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Top 6 Myths About Corrosion



Let's dispell the myths about impressed current cathodic protection

#1 It’s too expensive

CPT’s solution is anywhere from 0-10% more than a conventional repair. Spending 10% today is exponentially less expensive than spending 100’s of thousands if not millions of dollars five years down the road on yet another restoration cycle. Ask your Engineer for two options – option (1) is conventional repair and option (2) is conventional repair with CPT’s ICCP system.

You will find that we may be 10% more but the guarantee that you will not have restoration for the next 25 years is well worth it.

It doesn’t work

Impressed current cathodic protection is the only solution that does work long-term. This scientifically proven solution is backed by Independent organizations like NACE (National Association of Corrosion Engineers) and US DOT (United States Department of Transportation) – saying impressed current cathodic protection is the only means to stop corrosion. Here are some excerpts from those organizations:

    "Cathodic protection is the only means to control corrosion on steel reinforced concrete structures that have chloride contaminated concrete”
    — Nat’l Assoc. of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) NACE Standard RPO 390-90 Item No. 53073

    "There is no question that properly installed and activated cathodic protection systems halt corrosion and corrosion induced concrete damage in salt-contaminated above ground reinforced concrete structures.”
    —U.S. Dept of Transportation SHRP-S-337, SHRP-S-372

    "Cathodic Protection is a proven, cost-effective method for controlling corrosion of reinforcing steel in above-ground reinforced concrete."
    —U.S. Dept of Transportation SHRP-S-337, SHRP-S-372

    “The cathodic protection system must be of the impressed current type”
    — Nat’l Assoc. of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) NACE Standard RPO 390-90 Item No. 53073

There are plenty of short-term solutions in the market; however, there are no solutions other than ICCP that will promote and guarantee that they “stop” corrosion. You as the owner have to make a decision as to whether or not you want a short-term solution – and face restoration again in five years or invest in a long-term scientifically proven solution and become restoration free.

We will not be able to achieve continuity

This is completely untrue as all buildings can achieve continuity. More important to understand is that it is extremely rare for steel to be “out” of continuity. The reason for this is that when new buildings are constructed, “all” the steel is sitting on top of each other and the steel is tied together – making the steel continuous. As repairs are made, standard ICRI repairs require that any steel taken out must be put back and tied to the existing steel – again eliminating any continuity issues.

Engineers, City Inspectors and Contractors are responsible for making sure standard ICRI repairs are followed. Because of this, it is extremely rare for there to be continuity issues. In the 13 years CPT has been in business we have only had a couple structures whereby continuity was not acceptable. In those cases we are able to achieve continuity by tying in all exposed steel a swell as potentially attaching steel in other areas of the concrete slab.

The system only lasts for 10 years

The systems design life is 25 years. You will have to read the corrosion process to understand this response – but CPT’s system stops corrosion by taking the anode out of the equation. We do this by placing two artificial anodes on top of the concrete surface – as opposed to the reinforcing steel corroding the artificial anodes will be sacrificed and consumed over time.

The first anode we lay down has a 100yr life and the second anode we lay down has a 62yr life. The scientific formula that measures the life of these anodes is based on the system pushing 1.5 mA of current per sq ft. However, we have learned over the years that less current is better than more – and our systems usually operate at .05 mA per sq ft. This means consumption of the anodes will actually take longer and we are very comfortable promoting that the system should last 25 years.

CPT has been in business for 13 years, and we have 6 customers that have been installed more than 10yrs ago and all are still restoration free. CPT also offers an industry exclusive warranty that guarantees your Condominium will not corrode for 15 years. If there is concrete spalling and cracking due to corrosion of reinforcing steel, CPT fixes any and all issues per the warranty. To date CPT has had minimal warranty work performed and are very confident the system is the most cost effective long-term solution in the Market.

The electric current in the concrete interfers with medical equipment such as a pacemaker

The amount of current running through the entire structure is enough to power a 60 watt light bulb. Remember it is about .05 mA per sq ft which is miniscule. The current cannot and will not affect anyone.

We have to do annual maintenance

There is no requirement to purchase an maintenance program, however the inspection of an ICCP system is a NACE (National Association of Corrosion Engineers) recommended practice. Keep in mind, that where the system is installed, CPT is guaranteeing that your Condominium will not have ANY SPALLING or concrete cracking due to corrosion of reinforcing steel for 15 years.

15 years is a very long time and by performing the annual inspection we are making sure the system is running as designed and it is actively stopping the corrosion. We are also preserving the Condominiums investment by making sure of the following:

  • Confirm that the system is running as designed and at optimum levels
  • Making sure there has been no damage to the areas where the ICCP system has been installed. For example, we investigate the rail system, expansion joints, sliding glass doors, shutter systems, etc.
  • Perform a depolarization test in order to make sure the system is achieving NACE standards for stopping corrosion. This is a scientific test that CPT or an Independent NACE Certified inspector will perform – allowing us to calibrate the system based on the results.
  • Being proactive in finding areas that may need to be addressed. It is always better to be proactive in addressing a problem area versus waiting until it gets worse. In short, these annual inspections allow us to be proactive.

The investment for the annual inspection is minimal (Usually $2,500 – 5,000) and is very similar to the everyday diligence we do with our car, house, teeth, investments, health, etc. The Condominium is making a significant investment in restoring the health of their building – and this is a proactive opportunity to validate that your investment is working as designed.