We are all used to seeing a rusty car or vehicle that’s been left outside. But why would a metal rust or corrode when it's not out in the elements? Or even when that metal is designed to contain or carry water, like a hot-water heater or water pipe?
This is a reaction referred to as 'galvanic corrosion' what does this mean? Well, galvanic corrosion happens when different types of metals are joined together when they shouldn’t be, and then exposed to something that can compromise their union, like water. This would explain why your pipes, something that should hold water without being compromised, start to corrode or rust. Or sometimes a hot water heater contains certain elements or insulation that are metal, but dissimilar to the metal they are joined to, and when exposed to water they rust and have to be replaced.
Think of the statue of liberty, maybe the most notable example of galvanic corrosion, the wrought iron structure was joined with copper, and when exposed to water the greenish patina corrosion started to take place.
What are potential points of galvanic corrosion in your home, how can you avoid them? We’ll talk about this in the next article, and please contact us if you have any questions.
George Adair, Certified Professional Home Inspector
I provide a wide range of home inspection and home inspection related services in the following areas of southern Manitoba: Winnipeg, Selkirk , Lockport,Steinbach,
Stony Mountain, Elie, Rosser, Lorette Sanford, East St. Paul, West St. Paul, Oak Bank,
Oak Bluff, Landmark,
St. Anne, Saint Andrews,
La Salle, Richer, Niverville and Warren.
Our extended area also includes: Lac Du Bonnet, Beausejour, Libeau, Gimli, Pinawa, Falcon Beach, Winnipeg Beach, Grand Marais, Saint Laurent, and Pine Falls