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Caring for Your Wrought Iron Fence to Prevent it from Rusting
Wrought iron fencing elevates the overall curb appeal of any property. It adds a wonderful eloquence to the landscaping and helps section off different features like gardens, vegetable patches, private yards, and memorial sites on extended lands. It is also a highly durable raw material that can last for generations if properly maintained and cared for by the owners. Here are a few tips to prevent your wrought iron fencing from experiencing issues like rust.
Why Wrought Iron Fences Rust
The primary explanation for why wrought iron rusts involves frequent exposure to moisture in the air. When moisture comes into contact with the steel, or iron alloy, it oxidizes and forms a new compound called an oxide. This oxidation process is simply a chemical reaction between metals and oxygen that results in the formation of oxides. Most of us associate rust with reddish-orange coloration on our wrought iron fences because the most common form of steel (or iron) oxide is Fe2O3, otherwise known as rust.
In other words, Iron + Oxygen + Water = Rust. To prevent this from happening, you will need to seal your fence so that water can't get through. If rust does start to surface, it will need to be addressed as quickly as possible to avoid any future spread.
How to Take Care of Your Wrought Iron Fence
Start by using a soft, slightly damp cloth to remove debris, dirt, or dust from your wrought iron fencing. Try to do this on a warm, dry day where the sun can dry off the fencing as you move by each segment.
If you find any rust, use a wire brush or sandpaper to remove it. You may also want to use a chemical stripper if you see old paint on any of the segments. While the natural look of a wrought iron fence is always preferable, some choose to paint the fence. In that case:
- Use a primer to prevent rusting
- Sand all areas that will be painted to give the paint something to adhere to
- Paint your fence using three coats of exterior spray paint
- Allow each coat time to dry before applying the next coat
- Apply a sealant to your entire fence if you decide not to paint it at this time but want to keep it from getting rusty in the future
What to Do About Rust on Your Wrought Iron Fence
If rust has already begun to appear on your wrought iron fence, you may be able to remove it with a rust remover. Be sure to sand the fence first and follow the directions of the rust remover product. Another option is to use a wire brush to remove the rust and then apply a chemical treatment solution. This treatment will work by preventing oxygen from being able to touch the metal, which is what causes it to oxidize (or become rusty).
Once you’ve removed any existing rust or are sure that your wrought iron fence has been appropriately treated for corrosion. Always apply primer before your new coat of paint so that it will adhere well and last longer.
Always Act Immediately When You Notice Rust
Rust can degrade the quality of the underlying raw materials over time. It is recommended to do occasional inspections of your wrought iron fencing whenever possible. Maybe incorporate this into walking your dog or enjoying a little nature for 10 minutes a day. A simple visual inspection should be enough to ensure your fence will look fantastic for years to come.
For other tips or to upgrade your property with high-quality wrought iron fencing, be sure to contact the professionals at MJ Iron Works of Chicago. The team of experts has more than 15 years of experience installing aesthetically pleasing, highly functional, and durable fencing all over the city and surrounding areas. So get a quote today and elevate your property!