Our inspectors at Dedant see many regularly occurring faults with houses. However, one of the most common and most damaging is rust. You should know how to prevent rust in order to protect your home.
Rust is what occurs when metal is exposed to oxygen and moisture. It causes an orange-brown discolouration that erodes the metal, causing it to become brittle and prone to breaking. Rust has even been known to cause bridges to collapse.
You can take these steps to prevent rust in the metals around your home.
1) Keep metals dry
Rust needs the right conditions to occur – namely, a high amount of moisture and exposure to the sun.
As such, you should endeavour to keep metals dry. Keep all your metal items and surfaces as clean as possible.
One of the most common places to find rust in your gutters, because water gets caught and causes metal to oxidise, producing rust.
Thus, you should keep your gutters clean to prevent a build-up of moisture.
2) Keep your metals clean
When metals get dirty, generally it is from things like mud or dirt. Mud and dirt can hold water, so when they stick to metal it creates moisture that can produce rust.
By keeping metal clean from dirt and mud, you are keeping them free from another source of moisture.
3) Paint the metals around your home
If you’re looking to prevent rust, using paint to insulate the metal from oxygen and moisture is a wise choice.
However, you must choose the correct type of paint. This is because certain paints, such as water-soluble paint, only makes rust worse.
Instead, consider using rust proofing paints or zinc-rich primers. When applied, these products are specifically designed to stop oxygen and water from touching the metal underneath.
4) Avoid damage
When metal is scratched or scraped, this removes any sort of coating from the surface and further exposes it to the elements.
Not only that, but the smoother the metal surface, the less water it can hold.
Scratches and cuts on the metal surface hold and trap water, which is why you should endeavour to keep your metal surfaces free from such damage.
5) Scrape away rust early
Rust spreads quickly, but you should be able to remove it if you act fast enough.
You can do this through physically scraping it off using a sander, grinder or oscillating tool. Alternately, there are chemical options you could use.
Ultimately, whatever method you use, the most important thing is to be vigilant. Get in early and get rid of rust before it becomes a larger problem.
If you are buying or selling a house, contact Dedant for a building inspection today and we will identify easily seen areas where rust exists.