Anyone who’s ever had the unfortunate surprise of discovering rust damage on a tool, bicycle or boat knows how quickly it can ruin your day and blow your budget.
Turns out, the U.S. Department of Defense can empathize – on a very grand scale. The Government Accountability Office reports that corrosion costs the agency an estimated $23 billion annually, taking an estimated 16 percent of military assets (namely planes and ships) out of action. It was also reported that corrosion has been responsible for dozens of accidents and deaths within the department over the past three decades.
And that’s just in one federal department. NACE International reports that rust and corrosion collectively cost the U.S. a staggering $276 billion in direct losses every single year.
Prevention is the Most Cost Effective Approach
Just as corrosion can render your rifle or table saw unusable and dangerous, the corrosion of government tools, weapons, vehicles and equipment degrades their function and safe use. That ultimately leaves us less ready to respond to a crisis.
The Defense Science Board Task Force has estimated we could potentially reduce one-third of corrosion-related costs by investing in certain prevention and mitigation efforts, many of which are a fraction of the losses we sustain by letting nature take its course. One solution is the use of vapor corrosion inhibitors, or VCIs for short. In combination with other humidity-controlling storage methods, inexpensive VCI products have been found to extend the life of entire fleets of vehicles and equipment by years.
The DOD’s science task force report points to something those of us at Zerust have known for years: When it comes to rust damage, prevention is always preferable to dealing with it after the fact.
Consider, for example, where these consumer products are concerned:
- A good bicycle on average costs somewhere between $350 and $1,000. On the other hand, a Zerust bicycle cover for a single-rider bike is between $20 and $50. Take care of that bike by keeping it clean and storing it properly, it will last you many years with likely few repairs.
- Table saws at national hardware chain stores can run buyers anywhere from $200 to $4,000, depending on the make and model. Compare that to the Zerust table saw cover, which costs between $50 and $55 and offers up to five years of corrosion and rust damage prevention.
- Motorcycles can vary dramatically by price, but on average cost anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000. A Zerust motorcycle cover, meanwhile, costs between $100 and $130 and can spare you the time and expense of costly repairs for up to five years.
It’s the same story for the VCI covers we sell for firearms, boats, ice skates, air conditioners, cars, ATVs, tools and more. The bottom line is that by investing a small amount in preventing rust damage, you save yourself a great deal of time, expense and grief in the long run.
The Never-Ending War Against Rust Damage
The cost of corrosion is nothing new. In fact, as noted by Jonathan Waldman, author of “Rust: The Longest War,” humans been battling corrosion and rust damage since we first started using metal. It just don’t typically make front page news. The reality is it costs us more than all other natural disasters – combined. Mitigation efforts are virtually always ongoing.
Corrosion and rust will continue to be a threat to the budgets of governments and consumers for as long as we’re using metal materials. The good news is that with the emergence of VCI technology, we have an effective, affordable weapon to fight back.
Contact Zerust for information on our rust prevention products by emailing us or calling (330) 405-1965.
That rust on your shower head? It’s a $6-billion problem for the Navy, cruise ships and more, Jan. 13, 2020, By Samantha Masunaga, The Los Angeles Times
More Blog Entries:
Fighting Rust: The Last Battle for U.S. WWII Ships, Other Historic Artifacts, June 9, 2019, Zerust Rust Damage Prevention Blog
ATVs, short for “all terrain vehicles,” are built to endure punishing outdoor conditions, but they’ll last much longer if you take care of them. If it’s a choice between ATV rust prevention or tackling a rust problem after it’s taken hold, prevention will always be the better bet.
Rust and corrosion are the chemical processes by which metal weakens and breaks down when exposed even for short periods to oxygen and water and/or moisture. Elements like dirt, salt and mud can hasten the process. ATVs were meant to be driven off-road, in the muck, snow, gravel and grime. That makes taking care of your ride all the more important – especially because if rust does develop, that’s not only an issue of aesthetics but safety.
Even if you are able to get rid of ATV rust, the affected components might never be quite the same. Rust is unlikely to be listed as a causal factor in many ATV crashes, but it’s common knowledge that lack of maintenance can cause components to weaken and even fail. With more than 90,000 ATV-related injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments annually, it’s not worth the gamble – for the sake of your own well-being as your potential liability if someone else is hurt.
If you’re in the market for a used boat this summer, make sure you know the “hull” truth about the boat’s history – and check for rust and corrosion before you buy. Otherwise, you will be out a significant amount of money, time and peace of mind. Before diving in, check that the previous owner(s) invested in regular maintenance and committed to proactively preventing boat rust. Once you sign on the dotted sales line and accept the vessel as-is, you may be on the hook for whatever damage lurks underneath.
Reddish-brown streaks streaming along the side of your vessel is never a good look. But sometimes the larger issue is what can’t be easily seen. Buyers of used boats especially need to be mindful of this, particularly if the boat has been used or stored near saltwater, which can expedite the effects of corrosion.
Further, because older boats may be more susceptible to corrosion, it’s important keep up on maintenance once the boat is yours. Zerust offers products like our Vapor Capsules for Boats, which protects many of the most at-risk components, including the propeller, electrical systems and motor. Capsules can shield any 1-6 feet enclosed area from the corrosive effects of moisture, dust, sand and salty air.
Even as stay-at-home orders across the country are being eased, many people are still choosing to spend more time at home, frequently returning to old hobbies or finding new ones. Woodworking is one that has become increasingly popular. Table saws are useful in building everything from bookcases to bird feeders. The best way to protect your equipment from the damaging effects of corrosion is a table saw rust cover.
The table saw is a quality, stationary cutting tool, with a platform often made of cast iron. This makes for a durable, stable and vibration-free surface, but it’s also quite susceptible to rust. Most new table saws are delivered with a layer of protective grease intended to reduce the risk of rust while the machine is stored in the warehouse or shipped. Users need to thoroughly clean this grease off before using, and some manufacturers recommend applying a separate layer of lubricant protection before the first use.
But oils and greases can be costly, not to mention ineffective or even dangerous if not applied correctly. Our Zerust table saw rust cover provides protection using a fabric woven with vapor corrosion inhibiting (VCI) technology. Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a serious woodworker, clean your materials after each use and cover with our table saw rust cover for maximum protection.
Although the coronavirus pandemic continues its spread, resulting in the cancellation or postponement of bike races and other large-scale events, the number of people cycling appears to be on the rise. With so many more people buying and using bicycles, it’s important to consider how best to protect bicycles from the elements, which can cause corrosion and rust. Bicycle covers can shield against debris and direct exposure to sun and rain, but they aren’t likely to reduce corrosion risk unless they are made with vapor corrosion inhibitors.
Bicycling Uptick Amid COVID-19 Isolation
Inc.com reports the bike shop business is booming right now.
With billions across the globe under social distancing orders or advisories, many are shying away from public transportation. Bicycling has gained in popularity as a safer means of commute. It allows those without a car to gain faster access to things like food and medicine. It’s also become an outlet for those who can no longer get their workout at the gym.
In some places like New York City, cycling has reportedly increased by more than 50 percent over city bridges. Bikeshare use in Chicago has doubled. Similar numbers have been reported in places like London and Dublin. Some cities have even begun considering setting up emergency cycleways, which could be either maintained or removed once the threat of the pandemic has passed. Bogota, Colombia is installing tens of kilometers of cycleways to keep people moving during this crisis, while also allowing them to practice social distancing.
Why Bicycles Rust
But virtually every single bike has one thing in common: Metal. In the breaks, in the gears, in the shifters and in other components. Without proper care and storage, any metal exposed to air and moisture will be vulnerable to corrosion.
Ferrous metals (those that contain iron, like alloy steel and carbon steel) are susceptible to a particular type of corrosion called rust, the process of oxidation that actually alters the chemical compound of the metal. Many bicycles are made with steel and stainless steel components.
Many bicycles are made with titanium, which is a non-ferrous metal that does not rust – but it can corrode, as noted in research by the Journal of Biomaterials & Functional Materials.
How Zerust Bicycle Covers Prevent Rust and Corrosion
Sun exposure and damage, wind, ran and snow can result in the degradation of a bicycle’s metal components. Bicycle covers are a popular means of keeping these elements at bay, but it’s important to be sure the one you buy isn’t going to cause more harm than good.
Some bicycle covers trap will keep off the rain and dust, but they might also cause condensation to build up and be trapped inside – particularly if there are temperature fluctuations in the place where you store your bike.
Zerust bicycle covers are rust-inhibiting because of VCI (vapor corrosion inhibiting) formula that is woven into the fibers. VCI is non-toxic, odorless and effective for up to five years. The covers themselves fit all single-rider, upright bikes and are water resistant and mold-proof.
Zerust bike covers and other products work by releasing this vapor into the air around the metal item. These molecules settle on exposed metal surfaces and form an invisible protective layer around them that inhibits the electrochemical reactions that can cause corrosion and rust.
Bicycles should be cleaned and dried according to the recommendations of the manufacturer, and then the bicycle should be rolled onto the cover and the cover zipped.
We partner with dealers across the country that sell our bicycle covers in their stores. You can call ahead to see if your local bike shop carries them, or you can order direct from this site.
Contact Zerust for information on preventing bicycle rust or Zerust bicycle covers by emailing us or calling (330) 405-1965.
Bike Shops Are Doing Well Despite Shelter-in-Place, April 8, 2020, By Mike Haber, Inc.com
More Blog Entries:
Preventing Bicycle Rust That Can Bust Your Ride if You Store it Outdoors, Oct. 25, 2019, Zerust Bicycle Covers Blog
The percentage of Americans currently affected by state stay-at-home orders is at roughly 95 percent. As people are hunkering down at home, the cars, trucks and sport utility vehicles that normally get daily use are idle on garages and streets. Although that means less wear-and-tear and lower gas prices, cars that are parked for long stretches are susceptible to other types of damage – including rust. Given that the current situation could span several more weeks and possibly months, car rust prevention is important to consider.
Anytime a motor vehicle is not getting regular use, there is the potential for problems – from dead batteries to oil deterioration. Car rust is another potential problem, particularly for brake rotors and brake pad linings, as well as any parts of the exterior that may be dinged.
This is especially true if your vehicle is being parked outdoors and exposed to the elements. In fact, as our car rust prevention experts can explain, it doesn’t even take that long. Sometimes with brake rotors, it may only be a matter of days of outdoor storage that we begin to see rust starting to form. Rust on a vehicle body may be unsightly, but it’s what you can’t see that is likely to be the most costly. Rust on brake rotors, for instance, can result in uneven braking, pulsating braking and noise.
Driving your vehicle occasionally – even just twice a month around the block a few times – can help with this. But it’s also worth consider adding another layer of protection while your vehicle is parked – a car cover.
Car Rust Prevention Car Covers
Many people who purchase car rust prevention covers from Zerust do so to protect their collectible or antique vehicles. That’s because of their value, but also because they aren’t driven regularly. Increasingly, it’s being used to protect the cars people use everyday from corrosion, rust, moisture and dust that results when vehicles are exposed to open air – both in a garage or outdoors.
The purpose of most car covers is to protect a vehicle from damage caused by debris, sun and precipitation, but we take it a step further.
The difference between Zerust Car Covers and others is that the fibers of our product are made with VCI technology. VCI stands for “vapor corrosion inhibitor.” It’s non-toxic, odorless, invisible and non-reactive, but protects metal components from rust and other types of corrosion for up to a full five years.
We can also assure that our car rust prevention covers are water-resistant and mold-proof.
There are several different size covers to assure the product fits snugly on your vehicle while still leaving enough room to ensure the cover can stay zipped.
What Else Can I Do to Protect My Parked Car During Quarantine?
In addition to a Zerust car cover to prevent rust while your vehicle is parked or stored, car care experts have offered a number of other measures you can take to protect your investment. Consumer Reports recommends:
- Store indoors. Obviously, this isn’t an option for everyone, but if you have a garage or other enclosed space, it’s usually one of the best things you can do for car rust prevention. Rust is caused by metal’s exposure to air and moisture. Temperature fluctuations and exposure to sun can exacerbate the risk because it can weaken your car’s paint. Keeping it indoors can reduce the risk of exposure.
- Keep it clean. The elements aren’t your only concern. When you don’t keep your vehicle clean – even if you aren’t using it – you run a higher risk of car rust. From that point, it may not take long for rust to take hold – even if you don’t see it. Give your car a decent wash at least once a month, and wax it, if you can.
- Keep your fuel tank full. This helps prevent condensation from building up inside the tank.
Amid quarantine, AAA warns drivers about potential car issues that arise from inactivity, March 25, 2020, By Stefan Gellar, The Boston Herald
More Blog Entries:
Prevent Classic Car Rust With Zerust Car Covers, July 25, 2019, Zerust Car Rust Prevention Blog
As often happens when there is political uncertainty, economic instability or people feel their rights may be infringed upon, gun and ammunition sales go up. That’s what we’re seeing today amid global concern of the coronavirus, COVID-19. Even as stores struggled to keep staples like toilet paper and hand sanitizer stocked, Ammo.com reported online orders of firearms and ammunition spiked almost 70 percent. Brick and mortar stores are selling out as well, and some retailers have even begun limiting how much buyers can purchase. There has been an uptick in requests for firearms training, which suggests a large number of buyers are first-time gun owners.
If you are the owner of a new gun (or are concerned now more than ever about protecting the piece you have), you should know that proper storage is an imperative. Guns are made with metal, and all metal has potential to rust or corrode. To prevent gun rust, Zerust has a number of gun storage solutions.
Storing Your New Gun
Gun rust is a big problem for those who store their weapons in gun safes. In fact, corrosion tends to happen at a higher rate and more rapidly in a gun safe than out of it. The reason has to do with basic chemistry.
Rust, also known as oxidation, is a chemical process that occurs when iron or iron alloys come into contact with water (or moisture) and oxygen. The only type of metal that “rusts” is iron and its alloys, but other types of metal are prone to similar chemical breakdown processes collectively known as corrosion. Most modern gun safes are constructed with a thin, steel shell, lined with gypsum board (also known as drywall) and carpet. These products are frequently made with materials such as formaldehyde and pyrite. Pyrite is an iron sulfide. When it reacts with moisture and oxygen, it can create not just oxidation but sulfuric acid, which can be extremely aggressive in causing gun rust.
On top of that, pyrite can feed bacteria known as ferrooxidans. This bacterium is responsible for breaking down the pyrite and turning it into hydroxide and sulfur-based acids. However, it doesn’t just end there and ferooxidans have been known to consume many other metals.
There are all-steel gun cabinets that might be another option, but unless they’re airtight, they still aren’t going to completely keep out the elements that cause rust on corrosion on your weapon.
Keep in mind that fluctuations in temperature can result in condensation, which is enough to pose a threat of gun rust. Senior Curators at the NRA’s National Firearms Museum say the ideal temperature for storing firearms is around 70 degrees and 50-55 percent relative humidity. But not all of us have the time, energy and money right now to invest in ensuring our firearm is kept under perfect conditions.
Zerust offers effective, affordable solutions to prevent gun rust and corrosion.
Zerust Gun Rust Prevention Products
Zerust uses patented vapor corrosion inhibiting technology to form an invisible, non-toxic, odorless layer of protection around metal components. Vapor Corrosion Inhibitors, or VCI for short, have a wide range of applications, but specific to the prevention of gun rust and corrosion, Zerust offers:
- Vapor capsules for ammo and weapons. These provide stored guns and firearms with up to two years of protection. They’re an excellent alternative to WD-40 and gun oil. We have different sizes depending on the space of your storage unit and the amount of time for which you want to protect your items. Prices range from $1.50 to $7. Simply place a capsule inside the closed storage space, and your firearms will be shielded from corrosion.
- Multipurpose VCI Poly Bags or Guns, Ammo, Weapons. VCI multipurpose bags are simple, effective forms of rust prevention. Just put your clean, cooled item into a poly bag and close it. Each bag – between $0.25 and $2, depending on size – is made with anti-corrosion protection that will keep any ferrous metals (iron, steel and cast iron) safe for up to five years. Another upside to bags is that because they keep your firearm dry, you can store, ship and transport without constantly having to apply oil and grease.
- VCI Weapon Protection Bags. Similar to the multipurpose bags, these come in larger sizes and are either close tie or zip tie, ranging in price from $1 to $6.25.
If you have questions about any of our materials intended for ammo and gun rust prevention, feel free to reach out to us.
Contact Zerust for information on preventing gun rust and corrosion by emailing us or calling (330) 405-1965.
Daily Bulletin: Pandemic Fears Continue to Fuel a Surge in Gun Purchases, March 16, 2020, The Trace
More Blog Entries:
Avoid Stored Ammo Rust With VCI Technology, March 15, 2020, Zerust Gun Rust Prevention Blog
U.S. sales of ammunition have risen more than 100 percent in multiple states since just last month, and the New York Times reports a substantial surge in the number of first-time gun buyers. This spike is almost certainly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with its resulting supply chain shortages and restrictions on gathering and travel. Those with new stores of ammunition and firearms need to ensure their stock is protected from the erosive elements that can cause rust and corrosion. To prevent ammo rust, you can either purchase a large, airtight container in which to store it- or you can use a product like Zerust vapor capsules that can keep guns and ammunition safe from harmful corrosion for up to two years.
Improperly-stored ammunition can end up having the effect of weakening a bullet’s structural integrity. That poses a safety risk not just for the shooter, but for any who might be nearby when that round is fired.
Does Ammo Have a Shelf Life?
Many ammunition manufacturers opine their product has a shelf life of about 10 years. It’s possible rounds could last longer than that if taken care of, though some gun enthusiasts might think if you’ve let ammunition sit around so long that it’s expired, you aren’t doing enough point shooting. But we may see more ammo supplies at risk of rust if they are stockpiled strictly for emergency use. But ammunition should only be used if it’s safe, and rust/corrosion can certainly render it less so.
Most factory-loaded rounds are designed to function reliably in a wide range of conditions, so long as they are protected from extreme temperature fluctuations and high heat and humidity.
Still, ammunition, like anything made of metal, will be adversely affected by the combination of moisture and oxygen. A single round of ammunition contains gunpowder inside and then a metal casing, metal primer and metal bullet (the bit that goes flying out of the end of the barrel when you shoot). The amount of time you have before the integrity of your bullet starts to break down depends on:
- The type of metal components with which the ammo is made.
- The type of environment in which it is stored.
Different metals react to different substances in varying ways and paces. If your ammo has any iron components (including steel), it will be prone to oxidation (ammo rust) if exposed to moisture and oxygen. Only iron alloys can rust. However, other metals can corrode in similar ways when exposed to the same elements. Other metals commonly contained in ammo include copper and lead.
How Ammo Should Be Stored
If you vacuum-sealed a container of ammunition and placed it in a place that was cool, dark and dry, it’s plausible those rounds could well last a decade or more.
But not many people want to or can invest in humidity-controlled storage for their bullets, especially right now with so much financial uncertainty.
Zerust ammo vapor capsules are an inexpensive and smart way to prevent ammo rust and ensure your stock remains well-preserved.
Contact Zerust for information on preventing ammo rust and corrosion by emailing us or calling (330) 405-1965.
What is Rust? 2005, Cornell Center for Materials Research
More Blog Entries:
Prevent Rifle Rust and Corrosion During Long-Term Storage, Jan. 15, 2020, Prevention of Ammo Rust Blog
“It’s a poor craftsman who blames his tools.”
At least that’s how the saying goes. But as any good craftsman will tell you, if you’re working with poorly-maintained hand tools, it won’t matter how skilled you are.
One of the greatest enemies of any metal tool is rust. To prevent hand tool rust, it’s important to keep them dry, clean them after every use and ensure they are properly stored. For the best rust protection, store your hand tools with VCI vapor capsules that block the rust-causing elements of moisture and air from taking hold.
Hand tools aren’t always cheap, which is why there are countless search engine results for how to remove hand tool rust. The problem is these methods are time-consuming, tedious and worst of all, can’t guarantee rust won’t return. More often than not, rusted tools end up broken or replaced.
It’s far better – and less expensive – to prevent hand tool rust from forming in the first place.
There is something about brass that produces a great, rich timbre – perfect for musical instruments. Brass is a non-ferrous metal, meaning it contains no iron and therefore cannot rust. However, it is comprised of zinc and copper, which can tarnish and corrode over time when exposed to oxygen and moisture. A good brass instrument can last 100 years or more – but only if it’s properly cared for. The best way to prevent brass instrument tarnish is to keep the instrument clean and use Zerust VCI anti-tarnish capsules. (VCI stands for vapor corrosion inhibitor.)
Tarnish will cause brass instruments to appear duller, and could even result in degradation of certain components that could diminish the robustness of sound. The resale value of a tarnished musical instrument is often greatly reduced. Damage to the finish can be accelerated with exposure to the oil and dirt on hands and faces. That’s why many musicians are so fastidious about washing their hands before handling.
Although Zerust has historically served more mechanics than musicians, we have had several instrumentalists write to us in recent years to tell us how our anti-tarnish vapor capsules have helped them to protect their prized instruments from tarnish, rust and corrosion.
Many manufacturers and shippers rely on steel components in production. Some store valuable metal parts on shelves for months or years on end, with the assurance it will be available at a moment’s notice if needed. The last thing any manufacturer wants is to open that storage box to find important metal parts pocked with corrosion or rust. The parts may have to be junked for quality and safety reasons, but waiting on replacements can cause serious supply chain bottlenecks, sometimes costing more than the loss of the part itself. The better way to manage this risk is to prevent steel corrosion in the first place by storing these parts in VCI poly bags.
VCI stands for vapor corrosion inhibitor, and these bags can be indispensable if you store metal materials or parts into boxes for any extended amount of time. In some environments, corrosion can happen very quickly. Even climate-controlled warehousing won’t necessarily protect your products if there is no little to no protection from humidity.
This is true even for stainless steel. As noted in research published by the journal Nature, steel is susceptible to rust because it contains iron, one of the three elements (in addition to oxygen and water/humidity) that together cause oxidation. Stainless steel is more resistant to corrosion (to varying degrees) because of its chromium content. However, it is by no means immune. Often with exposed stainless steel, we’ll see small pits start to form because of sulphide impurities and uneven distribution of chromium content in the metal part.
Hunting seasons vary from state-to-state, but even the most avid hunters usually place their rifles in storage at least for a time. To prevent rifle rust and corrosion during long-term storage, it’s important to keep your weapon cleaned, oiled and shielded from the elements.
Proper storage of your rifle and other hunting gear is essential if you want to ensure its extended life. Many hunters store their weapons in padded or hard foam cases. This might prevent excessive scratching, but it won’t shield your weapon from the corrosive effects of moisture – especially if the rifle isn’t first carefully cleaned and oiled.
Rust is a chemical reaction that occurs anytime ferrous metal (those containing iron) comes into contact with oxygen and water or humidity. The combined effect is something called oxidation, a corrosive process that attacks the metal surface, dissolving it into that chalky, reddish-brown substance known as rust.
Keeping metal surfaces dry is the best way to prevent rifle rust and corrosion. But sometimes sources of moisture aren’t openly obvious.