If you’re investing in new door hinges, you definitely want them to last a long time. The main problems that lead to their deterioration are rust and corrosion. Additionally, rust doesn’t look good, and it can even be a health hazard. This is why you may be wondering how to stop door hinges from rusting.
But what is rust? In short, rust is an iron oxide that forms on metal surfaces. It’s orange or brown in color, and it’s a highly destructive corrosion type. For metal to rust, it has to contain iron and to be exposed to elements, such as air, water, acids, or harsh chemicals.
Although small amounts of rust aren’t dangerous, if the corrosion spreads it can cause health problems. If you have young children, they may try to eat rust particles while playing. This can lead to health problems. Additionally, iron oxide can cause lung issues if inhaled for a prolonged time.
Now that you’ve become acquainted with the dangers of rusting and corrosion, you may wonder what you can do to prevent it from appearing. If you want to prevent your door hinges from rusting, here’s what you should do:
1. Prevent Scratches
Scratches and cracks can aid corrosion in two ways. Firstly, they expose more metal to the elements. Secondly, water tends to pool in the cracks, which means those cracks will have a higher tendency to rust. If you want to preserve your door hinges, keep this in mind while you’re installing and handling them.
When shopping for door hinges, make sure they are made of cold-rolled steel, as opposed to hot-rolled one. Cold-rolled steel is more resistant to corrosion. Due to its smooth surface, cold-rolled steel has lower tendency to collect water, thus it’s much more resistant to rust. And lastly, pay attention not to scratch the door hinges while closing and opening the doors.
2. Keep the Hinges Dry and Clean
If you want to ensure your hinges remain rust-free for a long time, the number one thing you should do is keep them dry and clean. Water is your enemy when it comes to rust. This is because the oxygen in water combines with the iron in the metal, creating iron oxide.
Other compounds can also speed up the corrosion process. These include any harsh chemicals, acids, or salts. It’s important to clean your hinges regularly to prevent the buildup of dirt and these compounds.
Pay close attention to door hinges on your front door, especially if you live in an area with lots of rain or snow. Snow is just frozen water, and it can cause rust on your front door hinges if you don’t clean it off properly.
3. Use Door Hinges Made of Galvanized Metal
Galvanization is the process of coating a piece of steel with zinc. Zinc is beneficial because it protects the steel in several ways:
- It acts as a barrier between the steel and the external elements that can cause corrosion
- If you scratch the steel, the zinc will protect the scratched area from rust
- Zinc reacts to oxygen by forming zinc oxide, which protects the steel and prevents the forming of iron oxide
By using galvanized metal, you will surely prolong the life of your door hinges. This means that you’re going to spend less money on repairs in the long run. Galvanized steel also costs less than stainless steel, so it’s a great choice for those on a budget.
4. Use Stainless Steel Door Hinges
Stainless steel is, by far, the best choice if you want to prevent rust. While stainless steel still contains iron, it also has a high percentage of chromium, a highly reactive element. It oxidizes much more quickly than iron, and it creates a protective coating on the surface of the metal.
There are plenty of stainless steel door hinges to choose from. You can go for a long, continuous hinge, or you can choose smaller hinges. If you’re not sure what type of hinge is right for you, you can check out this guide on different types of door hinges. No matter what you choose, you can be certain stainless steel won’t rust and corrode for a long time.
5. Apply a Protective Coating
Protective coatings are usually made out of sodium hydroxide, potassium nitrate, and water. If you dip metal objects into this solution, it creates a protective coating. Which provides strong protection from rust and corrosion.
Luckily, nowadays you don’t have to dip the metals into the solution and expose yourself to harsh chemicals. You can find plenty of commercially available protective coatings. These come in the form of aerosol sprays or wipes, and they’re easy to apply. You can use them on any metal you want to protect, including parts of your doors and windows, and your door hinges.
6. If Rust Does Appear, Act Quickly
Pay close attention to your door hinges. You should frequently check if any rust has formed on them. Because rust spreads quickly, it’s always better to catch and remove it early. If you leave it unattended, it can quickly corrode the whole hinge, which will leave you with no choice but to throw it away and buy a new one.
If you notice rust forming on your hinges, you will need to remove it before it spreads any further. Unscrew your door hinge and scrape off as much of the rust as you can. After that, you should scrub your door hinge with warm water and soap. Once you’re sure you’ve removed all traces of rust, apply a protective coating, so the hinge can’t start corroding again.
If you have a severely rusted hinge, you may not be able to clean it only with soap and water. This video is a helpful guide on how to clean heavily corroded door hinges with ease.
The process of rust prevention begins while shopping for hinges. You can minimize the rusting process by opting for stainless steel or galvanized hinges. For additional protection, apply a protective spray and treat your door hinges with care. However, if rust does appear, be sure to remove it quickly, to prevent further deterioration.