Rust is a lot more than an unpleasant sight—it could spell disaster for metals. When rust appears, it eats away the material from the inside and spreads, weakening the structure.
While rust isn’t always the end of the world, it can be for your railings if it isn’t addressed quickly. The best way to keep your handrails strong is to ensure all the metal is galvanized. Aside from that, though regular inspection is also crucial.
All Metal Handrails Need To Be Inspected Regularly
A small rust problem is always better than a big one, so make sure to inspect your railings for rust on a regular basis. Pay close attention to joints where welds are made. If you notice the joint beginning to rust, make sure the issue is addressed right away.
If you spot rust beginning to build up, though, there are a few things you can do to give your railings new life. Before you write off the entire rail, try our tips:
1 – Sand the Handrail
Cover the unaffected areas with a painter’s tape and sand off as much of the rust as possible with steel wool, a wire brush, sanding sponges, or a small power sander. Make sure to be thorough with this procedure to prevent the rust from spreading any further.
2 – Try Rust Converter
Even after using a wire brush, there will likely be stubborn rust spots that you can’t just sand away. What you can do is try a rust converter. A rust converter will produce a chemical reaction to prevent the rust from spreading. Once you have applied the rust converter, sand the railing. When you notice uneven surfaces, use a rust repair filler on the corroded area, sanding it down before you prime and paint.
3 – Prime and Paint
When you have finally removed the rust, it’s time to prime and paint the affected areas of the railing. Use an oil-based, rust-inhibiting primer for the best results. Once the primer dries, you can apply spray-on enamel paint to the railing and add as many coats as needed.
Prevention Is Above All
Removing rust on railings is a tough job, and albeit it can be done, it can also be prevented. The best way to avoid rusty railings is to invest in a high-quality railing.
When you’re purchasing railings, make sure that they are galvanized. If the railing is painted or powder-coated, the outer layer will eventually chip, leaving the metal exposed and vulnerable to rusting. If it has been galvanized, though, the metal has been treated to resist rust.
Another thing is to avoid welded railing—welding requires the galvanization to be removed. That is why when it comes to a welded railing, the joints start to rust long before the main sections of pipe. You can also opt to build your handrails with stainless steel, which does not rust yet offers a sleek look.
Powder coating may also help prevent rust and provide added protection. This is because powder coating is baked on paint that adds that protective coating over the entire surface of the metal.
Worried about the rust on your handrails? Don’t worry—all is not lost. Try sanding the handrail, using a rust converter, or priming then painting. If you’d rather start over, though, we recommend stainless steel!
The experts over at Aussie Balustrading & Stairs are well-versed in the installation of stainless steel handrails and stairs in Perth that will not rust. Contact us today for a quote!