If you have taken a good look at the wrought iron fencing around your property and found that there are some damaged areas you never noticed due to bushes or trees, you need to take care of it as soon as possible, or the damage will only get worse. Rust is going to be the biggest enemy to the fence and will show up any time the paint or coating is compromised. While it may look like only a few scratches in the paint from a rosebush that is growing through the fence, if you don't take care of them now, there will be rust growing there in a week or so. Depending on how much damage there is, the job could either be quick and easy or something that takes a few days. Here are some tips for restoring any damage to make the fence look new.
The first thing you will need to do is to clean the area. This is not only cleaning away any dirt or dust but also cleaning away the rust. Start by washing the area with soapy water and then drying it. You should be able to see most of the damage better. Use steel wool, coarse sandpaper, a wire brush, or a drill with a wire wheel. You may need to use more than one of these tools to get all of the rust. Be sure to clean and sand a few inches beyond the rust and damage.
Once you think you have gotten all of the rust off the iron, you should apply a product that will neutralize the rust. This will make sure that any tiny particles that may be hidden in a crevice will not multiply. Even though you are going to paint the bare iron, any rust left can and will end up growing underneath the paint, damaging the metal long before you ever notice there is a problem.
After neutralizing, it is time to paint. If you have not had to paint the fence for a few years, the color may not match the new paint as the elements will have changed it slightly. You can take a chip from the fence to the paint store and have it matched, or you can paint the whole fence to keep it one uniform color. However, if you are going to paint the whole thing you may want to sand the whole thing too. This way, if there is more damage in the future you won't have to sand away two layers of paint.
When properly cared for, a wrought iron fence will last for decades. However, if you let it go, you may find the fence guarding your home is very easy to break. Rust will not only make the fence look old and unkempt, but it will weaken it to the point where someone can snap the iron into pieces.
For more information about iron fences, contact companies like Ornamental Design Ironworks Inc.
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