Rust can occur on any metal when the material is exposed to weather conditions. Due to which the metal gets damaged and becomes weak, and cannot withstand the pressure. So we need to protect them from rusting.
There are many ways to protect outdoor gym equipment from rusting. For example, one can use spray paint to paint on your machines, which will absorb the water and any chemical element in the air and prevent it from rusting. You can also use silicone to coat the devices or use powder coating on the surface.
Let us find out the Threats to outdoor gym equipment and protect them from rusting.
In this Article
Threats to outdoor gym equipment:
Before knowing about threats to outdoor gym equipment, we need to know about rusting and how to prevent it.
Firstly, let us know what kind of gym we are talking about? Gyms can be categorized into two. One is an indoor gym, and the other is an outdoor gym.
Outdoor gyms generally can be seen in parks, playgrounds, community centres, and similar places. Indoor gyms are usually in the home, i.e., they may be in your garden, basement, garage, etc
So, rust is a problem that can occur on any metal when the material gets exposed to the environment. Many factors increase the chances of rusting of the material like:
Water is the main factor that causes rusting because water gets into the metal surface and breaks down the weak bonds between iron and oxygen, causing the iron to form iron oxide. If this process happens frequently, it will lead to corrosion, also known as oxidation or rusting.
Air contains all sorts of particles like dust etc. So when this air comes in contact with the metal exposed to the environment, it makes it vulnerable to rust as these particles contain oxygen.
When the material gets exposed to sunlight, it causes oxidation of the surface and also causes discolouration on the surface. So, when you see any discolouration on the equipment, do not use it as it may cause injury.
The key factor which affects rusting is temperature. The higher the temperature of the equipment’s environment, the more chances for rusting. So, to prevent rusting then always keep your equipment under proper temperature.
How to protect outdoor gym equipment:
Here are some ways to protect outdoor gym equipment from rusting.
Using spray paint:
Spray paint is highly effective in preventing rust, and you can use it in the form of paint, water-based gel, and powder coating.
So, if some other materials have been used on the equipment, then it is better to use spray paint on them as it will absorb the moisture from the air and prevent rusting.
Using spray paint is quite simple; let us find out how to do it.
- Spray the metal surface and wait for 10 minutes to dry.
- Wash off any rust particles by using a wire brush.
- Clean the equipment and then apply rust protection spray on it.
- Let it dry for 12 hours before use.
Using silicon coat:
Silicon coat prevents rusting as well as strengthens the surface of the material. It is applicable in two ways, one is by spraying, and the other is by a dipping process. Procedure for using silicon coat:
- Wash the equipment and clean it properly.
- Apply silicon on both sides of the equipment and let it dry for 2-3 days.
Sealant powder coating:
It is an excellent way to protect outdoor gym equipment because of its corrosion resistance; it protects the metal from damage. Moreover, the process of application of such powder coating is quite simple.
- Prepare a mixture and mix it with 0.5% silver bicarbonate to form a paste.
- Apply this paste on the surface and let it dry for 12 hours.
- After dry, wash it with water and then dry it.
- Now apply powder coating on the surface.
- let it dry for 12 hours and then wash off any rust particles with a wire brush.
Buy equipment that’s meant to be outside:
The best way to protect outdoor gym equipment from rusting is by purchasing metal equipment that’s meant outdoors. The equipment made for outdoor spaces has better chances of resisting rust.
The other best way which you can use to protect your outdoor fitness equipment from rusting is by buying a second-hand exercise machine.
When you purchase second-hand, it means that the equipment is already used by someone else, so it will not have many chances of rusting than a new product.
So, you can always check for any second-hand gym equipment shop near your area and buy them at a lower price as well.
Usually, gaps occur between the metal and the surface where it is placed. This gap is the main factor that enhances rusting. So you need to fill up this gap.
Now, how do you fill up the gap?
If you have a machine with rubber feet, you need to get a hot glue gun and apply it between the metal and the surface. It will seal the gaps and prevent moisture from absorbing into the metal.
You can also use silicone sealant. That way, there would be minimum spaces for air or moisture to pass through, leading to rusting or corrosion.
Another option is polyurethane caulking that lasts longer than regular silicone sealant but creates high thermal resistance, making it unsuitable for outdoor areas with higher temperatures, like much of South Africa.
Put a roof over it:
As the exposure to moisture increases, the chances of rust increase drastically. So, the best way is to put a roof on the equipment, whether it is for home or gym. Retrofitting with a roof does add cost to the project, so you need to be sure of your needs.
But if the equipment gets exposed to the elements, it is better to consider installing a vinyl or rubber membrane rather than a waterproof fabric like polyethene.
There are other options for those who can’t afford to put a roof over it. You can cover it with a polyethene fabric.
That way, the moisture won't pass through the plastic and will be protected from the elements. Another way is to cover it with rubber material or vinyl.
The equipment will still get exposed to rain and moisture, but the surface won’t be directly in contact.
Pick the right location:
Where you place your equipment is an essential factor that affects rusting. For instance, if the equipment is placed near the fences, trees, or any higher objects, it will be exposed to more moisture than a flat surface.
So if you see that your equipment is becoming rusty, then do not leave them in the location where they are and move them to a new place that does not have much moisture.
Protect from snow and ice:
When the air temperature is too low, moisture can’t evaporate from the surface of a metal, which makes it vulnerable to rust.
So, if your gym equipment gets covered by snow or ice, do not wait until they melt away, as it will make your equipment rusty.
How to maintain outdoor gym equipment?
Maintaining equipment meant to be outside is not very difficult, but it does require some attention. However, there are still ways which you can follow when ensuring that your equipment lasts for long.
In the below section, we will tell you some of the methods by which you can maintain your outdoor gym equipment.
It is essential to ensure that water does not get into your gym equipment, mainly from humidity, rain, or any other form of moisture.
Therefore, make sure to cover your outdoor gym equipment, including machines, stoves, bars, and benches with plastic sheeting and tarps. It will prevent the water and moisture from getting into them.
It is also essential to store equipment in a dry area if not in use. It will prevent the moisture from collecting.
After some time, the machines will get rusted, and it might also cause slipping of the surface.
Rust can occur on metal equipment that remains outdoors. If you see rust on your outdoor gym equipment, you need to clean it immediately using a wire brush or steel wool.
Afterwards, try rubbing it with an oil or metal conditioner which you can purchase at any local shop.
You can also use steel wool and vinegar combined as they help remove rust from metal surfaces more efficiently than any other method.
If your gym equipment gets exposed to low temperatures and snow, then it might suffer from the freeze. In this case, you will need to defrost the kit regularly not to get damaged. Most of the time, using a hairdryer can remove the moisture.
If it is too big, make sure that the door is open so that the heat from inside can escape easily.
Now to remove any trapped moisture or ice, you need to remove the outer parts and then apply heat around its corners, after which you can start working with a hairdryer or blow torch.
Cleaning of equipment:
Cleaning is an essential part of maintaining outdoor gym equipment. You should clean your equipment after every use.
Make sure that you use warm, soapy water and a clean cloth to wipe it thoroughly. Then dry it immediately as moisture can cause rusting.
Keep cleaning of equipment by following the same steps regularly. It can help you avoid rust and ensure a long lifespan for your equipment.
If you have a hard surface that can be used to perform multiple exercises and can be used in different areas, it would be good to get it covered with flooring. This way, the exercise equipment will not get damaged by operating the equipment.
However, you must give your flooring some time before starting using the equipment on it. During this time, the floor surface must be sound and solid enough to do specific exercises.
Many outdoor gym equipment are placed on the ground, which requires a solid foundation, and you can do it by pouring concrete into the base to lay the equipment. After it has dried, mark out where you would install the equipment before removing it.
Ensure that your equipment is installed on level ground, as uneven surfaces can make them unstable while using, increasing the chances of getting injured.
Corrosion protection inside:
Corrosion protection is an essential factor when installing equipment outside by using galvanized or stainless steel equipment.
Corrosion protection is possible by coating the parts of the equipment with rust-resistant paint. It will help prevent rusting of the material and makes it last for long.
UV light protection products:
Using UV light protection is another way of staying safe when exercising outside. These products act as a barrier to the equipment to help prevent it from getting rusty and apply a coating to the parts typically exposed to direct sunlight.
They can be applied before storage or during use to provide extra protection.
Outdoor gyms are essential to keep your body healthy and fit. But the equipment used in these gyms has to be well maintained to ensure the equipment lasts long. If you follow the tips mentioned above, you will last long with your equipment.