Wrought iron fences are tough and can really endure the test of time; however, they are not indestructible. These fences do require a certain amount of care to keep them looking great and performing well. Maintain your wrought iron fencing in just a few steps to keep it looking beautiful year in and year out and prevent the damage that can happen if neglected.
Inspect Wrought Iron Fences Regularly
As with all other fencing installations, the key to good maintenance and making sure wrought iron fencing lasts for generations is performing regular inspections. Iron is durable and long-lived; however, it’s not corrosion-resistant. Other than physical damage to structures, rust is the biggest threat to iron fences.
Prevent damage from corrosion by doing a thorough inspection of the entire fence line at least once per year. Pay particular attention to weld points, hinges, hardware, and footings while looking for surface rust, loose components, cracks, and other damage that needs repairing.
Keep Wrought Iron Fencing Clean and Well Protected
The best way to prevent the corrosion of metal fences is by keeping it clean, free of vegetation, and properly maintaining the finish:
- Trim back all grass and weeds, especially prickly bushes and plants with thorns to prevent contact with the fence. Both moisture and scratches in the finish will increase the chance that the structure could start to rust underneath.
- Wash wrought iron fences with mild soap every six months or so to remove dirt, salt, minerals, and other deposits that can collect on the finish and corrode it.
- An occasional application of car wax or spray water repellent will help to prevent moisture damage over the years. Keep wrought iron fencing protected with a coat of rust-inhibiting paint.
- If the current coat of paint is beginning to come off, consider having all the old paint removed and applying a new coat. You can reduce this maintenance and the possibility of water damage considerably if you purchase a fence that has been powder coated during manufacturing.
- Protect hinges and other moving hardware by greasing regularly.
Repair Damage to Iron Fences as Quickly as Possible
When you notice rust or other damage to iron fences, it’s important to make repairs promptly to prevent corrosion or keep it from spreading. Scrub off any rust with a fine wire brush or make other repairs first, finishing with a wash in nonionic detergent.
After the fence has completely dried, apply a coat or two of oil-based metal primer and let this dry completely. Next, apply a coat of oil-based metal paint or use touch-up paint that may be available from the fence manufacturer. If you need more extensive repairs, call a service experienced with metal fences so you get a professional repair, Don't leave the structure at risk for corrosion due to the effects of moisture.
Typically, wrought iron fencing requires very little in the way of maintenance other than keeping it clean and well protected from the damage that can come from prolonged exposure to moisture. Owners who spend a little time each year providing this minimal care can help make sure their iron fences last indefinitely!