpendicular through the laser cut product in instances where the product has only a single coat of powder coating. These areas receive a lower build up of powder coating and are more likely to be exposed to the elements and therefore are more prone to rust, especially if water is allowed to gather and evaporate off the surfaces.