The Cost of Corrosion and How to Mitigate It.

Rust Prevention and Removal

There are many ways that you can prevent rust in your home, the simplest way is to use metal products that are designed to be rust resistant.

One of the simplest ways to prevent rust is the use of galvanized products. Galvanized steel has been coated with zinc or cadmium, which provides resistance against rusting. Fasteners, I.E: nuts, bolts, nails, brackets, hangers etc. that are going to be used outside, or in a damp area of your home, should be galvanized. Galvanized fasteners are available in any home improvement store or hardware store. These products are easy to identify by the matte grey coating that they have on them. It is important to realize, that while galvanization prevents rust, the coating will wear off over time, particularly at the seams and joints where the coating has been compromised.

Another common product that is available that will save you the headache of rust issues is stainless steel. This is another option for the aforementioned fasteners that are used in the home. Stainless steel is steel that is impregnated with chromium; this serves the same purpose as the zinc on galvanized steel. However because the chromium is mixed in with the steel during manufacturing it cannot be worn away. Stainless steel is quite a bit pricier than the galvanized option

.However if you do not want to use galvanized or stainless steel there is another option. Coatings and paints will form a barrier between iron/steel and the moisture that will cause rust. Oiling steel or iron is a common coating method used to prevent or slow the formation of rust. For metal products inside your home or basement a simple way to prevent rust is to keep the relative humidity below 50%. This is a fairly simple process through the use of a dehumidifier. If you live in a coastal region rust can be even more of an issue, the salt that is found in the spray from the ocean will accelerate the rusting process rapidly. The only thing that can really be done about this is to clean the metal regularly. Washing off the salt residue will help to slow the formation of rust.

You should always make sure to do everything in your power to prevent rust, because it is extremely hard to stop the rusting process once it has begun. There are ways to remove the rust if it is too late though. Most professionals in the industry recommend scraping or wire brushing the metal as a simple way to remove the rust. Also sanding or low pressure sand blasting will effectively remove the rust, with either of these methods it is necessary to use caution to not go to deep past the rust layer, you don’t want to wear away at the good steel beneath. Once the rust has been cleaned up the use of rust inhibiting primer or paint will effectively slow the future formation of rust on the material. There are many effective ways of removing rust, but again the best way to prevent rust is to take the proper precautions.


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