Basements

Published on September 18th, 2013 | by Henri

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Refinishing or replacing basement hatch door

Q.    I have been an avid reader for many years. Now I need your sage wisdom regarding my heavy-gauge steel Bilco basement door, size O, which was installed in 1972. While it is still working well and water-tight, I have had problems with the paint peeling and flaking off with resultant rusting.

It has been sanded and repainted from time to time over the years but I am concerned that the rust has compromised its integrity.

I would like to know if a non-rusting replacement is made, or if you know of any other recourse I may have to solve this problem.

A.    Unless the rust is so advanced that you can poke a hole through the metal, all loose particles can be removed with a steel brush. Once there is only a small residue, wash it off with paint thinner and apply a rust-inhibiting paint such as Derusto or Rust-Oleum. Another choice is Hammerite paint, which you can buy through Amazon. It is a very long-lasting and tenacious paint, excellent for metals.

Bilco does make a high density polyethylene maintenance-free replacement door.

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