Wrought iron fencing is a lovely feature along any perimeter. You knew that the intricacies and artistry of fine wrought iron would add eye-catching character to your property when you chose it. What you may not have known, though, is how quickly wrought iron can go from conferring beauty and sophistication to broadcasting neglect and decay. This is all due to the reddish-brown material we call rust.
Rust, also known as iron oxide, develops when water initiates a reaction between iron and oxygen. While the oxidation of copper provides a useful and pleasing patina—that lovely mint-green color of church steeples and the Statue of Liberty—oxidation of iron does no good. Rust is brittle and weak, compromising iron’s structural integrity and causing it to crumble. In the case of an iron fence, rust doesn’t just look bad; it eventually nullifies the entire purpose of the fence. If you find corrosion on your wrought iron fence, here’s what to do.
Remove the Rust
Your first step should be to get any developing rust off of your fence. Think of rust as a contagious growth. You must stop it from spreading to anything it touches. A light acid like vinegar can halt the rusting process and help you remove what’s left. Sandpaper or a wire brush is your best bet for small spots, while a handheld disc sander may be better for larger areas. Sand or scrub the rust off as best you can before applying your rustproofing products to freeze the oxidative process.
Rustproof the Fence
Before you paint a final coat, you must ensure that you will stop further rusting. Select a rust-resistant primer to coat your fence. This will prevent oxygen and moisture from infiltrating the paint. Don’t worry too much about color here. Though most wrought iron is black, the primer need not be. Give the fence at least two coats of primer.
Apply a Fresh Coat of Paint
Once you’ve given your fence a few coats of rust-resistant primer, you’re clear to move ahead to your final coat of paint. In many cases, you can find exterior paint that also boasts rust resistance. Just to play it safe, as you may wish to use this as well. By following these steps, you should be able to intercept rust and protect your fence’s longevity.
Replace the Fence
Knowing what to do if you find corrosion on your wrought iron fence can save you money. However, some fences are lost causes. Rust left unchecked can spread too far for you to fix. When that’s the case, you have no choice but to replace the fence altogether. Durham Fence Company, one of Connecticut’s leading fencing and guardrail installation companies, specializes in wrought iron fence installation. We can help continue your property’s history of beauty and character along its perimeter. If any rust should appear in your new fence many years down the road, you’ll know what to do.