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Hot-dipped galvanized nails compared to electro-plated nails for Hardieplank siding

A contractor wants to use electroplated nails (as he has on all the jobs he has done) to attach Hardieplank siding to my house. The James Hardie Web site recommends hot-dipped galvanized nails or stainless steel. I understand that stainless steel nails are more expensive and they bend easily. My contractor says he cannot find h.d galvanized nails in a coil for use in a pneumatic gun. Does anyone know if the electroplated nails will perform as well as the h.d. galvanized nails? Please advise.

Kathryn Szynal
consumer journalist - Snellville, Georgia, USA

The zinc coating is what provides the corrosion protection, Kathryn. If you go to a large hardware store or big-box store you will be able to see hot dip galvanize nails and electroplated nails at the same time and you'll find the situation understandable. Hot dip galvanizing is much thicker and provides far more corrosion protection. But it can be "drippy" because of the hot dipping, and it's easy to see why a drippy coating might not be compatible with automated guns.

Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

The Hot dipped Gal. nails are readily available for pneumatic guns.

Brian Clark
- Kinsale, Virginia

Hi, Brian. Thanks.

I'm not a contractor and don't have the experience that you and Kathryn's contractor have, so I can't mediate which of you is correct. Kathryn's contractor might not have looked hard enough, or you may have been misled -- I can't say. But if someone can point us to a webpage with specs for hot dipped nails in coil form, I guess that would settle it :-)


Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey
November 15, 2010

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