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Properly Prepared Metal Guardrails Should Not Be Rusting In One Year

Properly prepared metal guardrails should not be rusting in one year.

The one year inspection is a very important one as it is the last time a home buyer can have things reworked or repaired or replaced under warranty.

This expensive home had lovely guardrails on the front porch and front stairs.  They were made of heavy, solid steel, welded and fitted together.

Why not protect that beauty from the start with good priming and two coats of paint? 

A well-prepared and well-painted metal guardrail should last a long time without rusting.

Corrosion happens!  And it happens quickly.  If this rail is already rusting one can conclude that it was not prepared, or painted, properly.  Rust is literally eating the metal.

>  What causes rust?  Water and air.

>  What metals rust the quickest?  Magnesium, zinc, aluminum and steel.

>  What is the best way to protect a steel guardrail?  With a rust inhibiting primer, and two coats of good exterior paint.

Metal is inherently unstable, and once refined is trying to get back to its original state, which is stable.  Active metals, like those listed above react more quickly to air and water and corrode (rust) sooner.  The more stable metals which take longer to corrode include titanium, silver, gold and platinum, but you already knew that.

Paint chemists know how to prolong the inherent corrosion of metal by putting rust inhibitors in the primer or paint.  Zinc is a great rust-inhibiting pigment which, when put into primers, chemically alters the metal surface to corrode less easily.

READ THE LABEL!  If the label does not say that the primer contains rust inhibitors, get another one!  Builders should hire subs who know this.  AND OIL-BASED PRIMERS ARE THE BEST SUBSURFACE FOR THE PAINT TO FOLLOW.  I could feel the paint on the guardrail above and know it was not oil based.

My recommendation:  done right things last.  Not done right things do not.  And rust kills quickly!  It will attack metal guardrails like the one in the photo, particularly at the base where it enters the concrete porch or stairs below.  Remember, a rust-inhibiting primer and two coats of good paint and you are good to go, for a long time!

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 22 commentsJay Markanich • October 15 2016 03:01AM

Comments

I agree. If done right, it shouldn't be rusting this soon.

Posted by MichelleCherie Carr Crowe Just Call...408-252-8900, Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years (Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty) almost 4 years ago

This is an important reminder for people to get their home professionally inspected before the 1-year mark.  And yeah!  It's so much easier to just do it right the first time!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) almost 4 years ago

Good morning Jay. Just as much labor involved to do it right as there is in the short-cut in the long run, maybe less! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) almost 4 years ago

Jay Markanich Painting with standard paints should not have been the choice, but powder coating should have been required. It will be interesting to see how this is resolved.

Posted by Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI, Presence, Persistence & Perseverance (HomeSmart Realty West & Lend Smart Mortgage, Llc.) almost 4 years ago

Read the label? You are talking about those 7-11 sub contractors right? 

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) almost 4 years ago

Air and water are life's essentials but for metals they can be the source of faiure.  Oxidation can and will occur on any metal that is not properly protected

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) almost 4 years ago

Michelle - the listing agent told me she brought this up with the builder who told her it was normal and okay!  Ummm...

Pat - some one year inspections need to be done before the 11th month!   Beware.

Wayne - and such a pretty rail.  Too bad it was mistreated.

S&N - I will not find out!  My client backed out of the deal due to other reasons.

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Fred - scholars every one.  And 7-11 Construction is very prevalent around here.

Ed - word!  Then he folds his arms across his chest, grunts HUH and says, "I'm done."

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Hi, Jay!  I included this post in today's Last Week's Favorites on ActiveRain.  Thanks for writing it, and I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) almost 4 years ago

Thanks Pat!  That was an informational blog, with lots of information.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Nice inclusion in Pat's weekend update.  Seems like a piss poor paint job.  

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED (RETIRED / State License is Inactive) almost 4 years ago

Carla - a one coat slop job!  With the wrong paint, to boot!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Looks like a builder grade job.  So many metal railings in our neighborhood are rusting.  Now I know why.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) almost 4 years ago

Water and air, Chris Ann, water and air.

Plus a lousy paint job...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Airborne Salinity or salt can accelerate the corrossion.  Sailors scrub deck carefully and apply rust inhibitor and coats of sealed paint will last way longer. 

Posted by Sam Shueh, mba, cdpe, reopro, pe ( (408) 425-1601) almost 4 years ago

Good evening Jay Markanich ,

So glad Patricia Kennedy selected your post in her "Ah-ha" moments for the week. I missed this post and learned something! Thanks!!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) almost 4 years ago

Thanks for the information.  I see a lot of rusting handrails when I am out showing homes.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) almost 4 years ago

Jay Markanich indeed, it's a bit too quick for rusting to start. Thanks for sharing simple solution to that problem.

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) almost 4 years ago

Yes, things done correctly will last a lot longer than those done cheaply. 

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty) almost 4 years ago

Sam - military vessels are painted with multiple coats of lead-based paint which is extremely anti-oxidant.

Dorie - I try to make my posts very informative, and hopefully they all are!

Joan - hopefully they aren't all one year old!

Praful - if people would read the labels when they purchase and apply paints they would have the solutions provided by the manufacturers!

Kat - treated right most things last longer - appliances, motors and mechanisms, chemisty and human bodies!

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

This sort of issue really becomes a big problem along our coastline because of all the moisture and salt air. Homeowners can learn alot from this post, Jay! Thanks!

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California) almost 4 years ago

Salt increases the instability of unstable metals, Jeff, making them oxidize quicker.  No really, it's true!

I know you know that...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

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