Be careful when removing rust stains

Whenever metal meets moisture, rust stains can occur. While the construction work is still in progress and tiles have already been laid, there is always the risk of unsightly rust stains appearing. Even if only a small area is affected, rust stains should be professionally removed. This is also part of the construction cleaning.

How do rust stains form on the construction site?

The iron contained in the metal oxidizes when wet.If a construction worker has left a metal tool on the ground and it is wet, a rust stain can develop. On a construction site where work is still being done, a pipe or the roof is still leaking, there are a number of ways that water can hit metal. This also causes tiles that have already been laid to rust. Maybe there’s a hole in the ceiling where rainwater got in overnight and there were iron filings on the floor. Or a pipe is leaking and rusty water is getting onto the floor. Or in the bathroom, metal objects lie on the tiles and come into contact with water. Or a steel grid was set down on the ground without paying attention to whether everything was dry.

Of course, it is first and foremost up to the contractor himself to ensure that he does not, for example, simply drain rust water from the sprinkler system pipe onto the porcelain stoneware floor or conscientiously clean up metal tools. Nevertheless, it can happen that the rust makes its way and has spread on a tile. In any case, if the cleaning team is called for a construction cleaning, they should know about how to remove rust stains from the flooring.

Remove rust stains, but do it right!

To remove rust stains you need an agent that is acidic. Since the ingredients are corrosive, you must be especially careful when using special rust removers, protect your hands and wear protective goggles. So wearing gloves is mandatory. The special rust remover from haid-tec is contained in a small handy bottle (50 ml content), with which the agent can be applied selectively to the rust stain. A rust remover is normally applied undiluted. The agent “reduces” the rust stain and the color changes from red-brown to yellow.

Important: The rust stain remover should only be applied to the affected area on the tile without coming into contact with the grout lines. To be on the safe side, you should pre-wet adjacent joints.

After an exposure time of approx. 5 minutes (at low temperatures of the floor covering the exposure time should be extended up to 15 minutes, but the dirt should not dry again), it is best to use disposable paper towels to remove the dirt. If a microfiber cloth is used, it must be thoroughly washed out afterwards.

In any case, the cleaning specialist should then wipe the area thoroughly with water several times to neutralise the acid and allow the floor covering to dry thoroughly after treatment.

In the case of flash rust, the motto is "act fast!"

Acid vapour, especially from cleaning agents containing hydrochloric acid, can be transferred via the air and settle on stainless steel surfaces – this is known as flash rust. It is still relatively easy to remove, but this should be done promptly. The metal particles begin to rust when they find a moist environment. If the surface rust is not removed quickly enough, the stainless steel surface or the acid-sensitive surface itself can start to rust.

What to do with marble floors - the "sensitive" among the natural stones?

A floor made of porcelain stoneware tiles is generally robust and also acid-resistant. The situation is different with natural stones. Granite and marble are both natural stones – yet one stone is acid resistant, the other sensitive to acid. Granite has a harder structure, due to its mineral composition it is resistant to most acids, just like porcelain stoneware.

The most sensitive natural stone is marble. This would be sensitive to acidic agents. Besides marble, slate and basalt, for example, also belong to the non-acid-resistant natural stones. A strongly acidic or aggressive cleaner can possibly change the colour of granite and even damage marble. Therefore, only an acid-free rust remover should be used on a marble floor.

An overview of our further blog posts on construction cleaning

  1. Here’s how to approach construction cleaning the right way. Here you can learn how to get rid of dirt on tiles. Construction dust, cement haze, rust stains & co, here’s how to tackle construction cleaning the right way.
  2. Mop or machine? For the most part, you should have both on hand. For the rough stuff, the mop does a good job. When large areas have already been freed from the coarsest dirt, the machine comes into play. Tips for construction rough cleaning and construction cleanup.
  3. Goodbye cement haze – this is how you really get rid of the grey haze! Cement haze removal – how to get rid of cement haze from floors after grouting.
  4. When moisture and metal meet, rust stains form. Find out how to tackle them in the post above.
  5. Which stone is a sensitive? That’s right, a marble floor will take offense if you treat it wrong! A granite floor, on the other hand, is almost as robust as porcelain stoneware. Attention when cleaning marble and granite natural stone!
  6. Once the walls are whitewashed and the painter is in his element, splashes of paint and varnish are inevitable. Often “decorate” unsightly adhesive residues on the floor. They also need to be professionally removed. Which cleaner is suitable for what? Spray’ and away: This is how you remove sticky marks from the floor.

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