Tips to Care for Your Metal Hardscape Features
Having metal hardscape elements in your yard and adorning your landscape is a great way to improve your home’s curb appeal and show your unique style preferences. However, just like any other metal item that is exposed to the elements, maintenance will eventually be needed.
Don’t worry; maintaining your metal hardscape features isn’t as difficult as you may think. Keep reading for some tips to help you keep these elements looking great throughout the year.
The Basics of Caring for Outdoor Metal Items
Metal is considered one of the most durable materials to keep outdoors. In fact, it can last a lifetime if you care for it properly.
Usually, metal items designed for outdoor use are finished with a powder coating, varnish, or paint to help prevent rust development. If your metal hardscape elements are not coated or protected, you should add this yourself. It is a great first step in making these items longer lasting and more durable.
Cleaners and Soaps
Metal hardscape items can be cleaned using a mild, non-detergent soap, water, and a sponge or cloth. If you are going to wipe down your metal hardscape elements, be sure you dry them, too.
Never use an abrasive cleaner or scrubber, as these can scratch the finish and may expose the metal to moisture that leads to rust. If you are dealing with ingrained dirt, consider using a non-abrasive multi-purpose cleaner or window cleaner.
While you are cleaning your metal screens or art, watch for signs of rust and scratches. This is particularly important if the metal item has joints.
Be sure to apply touch-up paint to any scratches, which can help prevent rust development. If mold or rust is found, sand the area using fine-grit sandpaper and then apply a rust-proof touch-up paint.
Patina vs. Rust
Rust corrodes very slowly. Because of this, some people opt to embrace the patina of the rust instead of trying to get rid of it. This is up to you; however, eventually, rust can deteriorate metal significantly, so the item will eventually get to the point where it can no longer be used.
General Cleaning Tips for Metal Hardscape Elements
There are a few general tips you can use to care for metal hardscape features. These include:
- Start with a light cleaning to remove dust and dirt from the surface.
- Use a non-detergent liquid soap that won’t harm the surface.
- Get rid of tougher stains or dirt with white vinegar.
- Clean off bird droppings as soon as you notice them.
As you can see, keeping your metal hardscape elements in good, like-new condition isn’t quite as challenging as it may seem. With the tips and information here, you can keep your metal screens, art, and more looking great, no matter the weather outside.
Metal artwork and screens make a great addition to any outdoor space. While this is true, they require regular care to continue providing you the enjoyment that you hope to get from them.