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  • Elizabeth Kenney

Rust Prevention Tips For All Seasons

With winter weather (i.e. snow, ice, and sleet) in full swing, be sure to take the necessary steps to prevent rust from forming on your outdoor machines, trinkets, and other items.


Here's what you need to know (and for more details, see The Complete Guide to Rust Prevention from Nyalic):


Rust on iron (and other iron-containing metals) occurs as a result of oxidation upon prolonged exposure to water and oxygen. Water combines iron and over extended periods of time, the metal’s bond is weakened by the process of oxidation. Basically, this process diminished and depletes the strength of the iron atom.

Although rain, snow, and sleet can and do cause rust to form, precipitation is not the only culprit. Moisture in the air can also cause rust to form.


What does this mean for my stuff? Things like bikes, fence links, machinery, outdoor seating, and more can all fall victim to rust.


What can be done? Even though rust is essentially permanent, taking steps to prevent rust can protect your stuff from potential damage. Consider the following:


#1 Choose building materials, such as stainless steel and weathering steel, that contain protective film that prevents the formation of rust.


#2 Weld, rather than bolt joints, when you can.


#3 Minimize any opportunities for water to seep into small cracks or holes.


#4 Coat surfaces with protective solutions.


Depending on the item or material, the recommended solution will vary. However, some of these options include: galvanization, bluing, organic coatings, and powder coatings.


#5 Remove grime as it builds up.


Regular maintenance is important. If you notice grime forming on your stuff, simply remove this residue using a razor blade and warm, soapy water.


And remember, be vigilant about rust formation all year around. In fact, while we tend to see a significant amount of precipitation in the wintertime, heat accelerates the rust formation.


So, maintaining your items and minimizing risk of rust formation should be on your to-do list all year around— spring, summer, fall, and winter.

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