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Corrosion Issues for Strata Buildings

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Treating And Dealing With Corrosion For Strata Buildings

Corrosion refers to the process of metal deteriorating on a property. It can affect any surface where there is metal present. Therefore, it’s essential to treat corrosion quickly and adequately to help reduce the chances of any long term property damage. When you’re dealing with a strata building, this can be even more important given the potential size of the complex and the possibility of expensive repairs down the track.
The type of corrosion that we typically see in body corporate buildings is when the metal has corroded by reacting with substances such as oxygen, dirt or bacteria. The most common cause of corrosion for strata buildings is known as oxidation. Oxidation means the metal, for example, iron or steel reacts with oxygen and water to form rust. This exposure leads to the gradual destruction of the metal, which can affect the strength and appearance of the metal and absorbency to liquids.
The good news is we can repair corrosion, and early detection can keep your costs down, preventing significant and costly damage.

What types of corrosion are common in strata buildings?

There are three main types of corrosion that we come across when inspecting body corporate or strata residential buildings. These are rust, moisture ingress and concrete spalling.

Rust damage

Rust is one of the most common forms of oxidation caused by exposure to moisture and air. Rust typically occurs when there is metal underneath your exterior coating. If left untreated it can lead to significant long-term damage to your body corporate building. The rust occurs when the water has leaked through the paint coating. Depending on the extent of the rusting, we can quickly fix this by removing all the traces of rust and using epoxy paint to seal the surface. Epoxy paint is one of the toughest paint materials available. It works as a sealant to protect the metal underneath, helping to protect it from any further moisture ingress. We’ll also seal up any joints around the affected area to reduce the chance of future leaks. Once we’ve completed the job, we can begin painting the surface.

Moisture ingress

In areas near the coast or that receive excessive rainfall, moisture can quite easily seep into hairline cracks on the external surfaces of your body corporate property. If left untreated, these can lead to larger cracks that can affect the value of your body corporate building and potentially lead to more significant issues. At Surepaint, we can assess the water damage and determine the best approach to fix it before it becomes any worse.
If your external surfaces are masonry, one option to seal the surface after any damage is removed is using elastomeric paint. This type of paint is usually twice as thick as your ordinary paint, providing an additional layer to protect the surface. When the paint dries, it surprisingly becomes super flexible. It can stretch without causing any cracking or issues to the building. It’s also a great option if you’re near the ocean. Due to its thickness, this paint can help repel salt spray, which is known to cause significant issues to properties if they are not correctly sealed.

Concrete spalling

Concrete cancer, also referred to as concrete spalling, occurs when steel reinforcements within concrete begin to rust. This rusting can mean that the steel expands by up to five times which can cause the external surface of your strata building to break away or flake.
While our team at Surepaint are experts at identifying concrete spalling on body corporate buildings, repairing concrete spalling requires a specific licence by an authorized repairer. We have good relationships with many tradespeople throughout the Greater Brisbane area. We can recommend someone to help resolve the issue for you.

Identifying corrosion on your body corporate building

While we typically see corrosion on older body corporate buildings, it’s also possible to find it on newer builds in locations near the coast. Due to the impact of sea spray, the damage is particularly evident if the strata building hasn’t been sealed or painted correctly in the first place. Some typical areas where you might expect to see corrosion on a body corporate apartment complex can include:
  • Metal hand railings on stairs
  • Metal balcony railings, which are common in older brick style unit complexes
  • Balcony slab edges, particularly on older apartment complexes
  • Apartment complexes situated on the coast
  • Newer body corporate complexes where the wrong paints have been used or not enough coatings have been applied which is causing paint failure.

What damage can salt spray do to your strata building?

Salt can affect a strata building, or any type of building, in several different ways. Let’s explore some of the most common types of damage to body corporate buildings located close to the beach.


Salt damage to a building can also be called weathering, a type of corrosion. Weathering is particularly pertinent for external surfaces that are highly porous, for example, concrete, brick or render. When weathering occurs on your body corporate property, the salt crystallizes within the porous surface or structure. This crystallization can, over time, destroy the material surrounding it and lead to the exterior surface breaking down.
When thinking about your internal surfaces for common areas, areas like entryways and hallways can benefit from warm and welcoming tones. They shouldn’t be too dark, or the space can often feel smaller than it is. Good examples of warm tones can include beiges, light greys, or tan.

Increased moisture

If your strata building is close to the sea, there is an increased chance of moisture getting in the building, which can cause damage to your interior and exterior surfaces. Moisture ingress can occur more quickly if salt has already damaged some of the external surfaces of your building. It’s also essential to check for mold, which will need to be removed to ensure it doesn’t grow underneath the new paint coverings and eventually come through to the top layer.

Health and safety concerns

All body corporate buildings are subject to numerous health and safety regulations and rules. As body corporate managers or committee members, it’s your responsibility to ensure that any damage to the complex, regardless of how minor it may appear, is addressed quickly. Resolving any issues quickly can help ensure that there are no violations that could impact the health and safety of residents.

How to treat corrosion

At Surepaint, when we’re assessing a property, we’ll thoroughly check all your external surface areas to determine the property’s condition. We can fix any cosmetic issues before repainting, but for any problems that could affect the structural integrity of your property, we’ll refer you to an appropriately qualified trades-person who will need to complete the work before we can put any coatings over the top. If not, the paint coatings are likely to fail quickly, and you’ll end up with a poor result.
Our body corporate paint team are experts at identifying corrosion and fixing any minor issues as part of our service and will talk to you through the approaches as part of our assessment and quote process.
We’ll typically remove the surface areas that the corrosion has affected and then seal the surfaces correctly. Using exterior and interior painting with primers and sealants can help to inhibit corrosion and slow down color fading, so the exterior surfaces require less ongoing maintenance and won’t need repainting as often.

Steps to consider when dealing with corrosion

When dealing with corrosion on a body corporate building or strata residential complex, there are a number of steps you can take to help manage your budget and your property.

1. Be proactive

Rather than having to treat corrosion, the best approach is to be proactive and identify ways to prevent corrosion. One way to do this is to take preventative action by using coatings or paints that can help to avoid corrosion to metal surfaces.
A maintenance plan where a tradesperson regularly checks your property for any corrosion can be a great way to spot problems early. That way, you can resolve them before they affect the structure of your building. At Surepaint, we work with body corporate committees and managers to establish regular maintenance plans to quickly inspect properties and repair any issues. This approach can help prevent future damage that may impact the property’s structural integrity.

2. Seek professional advice to choose your paints

When choosing the paint for your external surfaces, working with professional painters is a good idea. Experienced body corporate painters can assess your surface and recommend the most appropriate paints for not only a high-quality finish but to help protect your body corporate from potential damage.

3. Take extra caution if you’re near the coast

If your body corporate building is located near the beach, it’s essential to consider the impact of constant exposure to the sun, sea spray, salt air and sand. These elements can break down the paint on your property more quickly than buildings in other locations. So choosing a paint designed to add another layer of protection can be a good investment decision. Regularly cleaning off the salt from your surfaces can also help to protect your strata building.

We Help You Choose The Perfect
Colour Scheme

By working with Surepaint, our team of skilled professionals can help you choose the perfect colour scheme for your body corporate property.

You can have total peace of mind with our unique colour selection process by taking advantage of our colour consultants and digital overlay experts.

Take a look at the below digital overlay we did for a client. This is not a finished product but rather a digital rendering of the committees colour choices.

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Why use Surepaint™?

Learn about how we accomodate all different types of projects and customers with our body corporate painting approach

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Our specialist body corporate painters in Brisbane understand how complex body corporate projects can be. We regularly work with body corporate managers, committees and onsite managers and know what our clients expect. We work closely with clients in all aspects, including planning, color selections, production and scheduling our body corporate painting works to minimize disruptions to tenants and residents. Our experience managing small and large-scale projects helps us deliver quality outcomes on time and budget.

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Our Promise

We understand that body corporate committees and managers require a quick response when urgent jobs arise on strata properties. Therefore, we aim to prioritize our service for our body corporate clients and resolve any issues as soon as possible.

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We understand how important it is for our body corporate clients to minimise any disruption and inconvenience to residents. We work closely with managers and body corporate committees to plan our projects for minimal disruption. We spend a lot of time preparing for site set-up to maintain easy access to buildings for residents wherever possible.

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Our Quality Guarantee

Our experienced team are all focused on delivering high-quality projects. When it comes to body corporates, we understand the importance of a professional finish to maintain the long-term investment of the property. We can help identify and resolve issues that may affect the property’s value. We recommend high-quality products and use best practice techniques.

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Meeting Regulations

Our experience working with small and large-scale body corporate managers means that we understand the importance of meeting specific regulations of individual property charters and adhering to the rules about how particular properties need to be presented. We offer a 10-year warranty on external strata painting, and our insurance means you’re fully covered in the event of any issues.

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We understand that there can be many people involved when working on body corporate projects. Given our experience, we aim to work closely with all parties and keep everyone updated with the project’s progress. We aim to manage the expectations of everyone involved, keeping residents, body corporate committees and managers updated on progress without compromising quality standards.


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Body Corporate Painting Brisbane is located at Suite 22/47 Park Road, Brisbane, QLD, 4064. From Brisbane Airport (BNE) head southeast on Nancy Bird Way and at the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto Airport Dr. Now drive from Airport Link and M3 to Petrie Terrace and take the exit toward State Rte 32/Milton Rd/City/Toowong/Ipswich from M3. Then use any lane to turn right onto Milton Rd/State Route 32. Finally, turn left onto Park Rd and Body Corporate Painting Brisbane will be on the right.

We are open Monday – Friday: 08:00 – 16:00.

For additional questions, you can call us at 0480 026 081.