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Advice from Phil

Rust

What is rust? Rust is a reddish-brown substance that appears on the surface of bare metal when there is moisture and oxygen present. Some common places rust is found around your home are on steel patio furniture, steel outdoor railings, nails, meters, and pipes to name a few. It is when bare steel comes into contact with air and moisture, especially over time, when conditions are perfect for rust to develop. Also, there is a possibility for rust when nails come into contact with damp wood around the nail head. In this case it starts developing into a black discoloration. Your outdoor steel items are subjected to a lot of extreme weather. Therefore, these items will eventually rust if not properly cared for.

So, how do you treat rust? First, the area needs to be prepped and cleaned. Make sure you use some type of sandpaper, scrubber, or steel wire brush to get rid of any loose paint and scaly rust. Then, the area should be hand washed to ensure there will not be any pollutants that may interfere with the new coat of paint. Next, you should prime all bare metal using a good grade rust inhibitor to make sure the rust is sealed and contained. Once contained, you can paint over the primed rust with a couple of coats of top grade finish paint. Rusty nail heads however, require a little more attention. If you cannot replace rusting nails, you should at least sand the nail head down to shiny metal, spot prime with a good grade rust inhibitor, countersink the nail, and fill over with putty or wood filler. Then apply two top grade finish coats. The best way to prevent rust in the first place, is to keep the finished paint film properly maintained at all times.

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