All fences need routine maintenance to keep them in good shape. But wrought iron fencing is a different beast from other types, and it should receive special love and care from a homeowner. Don't worry; caring from a wrought iron fence is easy. And when maintained correctly, iron fences can last 60 years or more. Here are five tips for taking great care of your wrought iron fence.
Protect from Rust
If your wrought iron fence is brand new, it's a good idea to take protective measures now to keep it looking great for years to come.
Rain, snow, salty air, and even being close to a swimming pool can cause iron fences to oxidize and rust. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to prevent this or at least to slow down the process.
If the length of your fence is small, you can cover it with a tarp during bad weather. However, many homeowners have iron fences that span the circumference of their property and don't have enough tarp to cover it. Therefore, applying a coat of wax or a sealant is one of the best ways to prevent rust formation.
Alternatively, you can paint your iron fence to ward off rust, since the paint acts as a barrier to the oxidation process. Start with a spray primer that's suitable for iron, followed with paint that's specifically targeted for outdoor iron fences. You may even find a primer/paint combo that will work. Applying a second coat is highly recommended, and doing so within an hour of putting on the first coat will give the best results.
Keeping a wrought iron fence clean not only increases its longevity by removing dirt and other caked on debris, but it also keeps it looking great.
There are several ways to clean wrought iron. You can use water and dish soap, implementing a toothbrush for those hard-to-reach nooks and crannies, then rinse the soap away with a hose before the soap is allowed to dry. Or, you can concoct a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water.
Once your fence is clean, let it dry completely and add a protective coat of wax or paint.
Remove Rust as Needed
If your iron fence is older and you've recently discovered rust in multiple spots, rest assured that it's fairly easy to remove. Using a wire brush or piece of sandpaper, you can file away problem areas. Or, consider using phosphoric acid. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions, and wear gloves for protection.
Once the rust is removed, follow the tips for rust prevention by applying wax, paint, or a sealant.
Inspect for Loose Footings Regularly
Over time, your fence might become loose or unstable in spots. It's important to fix these to keep the problem from getting worse as well as preventing injury.
The first thing to do is wiggle the post and make sure it's just loose and not broken. Examine the ground where the post is installed to be sure there aren't broken pieces as well. Next, dig away a small area around the perimeter of the post—usually several inches are all that's required—and stabilize it with your favorite quick-set concrete.
Repair Bent Areas
Bent iron fences are more susceptible to damage from winds and storms, and if not addressed, it can compromise the rest of your fence. So be sure to fix it as soon as possible.
Doing this can be a little tricky. You can try gently hammering it back into position. Or, if you have a blow torch and are skilled at using it, you can heat up the bent section and then hammer back into place. If neither of these are an option, you'll need to call in a professional to handle the repair or to replace that section altogether.
Contact a company like Security Fence to learn more.