Rail Dust, Industrial Fallout and the effect of acid rain on your paint finish

It’s an unfortunate reality that those of us living in Southern Ontario are subjected to a good deal of pollution and acid rain given our close proximity to the industrial regions of the Northeastern United States.


According to this chart the approximate PH of rain in this region is around 4.5-4.6 which is more acidic than typical precipitation.


Add to that the amount of pollution and environmental contamination your paint finish is subjected to on a daily basis from things like:

  • acid rain
  • tree sap
  • bird droppings
  • insects
  • industrial pollution

it becomes more and more important to understand and appreciate the importance of regular washing and decontamination of your paint finish. Check out the 2 pictures of a vehicle we recently decontaminated that was just covered in industrial pollution.


1L1A1314 1L1A1318


These ferrous particles land on the paint and begin to rust and when combined with the acids left behind from acid rain create a corrosive compound that will eventually destroy your paint finish. The key to fixing this problem is a proper paint decontamination. This involves a multiple step wash that neutralizes the acid rain deposits, dissolves the ferrous particles and then returns the paint to neutral ph followed with treatment with a clay bar or towel to remove any bonded surface contaminates. Many mistakenly believe that a simple clay bar/towel treatment fixes this problem but it will not resolve the acid deposits and only picks the contamination off the surface of the paint and not the portion of the ferrous particles that become embedded in the paint. This is why the complete process is so important for a complete repair. After the paint is decontaminated it can be protected with a quality paint sealant of nano-coating. Weekly washing afterwards will help to mitigate the amount of acids and industrial fallout that accumulate in the future.