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Why Do Some Safes Rust?

  • 2 min read

Left to its own devices, steel will rust because it is made from iron. Rust is a natural chemical reaction that happens when iron reacts to oxygen in water or moisture in the air. The result is the formation of iron oxide, which is the reddish-brown substance we call “rust.” Certain conditions, like continued exposure to water or salt will accelerate the rusting process. If rust is not addressed, the metal will continue to eat away at the metal until it eventually disintegrates.

A Rusty Safe is Not a Secure Safe

If a gun safe is rusting, it will not be long before its level of protectiveness begins to degrade too. Rust weakens the steel, which makes it easier to drill into, pry apart, smash or attempt a punching attack. If you are shopping for a gun safe, you want to choose one that has been specifically treated to prevent rust to ensure your safe will give you years of reliable use.

Ways Rust Can Be Prevented

There are various ways that steel rust can be prevented. One of the most common ways is coating the metal with a protective zinc layer, which is also known as “galvanization.” This layer prevents oxygen or water from reaching and reacting with the iron in the steel. A simple way to prevent rust is to paint the steel, which also prevents oxygen and water from reaching the steel’s surface.

Liberty Safe goes the extra mile to prevent rust from ever developing on the gun safes we manufacture. This is something that not all gun safe manufacturers do.

The coiled steel we use to build our safes goes through a pickling and oiling process for superior protection from rust.

“Pickling” is a process where the steel is dipped into tanks containing hydrochloric acid. This acid bath removes any oxide scaling that may have already formed on the steam from exposure to oxygen. The process removes any impurities, like rust or stains from the surface of the steel. After the acid bath, a dried oil is applied to the steel’s surface. (Oil and water don’t mix.) The oil will repel any water or moisture that comes in contact with the steel.

Because of the special oil coating and paint used on Liberty gun safes, you can expect your safe to remain rust-free. Keeping the exterior of your safe clean will also help maintain the finish of your safe. Do not use harsh cleaners to clean your safe’s exterior. Instead, use a mild cleaner or damp microfiber rag to wipe away exterior dust, dirt or fingerprints.