Iron railings are commonly used on exterior stairs because of their beauty and durability. While these railings can last for years, some homeowners might make the error of assuming that their metal railing will not require maintenance, which can drastically shorten the lifespan of this part of the house. If you have recently purchased a home with this type of railing, it is important for you to use the following tips to help them avoid some routine problems.
Remove Any Moss Or Ivy That Start Growing
There are some homeowners that may enjoy the appearance of ivy and moss growing on their railings. However, these substances can pose a serious threat to metal railings because they can trap moisture. While these railings are often coated to protect them against corrosion, this protection can weaken over time. In particular, if the railing is subjected to prolonged exposure to moisture, these coating will break down and rust will start to form. To avoid this problem, you should regularly inspect the railing and remove any of these plants that may be growing. To help reduce the ability of moss to grow, you should consider trimming any tree branches or large bushes that provide shade because moss will struggle to grow in strong direct sunlight. While you may miss the look that these plants can give your home, this maintenance can drastically extend the lifespan of your railing.
Keep It Sealed Or Painted
In addition to removing any moss or ivy, you should also make it a point to apply a coat of sealant or weather resistant paint to the railing on a regular basis. These substances will provide an additional layer of protection against corrosion, but you will need to apply fresh coats of every couple of years. When applying a sealant or paint, you will need to make sure that you thoroughly clean the railing. If dirt or dust is left on the railing, it can prevent these substances from bonding to the railing.
Ensuring that you are getting the most from your home's iron railings will require you to understand some of the basic maintenance that you will need to do. By appreciating the damage that can be caused by moss and ivy as well as the benefits of painting and sealing the railing, you will be in a far better position for avoiding some of the more routine forms of damage that can force you to prematurely have to replace your metal railings. Contact a specialist, like those at Anvil Iron Works, Inc. or a similar location, for more help and information.