Do you know what the number 1 enemy is of anything metallic subject to outdoor elements? Corrosion…probably accounts for more years of job security and devaluation in terms of bridge and structure maintenance over their lifetimes than any other phenomenon. Some could possibly argue that rust is a living organism, but are chemical reactions “living”? Whatever you want to call it, rust IS a metallic cancer that spreads and, if left untreated or unmitigated, can cause even the strongest steels to fail over time. At Birch & Beam, we strive to be knowledgeable about ALL types of fasteners we use, whether indoor or outdoor, but especially outdoor. Fastener coatings usually fall into 1 of 3 general categories: zinc coated, galvanized, or stainless steel. Stainless steel is resistant to rust throughout the entire fastener due to the high levels of chromium present. This makes it the optimum go-to fastener for many applications, but usually also the most costly. From there, galvanized (or sometimes called hot dipped) is the next choice of fastener with a thicker coating of molten zinc dipped or “burned” onto the surface. Regular “zinc coated” fasteners have a much thinner layer of protection and should never be used for an application of construction requiring any kind of longevity. Since we build “valuable” (not cost driven) custom homes that will last a lifetime and beyond, even the fastener details can make all the difference.