Commercial refrigeration services do more than just repair broken commercial fridges. They also offer preventative maintenance. Specifically, they can paint the skin of a refrigerator, which is the exterior portion of a fridge's walls. This will extend the life of the refrigerator if the walls are constructed from G90 galvanized steel. Not all refrigerators have G90 galvanized steel walls, but many do. If you own a restaurant with fridges like this, here's why you might want to get its skin painted.
Many Restaurants Have Refrigerators with G90 Galvanized Steel
There are four different types of metals used for commercial refrigerators' skins, each of which has advantages and disadvantages:
- stainless steel is expensive, but it doesn't scratch easily or rust
- galvalume is the second-most-expensive and will eventually rust, but it's strong
- aluminum will dent, but it doesn't rust easily
- G90 galvanized steel is cheap and strong, but it rusts faster than any of the other three metals
G90 galvanized steel is used in many commercial refrigerators simply because it's the least expensive option. If your restaurant has an inexpensive commercial refrigerator, its skin is probably made of G90 galvanized steel.
G90 Galvanized Steel Will Rust
G90 galvanized steel isn't a bad choice for a skin, especially if cost is a primary consideration, but it must be protected from corrosion. When dishes are brought into the refrigerator, they can cause condensation to form on the walls of your restaurant's refrigerator. The condensed water will react with the unprotected steel and corrode it.
Fred Senese explains the chemistry of this process. When Water (H2O) contacts iron (Fe), it reacts to form iron III hydroxide (Fe(OH)3). Iron III hydroxide then dries into iron III oxide (Fe2O3), which is otherwise known as rust.
G90 galvanized steel rusts because it's an alloy of iron and carbon. When it gets wet, the iron in steel begins the reaction with water.
In contrast, the other metals won't rust because they either don't have iron or have other elements that prevent the iron from reacting with water:
- stainless steel has chromium added to it that prevents the reaction from proceeding
- aluminum doesn't have iron
- galvalume is a mixture of stainless steel and aluminum, neither of which rust
Paint Will Prevent G90 Galvanized Steel from Rusting
Having your refrigerator's G90 galvanized steel skins painted will prevent them from rusting by stopping the water from coming into contact with the iron. A layer of paint, which doesn't contain iron, will create a barrier so that the chemical reactions that form rust never get started.
While any coat of paint will prevent the water and iron molecules from coming into contact, you should have a commercial refrigeration service professionally paint the skins of your restaurant's fridge for a few reasons. A professional company familiar with commercial refrigerators will
- know how to paint metal in cold temperatures
- be familiar with and able to work around restaurants' schedules
- make sure the work they do is in line with any warranties you have
Because this isn't an emergency service, you should be able to wait until a convenient time to have the work done. Ask the company you contact if they'll do the work while your restaurant is closed or during the slowest part of the day to minimize the inconvenience they cause.
If you don't know what type of skin your restaurant commercial refrigerator has, look up what its walls are made of in the paperwork that came with the fridge. If the walls are constructed from G90 galvanized steel, consider having them professionally painted by a commercial refrigerator service provider in your area. Spending a little bit on a paint job now will keep the skin from rusting and ensure your restaurant's refrigerator will last for many years.