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Re: Structural Steel Protection Below Grade

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Thanks Charlie, I will check the out the products at SSPC.
Also, thanks for all of your past help and info.  It helps a lot of us when
you respond to a request for help from an individual.

Ray Shreenan
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Carter, Charlie" <carter(--nospam--at)>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Sent: Saturday, June 26, 2004 11:10 AM
Subject: RE: Structural Steel Protection Below Grade

These are good suggestions because they provide detailing that encourages
the shedding of corrosive agents away from the steel. Steel will last
forever if protected from corrosion by good details and a maintained barrier
system (Othmar Ammann said something of this sort when proclaiming the
permanence of his George Washington Bridge). Bad details, however, will
promote the failure of the barrier system and encourage corrosion no matter
how well it is maintained.

The curb detailed with a slope to shed water away and a high-performance
barrier system on the steel with a high-performance sealant at the location
where the steel enters the concrete will do wonders. You may want to contact
SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings to discuss the best options for
the barrier system. Their web site is



From: Robert Freeman [mailto:robert.freeman(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Sat 6/26/2004 12:11 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Structural Steel Protection Below Grade


This is a challenging one.

Two thoughts:
    1.  I recommend that outdoor steel posts always have a 6" high concrete
curb above the surrounding surface encasing the base of the posts.  With
concrete flush with the surface (Code compliant), rust accumulates at a very
fast pace at the top of a flush concrete surface around a steel column.

    2.  You have the choice of recommendations for a 'repair'.  One might be
an epoxy coating on the steel column from the finished surface up 6".  I
would not recommend a paint or galvaizing repair.  Another might be to
dowel-in a concrete curb over a coating of epoxy bonder to bring the top of
concrete up.

With Joy and Hope,
Integrated Design Services, Inc.
Bob Freeman, Architect
Structural Designer
(714) 368-5080

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