Iron stairs can give your home's exterior an ornate, traditional look. Especially if you have them in the front of your home, they can truly add to your curb appeal and serve as your home's most defining feature. However, there are some intricacies to their care, which you must be aware of if you want to keep them looking great and serving you for years to come. You can talk to a professional, like Lamonaca Iron Works Inc, about specific care instructions. You can also follow these dos and don'ts to care for your stairs.
Do take care of rust immediately.
Iron does rust. If you take care of any rust spots immediately, you can stop the rust in its tracks and keep it from spreading. So, look over your iron stairs about once a month. When you see a little spot of rust starting to appear, sand it away with coarse sandpaper. Then, spray that area with some touch-up paint or a clear metal sealer, like Rustoleum, depending on the look/color of your stairs.
Don't use rock salt to melt ice.
Metal stairs can get icy and slippery in the winter, but melting the ice with rock salt will just encourage rusting. Instead, purchase a metal-safe de-icing spray from your local home and garden store. Typically, you spray these products on before the snow starts flying. They form a coating over the metal to keep ice from forming.
Do apply car wax regularly.
Covering your iron stairs in a layer of car wax will minimize contact between the metal and moisture, helping to reduce the occurrence of rust. Car wax also has a tacky texture, so it won't make the stairs or railings as slippery. Every month or so, apply a layer to your stairs, and then buff it to a sheen with a soft cloth.
Don't expose the stairs to unnecessary water.
Even when your stairs are properly waxed, you'll want to avoid unnecessary contact with water. Obviously you cannot stop oncoming rainstorms, but you can avoid spraying the stairs with the hose or sprinklers when caring for your landscaping. You may also want to consider having an awning or porch roof added to your home. Extend it over the stairs so that they're somewhat protected from rainfall.
If your exterior iron stairs start showing signs of extreme rusting or wear, contact a local fencing company in your area. They often work with iron fencing materials and may be able to replace or repair your stairway.