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After a very rough autumn, many communities in North America continue to recover from the hurricane season. Issues like flooding and wind damage require extensive clean up and restoration, and leave building materials vulnerable to decay and deterioration. Industrial fastener corrosion becomes a major problem in post-hurricane areas, resulting in dangerous conditions and expensive repairs. […]

After a very rough autumn, many communities in North America continue to recover from the hurricane season. Issues like flooding and wind damage require extensive clean up and restoration, and leave building materials vulnerable to decay and deterioration. Industrial fastener corrosion becomes a major problem in post-hurricane areas, resulting in dangerous conditions and expensive repairs. Property owners and businesses need to understand how to deal with this issue now and into the future, ensuring the industrial fasteners in place are safe and stable.
Galvanized Fasteners
Although they do provide corrosion resistance in normal conditions, galvanized fasteners found in outdoor structures will begin to rust out at a rapid rate after exposure to a major storm. Flooding submerses these fasteners and storm surges expose the steel to salt water, often increasing the speed of corrosion.

Have a close look at the fastener head for signs, such as discoloration and misshaped components. Watch for loosening of the joint as well, since corrosion can take place on the threads and tip when the joint is under water for a time.
Replacement is the best option, but consider replacing a standard hot dipped galvanized industrial fastener with something a little stronger, such as stainless steel.
If your outdoor structure has been constructed with ACQ treated lumber (commonly used for fences, boardwalks and decks), always be sure to replace the fasteners with those approved for use with this chemical compound. When in doubt, ask our fastener distributor for a recommendation.
Stainless Steel Fasteners
This metal will withstand rain, hail, and even flooding better than the average treated steel. You can expect to get years of life from a stainless steel joint, even in marine environments. Businesses and property managers should weigh the benefits of using stainless steel against the additional cost of these industrial fasteners.
Full scale floods and storm surges are a common result of the hurricane season. Using stainless steel makes sense if your structure will be subject to those conditions on a regular or even annual basis. You will save the cost of continual replacement due to corrosion.
Hurricane season brings many challenges and your industrial fasteners can quickly corrode in flooding and heavy rain. Consider replacing corroded galvanized industrial fasteners with more resilient stainless steel and keep an eye on the integrity of joints to ensure that corrosion has not set in.

About the Author

Larry Melone
By Larry Melone
President

Started my career in the fastener world in 1969 at, Parker Kalon Corp. a NJ based screw manufacturer located in Clifton, NJ working in inventory control, scheduling secondary production and concluding there in purchasing. In 1971 I accepted a sales position at Star Stainless Screw Co., Totowa, NJ working in inside sales and later as an outside salesman, having a successful career at Star I had the desire with a friend to start our own fastener distribution company in 1980 named: Divspec, Kenilworth, NJ. This was a successful adventure but ended in 1985 with me starting Melfast in August 1985 and have stayed competitive and successful to date. Melfast serves the OEM market with approximately 400 accounts nationally.

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