General Installation Tips from Columbia Fasteners

Keep It Clean

On the job site, stainless steel fasteners should be kept as clean as possible before and during use. Surface contaminants such as ingrained or impacted dirt can cause “pitting” by denying oxygen direct access to the metal’s surface, thus preventing the formation of the protective layer of the chrome oxide film that gives stainless steel its superior stain-resistant qualities. Likewise, any traces of carbon steel accidentally rubbed into the fasteners’ surfaces should always be removed before installation.
hammer and nail

Painting Stainless Steel

Painting over stainless steel nail and screw heads, particularly with latex-based coatings, may trap dirt (or in seaside applications, particles of salt) which may cause reddish stains that can bleed through surface coatings. Fastener heads should, therefore, be painted as soon as possible following installation to keep any foreign deposits to a minimum.

Driving Stainless Screws

The 300-Series Austenitic stainless steel screws are cold formed and maintain their corrosive-resistance and stain-less properties well if properly handled. Resist stop and go motion to avoid heat working of the screw. Instead, drive screws flush with the substrate material at a constant and steady speed. The use of the popular cordless impact drivers will increase heat working of the screw. Therefore, use your discretion when using this kind of power drivers because of the added torque (hammering action) to the screw creates greater friction and, ultimately, may lead to screw breakage.

In general, to reduce cam-out of stainless steel screws, pre-drill where necessary and use Type 305 or 316 stainless steel trim or bugle headed screws that are in torx/star/6-lobbed drive style to maximize driving engagement.

star drive screws