I’m doing another How to get your home ready to sell post with an idea on a chore that is a regular home maintenance item for some folks-
Here’s some of the questions I have been asked about this:
Should I Paint Rusty Gas Lines? How do I maintain rusty and corroded gas lines and fittings? Do I need to replace my Gas lines that are corroded and rusted? What do I do with natural gas pipe and propane gas service piping and fittings that have rusted? How do I maintain Gas and Propane service pipe lines?
Surface Rust and Corrosion on Natural Gas Line
Some of the same steps also clean, refurbish and paint propane tanks. But there are restrictions, federal and state laws regarding colors and types of paint… If you rent yours from your provider, call them! They should maintain it for you!
Natural gas supply piping and Gas Line Fittings
Natural Gas or Propane LP gas lines (need cleaned painted and maintained.
quickly rust and corrode if left unprotected (unpainted). I’m talking about the pipe that goes from the Meter to the house and anywhere else it servicing. It rusts if it’s not painted. Same is true with propane tanks and propane service piping (lp gas lines that pipe propane from tank into the home).
Even though it looks terrible, it is usually just surface rust and not really affecting anything… the stuff is thick walled designed to last- it would take a long, long, time before it becomes unsafe.
That said, it really does look terrible. It’s one of those little things. Some would say it makes your place look like you don’t pay attention to details. And its just one of those small things that add up. One that brings on an image or a feeling of inattention and neglect… when some buyers feel like “oh, wow… that isn’t good… what else is there that hasn’t been taken care of…” It is always best to remember “rust never Sleeps” and that “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!” And Rusty, corroded Natural Gas or Propane Gas Lines and fittings will get worse and worse, too. And as time goes on, it will take more and more attention to cure.
If you have a plan, and get things prepared, Rusty Gas Lines, Propane Tanks, LP Gas Lines and Corroded Gas Fittings
are all really simple to take care of. And just like many things, once you get the initial work done to clean and paint the first time, maintaining it over the years is easy.
So Clean it up and paint it! It only takes a few minutes-
Depending on the condition it’s in now, you might need to spend a considerable amount of time to prepare the pipe to be painted first. It’s got to cleaned before you paint. Most professionals advise using a wire brush to initially clean the loose rust off. You don’t have to get it perfect, if you plan on doing this every year or so, just get the big, loose scales and flakes of rust and any loose cracked paint off before you paint it. But remember, unless you do seal it somehow and stop the rusting, the rust will normally come through the paint in just a year or so. So some advise to really do it right; spray WD-40 on the metal and scrub with the wire brush, Really scrub every inch of it.. and then use steel wool. And after its smooth and you have it free of all gunk, rust, paint etc. clean it with warm water and a grease cutting dish soap like Dawn. The Dawn removes the WD-40 and cleans the pipe tank or fittings
well enough that the paint will last for several years.
And for the over-achiever guy that has too much time on his hands, here’s where you can go full-tilt overboard, OCD Handyman-Rust Nazi: The very best advise
is to first apply a rust converter like Evapo-Rust
or a corrosion inhibitor like Loctite 75430 Extend Rust Treatment
before you paint. Oh, and be careful, this stuff is serious- (read the directions, buy some latex gloves and put your eye protection on) and then, once that has dried you are finally ready for spraying a couple coats of a Rustoleum spray paint.
Even though exterior natural gas piping might NEVER actually wear out if you don’t keep it cleaned painted and maintained, it’s just one of those details that add up. The sum of the details like this one either add or subtract to your bottom line. They will either give your home a very strongly positive or strongly negative affect to buyers. And picky buyers are not afraid to pay more. Picky buyers, I have noticed, become great, aggressive buyers when they find the home that checks all the boxes. When they find the home that make their picky selves feel safe and comfortable, these are the buyers that feel like they are getting a great deal, and happily pay up- happily pay more than anyone else is willing to pay.
and remember, having things done ahead of time, will make it so that when it comes time to sell your home or property you don’t have panic about all the stuff you have to do. Make items like this part of an ongoing maintenance program or schedule or even just an unofficial list of things to monitor and stay on top of. Successful sellers aren’t rushed, freaked out with too much to do and working like a madman. Well cared for homes and properties are consistently the ones that top the market.
So clean up, paint and maintain your rusty natural gas and propane piping and fittings before the hectic rush of preparing your home for sale.
Again, this can be done as you Get Your Home Ready To Sell: or an ongoing maintenance item that many folks either do annually or as needed. Rusty, corroded Natural Gas or Propane Gas Lines and fittings continuously get worse and worse, too. And as time goes on, it will take more and more attention to correct
I should probably say that if you are asking yourself Should I Paint Rusty Gas Lines? What about LP Gas Lines? Just know that unless the natural gas pipe or lp gas pipe is untreated and unprotected direct buried or even partially covered in earth or debris. It is NOT going to last decades; in fact ,it will corrode and rust unbelievably fast- it may rot out in a year!
This post is done just a few days after a home inspection on one of my listings called out the rusted gas pipe and pipe fittings near the gas meter. The home had just been painted had a great curb apeal, was clean as a whistle. The owner had done many fix-ups and touch ups and beautifully conditioned the home to sell … and yet the rusted gas pipe and fittings had been overlooked.