Do Barndominiums Rust? How to Remove and Prevent

Do Barndominiums Rust
Do Barndominiums Rust

Barndominiums (or barndos) are buildings and homes that were created from regular barn structures. Today, barndominiums have evolved into luxury homes and vacation rentals in upscale rural areas, due to their unique yet classy style. Most barndominiums are made out of steel as they are far more durable than wooden barndos.

Yes, steel barndominiums are prone to rust when they are not regularly maintained over time. Barndominiums that have been exposed to corrosion can be treated with chemicals and other rust removing procedures. However, they must undergo preventive measures to stop rust from forming again.

Metal buildings are constantly exposed to oxygen and moisture. It is important to not leave the building unchecked as corrosion can quickly accelerate once it begins to take place. In this article, you will learn about the reasons rust affects barndominiums, how to remove rust once it has formed, and finally, how to protect your barndominium from corrosion in the future. Let’s dive in!

Why Do Barndominiums Rust?

In order to know how to remove and prevent rust from your barndominium, you must first understand why corrosion occurs, and what scenarios increase the chances of rust formation on a building. Let’s look at a few of the most common contributors and types of corrosion on metal and steel buildings.

Dirt and Bacteria Cause Rust

The outside of the barndominium is definitely going to have dirt and bacteria on it which will need to be cleaned off every once in a while. The most common cause of rusting in metal buildings is when mud and dirt from around the house accumulate itself on the metal panels near the ground.

Mud causes rust on metal as it has air and water (and sometimes salt) which causes corrosion. In addition to this, certain soils are acidic in nature and will immediately react with metal. 

In simple terms, any kind of mud or dirt will have a certain water content, causing the metal to rust. For this reason, people who own metal buildings need to give special attention to keeping their homes clean and dirt free on the outside.

Prolonged Moisture and Rain can Lead to Rust

Rust is the result of corroding steel after the iron particles have been exposed to oxygen and moisture. When steel is exposed to water, it loses its iron particles due to the acidic electrolytes in the water. This causes the iron particles to then oxidize and form rust and corrosion.

Even though steel that is used in buildings are galvanized and rust-resistant, prolonged exposure to moisture (humidity, vapor) and rain or flood water can result in faster corrosion.

Atmospheric Corrosion

Atmospheric corrosion is one of the major contributors to corrosion in metal buildings. Outdoor atmospheric corrosion typically occurs when the metal surface becomes wet with moisture and is aggravated by chloride deposition and sulfur dioxide absorption. 

Chlorides generally occur due to the application of road deicing salt, while sulfur dioxide originates from fossil fuel combustion, especially coal. Other industrial pollutants also contribute to the corrosion of metal in homes.

Crevice Corrosion

This type of corrosion is extremely common in all-metal buildings and is something you’ll have to constantly have an eye out for. Crevice corrosion is associated with crevices and usually forms around a fastener, washer, or joint. It also occurs in corners where water may have collected and stagnated for a while. 

Since metal buildings have joints that are connected through fasteners and screws, it is important to make sure that moisture does not cause rusting in these areas. 

Scratches and Surface Damage

Though this aspect is often overlooked in buildings, scratches and cracks in metal buildings remove the protective coating of the metal and expose it to air and water. This can be avoided by regular inspections of the surface of the building. 

Deep scratches are more dangerous than surface-level damage, so you will have to deal with that immediately to prevent it from spreading. 

How to Remove Rust From Metal Barndominiums

If a metal barndominium has not been well maintained for a while, it can result in surface corrosion. But don’t be dismayed, as you can still rectify this and make your barndo rust-free again!

Let’s take a look at some tried and tested methods that remove rust from metal buildings.

Rust Removing Chemicals

If the rusted area is only on the surface, removing it will be quite easy. There are a vast number of rust removing chemicals in the market, so it wouldn’t be too hard to find one that works great on metal buildings.

Rust removing chemicals come in powders, gels, and sprays, so you can invest in any one of these. Typically, powders are used on heavily corroded surfaces while sprays and gels work great for mild corrosion. 

If you are unsure about which rust remover to buy, I recommend checking out one of the most popular rust cleaners on Amazon, Iron OUT Powder Rust Stain Remover. This chemical remover can remove rust stains from any surface. Additionally, it is quite strong and is in the form of a powder. This cleaner works by converting rust and iron into a soluble state, after which they can be easily cleaned off without needing to be scrubbed.

How to use: 

  1. Mix the powder with some water to form a thick paste. 
  2. Apply and leave this mixture on the area. 
  3. If the stains are only on the surface, you can wash the paste and the rust off. But if the stains are persistent, you will have to scour the surface of the building before you wash it off. 

Also, remember that you will not have to use chemical removers if the corrosion damage is minimal. You can simply scrub off the rust using an abrasive scrubber and vinegar, which is acidic in nature and can remove rust. Do remember that the surface will have to be painted with a protective coating once you finish removing the rust. 

How to Prevent Rust From Corroding Barndominiums

Fortunately, there are ways to prevent rust from recurring on your metal walls. This step is very important, as it not only prevents rust but also protects areas that have already been corroded before. Let’s go through these methods in detail below!

  • Use rust-inhibiting primer and paint on the metal walls once you’ve removed the rust from the surface. 
  • Regularly coat the surface with an anti-corrosion protective coating, as this will prevent contact between the metal surface and the harsh elements in the environment that contribute to corrosion. 
  • Make sure the metal surfaces are dry and clean. Do not let mud or mildew settle on the surface. When heavy rains occur, be sure to check for stagnating water on the metal roof. For this reason, rain drains must be kept clean to avoid water collecting. 
  • Prevent scratches and cracks that expose the metal substrate to air and water.
  • Use rustproof screws and fasteners, as cheap fasteners promote rust on metal buildings.

The Takeaway

Yes, metal barndominiums can rust if left unmaintained for long periods of time. However, with proper care and protective measures, rust can be removed and prevented from affecting the metal surfaces. Here is a summary of the types of corrosion you should look out for.

  • Mud, dirt, and mildew cause metal degradation.
  • Moisture and stagnating water.
  • Atmospheric corrosion due to environmental pollutants.
  • Crevice corrosion and cheap fasteners.
  • Scratches and surface damage that remove the protective coating and expose the metal to air and moisture.