How To Remove Oxidation From Painted Metal: Using Ox-Knox
Are you a homeowner or professional finding yourself with the task of removing oxidation from metal surfaces?
Whether it's cleaning rusted iron railings, maintaining security fixtures, or anywhere else on the exterior of your property, the oxidation that forms on painted metal can be challenging to remove without causing damage.
Oxidation is common, but the good news is that there are some easy steps you can take in order to remove it without damaging the paint job!
In this blog post, our exterior cleaning gurus here at Southeast Softwash will explain how to safely eliminate oxidation and how you can use Ox-Knox to keep painted metal looking pristine.
So let’s get the quick answer first before we dive in deep.
Oxidation on painted metal surfaces can be challenging to remove without causing damage. Oxidation primarily shows up as discoloration, particularly noticeable in blues, reds, and greens. Ox-Knox is effective at removing oxidation on metal surfaces, but it's important to check the condition of the paint before applying it.
With the brief nailed, let’s get started by finding out why oxidation happens on painted surfaces.
Why does oxidation occur?
Oxidation happens when the paint’s protective coating begins to break down, which leads to rusting, corrosion, and deterioration.
Many factors contribute to this process, including exposure to air, heat, moisture, and UV radiation from sunlight.
These elements, over time, can cause paint to fade, peel or flake off, leaving the surface vulnerable to oxidation.
One of the common causes is using low-quality paint.
Cheap paints or those with fewer pigments than premium paints can break down more easily due to exposure to environmental elements, especially on exterior surfaces.
Using high-quality paint can help to protect your exterior surfaces.
Another contributing factor is a buildup of grime, dirt, and other pollutants on the surface of painted exterior surfaces.
These factors can erode the paint’s protection, making it easier for moisture and oxygen to penetrate.
Regular cleaning of exterior surfaces can stop it from happening.
Painting during the wrong weather conditions can also make it worse. Avoid painting during cold, wet, and windy conditions.
Paint takes longer to dry in these conditions, and moisture can cause the paint to rust much more quickly.
So how do you know if it’s oxidation?
Read on to find out.
It’s worth knowing that Oxidation primarily shows up as discoloration, particularly noticeable in blues, reds, and greens.
Although cream and white colors are less conspicuous, they can still be affected.
First of all, though, it’s important to check the condition of the paint, because although Ox-Knox is super efficient at removing oxidation on metal roofs, it isn’t magic!
While the product is suitable for a range of surfaces, it may not be able to restore heavily damaged or poorly painted ones.
Exploring OxNox's Potential
A recent project shows how a 45-year-old metal building shows how our experts deal with this common problem which also stands as a testament to the superpowers of Ox-Knox
The roof, though initially affected by oxidation, showed promising signs of restoration. This was mainly because the paint, concealed beneath the oxidation layer, was still looking good. So we were pretty happy that it could be brought back to its former glory!
Also remember that to achieve the best results, as with any kind of chemical, it is important to carefully follow the instructions.
So how do we use Ox-Knox?
Before starting, we recommend wetting the roof to cool it down.
We don't want it drying out. This product takes about 6 to 8 minutes to start working. You'll notice when it does.
We'll use our ball valve to rinse and pre-wet. A little water here should do the trick.
For application, a pump sprayer is often preferred, ensuring even coverage.
However, when working with vinyl siding, down-streaming is recommended to avoid any potential damage.
Dilution ratios may vary depending on the severity of oxidation.
In the case of severely oxidized metal roofs, a 50/50 mix of Ox-Knox is recommended to get the best results.
Expert Tips for Success
In one fairly recent example, a customer's metal roof showcased severe oxidation, turning the roof from green to yellow. The cause was likely to be an overgrown myrtle tree.
So here, Ox-Knox proved effective and crucially saved us from all that laborious manual brushing!
It’s also worth understanding that although you think it might work, using a pressure washer won't remove the oxidation layer on the roof.
Our ball valves generate a lot of pressure with an impressive 8 gallons per minute flow.
But trust us, it won't remove the oxidation!
For large-scale jobs, we recommend a small 12-volt electric sprayer which can improve results significantly.
However, for most applications, a pump-up sprayer, such as the Dewalt model, gives you good control over the dilution ratio for a better result.
On this particular job, we also included surfactant to help it stick and prevent the Ox-Knox from running off right away.
It might feel a bit slimy, but it’s best if it doesn't become watery and just runs off immediately.
Let’s move on now to a question many of our customers have been asking us recently!
How much Ox-Knox do you need for a metal roof?
The amount of Ox-Knox required really does depend on the type of surface and how severe the oxidation is.
Vertical surfaces typically use more product compared to flat surfaces, and the intensity of the damage also plays an important role.
Keep in mind that in general, we use a 50/50 mixture, so a jug with two gallons would probably be enough for the roof. So in general, a case of Ox-Knox is often enough for an entire roof.
In our experience, you can usually clean or restore an entire roof with less than a case.
For vinyl siding, you can dilute it even further and use less product.
It's all about experimenting with the ratios and finding what works for each job.
Rinsing and Final Thoughts
After allowing Ox-Knox to work for approximately 6 to 8 minutes, it is crucial to rinse it off.
You don't want to leave the rinse on for longer than 10 minutes mainly because it could start affecting the paint, which we definitely don't want!
You can rinse it using a regular garden hose and you have good water pressure at home, you don't even need a pressure washer!
It is recommended to work in small sections and avoid leaving the rinse on for more than 10 minutes to prevent any adverse effects or damage to the paint.
How To Remove Oxidation From Painted Metal - to finish
So to finish, ultimately the whole project we used as our example here would probably take about an hour and a half or maybe two hours if we take our time. If you were to hire us for a roof this size, it would cost upwards of $2500 for the restoration, which is a great result for our professional exterior cleaning readers!
But just think about the value for the homeowner. Using Ox-Knox we were able to take that roof as close as possible to its original condition!
Don't forget to check out our Youtube channel for an up close and personal live view of Ox-Knox in action and check back to our regular blogs for more exterior washing tips, hacks, and expert recommendations.