Maintenance and Care of ABBAS Stainless Steel Balustrades and Handrails.
Congratulations on your choice in Stainless Steel. Proper upkeep is an essential part of making the most of your investment. It is important to care for and maintain your product to prevent tarnishing, tea staining, discolouration and damage. At ABBAS, we use two grades of stainless steel. 316 marine grade stainless, mostly used for exterior, more corrosive environments, and 304 is generally used for interior, less corrosive environments.
Stainless steel requires cleaning to remove dirt and grime. The level of cleaning and maintenance depends primarily on the environment. In some exterior instances normal rain coupled with periodic mild detergent washes is sufficient, but more polluted or corrosive environments, e.g. coastal situations, industrial areas, or geothermal areas, the surfaces require regular washing to retain the look.
Coastal situations – Discolouration, or tea staining, most commonly occurs within 5 kilometers of the coast and becomes progressively worse closer to the water. Note that in situations right on the seafront, it is recommended that cleaning is performed once a month.
Dirt and grease accumulate from many sources. They can usually be removed by routine cleaning using soap, or detergent and warm water. Note, nearly all abrasive cleaners will scratch bright polished stainless steel surfaces. On other finishes the cleaners should only be used in the direction of the polish. A clean, dust and grit free cloth should be used to avoid scratching. In all cases the mildest cleaning procedure that will do the job efficiently should be used, e.g. wash down with warm water and washing up liquid followed by a wash of clean warm water only followed by wiping dry with a clean absorbent cloth. For textured finishes, a soft nylon bristled brush will remove any dirt and grime which may accumulate within the texture.
Cleaning is recommended after initial installation. If marks such as fingerprints etc. are a continuous problem a light surface coating of baby oil, clear silicone wax polish or furniture polish such as Neopol will help prevent recurrence of this problem.
Harsh abrasives should never be used on any polished metal surface. Strong mineral acids such as hydrochloric and sometimes hydrofluoric acid are used to clean masonry, but these should never be permitted to come in contact with stainless steel. If this should happen, the acid solution should be washed off immediately with plenty of water. Pads of ordinary steel wool incorporating soap should be avoided – there is a danger that particles of plain carbon steel from the pads may be left behind after rinsing to give unsightly rust stains. Never use oil based commercial cleaners on the outside of a building. The residual oil film can result in unwanted iridescent colours on stainless steel which can only be removed by abrasive action.
Care and Protection
Ensure to protect the product from contact with:
Copper, lead, mild steel, brass, CCA treated timber, cement or concrete less than one month old, and water which has contacted any of these substances.
Wet cement or plaster, paint splashes, chemicals, solvents, stains and fertilisers.
If contact does occur, remove the contaminant immediately and wash.
Remove loose deposits with a wet sponge. Do not dry dust, or the surfaces will be scratched. Ensure that all drain holes are unblocked, particularly those at the base of the posts and underside of lower rails.
Using a soft brush and a mild household detergent in warm fresh water, clean the surface to remove any dust, salt, or other deposits. Pay particular attention to any areas not washed naturally by the rain.
Always rinse well after cleaning with fresh water to remove any remaining detergent.
Warning: Solvents, household cleaners, bleaches, and abrasive cleaners are possibly harmful to the surface finish, and must not be used.
Routine gentle cleaning with warm water and detergent.
Household cleaners showing ‘suitable for stainless steel
Repeated routine gentle cleaning rather than a single aggressive cleaning
Do not use:
Silver or brass cleaners
Silver or brass cleaners
Guide to Ongoing Maintenance:
Environment Grade 304 Grade 316
Clean inland 3-6 months 6-12 months
Polluted urban or industrial Not suitable 6-12 months
Coastal / Marine (not splashed) Not suitable 3-6 months
Limitation of Liability: The information contained in this guide is a general guide for customers in maintaining the integrity of the product. ABBAS stainless steel product(s) are warranted for a period of 5 years subject to the requirements of a regular maintenance program. Any finish deterioration caused by exposure to adverse atmospheric conditions or occurring from the use of paints, solvents and acid cleaners is not considered a defect in the finish and as such is not covered by the warranty conditions. Likewise, the warranty does not cover damage caused by accident, neglect or other factors over which ABBAS has no control over. Any claim under warranty must be made at the first appearance of an issue to ensure no further damage is caused though delay of notice. Failure to do so will void any warranty if applicable.