Rust is a form of corrosion that occurs when iron is exposed to oxygen, and this occurs primarily when the oxygen molecules in water are exposed to iron. Rust can also develop on steel, and any alloy that contains iron can develop rust. Rust is not only unsightly, but its corrosive properties weaken metal and can be a real problem for people working on home improvement projects. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to prevent rust in home improvement projects, including:
Use Alternatives To Metal
When you’re putting things together, installing new fixtures or making repairs to home furnishings or systems, consider using non-metallic alternatives. For example, replace metal washers with nylon flat washers instead. Large nylon washers provide much of the same strength as metallic washers, and natural nylon washers are also installed just as easily. You can get a quote for black nylon washers and a variety of other washers by visiting https://www.superiorwasher.com.
Coat Alloys With Rust-Resistant Products
There are a number of products available that can be applied to metals in order to prevent rust from forming. Some of these coating products can be toxic, so always follow the safety instructions provided by the manufacturer of any chemical you use in and around your home. In most cases, applications of rust-resistant products only require a thin coat, but some may require additional applications once the original coat has dried or set.
Galvanization is another coating process that can prevent rust, but unlike store-bought coating products, galvanization is usually completed by the manufacturer of an alloy product. Hot zinc is usually applied during the galvanization process; however, some home improvement experts also recommend using vinegar and salt in a solution to galvanize alloys at home. Once again, before you attempt to apply any type of coating to an alloy, make sure you fully understand the warnings associated with any product or process you use.
Be Mindful Of The Environment
You can also prevent rust by simply being mindful of the environment in which a metal resides. Alloys that are susceptible to rust should not be placed in areas like bathrooms or outdoors where moisture can lead to the development of rust. Even bathroom areas that are not directly exposed to running water can lead to rust due to steam from showers and baths. Over time and even with proper ventilation, moisture in the air can lead to the development of rust in these environments, so it’s best to avoid placing rust-prone alloys in bathrooms and other steamy places.
Protect Against Scratches And Cracks
When a piece of iron or steel is coated to protect against rust, the protection is only as good as the integrity of the coating. If the coating gets scratched or becomes cracked, this can allow oxygen molecules to begin the corrosive rusting process. Because of this, try to be mindful of the placement of fixtures that contain iron alloys. Even if a fixture contains coated iron, damage to the surface of an alloy can lead to small scratches that you may not even notice until rust has started to form.
If you do notice the formation of rust on a piece of metal while working on a home improvement project, all hope is not lost. There are plenty of rust-removal products available that can get rid of the corrosion, but as with working with coatings, be mindful of the manufacturer’s instructions.
Additionally, the amount of rust involved in a cleanup effort matters. If a piece of metal has only experienced surface rust, it may be possible to simply remove it using an off-the-shelf cleaning product. If the rust has gone deeper, the corrosion could threaten the structural integrity of an alloy, meaning you may need to replace the item altogether.