Rusting Column

Old 09-02-14, 07:52 AM
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Rusting Column

I have a fairly dry basement that has one metal column (lolly column I think is the name) that insists on rusting while it's four neighbor columns are perfectly fine.

The basement stays in the 60 to 70% humidity range according to a basic gage I have down there. The area I live (Central NJ) can be very humid with summer being 90%+. My Nest thermostats say the rest of the house stays at about 50% humidity during the summer thanks to the AC.

I have a sump that stays dry most of the year. I think is has turned on about five times in the last three years and one of those was hurricane Irene. If there is no hard rain the sump hole is totally try.

I have tried sanding this column down and painting it with exterior paint as well as Rustolem brand. Nothing works. The crazy part is the rust is only on the top half of the pole. Not one rust spot on the lower half. The column is about four inches is diameter. The water sweats out at about seven different spots. Each spot is fairly small and there are a few that are within inches of the top of the pole. I placed a piece of carpet above the column on the support beam to see if I has some odd leak from upstairs. The rug is always dry and stain free when I check it.

What can cause this and what can I do to keep the water from seeping out of the pole or keep it from rusting?

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Old 09-02-14, 09:18 AM
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I would sand down the rusted areas to bright, shiny metal. Wipe it off with a solvent soaked rag to remove and dust and oil. Then prime with an oil based primer intended for steel. Rustoleum clean metal or rusty metal primer would work. Then top coat with an oil based enamel. The key is to properly prepare the surface. The tiniest bit of rust left behind can cause it to rust under whatever you paint on top which is were rusty metal primer really helps.
Old 09-02-14, 10:45 AM
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Are you saying there are actually pinholes through the steel column?
Old 09-17-14, 09:40 PM
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This is just a guess: but it could be due to condensation from moist air drawn into the column when cool and seeping/rusting out when warm. Maybe the upper section of this column is within an airflow that strikes the upper section only and changes the upper temperature enough to draw moist air into it when cool and then it condenses when it's a little warmer (probably slowly), and the water has no place else to go but cling to the inside, rust and seep. Some of the rust, in the image, seems to be in a straight vertical line and could be escaping through a faulty/thinner weld seam. It looks like there may be ducting between the joists above it. Maybe a small air leak that only hits this column when the heat or A/C is on? They do make 4" foam pipe insulation that could stablize the temperature and prevent condensation.
Old 09-18-14, 05:47 AM
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sand down the rusted areas to bright, shiny metal. Wipe it off with a solvent soaked rag to remove and dust and oil. Then prime with an oil based primer .... Then top coat with an oil based enamel.
That is the main thing! Sanding done to shiny metal insures the rust has been removed, A good coat of solvent based primer followed by 1-2 coats of oil base enamel should prevent any reoccurrence. That is assuming there are no rust holes or unusual wear to the post.

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