Fasteners are the glue of a building. They are the key to lasting construction. However, fasteners have one major weakness - corrosion. More commonly known as rust, corrosion can strip down a fastener’s strength, making it worthless. It’s crucial to avoid it at all costs by addressing it right away should corrosion occur or head it off at the pass by following these ways to prevent it all together.
Know Your Metals
It’s important to understand why corrosion happens. All metals hold electrical potential and when two metals with different properties come into contact with an electrolyte (like water or salt), it causes a current flow between the two metals, causing a higher potential for corrosion. This makes it crucial to understand the properties of the metals contractors select in every project to prevent rust. You may not be a metallurgist, but you need to understand this Science lesson. So do your homework!
In addition, there are two other factors to keep in mind to prevent corrosion: First, when selecting your fasteners, make sure they are of the same material or in a lower galvanic series of the materials with which they will be connecting. Otherwise, the possibility for corrosion is greater when the current flows from the smaller part (the fastener) to the larger. Second, make sure to stay away from metal-on-metal situations where the fastener is the less noble material. Otherwise, when the current flows between them, it will degrade the fastener.
Another way to decrease the chances of corrosion is with proper fastener installation. Make sure to install them in a way that provides constant pressure. If that pressure frequently changes, it can increase your chances of corrosion making an appearance.
The final way to prevent corrosion is by using insulation, paint and/or coatings to protect and seal the fasteners. It will help separate the metal in the fastener from the other metals, reducing the risk of corrosion. To protect against corrosion, consider construction products with specialized finishes like FasCoat®—a corrosion-resistant finish developed by the BECK Faster Group®, proven to withstand up to 2,000+ hours in salt spray testing before first signs of red rust.
Since corrosion can be costly, prevention is important. Therefore, make sure to think through all of your materials ahead of time and corrosion will no longer be a worry.