Service P+us Car Care Centre
Dec 10, 2014

Is That Rust or Industrial Fallout on my Car?

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Industrial fallout will affect nearly all cars in areas near railway lines, metal production facilities, and metal fabrication processes.

Rust On Car

If you live in these areas or often drive into these places, your car may develop what appears to be auto-body rusting but is actually industrial fallout.

There’s a difference to rust and industrial fallout, and what you should do in either case to address the problem.

Industrial fallout leads to metals dispersing through air, and the particles are small enough to become airborne. They land on surfaces and sometimes accumulate in clumps, attracting other pieces of floating metal. Through exposure to moisture in the air or precipitation from the weather, the metals will begin to rust.

On the other hand, rust develops from the removal of the protective tops coats, including a clear coat, paint enforced with enamel, and a paint primer. This can happen through deep scratching or exposure to salt and water, especially in cities that experience snowfall in the winter.

Some cities will manage road conditions through gravel, and others use industrial salt to lower the freezing temperature. Once the protective layers are gone, the metal underneath rusts very easily.

Simple tests to determine the difference

First, examine the affected area. Oxidized industrial fallout has a raised appearance, whereas rust is often flat. Around a rusted area, the paint will be flaky and dull looking, and like mold it will appear to be spreading across that part of your car. Fallout will appear in isolated bumps, like a series of mosquito bites on the skin.

If the industrialized fallout has only developed recently, once you remove it, the paint underneath should be intact. Left on the car for too long, the fallout can start to eat away at the protective layers on your car, and the glossy coat will have broken down. Leaving the area as is will eventually lead to rust and other damage to your car.

The steps you should take to make sure industrial fallout doesn’t lead to rust include:

  • Inspect the exterior of your car regularly, especially if you live near manufacturing and industrial areas
  • Purchase fallout remover, such as putty designed for your car, as soap and water may not remove the buildup
  • Fix rusted areas before it progresses to other parts of your car either yourself or at an auto-body repair shop

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