Ask Rust Prevention Experts: Does Summer Weather Accelerate Rust?

Rust is fragile, brittle, yet a formidable foe that weakens even the toughest iron and steel. While rust takes hold in virtually all climates and seasons, Zerust rust prevention experts warn that summer air can pose an especially heightened risk to your metals.

To understand why, it helps to explain why rust happens in the first place.

fighting rust antiques

Fighting Rust: The Last Battle for U.S. WWII Ships, Other Historic Artifacts

With the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, when WWII Allied forces flooded the beaches of Normandy in a massive offense, the biggest seaborne invasion in history, attention shifted to cargo ships that made this and many other pivotal . They were built hastily with encouragement with cultural icons like Rosie the Riveter. Now, these aging freighters are embroiled in a new kind of warfare: Fighting rust, corrosion and time.

Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent preserving these and other retired naval ships, scattered at ports across the country. Fighting rust has become a daily battle, especially as many of these ships were thinly-coated and built for speed – never expected to last three-quarters of a century. Yet veterans and survivors of soldiers killed in action say keeping rust at bay and preserving history is essential – because the price of forgetting is even higher.

Museums, historical societies and non-profit groups struggle to maintain artifacts like these. Whether it’s a warship or an aging iron kettle, the enemies are always the same: Rust. Tarnish. Corrosion. These chemical processes are inevitable with time, but can be significantly slowed with careful cleaning (when absolutely necessary), proper storage (airtight if possible) and minimal handling to reduce exposure to oxygen, skin oil and other moisture/ gas that so often proves the death knell for these relics.

To take fighting rust and corrosion a step further and ensure these antiquities survive as long as possible, a growing number of organizations are increasingly relying on Vapor Corrosion Inhibitor Technology (or VCI) – the same kind used by the rust prevention experts at Zerust.

How VCI Technology Helps in Fighting Rust, Preserving History

Most modern museums aim for preservation rather than restoration. The object is stabilized, the dirt cleaned, the corrosion gently removed. As long as conditions are stable, these organizations can, in a way, halt time. The more durable the material, the longer archaeologists and historians can claim success in fighting rust.