Log in
Article search:

Q & A

Microbiological Corrosion

Have been told I have this on hull, have you ever heard of it?

Asked by: Eileen Brown  | 2.47pm, Wednesday 8 November

WW says:

Microbial corrosion is corrosion caused by or assisted by microorganisms and affects metals and other materials. Different bacteria produce sulphuric acid or hydrogen sulphide as a by-product of their life cycle, which will obviously corrode steel, another directly converts iron to iron oxide and iron hydroxide. The iron rusticles that have formed on the wreck of the Titanic are caused by bacteria. Some microbes need oxygen, others are anaerobic and some can form growths setting up electrical potentials leading to galvanic corrosion.
Probably the most common on narrowboats are the rusty growths found when cleaning the hull. These often cover a pit in the steel. Corrosion is often worse in polluted water as there are more nutrients and microbes around. The best protection is to ensure that all the steelwork in contact with canal water has a protective coating of paint, and that the boat is regularly docked.

Rupert Smedley  | 6.53PM, Thursday 9 November

Don't panic.
When was the boat last blacked?
What canal is the boat moored on?
Is the corrosion on the sides or the bottom and do you paint the bottom?
Can you send me a picture please to rupertsmedley@gmx.com

Rupert Smedley  | 10.33AM, Friday 10 November

Readers say:

Thank you, I have been told that I need to sand blast the hull or use bleach to get rid of it, and that it is very dangerous as is eating through the hull fast.I have never heard of it before and have had the boat for 9 years.Should I panic?

Eileen Brown  | 9.05AM, Friday 10 November

You must log in to post an answer.