Care And Maintenance Tips For Metal Yard Art

Posted on: 15 December 2016

Yard and garden art can complete the look of your landscape, providing both interesting focal points as well as more structure and texture to the decor. Recycled metal art is especially attractive due to the whimsy and sturdy lines the designs often provide, as well as the fact that it is durable. Yet, even metal can be ravaged by time and the elements. The following tips can help you keep your recycled yard art looking its best.

Tip #1: Learn the metal content

The type of care the art requires depends in part on the metal content. As a general rule, aluminum needs minimal care because it resists rust and corrosion, while iron and steel will require more care to avoid these problems. You can use a magnet to help determine the metal type. Opt for a strong magnet and touch it to various parts of the piece, since many yard ornaments make use of several types of metal. If the magnet doesn't stick and it's obviously not copper, then chances are it is aluminum.

Tip #2: Use a sealer of some sort

Metals prone to rust should be sealed so they aren't exposed to moisture or oxygen, unless of course the aged rusted look is part of the design. For pieces that come painted, the key is to keep the paint in good condition. As soon as it becomes chipped or begins to flake off, it's time to sand and apply a new coat. This is especially true for painted wrought iron pieces. Use a paint that is formulated for outdoor use on metal. Another option is to use a metal spray sealant. This clear sealant protects against rust while allowing you to enjoy the look of unpainted metal.

Tip #3: Avoid chemical exposure

Certain chemicals can leave pits or etching in metal, particularly in iron or steel although no metal is immune. In the garden exposure is most likely going to come from fertilizer or other lawn applications. If you do treat your lawn or garden, make sure to rinse any overspray off of your lawn ornaments. The salts in some fertilizers can be especially hard on wrought iron, so take extreme care if you have iron ornaments in the yard.

Tip #4: Use an anchor

Wind can ruin your decor items. Taller items, such as garden stakes, obelisks, and metal trellises are especially at risk from a stiff breeze. Make sure to use anchoring stakes to keep all items held down. Quality yard art, even those made from recycled materials, typically have holes in the base to pass a stake through. Otherwise, consider using a concrete reinforcing rod as a post and then tie the yard art to this post to anchor the decor.