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I recently purchased several of these 4x4 bases for a rooftop very close to the ocean. They have not been installed yet.

After about a month I notice that one of them has a little rust spot where the base is welded.

Before installing them, is there anything not too expensive that I can apply so that they don't rust?

I was also thinking of covering them with something after installing them, since these bases aren't attractive. Maybe I can cover them with something attractive that would also protect them from rust?

  • Aside from having them media-blasted and powder coated to a higher level of quality, all you can really do is maintain. The existing coating will flake off when you install due to fastener contact. A good exterior enamel will help delay the inevitable decay of the steel in salt air. I'd consider looking for bases of stainless steel or heavy aluminum. – isherwood Jul 31 '18 at 15:09
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I would spray them with a cold process galvanizing or Zinc-rich spray paint. This will prevent the rusting and can be done in place, use a wire brush to clean the rust off shake the can 2x of the instructions and recoat the area.

I use this method after welding galvanized parts together because I grind the galvanized coating off to allow a clean weld and not have the nasties in the vapor (welding on galvanized is dangerous--if welding inside I place a fan to blow the vapors if any away).

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