Rust is Actually a lot like Fire, but with Metal

Rust on grills

In last week’s post, Why Cover Your Grill?, we talked about how Mother Nature dishes out a wide variety of weather across the U.S. Humid and coastal climates become highly rust-prone due to paint corrosion from salt, high levels of moisture in the air and rapid changes in temperature. Put simply, warmer climates, rather than cool ones, are where rust likes to kick things into high gear.  Especially unique to coastal residents, salt water brings an additional threat to the finish of your metal furniture, grills and other outdoor accessories. Salt solution acts as an electrolyte, increasing the rate material rusts, much like how water molecules speed up the reaction, transforming your beloved barbecue into a rust bucket.

Damaging rust to your grill

Some metal objects, when exposed to oxygen in the air, combine very slowly and create iron oxide, or rust. Leah Raeder, author and self-proclaimed “unabashed nerd” of Good Reads explains, “This is the same oxidation process as fire believe it or not. Isn’t that weird? So really, rust is the slowest fire ever.”2

If someone told you, ‘water causes something to burn2,‘ you would think they’re crazy.  But that is not far from the truth in describing water’s impact on accelerating the oxidation of your outdoor metal pieces and implements.  The more you can do to keep water from resting and accumulating on your items, the better.

In addition to keeping water from standing on your outdoor items, it’s important to clean them periodically.  Cleaning can remove rust that may accumulate over time and accelerate the oxidation of perfectly functional portions of metal.   Remember to regularly inspect and maintain the exterior as well as interior sections of your grill. Check out Consumer Reports Video for a quick guide to cleaning your grill:

Look for any signs of rusting so proper steps can be taken to delay or prevent the process from happening. Rust prevention methods can vary. The metal can be coated with a number of ‘ailments’ to help deter rust or rejuvenate the metal much like how grease or oil helps draw out moisture. Even zinc is a viable choice when rust-proofing. In fact, nearly one half of all zinc produced is used in zinc galvanizing processes to protect steel and iron from rusting3. Zinc is commonly known as the ‘sacrificial metal.’ – for reasons you can see below:
Barbecue grills left un-maintained and uncovered against the elements can create quite the eye sore in your yard. We recommend the use of a grill cover and regular inspections and cleanings to prolong the life of your grill and keep it performing at a high level.

We are taking 20% OFF our grill covers on classicaccessories.com until August 31st, 2017
with discount code: RUST at checkout.

Keep the “fires” to your fire-pit this season with a grill cover from Classic Accessories.

Sources:
Leah Raeder, Cam Girl of Good Reads
sharrettsplating.com

Photos:  fluoramics /  struckdumb  /  Rustic Farms  /  Nei Corporation

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Rust is Actually a lot like Fire, but with Metal

Why cover your grill?

Why Cover Your Grill

When people talk about BBQ in America, the discussion typically takes a turn towards location. Grilling and smoking are time-honored traditions that have many roots. Some states are divided by sauces, some by smoke, some by rubs and so on. As much as we can chat about the best recipe or our favorite pit to grab a bite, here at Classic Accessories, we take location a little more seriously than a sauce debate. We know the elements can vary drastically just in our lower 48. Since we are in the cover business, we look at what mother nature is serving up season after season if broken down by three of her favorite styles:
Grilling Climates
When we think of humidity, we think hot, tropical days and nights with moisture in the air that feels heavy and thick. Napoleon Grills reminds us that, “humid can also mean damp, like a foggy day in London,” which we may see more than our fair share of in the Pacific Northwest. Our grill covers are designed with air vents that keep weather out while providing maximum ventilation and minimum condensation. Our covers are also designed to not cover wheel or leg bottoms that hang to the ground. This prevents the cover from sitting in any standing water that is common in coastal climates where heavy rain and snow can be a seasonal detriment. Water, in any form, is a damaging element to outdoor kitchens and we have introduced taped seams into our NEW Madrona RainProof Grill Covers to further keep moisture from barbecues and grills

Water on patios, metals and decks
Dry climates pose another threat to your grill over time with damaging UV exposure and lack of moisture. A cover will prevent dust and debris from coating the grill and finding its way into catch pans where fires can easily be started. When we say our covers are designed for all elements, we took these environments into consideration.

Here are some quotes from various BBQ forums on covering grills:

Grill Cover Reviews

One of the best things about grills is that they are meant to be used outdoors, so they are built with some of the toughest materials. Even though price tags vary by brand, style and size, all grills have their weaker points as well. This is where a cover can come in to extend the life of cheaper metals and help keep some of the accessories like side tables, tank doors and controls working like new.

steel, enamel, cast iron, wood and porcelain

From harsh weather to daily use of your grill, you always want to have it ready to fire up at a moment’s notice. There are many tips and tricks to cleaning your grills between parties or between seasons. From informative videos to how-to articles, the last step is always the same no matter if it’s for the day or for the Winter … put a cover on it.
75 % of all Americans own a grill
75% of all us adults, or just big kids, own a grill or smoker. That’s a lot when you think about all the different regions. That’s also a lot when you think about all the different kinds of styles of BBQ and grills out there. What’s more is the style of outdoor kitchens and rooms we have to think about too. From small balconies to lavish outdoor kitchens, we know style is one thing you think about when purchasing a cover. Sure the features of the cover are instrumental to how the cover will perform for you, but we know that your grill is just as much a part of your outdoor decor as your furniture is.

Grill and BBQ Cover Collections by Classic Accessories

1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |  11  |  12

We have over 10 different collections of covers, all with unique designer colorways to features. A big part of the design process here at Classic Accessories is keeping our ideas fresh and on trend. One of the biggest we see is the need for design and function have never been more apparent. We are seeing grills with numerous handle, color and finish options. Ryan Bloom, of Urban Bonfire, states that designers that choose to combine “raw cooking power with beauty see the winning combination.” We like to think that our designs nod to both camps. We have the strength and durability built into our covers with the designer features that compliment any outdoor space. Making the choice to cover you grill, barbecue or smoker should be an easy one. Finding the right size and style should be just as easy, and that’s where Classic Accessories can be a part of the solution.

Here’s to gathering around the grill this August with friends and family.
We hope you end the day, or season, with Classic Accessories.

Sources:
Pixabay
Mercury News
Napoleon Grills
BBQ Bretheren  |  The Smoke Ring  |  The BBQ Forum  |  Smoking Meats

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Why cover your grill?

Before you put it away

Heaters

It doesn’t matter where you live, Arizona to Massachusetts, Fall is welcomed with cooler evenings on the patio when we try and enjoy them before a nice crisp night can turn into a FREEZING one. The season’s here for covering patio furniture and deep cleaning our grills for the last time and storing our patio heaters. We found some great tips to getting your patio heater ready for longer storage with Henry Kotara from Patio Heaters 4U.

Starting with removing water marks with a non-abrasive cleaner on your stainless steel heater. Always allowing enough time to air dry.

Water Marks on Steel

Check your LPG gas cylinder for normal wear and tear and its hoses and valves are in good condition. Never store a propane gas cylinder indoors or below ground level.
LPG gas cylinder
Do a quick check that all nuts are tightened.
tighten bolts2

Lastly, always store your patio heater with a cover designed specifically for it’s shape. Check ours out here, just in time for Fall.

 

Source: Patio Heaters 4u, Street Directory – Gardening
Image Sources: McDermid Ind Solutions, Evgeny Karandaev

Before you put it away

Exposing the Elements…

lignin

We’re pretty confident most of us have it, and it’s most likely right outside your door.  We’re talking about your wooden patio furniture! Your tables, chairs, chaises, adirondacks, benches and umbrellas. What the heck is this lignin? Well put on your Chem 101 hats. Lignin is a complex polymer of aromatic alcohols derived from wood, and constitutes 30% of non-fossil organic carbon and a quarter to a third of the dry mass of wood.  Sooo, it’s a big make up of your wooden furniture right outside your door.

Being in the protecting business, we’re taking a closer look at the effects our beloved sun’s UV rays  have on wood (lignin in the wood to be technical here).  The lignin in our wooden furniture absorbs UV and causes discoloration and structural weakness.  Studies have shown that discoloration and structural weakness is noticeable after only 250 hours of UV exposure, or roughly 31 sunny days! Yes, that can even happen here in the Great NorthWet Northwest.

Real world example: Fig 1.

Fig1_Lignin_BP
Ever seen this happen to your favorite table? Lignin is photo-degraded by light (especially UV light) quicker than the other cell wall polymers. This decreases its water resistance, and can result in the buildup of yellowish to brown color. The effects of the degradation by light in the visible wavelengths usually follows, which causes lignin to become greyish or bleached in appearance over time.

Stained Wood – Light Damage:

Fig2_Lignin_BP
Figure 2. The 10 year test results of the National Park Service’s Wood Stain Durability Test are shown above. The upper half of the test board was exposed in a window  to north light. The bottom was covered during the test period. Comparison of the corresponding exposed and unexposed areas reveals the extreme susceptibility of certain commonly used wood stains to damage by light. **

“The aniline dyes (what gives the wood stain it’s color) proved to be extremely light sensitive with noticeable fading even on a year to year basis.” – National Park Service

Fig3_Lignin_BP

The weathered look has its place, just not where you want to sit down and relax, or to serve your favorite BBQ dish on. When painted wood is exposed to UV for years, you’ll find cracking and flaking over time. Fig 4

Fig4_Lignin_BP

So how can our covers help?

  1. All of Classic’s woven covers possess UV protection factors greater than 50, which is rated ‘excellent’   Fig 5.

    Fig5_Lignin_BP

  2. All of our woven patio furniture covers  block at least 99.93% of all UV radiation due to their special backing.
  3. Choose a model with a UV protective-coating for longer lasting protection.
  4. Save money and convenience
  5. Check out how to properly store your patio furniture whether it be between seasons, showers, or weekends.

Protection like this has never been easier!

 

Sources:
Basic Wood Anatomy and Behavior. Erica N. Skadsen 4/2007
“INFLUENCE OF LIGNIN CONTENT ON PHOTODEGRADATION IN WOOD/HDPE COMPOSITES UNDER UV WEATHERING” Chaochanchaikul et al. (2012).
“Photodegradation” BioResources7(1), 38-55. http://www.ncsu.edu/bioresources/BioRes_07/BioRes_07_1_0038_Chaochanchaikul_JS_Infl_Lignin_Photodegr_HDPE_UV_Weath_2000.pdf
**Photo Credit: Mike Wiltshire, National Park Service.

Exposing the Elements…