Can I install a Tecrostar mezzanine outdoors?
TecroStar products can be installed outdoors (in the open), provided that the following considerations are taken into account, which define the structural, environmental and material maintenance calculation conditions.
Products with wooden components and load-bearing floors can be installed outdoors or in humid environments when a specific waterproofing treatment for wood is applied and maintenance is carried out on a regular basis.
It is not advisable to install products with electrical components outdoors.
If you want to install Tecrostar products outdoors or in humid environments, we recommend you to request the waterproof treatment that provides additional protection to the steel parts, increasing their durability against those atmospheric conditions that can cause corrosion.
Structural Calculation Considerations
Outdoor installation involves forces due to snow and wind, which depend on the geographical location, altitude of the site, etc. These actions have been taken into account in the calculation, with certain maximum values that must be compared with those of the area where it is installed, to ensure that these limits are not exceeded.
The value of the snow load corresponding to the zone must be subtracted from the use overload supported by the mezzanine to the dimensions that have been installed. As a guide value, TecroStar structures can be considered to withstand a minimum use overload of 200 kg/m², and therefore the load of snow that a mezzanine can withstand outdoors is very high.
The mezzanine can be installed as a canopy outdoors by installing the stability kit, contemplating the case of a complete obstruction when it is placed against a façade, or free if it allows air to pass through its lower part. A wind speed of 100 km/h is taken as a reference. The regulations of each locality must be consulted to check that these limits are not exceeded.
Under no circumstances should the sides of the building be closed, as this implies greater horizontal forces that are not included in the calculation.
The columns of the mezzanine must be fixed to a solid base that resists the actions transmitted by the mezzanine. TecroStar offers guidance as to the type of footing or foundation required under the columns, but it is the customer's responsibility to check the final strength of the terrain.
When the mezzanine is required to be placed on a grass or soil type surface, some type of footing will be necessary. The modular foundation system shown below may be a good solution, although it is up to the client to check it through the technician responsible for the project https://piloedre.es/
Environmental conditions and performance of materials
The metallic steel pieces are lacquered with paints suitable for exteriors. TecroStar structures have a thermosetting polyester polymerised powder coating, with a coating thickness between 60 and 80 microns.
Corrosivity category C2 has been obtained, of medium durability, when submitting the pieces to the tests, according to the criteria of the European Norm EN ISO 12944 of May 1998: "Protection of steel structures against corrosion by means of protective painting systems". Examples of typical environments for corrosivity category C2:
● Interiors: buildings without heating where can be condensations (warehouses, sports centres,…)
● Outdoor: atmospheres with low pollution levels. Mostly, rural regions.
The medium durability of the lacquer covers a period of 5 to 15 years. The standard states that durability is NOT a "warranty period". Durability is a technical consideration that can help the owner establish a maintenance programme. That is, tests are performed for a specified number of hours under uniform conditions applied to smooth surfaces. The reality is that climatic and environmental conditions are very variable.
It is to be expected that after some time the structure requires retouches of painting on small zones, like edges or corners that can present beginning of oxidation and loss of the brightness. It is recommended to polish these areas to remove the rust and then apply the paint. The edges of steel parts are the parts most prone to corrosion and where rust first appears, in fact, these areas are not evaluated in salt spray tests, as the standard does not contemplate them.
TecroStar does not advise the use of metallic parts painted in white for exteriors, since the appearance of rust is appreciated much earlier than in black.
When the visual inspection indicates that paint retouching is required, careful attention should be paid to all edges or corners that may show signs of oxidation and loss of gloss. It is recommended to polish these areas to remove the rust and then apply the paint.
If the mezzanine is to be installed outdoors in a marine or coastal environment, maintenance recommendations should be carried out more frequently, due to the corrosive power produced by the existence of salt and moisture. Try to control the oxidation process to avoid further deterioration. In this case, it is recommended to polish the affected areas to remove the rust and then apply the paint.
The aluminium handrails of the rails do not require any special maintenance, as all of them are subjected to surface treatments that guarantee their outdoor performance (anodised silver, black lacquer or with a wood effect).
The load-bearing floor of TecroStar mezzanines consists of structural plywood panels. It is intended for indoor use in a humid or protected outdoor environment in accordance with EN 636-1-S. The customer must apply a lasur* or specific waterproofing treatment for wood to the floor and to the exposed edges, which protects the surface and prevents water from penetrating into the tongue and groove joints of the panels and affecting the edges.
Likewise, all wood pieces (steps, wooden strips, etc.) must be treated with some type of water-resistant paint or varnish to prevent moisture from penetrating and the material from cracking, and therefore losing its mechanical and aesthetic characteristics.
The wood pieces should also be maintained, checking that the applied surface protections (varnishes or paints) have not deteriorated, and treating them if necessary.
The presence of water in puddles or “ponds” on the mezzanine should be avoided. To that end, the mezzanine should be installed with a slight slope to facilitate the water evacuation and to avoid its accumulation (approximately 2%). This unevenness can be achieved by installing levelling plates under the highest pillars of the structure. Drains can also be created for the same purpose.
* It is a product for outdoor uses that is more appropriate than varnish because it offers a high resistance, does not create a layer on the surface it is applied, controls humidity, gives a waxy finish and provides a wide range of finishes.