Why Nails Need to be Galvanized


If you’re new to the do-it-yourself home repair scene and you’re wondering which nails you should use to complete your home projects, we have a few recommendations. There are many different kinds of nails on the market today, but one of the best choices for most home construction projects is galvanized nails. You may be wondering what makes them so special. Here is everything you need to know about why it’s important to use galvanized nails in most cases, over the other types.

What is a galvanized nail?

A galvanized nail has gone through the process of galvanization. According to Ruiwanda, it is the most commonly used nail and it is covered with a protective barrier of zinc. There are two methods for galvanizing nails. Galvanization is accomplished either through a hot dipping method or an electro-galvanizing process. The hot-dipped method submerges the nails in molten zinc to ensure that they are thoroughly coated. The electro-galvanized nails receive their coating via an electrical current that bonds the zinc to the surface of the nail.

What are the benefits of galvanized nails?

Galvanization makes the nails resistant to rusting and corrosion. They hold up longer, especially when they are exposed to fluctuations in hot and cold temperatures, and varying levels of humidity and other moisture. Nails that are not galvanized corrode more quickly.

Which type of galvanized nails are best?

Electro-galvanized nails are shinier with a smooth and even surface. They don’t attract as much dirt and grime as hot-dipped nails but there are some drawbacks to these more visually attractive nails. The layer of galvanization is thinner. They are not as resistant to corrosion and are unable to hold up under constant exposure to saltwater and other corrosive materials. They cannot be used with acidic woods such as treated lumber, redwood, cedar, or similar materials. Hot-dipped galvanized nails have a dull and grainy exterior with a thickness of zinc that is ten times that of the electro-galvanized variety. They are superior in the thickness of the zinc layer and far more resistant to corrosion. This type of galvanized nail holds up longer when exposed to corrosive environments such as saltwater, and they are the better choice for use in projects that will be exposed to outdoor weather conditions. They are resistant to the acids in treated lumber and woods such as cedar and redwood and can handle exposure to acids and humidity.

Why should you use galvanized nails?

Do It Yourself recommends using galvanized nails for a variety of outdoor projects. There are a few different reasons. As we saw in the comparison of hot-dipped versus electro-galvanized nails, the hot-dipped galvanized nails provide superior strength and resistance to corrosion. You invest a lot of time and effort into your home projects. The materials are expensive so it’s best to do them right the first time around so you won’t need to follow behind your work to make costly repairs. Galvanized nails have other benefits in addition to their strength and anti-corrosive qualities. They also have better staying power than shiny and slick nails. The crystallized surface of these heavy-duty fasteners helps them to cling more tightly to the surfaces in which they are nailed, and they will resist becoming dislodged because of the small variations in the surface that hold them more tightly in place in the materials they’re pounded into. Another benefit is that they are highly resistant to oxidization. Hot-dipped galvanized nails are about as weatherproof as you can get. If you live in a coastal region that is subject to saltwater exposure, they’re your best bet for standing the test of time.

When to use an electro-galvanized nail

This is a better-looking nail that is best used with non-acidic materials. They’re better for interior work and areas that will not be exposed to corrosive conditions. They do offer some protection from mild corrosives and humidity, but their resistance to these elements is far below that of the hot-dipped method of galvanization.

Applications for galvanized nails

Galvanized nails can be used in almost any project you undertake around your home that requires the use of nails as fasteners. They’re the ideal choice for doing roofing projects. They are also commonly used for building decks, window frames, trim on houses, making stairs, and much more.

How do I know if I have the right kind of galvanized nail?

When you go to your local hardware supply store, read the labels. Most will list what kind of product is inside, but you don’t have to depend on the labels to tell one galvanized nail from another. After you’ve had a little experience working with them you’ll quickly be able to tell the difference. Even if the label says a nail is galvanized, the electro-galvanized type will be shiny and have an even surface. While this is a more attractive nail, it lacks the strength and integrity of the hot-dipped variety. Look for the galvanized nails that have a gritty and almost crystal texture on the outside. The shaft of the nail is not smooth nor is it shiny. They’re a little thicker as well.

Final thoughts

There are plenty of reasons why you should use galvanized nails for your home do-it-yourself projects. It’s also important to know the difference between electro-galvanized nails and hot-dipped. If you want a more attractive, but weaker nail, the first option will work just fine. If you’re looking for a nail that is fairly unattractive in appearance but has far better staying power, the best choice is the hot-dipped variety. You can tell the difference when you compare them side by side. Both are useful in completing projects requiring the use of nails, but they each have their place in various types of construction projects. Now you know the difference and how to choose the nail that is the most appropriate for any home project you undertake.

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