Buying and installing an iron fence is a major property improvement project that a homeowner or business owner will consider with great care. Many property owners are not aware that standard iron fence will rust within just one or two years, while galvanized steel fence will often remain rust free for 20 years. But, once the investment has been made, you definitely want that iron fence to last as long as possible. Even if it’s a big pain. In time, one of the biggest fears of iron fence owners is rust, that corrosive element which can damage and destroy your investment. Rusting is a two-part problem. First, homeowners need to know how to deal with rust that has already begun to form on their fence. Second, they need to know what to do to prevent rust from returning.
- Removing Rust—There are a lot of products on the market right now which claim (with varying degrees of success) that they can remove rust. Checking out online reviews for these individual products can be helpful, or you can go with an old-fashioned cleaner—white vinegar. Just apply a little to a paper towel and the dab it on the rusted spots and let it stand for about half an hour before scouring off the rust with a Brillo pad or other piece of steel wool. When scrubbing the rust, be sure to do so gently. You don’t want to scratch the iron-work underneath and permanently nick it. That is why the vinegar is so important since it will loosen the rust and make it easier to remove with the steel wool.
- If the rust that has formed on your fence is particularly heavy, you may have to use a disc-sander with sandpaper, but again this is an extremely last resort as you want to be careful not to scratch or nick the paint and iron under the rust.
- As for preventing further problems with rust there are a couple of options:
- The first of these is to apply liquid wax to the fence. This serves to coat the fence and create a protective layer that will prevent further rusting. This can be done pretty simply with a paper towel.
- Another option is to apply a rust converter. This will take some extra work as it will need a roller and brush to apply and you will need to apply paint primer when you are finished as well to seal it.
Taking care with your fence and doing regular maintenance will keep your home’s investment looking fresh and strong for years. Just make sure to walk the fence line regularly and inspect it for rust accumulation and take these steps when necessary to prevent any corrosion from creeping in.