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What Is Rust and How Can It Affect Roofs?

What Is Rust and How Can It Affect Roofs?

What Is Rust?

Rust is the generic term for corrosion, specifically where iron has been exposed to oxygen and water and started to corrode. It forms a red, flaky surface to the metal which is called iron oxide.

Corrosion can occur on many metals, however, the difference with iron is that the rusted top surface doesn’t form a protective barrier to the internal metal layers, which happens with other metals such as silver. The corroded surface of such metals forms a chemically stable crust or seal around the rest of the metal. You can see this on silver where the surface becomes tarnished.

Take the Statue of Liberty: the famous green colour is actually down to the protective verdigris seal that has developed, protecting the copper below from further corrosion as it is open to the rain and air.

statue of liberty

In the case of iron, it is extremely prone to oxidisation, and unfortunately, the rust does not protect the iron underneath and eventually falls or flakes away. This then exposes deeper and deeper layers of metal to further oxidation and rusting. This is why coatings or sealants are vital for this metal type.

Did you know, corrosion doesn’t always occur uniformly either? Certain areas can be subject to faster corrosion and can eat through in ‘holes’, exposing the inner metal and causing a chain reaction, spreading across the metal. Such spot rusting can be due to the top layer sealant ‘failing’.

A typical weak area is where roof sheets overlap, and wind can push water and dirt into these small spaces, causing spot rusting and can continue to develop completely unseen underneath the overlap. This issue has to be dealt with quickly and effectively to prevent an entire roof needing to be replaced.

How Does Rust Affect Roofs?

If you are responsible for the management of commercial or industrial buildings with metal roofs, or end of lease dilapidations, you will know the impact rust can have on metal roofs. Treating rust can soon add up: the cost of material, labour, and any disruptions to work schedules inside the building. That’s why it’s increasingly important to invest in superior metal roof protection such as our Alltimes Advantage coatings.

Although rust can seem like something you can’t control, and will eventually occur, it’s not. You can extend the traditional life of your metal roofs. Our industry-leading graphene-enhanced roof coatings have long-lasting resistance to corrosion. Advantage Graphene has undergone rigorous testing and is approved to ISO:9227. It can withstand nearly 10,000 hours of harsh corrosion simulation in comparison to the 1,500 hours of testing that coastal coatings are meant to withstand in order to be approved. Advantage Graphene is a metal roof coating with game-changing resistance to corrosion.


Rust affects many metal roofs and can be a tricky and costly issue to face. However, implementing a coating solution with an almost impenetrable barrier to corrosion will reduce the long-term impacts rust has on your roof projects.

Advantage Graphene provides unparalleled protection from rust to all metal surfaces, whilst still being easy and convenient to apply. It is the most advanced and protective roof coating on the market and a huge step forward in innovation in the coatings industry.

Keen to learn more? Check out our latest CPD: Rust Never Sleeps by clicking the link below, or call an expert today on 01453 872850.

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