How to Keep Your Doors And Hardware Free From Rust

Doors and all their hardware are normally overlooked when most of us think about rust. It may not be the first thing on our minds, but rust is a serious issue when it comes to doors and hardware related to them. Rust has the capability to eat right through your exterior doors making replacing them mandatory. The silly thing of it all is that rust can be avoided if you properly care for your exterior doors and maintain them on a regular basis.

Rust: What Is It?

Rust is the oxide that forms when the open-air oxidation of iron takes place. Rusting is the general term used for the corrosion of iron and all of the alloys affiliated with it. There are some factors that contribute to the rate rust appears and eats away at your door at. Unfortunately, things like water, salt, heat, and the type of metal your door or frame is will contribute to a faster erosion process.

Keep an Eye On Your Paint Job

When the paint on your exterior doors begins chipping and rust appears, it is critical that you take action immediately. If you use a wire brush and rub at the rust you can remove most of it. A wire brush will work well, however, you can use any method you wish to remove the rust before you refresh the paint. Painting over the spot you brushed will help to prevent the rust from returning. For a sleek and polished look, you can repaint the entire door.

Additionally, you can use a rust primer for doors that are in damp areas (like basements) or if you live in a more humid environment. Rust primer is available at most hardware stores and comes in both paint and spray forms for easier application. Using this coating will help to seal the frame and keep rust out for the most part.

Ensure You Have a Drip Cap Installed

A drip cap is specially designed to prevent water from collecting on top of the door and creating rust. If the seal between the head and the wall is broken or damaged, a drip cap can help to avoid water damage. Most people are not aware of the benefits the average person gets from using a drip cap, but it is an essential part of the maintenance of your door and the hardware.

Get Rid of Adhesives

Most people do not realize that adhesive items cause more damage than they are worth. Kick plates, stickers, or any adhesive items are known to trap moisture between itself and the door. For instance, if you place an adhesive doorbell to your door, there may be some moisture build up between the doorbell and the door itself which can result in rust forming. If you screw the doorbell into the door, the holes you create in the door can potentially let water inside the door causing even more issues for you long term.

Metal Doors and The Wax Treatment

This may sound a little silly, but using metal wax on exterior door frame is a great idea to help prevent rust from forming. When you do your yearly spring cleaning, it is a good time to take a few minutes to add a thin layer of metal wax to the metal door frame. Metal wax is a great prevention method on all exterior door frames. If you have metal exterior doors, you may want to add a thin layer to the door itself as well to help prevent rust from building up.

Keep Your Exterior Doors and Hardware Free Of Dust

It is true that dust actually has an effect on the rust you end up with on your doors. Dust is like rust’s evil twin that likes to lure rust into an area that will make the home owner very unhappy. To avoid this unpleasant situation, you can dust your doors and frames when you do your regular dusting routines. When dusting the door frame, don’t forget to open the door and get the metal frame that is hidden behind the side of the door. Every piece of metal on your door and frame can end up full of rust (and they cost an arm and a leg to replace) so it is a good idea to keep up with your preventative measures and remove all dust before it becomes an issue.

Remove Rust

In order to ensure you have a beautiful rust-free home you should always be aware of the signs of forming rust. If you see rust starting to form, you should remove it immediately. Many people use razor blades or knives when removing rust as the sharp edge makes taking rust off easier. Warm water with soap can be used (after the majority of the rust is removed) to remove the remainder of the grime and dirt. After this point the above painting step should be followed.

Creating Your Own Rust Prevention Products

You can purchase many different rust prevention products from any hardware store; however, there are some of us that would prefer to make our own rust prevention products at home. This is possible, but it will take some time and effort on your part. The procedure used to create rust prevention products at home is not a complicated one; however, you should wear proper protection for your hands as you will be handling some harsh chemicals.

In order to make your own rust prevention products at home, you will want to combine one part Anhydrous Lanolin with five parts paint thinner. This mixture can be used with a paintbrush to paint on the solution, or you can simply dip pieces (like door knobs and door knockers) into the solution to coat it. You do not need a very thick layer, so use it sparingly.

Ensuring You Have a Rust Free Zone

Rust is often found initially in the nicks, chips, and cracks of your doors, frames, and hardware. If you catch it while it is still in the early stages, you can eliminate it before it becomes a large issue; however, as with most issues, if rust is left untreated it can lead to very expensive issues later on.

Regardless of what the common knowledge is on this topic, rust has a much harder time developing on waxed or greased metal. Ensure you are taking time out of your busy schedule to cover your door and/or frame with a thin layer of wax or grease to help avoid having rusty issues.

There are many different rust prevention products you can use. These products will vary depending on the type of product and the brand you purchase. There are even application wipes you can purchase that are surprisingly more common than most people would guess. The best part of using these products is that they are scientifically tested to ensure you receive a high quality product that will live up to your standards year after year. Some rust prevention products are preventative measures to ensure rust does not appear on the area. Other products are meant to slow down the rusting process or prevent it from getting any worse. Always ensure you read the labels of all products carefully before purchasing. If you are not sure which product would work best for you, it is a good idea to ask a professional for advice.

As stated above, it is always best to treat rust at the first signs of its appearance. Things like small bubbles, scratches, and minor imperfections may seem like they aren’t a big deal, but they can lead to larger issues. If rust is untreated it can lead to corrosion which will require the replacement of parts. Replacing parts can be quite costly, so prevention is a great way to save yourself some money. There may be a larger issue underneath if rust damage is visible; consequently, it should be treated immediately. Being diligent and working towards proactively removing and preventing rust is the best way to ensure a beautiful exterior while saving yourself a lot of hassle later on.


About Neb Aleksic

Neb grew up in the garage door business. Since joining Doorcare he has moved up in the ranks, and now oversees a team, in addition to Doorcare's marketing efforts. He is passionate about what he does, and enjoys the small things in life.
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