How to Remove Rust from Siding
When you think of rust, you may think of many different things. Rust affects our tools causing them to be dangerous to use or ineffective. Rust might appear on your bike chain, rendering it difficult to use. Rust on your car might cause damage to the body or require an expensive paint job. These are common examples of rust on our possessions. But really, rust can occur on any steel or iron surface that is exposed to moisture. Unfortunately, your home and its surfaces are no exception. Pipes, gutters, window frames, and more can all start to rust over time. In addition, you may start to notice rust stains on your home’s siding or roof over time. Rust or rust stains on any of these surfaces can cause damage to your home and lessen your home’s curb appeal and value. But how exactly does rust get there in the first place?
How Does Rust Form?
Rust can occur on any steel or iron surface that is exposed to water and oxygen. Rust is the result of a chemical reaction between the surface of the metal and the water and oxygen. Explaining the chemistry can be a little complicated, so as exterior cleaning professionals we prefer to keep it simple. Essentially what happens is that water and oxygen interact with the surface of the metal, exchanging electrons (the smallest parts of an atom and which contain a negative charge) and this process alters the state of the metal. What results is what we know as rust. This process is also called corrosion. Corrosion can occur at any rate — it completely depends on the environment. If you live in a dryer climate, you may have less rust problems due to the lack of moisture in the air. If you live in a wetter climate, rust may be a problem that you are all too familiar with.
Rust Causes Problems on Various Surfaces
The result of rust on a surface can mean countless hours and dollars trying to repair it or even the need for complete replacement. Rust ruins our tools, bikes, cars, and can cause ugly stains as well. Rust may even send you to the hospital if you are not careful. Cutting yourself on a rusty object puts you at risk of developing a bacterial infection called tetanus. Remember getting your tetanus shot? That was all necessary due to pesky rust. Rust can be very problematic. Not only does it cause objects to not work, break, or become visually unappealing, but it also poses a threat if not taken seriously.
How to Prevent Rust
The easiest way to prevent rust on any surface is by storing it properly. Remember, rust forms when iron or steel is exposed to water and oxygen. Thus, the best way to prevent rust is to store your possessions in dry places with minimal exposure to water. Sealing objects away from the elements completely is ideal, but not always practical. When possible, bring items that you wish not to rust inside. If storing an item indoors isn’t an option, covering objects can also help. By covering your bike, car, or other possession, you limit its exposure to water, making it harder for rust to develop. Paint is also a great way to keep rust from developing. Fresh coats of paint will provide an effective barrier against the elements and keep your possessions looking good and rust-free. Storing your objects away and keeping paint fresh are great ways to prevent rust, but these methods aren’t always an option when it comes to larger things like your home.
How to Remove Rust from Siding
Of all the surfaces that can rust, one of the most annoying is the siding of your home. Organic growth such as mold or mildew on your siding is more easily taken care of with house washing through low pressure, but rust stains require much more. Rust stains can form on the siding of your home from leaky pipes, hard water exposure, a leaking HVAC unit, and more. Rust stains on the side of your home can make it appear dilapidated and old, ruining your overall curb appeal. Rust stains can even damage your home if left for too long! Thankfully, there are some tried and true ways to get the rust off of your home’s siding. We recommend following the steps below to remove rust from your home’s siding:
- Gather your materials! To take care of rust stains yourself, you’ll need a few things: white vinegar, baking soda, warm water, a bucket, and a scrubbing tool. A microfiber cloth can work for mild rust stains, but for tougher stains, you’ll likely want a bristle brush. Just be sure not to choose something too abrasive or you’ll risk damaging your siding.
- Wear personal protective equipment. Having glasses, gloves, and boots on is always a good idea when it comes to cleaning the exterior of your home.
Mix up your cleaning solution. Use ½ cup white vinegar, ¼ cup baking soda, and 1 gallon of warm water. Do not substitute any other vinegar. A colored vinegar could discolor your home.
- Apply the cleaning solution. After application, let it sit and soak in for a few minutes.
- Rinse off with soap and water. Any dish soap should work. For larger areas, you may want to consider renting a pressure washer.
- Repeat as needed.
Though white vinegar, baking soda, water, and a brush may work for mild rust stains, they may not work on tougher stains. It may not also be ideal if you’re tackling a larger stain or if the rust stain on your home’s siding is high up. In any of these instances, we recommend calling an exterior cleaning specialist such as Dr. Powerwash.
Rust Removal Professionals
Our rust removal professionals are trained to handle any size rust stain on any spot of your home. We use the strongest and toughest cleaning products on the market to make sure your home looks brand new when we are done. We also have the equipment to safely navigate homes or businesses with multiple stories, and our pressure washers can deliver the exact pressure needed to get your home or building clean without any damage to the surface or paint. Give us a call at 434-207-6783 or fill out our online form today for a rust removal quote!