Metal fencing is one of the most popular types available, due to its durability and beauty. Galvanized steel and wrought iron fences are especially strong, and they offer a classic look. But they do require maintenance and upkeep to ensure they last a lifetime.
Corrosion in metals impacts its strength as well as its aesthetics. It can cause the fence to fracture and even collapse.
If you are looking to replace a wrought iron fence in Boise, there are a few things to consider. The information below will give you an idea of what causes corrosion in metal. It will also tell you how you can avoid it and why a galvanized steel or wrought iron fence is one of the best choices for doing so.
What Causes Corrosion?
Corrosion is the deterioration of a material resulting from chemical reactions between it and the environment. Different agents, including air and water, can trigger it. There are many different types of corrosion.
Rust is a type of corrosion particular to metals that contain iron, including wrought iron and steel. When metal comes into contact with oxygen, an oxide layer forms on the surface of the metal.
Uniform corrosion is the most common type of corrosion. It attacks the entire surface of a metal exposed to the corroding agent. Over time, it causes the metal to lose thickness and eventually dissolve.
As the name suggests, bimetallic corrosion occurs when two different metals come into direct contact with each other. Usually, one metal deteriorates while the other remains unaffected.
Crevice corrosion is a localized corrosion that occurs in gaps or crevices on the surface of a metal. It often results from the accumulation of dirt, mud, or water in the area. This leads to electrochemical reactions that break down external layers in the surrounding metal.
Pitting corrosion is another localized type of corrosion. It often occurs in areas where the metal’s protective film has worn away or the result of poor coating. Because it is in a particular area, the corrosion can move through the metal’s thickness very quickly, causing a lot of damage.
Stress corrosion cracking involves fine cracks forming on the metal’s surface. It is often the result of stresses on the metal. This type of corrosion can be insidious since the damage to the metal can be overlooked until it fails altogether.
There are other types of corrosion in metals, but most of them do not impact fencing products.
How Weather Affects Different Metal Fences
A fence is outdoors all the time. It must endure precipitation and shifts in temperatures. Outside conditions affect different metals in distinct ways.
Iron does rust and can do so pretty quickly. When it does, the color changes and it can even expand. Rust will, over time, flake off of the iron, which exposes the metal underneath to further corrosion.
Steel fencing, which contains iron, is one of the most common types of fencing, especially on commercial properties and around swimming pools. Most steel fencing is galvanized and coated to prevent rust. This makes it one of the strongest, longest-lasting options available today.
Technically, aluminum does not rust, but it can corrode in other ways. When aluminum comes into contact with oxygen, the oxide layer that forms protects it. The layer is hard, transparent, and–unlike rust–can be difficult to remove.
In short, oxidation is not an issue with aluminum. But it can corrode over time.
If you are putting up wrought iron fencing in Boise, ID, you have to worry about the weather. Winter temperatures are often freezing and can even dip below zero, which can speed the corrosive process.
Why Choose Iron Fencing?
Iron is by far the heaviest metal fencing material available. This makes it difficult to install, but the benefit is extreme durability and longevity.
Another advantage of iron is that it has a timeless look. It can accommodate classical and modern homes alike. And it can be formed into intricate designs and patterns, which contributes to its beauty.
If you are choosing between wrought iron and steel, durability and maintenance are two things to consider. The galvanization process, where steel is dipped into zinc or another coating, gives it extra protection. If you are looking for a fence that stands the test of time, galvanized steel is hard to beat.
Steel and Wrought Iron Fencing Maintenance
Your Boise wrought iron fence will require some upkeep. The good news is that occasional attention keeps the fencing in perfect shape. It also mitigates all the potential threats associated with corrosion.
One of the easiest things you can do is inspect your fence. Keep an out for signs of corrosion, particularly in some of the problematic areas described above. This goes for wrought iron as well as steel.
Also, look for gaps in the external seal or places where it has worn away. This is especially true for a steel or wrought iron fence in Boise, where there is frequent snow and extreme temperatures.
Another easy thing to do to increase the lifespan of your fence is to keep it clean. Besides mud and pollen, bird droppings and salt from snow machines can exacerbate corrosion.
You don’t need anything special to keep your steel or wrought iron fence looking like new, only some soap and water. Do be sure to use soap that is safe to use on paint.
Finally, if you see the paint on your fence chipping, flaking, bubbling, or otherwise deteriorating, you are exposing the metal to the elements. If you are only touching up certain areas, sand them down with a wire brush and add a coat of primary.
It’s also a good idea to add two layers of paint to the fence. Also, you may consider putting on a final coat of clear weather seal, for an additional layer of protection.
Find Installers for Your Steel or Wrought Iron Fence in Boise, Idaho
Now that you have an idea of what to look for when replacing or putting in a new galvanized steel or wrought iron fence in Boise, ID, you can determine the best course of action for your property. With proper planning, you will have a fence that can protect your property and look great too.
Since 1994, Butte Fence has been one of the most trusted fence installers in the state. We have one of the largest in-stock fencing inventories and pride ourselves on quality products and services. If you are looking to install a steel or wrought iron fence in Boise, reach out to us for a free quote and consultation.