Not sure if the concrete anchor you want to use is suitable for use outdoors? Read on to find out before starting your project.
Zinc plated wedge anchors are not suitable for use in outdoor structural applications. While they can be used for other applications, one should be aware that a zinc plated wedge anchor has a very low resistance to rust. The hot-dipped galvanized wedge anchor provides moderate resistance to rust. However, stainless steel wedge anchors are well suited for use outdoors. Stainless steel wedge anchors are available in 303, 304 and 316 stainless steel. The cost of the anchor increases in proportion to the level of rust resistance the steel or coating provides.
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Sleeve anchors plated with zinc should not be used in applications outdoors. They can be used for other non-critical applications but this anchor has a low resistance to rust. However, sleeve anchors are available in stainless steel and therefore can be used in outdoor applications. Sleeve anchors are available in the 304 series of stainless steel only. The sleeve anchor comes in different head styles including the acorn head, hex head, flat head and round head.
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Concrete screws have a coating called Climaseal® which provides extra corrosion resistance. These Tapcons are acceptable for use in ACQ pressure treated lumber in outdoor applications. Tapcon® screws that are well suited for outdoor use include the 410 stainless steel screw which is also Climaseal® coated.
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Strike anchors are only available in yellow zinc plating and are not suitable for use in structural applications outdoors. However, they can be used outdoors in non-critical applications with the awareness that they provide low rust resistance.
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Zinc plated drop-in anchors should not be used in outdoor structural applications. These anchors could be used in situations where the application is not critical but one must be aware that these anchors have low rust resistance. Stainless steel drop-in anchors are suitable for use in outdoor applications. They are manufactured in both 304 and 316 stainless steel. The 304 stainless steel anchors are excellent for use in moist atmospheres while the 316 stainless steel is excellent for use in applications where submersion into salt water or the presence of other chemicals are an issue.
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Metal hit anchors are manufactured from a soft zinc metal called Zamac, which is rust resistant. This anchor has a zinc plated nail that is used to set the anchor and has very low rust resistance. The metal hit anchor is available with a stainless steel nail that would be suitable for use in outdoor applications.
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Split drive anchors are only available in zinc plating and would not be suitable for use in outdoor applications or in applications where moisture is present.
The lag shield is made from a zinc alloy Zamac 5 that is rust resistant. It is suitable for use in outdoor applications only when the lag screw that is inserted into it for fastening is made from a stainless steel material.
The double expansion anchor is made from a zinc alloy Zamac 5 that is rust resistant and therefore suitable for outdoor applications. It is critical that the machine screw that is used with the double expansion anchor is manufactured from stainless steel.
Single expansion anchors are made from a zinc alloy Zamac 5 which provides rust resistance and is suitable for outdoor applications. It is critical that the machine screw that is inserted into the single expansion anchor is made from a stainless steel material.
Before using concrete anchors or fasteners in an outdoor application, it is imperative that the correct type of anchor is chosen. When using anchors in applications where moisture, salt or other chemicals are an issue, the concrete fastener must meet certain requirements and be rust resistant.
As with any anchoring project, it is important to keep safety in mind and follow instructions carefully. Always remember to wear safety goggles, handle all tools with extra care and follow all technical specifications. This article is meant to serve only as a basic explanation of concrete fasteners. Always refer to manufacturer's instructions or consult a contracting expert during any anchoring project.