Preventing the screws on your barbecue grill from rusting is simple, and doing so will help your barbecue grill to last a long time. There are several reasons why barbecue grill screws rust so quickly. Repeated reheating of the barbecue anneals, or softens the steel screws and nuts, making them vulnerable to rust. That, coupled with high outdoor humidity and a coating of high pH briquette ash, makes a fine recipe for accelerated rust. Follow this procedure to rehabilitate a rusty barbecue or prevent your nice new one from rusting quickly.
Step One – Prepare the barbecue
Turn off the gas valve and remove the propane tank or the natural gas flexible hose. Clean your barbecue grill out completely removing the grill grates, ashes, and all the loose parts not screwed together.
Step Two – Clean
First use a degreasing solvent and a rag to remove any old food or grease then use a wire brush and clean any existing rust off the screws and nuts. Be carful not to damage the screw threads by pressing too hard on the wire brush. A plastic scrubby can remove rust without damaging the screw threads. Go over each screw and nut carefully inspecting them for rust damaged threads or loose or missing screws and nuts. Keep a running count of missing screws and nuts so that you have a list to take to the hardware store.
Step Three – Replace and Re Tighten Screws and Nuts
The repeated heating and cooling of the barbecue grill causes expansion and contraction of the screws and nuts holding the barbecue together. That is why the screws loosen by themselves so easily. Using the appropriate screw driver and an adjustable wrench as a back up wrench, go over each screw and nut, one at a time, working the screws loose, then treating the screw threads with a thread locking compound, and re assembling the screw and nut. Use this opportunity to replace any missing, broken or rusty screws and nuts. Make sure all the screws and nuts are tight before proceeding.
Step Four – Paint the Screw and Nuts
Paint each screw and nut with a squirt of high temperature stove paint to coat them with a rust resistant surface.
Step Five – Protect your Barbecue Grill
Cover your barbecue grill when you are not using it to protect it from high outdoor humidity that causes rust. You can buy a cover manufactured for this purpose or find a place in your garage to store your barbecue while you are not using it. Your patio roof is probably not enough to protect your barbecue grill from the rusty effects high outdoor humidity.
Consider replacing the most vulnerable screws and nuts, like the ones around the burner assemblies, with non ferrous stainless steel screws and nuts. Non ferrous metals are naturally resistant to rust. This will also simplify future repairs to the burner assemblies.