Wrought-iron style fencing can last a lifetime or longer, since it is both durable and attractive. The key is to prevent weather damage, which can occur during wet or icy conditions. The following tips can help you prevent unnecessary weathering so that the iron ornamental fence stays in great condition.
Tip #1: Fix paint damage quickly
Iron fencing depends upon its paint to protect the metal from rust. Rust occurs on iron when bare metal is exposed to oxygen and water. This is the main reason why the fencing is kept painted. Most iron fencing is painted black or white, but you can paint yours any color you desire as long as you can find an outdoor metal paint in the color desired. Check the fence over for scratches or crumbling paint monthly and apply the touch up paint immediately if damage is found.
Tip #2: Watch for rust
Rust is only going to occur where there is exposed metal. If you act quickly, you can usually touch up the paint before rust occurs. If there is already a hint of rust, get out some steel wool. Scrub the rusty spot thoroughly with the steel wool until all signs of rust are gone. Only when the rust is gone can you safely repaint the fence.
Tip #3: Scrape and repaint when needed
Eventually the paint on a wrought iron fence will begin flaking more quickly than you can realistically touch up the damage. When this occurs, it is time to repaint. Scrub down the entire fence with a wire brush to remove the flaking paint and any beginnings of rust. Then, repaint the entire fence in the color of choice.
Tip #4: Keep it clean in winter
Salt can increase the rust danger on an iron fence. Salt is most commonly used to melt ice on paved areas near fences during winter storms. As soon as the temperatures warm after a storm, rinse off the fence with water to remove any salt residue on the metal. This will prevent it from eating through the paint or causing the iron to rust.
Tip #5: Watch for bent fencing
Wind can bring down branches and other debris, which if large enough, they may bend the fence. If the fence isn't creased, you may be able to bend the area back. If the fence has creased or broken, then it will be impossible to straighten it completely. The creased or broken area will also be more prone to rust. You can have the damaged section cut out and a new section welded into place. If you are willing to live with the damage, quickly scrub off any rust and apply a fresh coat of protective paint to any exposed iron.
For more help, contact a fencing company in your area, such as City Wide Fence Co.