Get the upper hand on industrial tank corrosion and deterioration with these maintenance best practices.

Industrial tank maintenance

Your industrial storage tanks are constantly exposed to various elements. From the product you store on the interior of the tank to the shift in seasonal weather patterns on the exterior. Because of these factors, industrial tank maintenance is key to keeping your tanks functioning properly and in operation longer.

Putting off basic maintenance can lead to needed repairs and/or full replacement of your tanks. Taking tanks out of service for an extended period of time can affect production, which affects the bottom line for you and your operation.

As an example, due to lack of tank maintenance, a recent customer of ours unexpectedly needed our team to remove the entire floor from a deteriorating reactive rice tank and weld a new floor in. Had the tank scheduled maintenance checks and inspections, the deterioration could have been prevented with other cost saving services.

When you think about tank maintenance, set up a regular schedule for cleaning, self inspection and when needed, professional inspection to assess the tank’s viability. Doing this can prevent major overhauls to your tank farm by utilizing Wilkinson Industrial to address issues sooner rather than later, and in doing so will save you money and time to keep your operations moving forward by keeping your tanks in service longer.


Tank Cleaning Guidelines

Cleaning is an important aspect of maintenance for every industrial tank. Many tanks are used seasonally while others see a near constant flow of materials. Regardless, an annual tank cleaning is essential to really assess the interior tank condition. 

Many companies self-clean tanks and should schedule extra time for self-inspection and if necessary, professional inspection while the tank is clean and out of service. Outsourcing cleaning services is no different. Take advantage of the clean interior to self-inspect or bring in a certified independent inspector if you see damage.


Self Inspection – Watch for these Key Indicators

Monitoring tank health is something every tank farm should do almost habitually. Training staff members and anyone in close proximity to tank exteriors and interiors to watch for a few key indicators will help to spot issues early.



This form of corrosion is visible with holes in very specific areas. It might only be a few pits, but numerous pits in a contained area are also common. When pitting is visible, it’s time to address the issue and remove the corrosion before it spreads.



Any visible rust is serious and it will get worse without treatment. Rust on the tank interior is especially problematic and can lead to failure if not removed and reinforced. Catch it early and save your tank from expensive repairs down the line. 


Peeling and Bubbling Paint or Coatings

The exterior layer of your tank’s industrial coating is an important defense system that shields metal against moisture. When the paint begins flaking and/or peeling, the exposure level increases. Bubbling can also be an early sign of rust forming beneath the surface.


Chalking in Interior

Many tanks use epoxy liners for protection. If you notice a powder-like residue in the coloration it means a breakdown is occurring and the epoxy is losing binding properties. Epoxy liners last for a long time on tank interiors because they are not exposed to UV light but chalking is a clear sign that your tank is ready for an inspection.


Fading Exterior

While exterior fading is oftentimes an aesthetic that occurs over time, it’s good to keep an eye on the paint condition. Color choice influences the time span to fade with lighter colors lasting longer. Regardless, do an inspection to see if fading is only an aesthetic issue or is being caused by more serious flaking and deterioration. 


When to Call an Inspector

Self-inspections are productive but calling an expert to assess the full scale of damage is prudent in the tank maintenance process. If any of the latter issues are prevalent during your cleaning and self-inspection process, engage a NACE certified independent inspector for a full report. 

Running a full inspection every year or two is a good idea to maintain excellent tank health as well. After assessing the damage, reach out to Wilkinson Sandblasting to restore your tank. Sandblasting, welding and industrial coating liner installation are all specialties from the best crew in tank maintenance and restoration.


For a free estimate or more information, reach out online, follow us on social, or call (402) 558-7989.

Tired of fielding complaints about your deteriorating structure but don’t know where to begin to fix it?

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