Whether you’re building a deck on a seaside home or repairing a boat to go fishing, the materials used to make your fasteners may be the most crucial component of your work. Below is a review of the types of fasteners that best fit a seaside environment. Consider this information the next time you’re looking to build anything that will exist near or in a saltwater environment.
Typical types of fastener material
When choosing fasteners to use in a near-ocean water environment, there are typically three different materials to consider: stainless steel, aluminum, and hot-dip galvanized (HDG). There are pros and cons for each and each of them has a different scenario with which they are best used. Let’s review each type.
Pros and Cons
HDG fasteners can often be found as the most cost-friendly choice of fasteners used near,. This is the case because they are coated in non-corrosive material rather than built completely out of it. The option of coating also allows for more flexibility in how they look, which can be good for builds that will be more visible, like road signs. However, being simply coated with the material leaves HDG fasteners susceptible to a shorter lifespan than the others. This means you will find HDG fasteners more commonly used on shorter life-span builds, such as motorized tools. HDG is also not always the lightest material as the coating can add a weight to each fastener. In general, HDG are best served for aesthetic-necessary projects that are trying to also be cost-efficient.
Along with being a more cost-efficient material of the bunch, stainless steel fasteners have many other benefits. For starters, they are typically made completely out of stainless steel, not just coated in it. If the stainless steel is treated than it can be corrosion resistant for an incredibly long time. This is the case whether it is submerged in water or not. However, if it is not coated properly, stainless steel can have less of a lifespan. Because they are typically made of stainless steel, the aesthetics are limited to the material itself. The weight of stainless steel is typically middling between coated and aluminum. The best scenarios for using stainless steel are builds that need to be cost-efficient without sacrificing lifespan above look or anything else.
Aluminum is the most expensive option on the list, but the benefits can be worth the price. Like stainless steel, aluminum fasteners are built out of a solid piece of material, giving them a much longer life span. It is also the lightest material of the group, which makes it incredibly easy to work with. Though light, it is incredibly durable and will withstand a saltwater environment for many years. You can find aluminum used in projects that will need to last a long time, such as docks or other large builds that are submerged in water. When you want to ensure the lifespan and durability of your near-saltwater project, you should look to aluminum above all else.
Potential Watchout – Mixing Materials
Regardless of what material you use, be sure to use the same material for all parts. In projects that mix materials, it can create a process called galvanic corrosion, which can greatly lessen the lifespan of your fasteners.