Providing our customers with the best products on the market is extremely important to us. Each day we are striving to better ourselves, and the products and services we provide. Researching new products is a huge part of our job. We take pride in every material used and make sure to update our product list anytime something better is available. This includes everything down to the screws used.
You may think a screw is a screw, but even something so small can lessen the quality of the job if it is not a prime material or simply the incorrect material for the project. When certain metals combine, corrosion can take place. Recently, we saw a photo where the leader strap of a gutter system was completely corroded, due to the material of screw used reacting with the material of the gutter. This photo came from a project completed less than five years ago. It is a very common mistake to purchase/use cheaper screws to cut some costs, but this can be a big mistake.
Galvanic corrosion is an electrochemical process where one metal corrodes to another when both metals are in electrical contact. Choosing metals that have similar electropotentials is the best way to avoid this type of corrosion. The more closely matched the materials are, the lesser the potential difference and the lesser the galvanic current. Using the same metal for all construction is the easiest way of matching potentials.
We recently changed from ½ inch screws to ¾ inches because we noticed the smaller ones were not holding the downspouts up properly. With galvalume and galvanized installations, we use stainless steel screws, and copper plated with copper installs. These materials work with each other and do not cause galvanic corrosion. Whereas, if you were to use a copper screw with an aluminum gutter, corrosion like the picture above is likely to occur.
Not only are we constantly improving our products and materials, but also our knowledge and skill level because we understand the importance of using prime materials, as well as the importance of understanding how these materials react with one another.