How to Clean and Check Structural Hardware

How to Clean Structural Hardware

With innovative complete pergola systems such as the LINX Simplified Pergola system from Wild Hog Products and easy-to-use outdoor structure hardware components from Simpson Strong-Tie, building a backyard structure is a straightforward way to expand your home's living space.

Creating an outdoor shade structure and seating space for your family is becoming so easy, that keeping is in tip-top shape should be just as simple! Learn how to clean and check structural hardware to keep your backyard shade structures strong and stunning for the decades to come.

Why Clean and Check Structural Hardware?

Cleaning and maintaining the structural hardware components in your DIY pergola, pavilion, arbor, or porch can extend the life of your outdoor living space and keep your family, friends, and guests safe.

Find out how to check and clean structural hardware annually to keep your pergola, pavilions, and porches safe and secure

How to Clean and Check Structural Hardware

As always, it's recommended to wear safety gloves and goggles when handling any cleaning materials. If climbing on a ladder to examine the deck, porch, or pergola's components, we recommend having another person around to steady the ladder and be of assistance if needed.

Annual inspections of structural hardware and DIY backyard builds can help your outdoor living space stay strong and sturdy for another trip around the sun

Removing Any Rust

Inspect all rafters, joist hangers, post bases, and T or L straps for any signs of corrosion or wear. Clear away as much rust as possible from the affected area with a wire brush for with thick layers of rust.

Other times, rust can be dealt with by using some extra fine steel wool and a light coat of WD-40. This will not only remove the rust, but leave a nice sheen on any unpainted or uncoated structural metal hardware.

Apply Rust Dissolver

Rust dissolver products such as Naval Jelly®, Peel Away™, or Rust-O-Leum Rust Dissolver® can remove rust from metal surfaces such as iron, steel and other ferrous metals and can also remove discoloration from steel.

Typically recommended for heavily rusted areas, these cleaning products can generally be applied and allowed to sit for 5-10 minutes, then rinse off with clean water.

Coat with Oil or Silicone

Oils and silicones can prevent rust and corrosion for short periods of time, such as finding the perfect paint color or before a quick hardware switch. Coatings of oils and silicone can even be used to prevent the rust process from occurring at all to new hardware pieces by robbing the surface area of air.

Say Goodbye to Rust Forever with Special Paints

Lastly, rust preventing metal paints are an easy material to apply and can last for decades for beautiful looks and continued strength. Generally theses paints require the rust to be removed from the area before a protective new coat of paint to be applied.

Some innovative new rust-focused paints don’t require you to remove the rust prior to painting the affected areas. These paints are formulated to prevent the existing rust from expanding, and to prevent future rust from forming.

Tighten Any Loose Connectors

Inspect each piece of structural hardware and check the tautness of each wood-to-wood connection point. Use a power drill to drive the fasteners fully in place.

Replace Any Broken Connector Pieces

If you notice any hex-head washers or structural wood deck screws, quickly remove and replace the fasteners with new coordinating screws or through-bolts.

Find out how easy it is to clean and take care of your family's outdoor living spaces such as pergola and pavilion areas

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