When choosing a fence, it is important to consider durability as well as looks so it would have a lovely appeal and last as much as possible. An iron fence will be as good as new for several decades and look quite elegant and trustworthy. Its only problem is rust, which you cannot avoid, but maintaining your fence from time can help you protect it. With this in mind, here are a couple of things you should know about it.
Maintaining a fence demands proper ground work and preparation – first off, you have to completely clean the area and remove vines stuck in it and all additional weeds and grass spreading all around. After that, protect the surrounding vegetation using tarps and you are ready for work!
Using a fine wire brush – be sure it is as soft as possible and stay away from heavy corded wire that is guaranteed to do more harm than good – start removing the rust from the fence. This might take some time, but try to do precisely because it will be the base for further work. Having completed that, clean the fence with a mixture of detergent and water, rinse it and give it time to dry.
Once the preparation stage is done, you can move on to the real work – applying converters and chemicals that actually make your fence look nicer and stay durable for a longer period of time. When applying a rust converter to the affected areas, make sure you follow the safety instructions and protect your hands and face by wearing gloves and a mask. Try to use acid-based converters that have phosphor and tannin as its sources because they are the most applicable and appropriate choices.
Your next step is a coat of primer: among many options, pick an oil-based one specifically made for metal and iron. Do not apply too much of it – a thin layer will be sufficient – but make sure you let it dry completely. When performing this, try to help yourself as much as you can – instead of using brush-on application, pick a primer that is in a spray. This way will be much easier and quicker, but also more efficient.
A final layer of metal paint is needed after a coat of primer in order to keep the previous work worth something. When faced with the variety of options in their local hardware stores, most people steer towards oil-based paint as the most sensible choice when considering longevity and quality of the paint job.
Also, when choosing a color, try to think about the design of your front yard, the style of your house and the message you want to emit with it – not all fences have to be painted in dull black, white or gray shades, so opting for slightly unusual colors with long tradition, like lively blue, light bronze, earthy red, lead color, or even more extravagant options like Prussian blue and Venetian red, will transform your fence and, consequently, your house, into something quite special.
Fences should be cleaned twice a year first by using soap and water and then with covered in a layer of metal-grade wax which will protect it against water, moisture and vegetation. Also, the same treatment should be applied to hinges: grease them annually or, if necessary, even more often, and thus avoid the annoying squeaking sound and prevent dryness. In the end, when it comes to broken or damaged parts, each piece of an iron fence – from fasteners and hinges to bars and post spikes – can be replaced with another one, thus ensuring even more durability.