There comes a time for most every business owner when they feel they’re ready to level up. Whether it’s adding a new product line, another branch office, or even just switching to better coffee in the break room, sometimes an upgrade is needed for the customers, and/or the employees.
For Integrity Fencing, it came down to brass tacks. Er, nails. Stainless steel nails, that is. We have officially switched over from hot dipped galvanized picketing nails to stainless steel ring shank picketing nails.
The Benefits of Stainless Steel Nails for Fencing
We pride ourselves on using only the best materials for our customer’s fences and decks. We ensure the finished product looks great for years down the road and one of the factors in that quality for fences is the type of nails used. A fence constructed with lower quality nails will eventually ‘cry’ with rust marks running down from the nails.
See our blog post, Rust Teardrops: What Your Fence is Crying About
We never want our customers to have a fence with rust marks from the nails. So, when we noticed that even with hot dipped galvanized nails, which are a higher quality nail, we occasionally saw rust marks, we were disappointed. After researching the issue, we found that it was due to the moisture in our region and the properties of cedar wood. This combination can still cause a chemical reaction with the metal in the nail, thus causing the discolored run off.
Cedar wood contains chemical extractives that occur naturally, making cedar durable and resistant to weather. But these same chemical extractives dissolve in water. Fences stand up against all kinds of wet weather, and as the cedar gets wet, it reacts with the iron in the nails and causes corrosion. The effect is seen more in regions that receive more moisture; the rust marks may appear in under a year of the fence being built.
While this happens far less with hot dipped galvanized nails because they have a thick zinc layer, the fact that it occasionally happens was not OK with us. It’s not up to our standard of quality and goes against our mission. Although they are more costly, we made the switch to stainless steel ring shank picketing nails for our fences. This way, we can guarantee that the nails won’t corrode and leave unsightly marks on wood.
Another benefit of stainless steel nails is that they are stronger in general than galvanized nails, which is helpful in holding a fence together for the long-term.
Finally, an aesthetic benefit of stainless steel nails is that they are very shiny and look nice in a fence. Galvanized nails have a dull, muted appearance, while stainless shines in bright silver.
Stainless Steel Nails: A Win-Win for Appearance and Customer Satisfaction
While most fencing contractors will use stainless steel nails on fences by request only, Integrity Fencing now stocks these higher quality nails at all times. We continue to use hot dipped framing nails on deck construction, but typically these nails are unseen on the framing of a deck. The shiny stainless steel nails will gleam from every one of the fences we build going forward.