Custom Steel Buildings: What To Do About Rusty Fasteners

Custom Steel Buildings: What To Do About Rusty Fasteners

While rusty roof fasteners on custom steel buildings might not look attractive, it’s likely they are still performing as intended.

The roofing system is one of the most important components on custom steel buildings. If you’ve ever experienced a leaky roof due to rusty fasteners, or a roof failure of some other kind, you already know that.

However, just because you see visible corrosion on the fasteners of a steel building doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a significant problem. So, before you hit the panic button and call your steel building company, take a closer look.


Inspect Your Roofing Fasteners

As part of your periodic inspection of custom steel buildings, it’s a good idea to get up on the roof to look for things like: 

  • Weather damage
  • Physical damage from falling objects
  • Corrosion
  • Loose or damaged fasteners

Basically, you need to look for areas where moisture could penetrate the through the roof, as this can lead to further complications.

When it comes to fasteners, if you notice some that have corrosion on the heads, you’ll need to investigate further. The easiest thing to do is use a scraper to remove the surface rust and see what’s below. If you see clean metal, it should be fine. Also, if you remove one and find that the body of the screw is in good condition, that’s another positive indicator.

However, if the fastener shows signs of further deterioration, you’ll need to replace it before the problem worsens. If it’s a newer roof and still under warranty, you’ll want to consult the steel building company that installed it to determine the proper course of action.


Different Qualities of Fasteners

The quality of fasteners has come a long way since they were first used. Looking back 50 years, builders used cadmium-plated fasteners (which have since been banned). These days, fasteners are typically zinc-plated and then coated with a copolymer synthetic. This greatly inhibits the ability of rust to form on the body of a fastener, which is why you rarely see one fail.

However, depending on the quality of screw used on custom steel buildings, it’s possible for rust staining to form on the heads after a period of time. While this likely won’t affect performance, some people don’t want to see it.

If that’s the case, there are high-end, long-life fasteners—made of either stainless steel or aluminum die-cast zinc—that will look great for years. Of course, the upgrade in component will be reflected in the steel building prices, but for some business owners it’s worth it.

To avoid having to replace your fasteners because they’re not performing to your expectations, be sure to discuss which type you’d like for your project.


To learn more about the exteriors of steel buildings, read our post: Why Coatings of Metal Building Kits Matter for Commercial Projects.


Do you need help planning a steel building for a commercial or industrial project? Call Metal Structure Concepts. We specialize in designing and erecting custom steel buildings all over Western Canada.