Living near the coast can be a wonderful experience – that fresh sea air, the daily opportunities to swim, surf, sail or simply sunbathe, and seafood straight from the source. After a gloriously sunny day at the beach, returning home to see a rusting iron gate, door or lock however, can be disheartening. You didn’t experience these issues when you lived inland, so what’s going on? We take a look at why iron rusts in coastal cities, why using stainless steel is a better bet and what you can do to maintain your outside furniture.
Why Does Iron Rust In Coastal Cities?
Due to the sea, the surrounding air contains more moisture, sodium chloride and salt content. The latter dissolves into the moisture, which itself has increased levels of water vapour and oxygen. When this comes into contact with iron, iron oxide forms, speeding up the rusting process. How quickly your iron furniture rusts also depends on factors such as temperature, wind direction, humidity, rainfall and your house’s distance from the sea.
So, Why Doesn’t Stainless Steel Rust?
Stainless Steel is made up of protective elements, including chromium, silicon and manganese. When they react with oxygen or moisture, the chromium corrodes, but unlike iron doesn’t break down. The elements then create a thin barrier that prevents further rust by reducing the amount of oxygen and water that can reach the surface.
Due to its resilience, stainless steel locks, doors and gates will fare better in coastal locations than its iron counterparts.
What You Can Do If Your Home Is Suffering From Rust?
Though it is possible to remove rust, using both home-made and chemical solutions, it is a continuous and sometimes strenuous process that requires persistence. If the rust has gone straight through the metal, the object will need replacing.
We suggest the following materials:
- Doors, Locks and Gates: Stainless steel or pewter.
- Windows: Fibreglass framed doors and windows, with stainless steel fasteners for added protection.
- Sliding Glass Doors: Stainless steel rollers.
Preventing Iron From Rusting In The First Place.
Though it’s impossible to stop iron from rusting, you can slow the process down. Rubbing alcohol on the bare spots and painting over them will help, as will scrubbing away dirt with liquid soap.
We offer a range of stainless steel and pewter ironmongery that can make your coastal home survive the wrath of rust. Check out our product range here.