The cost of repairing rust damage varies a great deal depending on the extent of it. The labor involved generally makes up a significant portion of a repair bill.
Minor rust damage involving a small spot that is only rusted on the surface is generally very inexpensive to repair. A small spot is one that is no more than two inches in diameter. In these cases, the materials needed to fix the spot can be purchased at an automotive supply store for around $30. A professional repair technician could charge an additional $20 to $30 for labor to remove this rust spot.
Intermediate repairs are ones in which the spot contains thicker layers of rust. In these cases, the rust damage may be several layers deep, but no more than halfway to the bottom of a surface. These spots could also be much larger in size, ranging from around six to twelve inches in diameter. If there are several minor spots, this could also be considered an intermediate repair. The materials for one of these jobs can range from $50 to $75, and labor could cost an extra $60 to $100.
Major repairs can be identified by rust spots that are larger than 12 inches in diameter. They could also be ones that are extremely deep; in some cases, the rust could be completely through a piece of metal. Extensive rust damage often requires work to be done by a sheet metal professional who is also proficient at welding. New metal panels can cost around $60 each, and are suitable for repairing large sections of rusted metal. When the entire body panel of a vehicle must be replaced, a new part can be anywhere from $200 to $2,000. The cost of welding the new piece of metal into place can add an additional $45 to $250 to the final bill.
Tips to Save on Rust Damage
The easiest way to save on repairing rust damage is to prevent it from forming in the first place. Park your car inside a garage if you have one to prevent it from being exposed to the weather. Keep metal tools stored inside as well. Remove road salt from your vehicle as soon as possible, as this can also eat through metal panels. Consider adding a good coat of wax to your vehicle before winter to prevent this buildup from occurring. A coat of wax can also be added to appliances, tools, and patio furniture to help protect them from rust damage. Inspect your metal items often, and remove any rust damage as soon as it is discovered in order to prevent it from becoming a major repair later.
When it comes to repairing rust damage, the quality of the work performed is just as important as the price is. Make sure you are getting a quality repair job in order to ensure the money you spend will be well invested.