Powder coating is a wonderful way to preserve metal, be it on a stairway banister, a truck's extended tailgate, or industrial machinery. However, powder coating does require some maintenance because it can crack and chip, as anyone who's ever seen a railing after skateboarders have gotten to it knows. Maintaining the powder coating well extends its life and reduces your costs for reapplying the coating. Luckily, taking care of the coating is simple. It just requires attention:
Control Human Influence
Human activity, like the aforementioned skateboards, can make powder coatings chip away quickly. Stairway banisters and railings are popular spots for skateboarders to try some tricks at the expense of the coating. Grafitti scratched into the coating on any surface is also a problem. You've got to control for these. Have security cameras installed (just knowing someone is taping them can deter a lot of skaters, vandals, and anyone else determined to damage the coating), and have guards walk along the property. If the coating is on a piece of equipment or a vehicle, lock up the vehicle or equipment when it's not in use.
It is true that this can be difficult to stop, depending on the area in which you're located. But if you can even reduce the amount of human-caused damage, that will help.
Protect Against Water Exposure
Powder coatings outdoors are going to be exposed to water no matter what you do because of the rain, but there are ways to protect many coated items. Adjust sprinklers so that they spray away from the coated item, and if the item in question is small, like the tailgate, dry it off if it gets wet. Provide covered areas under which machinery can be stored and kept dry. If the coated item is on your vehicle and can be removed, do that if rain is forecast. If you can't remove it, store the vehicle in a garage.
Inspect and Repair Small Spots
For items that you can't really dry off, like extensive stairway railing systems across your facility (it would take too long to go around the entire place and dry these off daily), inspect them every couple of weeks or every month, and fix smaller spots of damage. By fixing small chips and scratches now, you prevent rust from forming and causing even more damage.
The coating is strong and meant to last a long time. But it does need occasional care to ensure you get the longest life out of it. Contact a company like PYRSD for more information and assistance.