By DCS Industries LLC
When it comes to maintaining a self-storage facility, there’s a certain advantage to devoting time, attention and action toward mitigating the effects of wear and tear on the property. This is particularly true for the wrought-iron fence, which is an essential part of a facility’s security system. Maintenance is necessary to prevent decay and promote durability and beauty.
Following are several key ways to care for a wrought-iron fence throughout its lifetime and stave off inevitable deterioration. These tips will keep your fence looking better longer while safeguarding your investment.
Maintenance and Repairs
Washing your wrought-iron fence with warm soapy water at least once every few months is a great way to remove the buildup of dirt, grime and dust that comes with continued exposure to weather and the elements. If allowed to mount over time, this dirt can accumulate and cause damage to the fence, which can eventually lead to structural decay and visual eyesores. After washing, it’s important to thoroughly dry the iron with a clean towel to avoid rust.
It’s a good practice to inspect the fence regularly for any scratches or chips in the paint. If found, talk to a wrought-iron fence installer or professional metal worker about how to use touch-up paint to conceal any unsightly blemishes and, more important, to reseal the wrought iron against the possibility of rust. When rust is allowed to expand, it can degrade the functionality of the fence in ways that become irreparable.
As mentioned, keeping an eye out for rust spots is a critical step in prolonging the life of any fence. Not only are the spots unattractive, they can compromise strength and lead to the deterioration and weakening of the iron. If rust is spotted, simply scrape all rusted areas with steel wool to remove the surface material, then apply touch-up paint to prevent its return and help reseal the iron against the elements. Alternately, call a local professional to inspect any potential problem areas and prescribe the proper course of action, if necessary, including a repaint or refinish job.
Other tasks that may prolong the life of a wrought-iron fence are staying on top of simple repairs. This means replacing any missing fasteners or hardware to ensure the continued functionality of the fence and its integrity. Again, you may need to contact a professional to help with complicated or large repairs.
When it comes to repainting the entire fence, there are several options to consider. A complete refinish is recommended at least every two to three years to help weatherproof the iron and ensure structural and visual integrity. During that period, there will inevitably have been several touchups done, and a complete repaint can bring back all the color to a uniform tone.
Two of the most popular painting options are electrostatic painting (for immoveable items such as fencing) and powder-coating (for moveable items such as gates). Electrostatic painting is a process that uses negative and positive charges to adhere paint to metal surfaces. This pulls paint around corners and nooks to deliver a smooth and even coat without the risk of dripping or running paint and leaves a perfect finish.
The second option for repainting and refinishing worn wrought iron is a powder-coat finish. More durable than other conventional paints, powder-coating is designed to withstand chips, cracks, fading or peeling. Applied as a free-flowing polyester or epoxy powder that’s heated and sealed as a protective layer, powder-coating is an excellent way to protect and preserve any fence material. This technique may be used on many surfaces.
Caring for a wrought-iron fence can help prevent costly replacement of your long-term investment. Since these are custom products, it’s worthwhile to keep a keen eye on the condition of the iron and tackle any problems as soon as they arise. The same goes for gates.
Wrought-iron fences are beautiful and secure. However, they take ongoing upkeep and maintenance to function properly. If cared for correctly, these investments will last a lifetime and look great!
Since 2003, DCS Industries LLC has been installing and manufacturing high-quality, custom ironworks, including fencing and gates as well as energy-efficiency products for commercial and residential properties. The company manufactures all of its own ironworks, fencing and gates. For more information, visit www.dcs-ind.com.