How To Fight Rust at Home

If you’ve noticed rust buildup in your home, then you need to take prompt steps to remove it and fight rust from damaging your home and furnishings. Iron and steel alloys are in danger of rust which will eventually cause these metals to break down. Removing rust can be a challenge so it’s best to be preventative when you can.

Preventing Rust

Since rust requires both air and water to form, most objects that are metal should be painted or covered with a protective layer to prevent these elements from coming into contact. If this is an area where painting is impractical or not possible, coat the metal with wax, oil or a similar material that will prevent water and air from the surface.  However, even with caution, it’s still a challenge to prevent rust completely. Whether moving into a home that has rust or noticing it appears on an unprotected surface, take these prompt steps to get rid of it.

Three Methods to Fight Rust in Your Home

Remove Rust from Surfaces

The traditional method used to remove rust is to use files, steel wool, or other tools to scrape rust from the surface. Continue scraping until the metal is bright and there are no signs of the red rust present. Prime the cleaned metal surface with metal primer, preferably on that contains zinc chromate. This layer should be allowed to dry thoroughly. Then use two coats of regular flat or enamel to create the desired finish. This method is effective but it does take a fair amount of effort and can be a challenge if the rust is in a hard-to-reach area. 

Rust-Resistant Primers

Another solution that has become more popular is using a special rust-resistant metal primer. This primer is designed to penetrate surfaces and bone over the rust. Unlike the method mentioned above, this one does not require that the rust be removed. Instead, simply scrape loose or flaking areas. The solid rust areas can be left and painted over. After the primer has dried, you can apply a finish coat for additional protection. This method will keep the rust from spreading and prevent any further damage. 

Chemical Converter

This final method is an even newer one on the market. The chemical converter can be brushed on over the solid rust. As its name suggests, it converts the iron oxide into a stable compound that will actually form a protective surface over the metal. This method also makes for a good base that can be painted over for additional protection. Keep in mind that the converter will darken the red rust and turn it into a black surface. With some converters, you may need to rinse off the blackened surface before applying the final coat. Since each converter can vary slightly, make sure to read the directions thoroughly before using.

These three methods are all effective solutions to remove rust along with preventative steps to keep it from reoccurring. Although rust can cause significant damage, keeping an eye on metal surfaces and removing any rust promptly will help to avoid long-term problems.

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