Whether it’s indicative of an underlying structural fault or not, rust can cause unsightly orange stains on the outside of the building. It can leave streaks across your concrete, and if you’re not careful, it actually could indicate a deeper issue.

If you’re seeing rust stains, here’s what you need to know.

What causes rust stains

Rust is the product of the corrosion of iron and its alloys. It’s a natural consequence of the exposure of any of this metal to the elements, particularly water. And when that water runs or collects, it picks up the rust and leaves trails.

Rust stains on buildings often come from rainwater dripping down the side of a building. Tools left outside for a long time on concrete can leave traces of rust stains underneath too. And if reinforcement in concrete is too close to the surface or not treated correctly, it can cause rust stains too.

Removing rust stains

Commercially-available rust stain remover is easy to find at any hardware store. Cleaning rust is simple—just clean the surface of any dirt and loose material, follow the directions for whatever rust remover you’ve purchased, and rinse it down. Repeated applications may be necessary, but rust stains don’t tend to penetrate too badly.

Preventing rust stains

If you want to keep rust stains out of your concrete, the best way is to seal it. A professional can tell you what sealant will work best. A good sealant will not only keep out rust stains but other more insidious invaders, keeping your concrete from breaking down as quickly as it would naturally and avoiding staining from other sources.

Of course, it doesn’t do you much good if you don’t fix the underlying problem. If you’re seeing a lot of rust stains it’s probably a good idea to call in a professional to check for possible problems on the building. If it comes from structural steel or internal rebar the rust can tear a building apart from the inside.

Whatever the cause, a professional can offer you a solution that will fix the problem while making sure you don’t have anything to worry about for the long term. Rust stains usually aren’t much of a problem beyond the cosmetic, but call JK Industries if you think there might be more to it. We’ll help you keep your building safe and structurally sound.